Leaking heavily inside Gen II Prius! Please help!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by satchfan81, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. satchfan81

    satchfan81 New Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    2005 Prius
    Ok so I know there have been alot of posts about leaking evaporator cores in the forums but I think I might have something entirely different going on. My prius is leaking quite heavily from inside the cabin but I'm pretty quick to dismiss the whole evaporator clog/leak theory because of one simple reason: its leaking everywhere EXCEPT the passenger side floor! That's where the drain is for the evaporator and yes, I have cleaned out that tube as much as is humanly possible. I've tried using a small pipe snake, a wet/dry vacuum and other steps to make sure it isn't that drain that's clogging up but still .... my problem remains. It would make sense that if the source of my leaking problems is the evaporator that it would stem from the passenger side area where the drain is and then migrate to the rest of the floorboards but that simply isn't the case. The passenger side floorboard is about the only thing that is DRY in the whole car.
    Basically the floor of the driver's, driver's rear and passenger's rear side are so completely soaked with what I can only hope to be water that there are visible (and smelly) puddles of water/condensation/whatever it is. I have soaked up all that I can with towels and dried out the rest hoping that cleaning out the drainage tube would have solved the problem but it just keeps coming back!
    Much like many of you that have had leaks in the cabin this only happens when it is humid/raining. Every other normal day the A/C and heater are running exactly as they should be and there is no leakage whatsoever but the second it rains, bam, puddles! I have looked everywhere I can for a possible source of incoming rain water but I can't find any holes, cracks, perforations or anything of the sort. The problem may be coming from underneath the car where I can't see but I have a feeling it might be from what my mechanic grandfather tells me is the radiator for the heater.
    Now I don't know enough about the prius to know if it even has one but he's worked on several cars for many years and he says that that definitely might be the problem: that the radiator for the heater is leaking its discharge into the cabin. Is this the case? Are there drainage tubes I don't know about underneath the spots I mentioned above?
    I notice that when I turn off the car and let it rest for a bit I do see little drips of water coming from the exact places where the water is gathering most in the cabin. Problem is, where's it coming from? Outside in? Inside out? Anyone else have this problem?

    Oh and just in case your wondering, yes, the floorboards (and consequently the carpet touching the floorboard, not the transmission hump) are the only things wet. The seats, roof, dash, hatch, seat belts, etc. are all completely dry.
  2. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Ballamer, Merlin
    2008 Prius
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    2010 Prius
    I'll move this to the troubleshooting forum. Hopefully we can get some technical answers there.
  4. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Mar 27, 2004
    United States
    2004 Prius
    Was it ever in a collision? Was it rustproofed? Has it been modified in any way (for example, a Sunroof added)?

    I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope that people who cannot see the car are going to diagnose the problem. Take it to a dealer. Along with inspecting it a technician can use compressed air to blow the entire evaporator drain line clean; you may have only been pushing blockage around.
  5. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

    Mar 25, 2009
    2009 Prius
    How is it done? I hope it is not blowing into the drain hose and spraying gunk from the hose into the inside of the air duct. :eek:
  6. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Feb 26, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    2007 Prius
    Radiator for AC system = Evaporator core

    This will accumulate moisture condensed out of the air in humid conditions as a natural side effect of using the AC. The moisture will be plain water and it will drain out beneath the car unless the drain is plugged. You have stated that you cleared the drain, so it is probably not this.

    Radiator for Heating system = Heater core

    This does not accumulate moisture. If you were getting moisture, it would be because the heater core itself were leaking engine coolant. If this is true, you should see the engine coolant level dropping and you should check to make sure this is not happening. Also, if the coolant is leaking inside the car from the heater core, you should probably smell the coolant.

    The other possibility is a leak of water into the car from outside. It is not likely to be from under the car unless you normally do stream crossings because the water will tend to follow the force of gravity. It is more likely to be a leak in the windshield seal or one (or more) of the door seals. Another possibility would be a door with a plugged drain slot where the water is filling the bottom of the door and then coming inside when it reaches a high enough level in the door. You can check the slots in the bottom of the door to make sure they are clear.
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    Clearwater, Florida
    2007 Prius
    I'm with Rokeby on this one. I don't think a clogged evap will dump that much water this time of year. Thats alot of very stinky water if its evap condensate..
    I think you can find the leak quickly though. Take out the seats and remove the entire carpet kit. Your going to have to do that anyway as it will be a moldy/musty pain in the neck from here on out if you don't. Plus with that much water ingress I would be worried if it got into the wiring harness system. There's alot of that in this car and it shoud be checked.

    While inside the car have someone douse the outside with a hose. First concentrate on the front air dam under the windshield. Hose it down real good and then go quiet for a little bit and you should be able to hear it leaking. Then do the windows all around the car. Then take out the rear hatch cover so you can peer over the back seat into the hatch well and douse the rear of the car around the window frame real good.Check out the back of the light lens real good.

    You can check for a clogged evap hose in less that about 60 seconds. Just put the ac on full blast temp on max cold. Lay on the ground at the rear of the front pass side tire and thae evap hose is about 1.5 inboard. Should see water flowing out that black rubber tube.

    There's also the tubes for the front air air dam drainage. They are located right behind each front tire both side. Put controled water in the air dam only and you should see real strong flow pouring behind each wheel.

    The fix to clear the evac tube is never compressed air. If you blow the plug back into the evap box it will just flow back out of the box and plug the hose again.

    If clogged hook a wet/dry vac to the hose end and that will suck out the plug really fast. Thats how an ac tech will do it at your house too.

    To maintain the evap box and keep it clean the dealer can either sell you a cleaning kit or they can do it. The kit consists of 2 spray cans. One can of spray cleaner that comes with a special hose attachment that you attach to the bottom of the drip hose. That hose connects to the can and the other end connects to the rubber drip hose under the car. It works real good. And is designed for Toyota size hoses.
    You spray the entire foamy cleaner contents of that can up the hose into the eavp box and let it do its foamy best. Then run the ac as preveiously mentioned for max drip to clean it out. The other can in the kit is just perfume you spray in the front air dam. I have done this on my 07 myself and it works good. It did it as a maint. thing. Its a good idea to do it once a year and the cabin smells really good for quite a while after you do it.The dealer charges $25 for the 2 cans. My dealer quoted $100 for the service if they did it and they were giving me a "special" discount.

    A "special" at my dealer usually means a 3 hour wait...a ding somewhere on the side of my car...and grease all over the interior. I bought the cans it did it myself.
  8. TanyaLMT

    TanyaLMT New Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    2007 Prius

    I was wondering, did you ever find out what the issue was? I have been having the EXACT same problem the last couple of days. I live in SWFL and I am pretty sure this is happening when I drive through puddles.. At first I thought my daughter spilled something on the floor in the back (driver's side) but then I noticed that it was under my feet as well. (Yes, I could splash in it... I'm surprised I didn't see any tadpoles swimming around in it!) I vacuumed up the offending puddle and the very next day I noticed my pant leg was wet when I got out of the car and saw that I had yet another puddle.. I vacuumed again and all was dry until I dropped my daughter off at the sitter and drove up her driveway (which had a gargantuan puddle) and i felt my water come through my crocs. I looked down and it looks like it was coming in from the top part of the drivers side floor board by that black box. I am going to take it in tomorrow hopefully. Oh yes , the puddles smell awful in my car as well!!!!!