A Watery Mystery (But Hopefully Nothing)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by blhootz, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. blhootz

    blhootz Junior Member

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    Okay, this forum just ate my last draft, so here I go again...

    TL;DR: If you got a car wash midday on Monday and it sat for the entire afternoon/evening as well as the following afternoon/evening in the sun, would you expect there to still be a sizable puddle underneath your car midday on Wednesday?

    The story, a little more fleshed out:
    Took my Prius for its first car wash on Monday at 2 pm.
    Parked outside in mostly sun for four hours, then drove 25 miles on the highway back home.
    Parked in my carport where it got a little bit of extra California evening summer sun.
    Didn't check on the car at all on Tuesday, let alone drive it. It sat in the carport and soaked up the sun all that afternoon and evening.
    Wednesday morning at 11 am, there was a large stream-shaped puddle of water running from stem to stern. (Photos attached.)
    Not sure if something had leaked, I took a different car to work, and when I returned at 2 pm, the puddle had dried up. No unusual warning lights on the dashboard when I started the car at that time.

    So then, does it seem reasonable to y'all that there'd still be a sizable puddle under my car a whole 45 hours after a car wash here in dry California, but *not* three hours after that? And does this look like typical car wash runoff, running lengthwise directly underneath the vehicle? Or could it possibly be something else? Again, the car was not driven at all on Tuesday. Sorry if I sound really dumb to y'all for even asking, but I've only owned this Prius for 8+ months, and I'd rather ask a stupid question than to not ask an important one. Thanks in advance.

    IMG_0545.JPG IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0547.JPG
     
  2. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Not a stupid question at all. Have you checked the ac drain? The water appears to be draining out relatively near the ac drain spout.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    are you sure it didn't rain?
     
  4. blhootz

    blhootz Junior Member

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I haven't checked the A/C drain because I didn't know until just now where it was. What would I be checking for, anyway, and how?

    Most positive, indeed.
     
  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Let me get this straight, there was a strip of water runoff, the kind that can condense on a cold car with an ocean breeze early in the morning? and there was still a portion of it in the location where the sun had the least chance of hitting it and drying it, under the centerline of the car?

    I'm not worried yet.
     
  6. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Same issue, different situation. I drove on flooded roads 5 months ago carefully, the under panel plastic collected water. Without heat and direct sunlight for days, the cotton like styrofoam glued to the under body plastic panel held water for a week. Water continued to drip but I knew it was from the flooded road. Another week later at the meetup, I dropped the under front panel and the cotton spongies were still soaked with water.
     
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  7. blhootz

    blhootz Junior Member

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    I appreciate your response and cause for no concern. If it had only been morning condensation, I'd have seen this issue show its head before now. And while you're right that much of it was underneath the car with no sun hitting it, there was also a large amount in front of the car, where the sun would've pounded down on it all the previous day. That said, I suspect that you are right not to worry.

    Ahhh... now this is fascinating info to me. I didn't know there might be sponge-like material underneath the car. (I mean, heck, you can't really see much under there, can you?) But knowing that you've had water still in there for that long sounds like something I might be experiencing, too. Maybe it just takes a heckuva lot longer to drain than I ever expected. (And I'd never realize it in the rainy season because the ground is already wet. But now that we're in the middle of a dry California summer... yeah.)

    p.s. -- My question about what/how to check the A/C drain still remains. Thanks!
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It's near the passenger side footwell- a bit inboard and aft of the right front wheel. It should drip fairly constantly with the A/C jacked up on a hot humid day while on level ground.
     
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  9. blhootz

    blhootz Junior Member

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    No humid summer days here in California. Do I need to drive to Florida to test this? ;)
     
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  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    no, it's fine to expect less condensate volume for local climate. It helps (the test) to put humidity in the car. This can come from plenty of sources. Humans sure breathe out a lot, in case you have a few around committed to the cause. A load of laundry half-done through the dryer and borrowed in a basket and left in the back seat for 10 minutes can do this for the more individual sort. Be creative.

    I have had to clear the drain in other cars, it's not a big deal. The key is to use a very soft tool- softer than the rubber/plastic tube itself. Straw, bamboo chopsticks and nylon zipties all make effective clearing probes.
     
    #10 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Jul 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  11. blhootz

    blhootz Junior Member

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    Thank you, Leadfoot!
     
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