Water in Passenger Compartment from Blower Motor Housing [Archive] - The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums

: Water in Passenger Compartment from Blower Motor Housing



joepeterson56
10-19-2007, 05:58 AM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news everyone, but every c/d/p mini i have ever owned has leaked thru the fresh air intake venting system. If they didn't leak water into the passenger compartment, they blew snow in your face in the winter when you turned on the defroster. I am currently running a 1997 Caravan, and a 2001 Town&Country LXi and both do it and always will, and smell like they were fished out of a flood after sitting under water for a while.

If I sound a bit negative, it is just the frustration showing ! Sad part is, without pulling the engine and having a torch to reroute the water and install a few shields, I see no way of repairing or stopping these existing leaks. I have even eliminated the operation of the freshair door and sealed them with silicone calk, but still could not get it water tight. :angry: :wtf: Also, I do not know whether or not C/D has finally figured out the true extent and cause of this design flaw and fixed it after the 2000 model year or not.

C/D/P has a very bad design flaw in these fresh air intake system designs, and they have refused for years to acknowledge it ! It is one of Chryslers stupid but simple little design flaws that they refuse to acknowledge publicly.

All of the dealers will tell you that there is no leak problems common to these vehicles other then the two drain tubes occassionaly clogging (I say this, because I called at least a dozen dealer service departments in the NY/CT area where I live about this problem. I was continually told the same thing by all of them) but the problem goes deeper than that.[B]

The proof they are aware of it but have not figured out the fix for it is proven by a 2" tall plastic "shield" or "deflector they placed between where the air enters the at the top of the plenum from behing the wiper tray housing only on the passenger side openings at the top of the fresh air intake plenum.
[B]This has not fixed the problem, or even slowed down the leak!

The sad part is, it really is a very simple fix if they would just make a slight modification in the shape of air plenum which is stamped into the firewall.

Even tho they deny a problem in this area, if you remove the cowling and the wiper housing tray down to the firewall on a 97 and right along side of it, do the same on the 2000, you will see that they put a shield to block rain and water from "blowing" into the area in the firewall between the bottom of the dash and the top of the firewall over the feet area in the passenger compartment.

I can make a pretty good description of the problem, but you would actually have to see the design for yourself to understand the problem, and unfortunately even if I took pictures and posted them of both of my vans apart the pics still wouldn't be clear enough to your eyes to understand the full problem, with out actually feeling it by hand as well, but I will attempt to make it as understandable as possible.

Here's the problem in a nutshell:

For starters, there are the 2 drain tubes that drain the wiper tray, and when these clog, the water backs up in the tray and floods into the air chamber behind the wiper tray under the dashboard bottom.

Inside this air chamber is a air passage which takes up approximately 2 thirds of the area from the passenger side to the drivers side of the vehicle. The end closet to the steering wheel, has a rectangular opening approximately 10 inches wide. this opening goes down at an angle (maybe 30 - 45 degrees ?) from the drivers side, toward the passenger side, at a width of about 6 to 10inches, and a drop of about 6 to 8 inches in the firewall. The rest of the open area into the fresh air inlet chambers is a sereies of spaces openings in the surface, which just have a straight drop.

Chryslers attempt at a fix was to put the shield I mentioned across these other openings, and ignorse the rectangular opening with the "ramp" shaped slope into the chamber. Their theory was appearently, that the rian/water was blowing into the air chamber under wind pressure and overwhelming the third drian tube, causing the water intrusion into the passenger compartment.

It then takes a drop down towards the ground, almost paralell to the side at the shock tower and ends in a flat bottom with a third drain tube, that almost nobody is even aware exists.

If you run your hand down the firewall in the engine compartment between the alternator and the passenger side shock tower, (if you can get a look from the perfect angle with a bright light on the area, you can see it as well, but it is not easy) you will feel a small rubber vent tube sticking out at the bottom of this plenum.

I am trying to be very exact here and hope I don't loose anyone.

This entire air chamber I am describing, is molded into the sheet metal of the firewall, which is actually a double firewall. The interior of the firewall in the passenger compartment is on sheet, fairly flat, and welded to the engine compartment side of the firewall which has these shapes molded into them.

This air passage or chamber, as I said, starts pretty much at dead center of the vehicle. On the left side of the chamber, it runs down vertically, paralell to the passenger side shock tower, about 12 inches or so deep, to the bottom to where it is flat and about 5 or 8 inches wide. It is under this flat bottom that you will find the third drain tube I referred to. Grasp this tube and pull it right out.

The reason is because of the design flaw, the tube clogs solid from debri, and allows water to build up to about 4 inches deep inside this lower part of the chamber.

Once the water hits that level, it flows thru an opening about 4 inches square, thru the passenger compartment side of the firewall, and directly into the blower motor housing.

The water then sits there untill it fills the housing cover, then begins leaking thur the cover seems, and around the shaft of the vent door inside the housing. Also, even though the fresh air or outside air vent door may be closed, the door flap itself is covered by a foam wrap wich is not water tight and is constantly letting this standing water from the air plenum leak into the blower housing. Anyone getting that dirty seawater smell in there car? Especially thru the vents when you turn the ac or defroster on? This is all the cause of it!

Now, the design flaw here is two fold.

First part is because of the failed drain tube, plus the fact that the 4" square air opening is too close to the bottom of the plenum, and has no kind of lip or shield protruding into the air chamber to deflect water flow from getting thru the opening as well as the standing water.

Second part of the water intrusion comes while driving into heavy or driving rains, and when the vehicle is parked. More specifically, when it is parked level from front to rear, and especially vulnerable with the nose up any kind of incline, whether level from left to right, but especially super vulnerable to the water intrusion if parked at any amount of angle with the drivers side being higher the the passenger side of the vehicle.

The reason that the left right angle is so critical, is again due to bad design of the air plenum or chamber. As the rain gets into the main air plenum, (it doesn't matter if it flows in because of the plugged drain hoses on the wiper tray or if it is driven in by heavy or wind driven rain) the angle of the slope in the drivers end of the fresh air inlet plaenum is just way to steep and the water flows with such force, that is goes right into the 4 inch squres opening and directly into the blower housing.

So Simple, But So Complex!

Anyway, I hope anyone plaged by this problem can understand it as I have explained it. If it is confusing to anyone, feel free to email me directly, and I will attempt to make some drawinds and scan them into my pc and email them to you if it will help.

chad_webb
10-19-2007, 08:32 AM
At first read, you just sound like a pissed off customer because you had a bad experience with a dealer and blame the automaker for making a vehicle that would dare to break down on you. However, having experience with your symptoms, I find reading it over again, the issues go deeper than I have explored, and you appear to be trying to convey those issues. For that, I am appreciative of your post.

I had the water intrusion problem you speak of where the cowl drain tubes were plugged, so the wiper cowl filled up with water that in turn proceeded to leak into the passenger side interior thorugh openings in the firewall. The worst part of this is that it proceeds to leak in *under* the carpet, where it soaks into the carpet pad and never evaporates due to the rubber backing on the carpet.

Fixing (what I thought) the fundamental issues takes all of two minutes - remove the 2 cowl drain hoses and clean them out. Fixing the results of this "oversight" is very time consuming and expensive. I removed the carpet from the vehicle, and replaced about half the carpet pad that was soaked. I then used a wire brush on the areas that had rusted to clean it up, then re-installed the carpet. Of course, this includes all the seats and seat belts and plastic trim, so it's a time consuming chore for certain.

However, it sounds like I may not have completely solved the problem, according to the information in your post. There may still be water down there near the blower motor? The only way I'm going down there, though, is if I'm replacing the evaporator and/or heater core, as I believe that is a dash-out repair if I'm not mistaken. The limited credibility I can lend to your theory/argument is that even after what I considered to be my "proper" repair to water intrusion I experienced, I still get that "moist" smell (not an engine coolant smell). In Arizona (hot and dry), it presents itself as a signifcant increase in humidity.

DSMLVR
10-19-2007, 09:11 AM
Joepeterson56. How many C/D/P vans have you owned? EVERY ONE LEAKED?

joepeterson56
10-19-2007, 07:05 PM
:smashfrea
Joepeterson56. How many C/D/P vans have you owned? EVERY ONE LEAKED?

Hey there DSMLVR, :confused: ? My experiences all come from problems I have encountered with all of the C/D/P minivans I have owned since 1995.

OK, you got me, as I think back,7 out of the 8 I owned did leak. One of the1987's didn't leak.:beerchug:

Count'em LOL:

1) 1984
2) 1985
dodge mini-ram vans that came with the purchase of a business.

3) 1985
4) 1986

5) 1987
6) 1987

7) 1994 Plymoyh Voyager Sport

and my current two

8) a 1997 Caravan

9) a 2000 T&C Lxi AWD


The first 2 (84 & 85) blew snow into my face every time I turned the defroster on each snowfall.

The the 86 and the 87 had me chasing a leak at the back 1/4 panel for quite some time and I was really stumped the first time w the 86, but knew exactly where to look the second time w the 87. They had the little rain gutters that ran the length of the sides where the roof meets the side walls.

The 86 leaked only on the right side, the 87 on both. Turned out to be incomplete welds at the back most tip of the gutters, and when they put the body seam putty over them under the paint, it cracked over time and let the water in. I had to dig it out and reseal it with new body seam putty.

The 94 my most favorite and in my personal opinion the best mini ever built, my ,(Chrysler couldn't leave well enough alone when they had it perfected and damn do I miss this one! It was "cherry", untill some woman passed stopped traffic on the right shoulder off a road at 40 mph in the rain, clipped my bumper as I was completing my turn and spun me around 1 1/2 times and wracked the whole tail end totaling it, had a malformed hatch gasket installed at the factory.

The following is a repost of a part of my first post here,the original post and thread is

10-15-2007, 03:51 PM
irishfastback
Newbie
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
2005 Town and Country driver mirror

I am guessing you didn't see that one, or everything I said that you read on this last posting would have made more sense to you lol.

Hi fastback,
I am appologizing in advance to all readers for the length of this post, but felt that since I am not a "pro" mechanic in the trade, that I needed to mention why I felt qualified enough to reply to some posts here as I search for an answer to my own current problem. If nothing else, it may provide for some interesting or funny reading for some of you, and serve as a reminder to others, that there are just some people out here that if it were not for bad luck, they wouldn't have any luck at all, like me!!:help_wsig


They have had all of the engines from the 2.? four cylinder, with the mikuni(a very problematic carb) carburator system, thru the 3.0, 3.3, and 3.8. I have experienced leaks both engine and body (all body leaks but one have occurred from Chryslers continued failure to engineer a simple fix in the design of their fresh air intake systems from the cowling thru the dashboard) in fact, right now my 97 & 2000 smell like seaweed and I had to replace the padding and carpet in the 2000, only to find it has been leaking again and ruined the carpet again after I thought I had fixed the design flaw and found to my complete despair that I only slowed it down, brake system proportioning valve failure, snapped overhead cams, streched and worn out timing chains gears and guides, spare tire holder failure and many other problems that I can't even recall to list right now.

It isn't an unfair statement, to say that I have experienced most of the common and many of the uncommon problems w c/d/p minivans, problems both known and admitted to by Chrysler, as well as quite a few denied and unacknowledged by Chrysler Like the freshair intake plenum on the 97 & 00.

In fact, most people that know me call me a "masochist", but I still luv my C/D minis!

By now, I guess all readers can tell that I may not be the "happiest camper" in the world of Chrysler, but I must say the following in all fairness as I always give credit where it is due.

All of my experience and research w my mini's has convinced me that the chryslers' are the best van and buy for the money out there today, as well as the ones that get the best mileage.

joepeterson56
10-19-2007, 07:11 PM
At first read, you just sound like a pissed off customer because you had a bad experience with a dealer and blame the automaker for making a vehicle that would dare to break down on you. However, having experience with your symptoms, I find reading it over again, the issues go deeper than I have explored, and you appear to be trying to convey those issues. For that, I am appreciative of your post.

I had the water intrusion problem you speak of where the cowl drain tubes were plugged, so the wiper cowl filled up with water that in turn proceeded to leak into the passenger side interior thorugh openings in the firewall. The worst part of this is that it proceeds to leak in *under* the carpet, where it soaks into the carpet pad and never evaporates due to the rubber backing on the carpet.

Fixing (what I thought) the fundamental issues takes all of two minutes - remove the 2 cowl drain hoses and clean them out. Fixing the results of this "oversight" is very time consuming and expensive. I removed the carpet from the vehicle, and replaced about half the carpet pad that was soaked. I then used a wire brush on the areas that had rusted to clean it up, then re-installed the carpet. Of course, this includes all the seats and seat belts and plastic trim, so it's a time consuming chore for certain.

However, it sounds like I may not have completely solved the problem, according to the information in your post. There may still be water down there near the blower motor? The only way I'm going down there, though, is if I'm replacing the evaporator and/or heater core, as I believe that is a dash-out repair if I'm not mistaken. The limited credibility I can lend to your theory/argument is that even after what I considered to be my "proper" repair to water intrusion I experienced, I still get that "moist" smell (not an engine coolant smell). In Arizona (hot and dry), it presents itself as a signifcant increase in humidity.

Yes, the evaporator core/heater core is a dash out repair. I had to do that on my 94 Voyager sport! I am still mourning the loss of it 4 yrs later lol.
I am not sure however if you can fix the leak were are talking about tho even then. Unless you have a plasma cutter and torch and can do some cutting and welding of your own. I unfortunatley don't own either and never was very good at welding.

I was introduced to the mini's when I bought a repair shop in 95. They came with the business and it has been a long love hate relationship ever since !

By the way. I was a leak repair specialist on cars and trucks, so all my knowledge comes first hand from my own vehicles as well as customer's.

shipo
10-20-2007, 02:06 AM
Joe, to read your writings one would think that every single Chrysler minivan ever put on the road dumps buckets of water into the front passenger foot well. I guess that makes our two DGCs a bit of an anomaly as the front carpeting has never gotten wet on either, in spite of a quarter of a million miles of driving through every kind of weather that the northeastern part of the United States (and occasionally southern Canada) can offer. Can you say "Torrential Rain"? It's doing that right now. Can you say "Heat and Humidity"? Trust me, it gets plenty hot and humid in the NYC and Boston metro areas.

So, how is it that some vans wet their carpeting and some don't?

thudpucker
10-20-2007, 06:18 AM
clean out those hoses and replace the dryer.

DSMLVR
10-20-2007, 08:43 AM
Sorry to hear that you are having these problems. The reason I asked about how many vans you have had is because My family and friends have and have had a combined total of 42 vans and no leakers among them.

joepeterson56
10-20-2007, 11:44 AM
Sorry to hear that you are having these problems. The reason I asked about how many vans you have had is because My family and friends have and have had a combined total of 42 vans and no leakers among them.

:lol: That is so funny to hear. I even have a few friends with them and they have the leaks as well. But Like I said, if it were not for bad luck, I wouldn't have any at all, and Murphy's Law was specifically written for me I think.

Anyway, like I said I still love my C/D mini's no matter what. I have only owned used ones so far, and mostly I was the second and third owner as weel. Hopefully within the next few years I will be able to afford my first brand new one !:beerchug:

shipo
10-20-2007, 11:52 AM
I have only owned used ones so far, and mostly I was the second and third owner as weel.
Maybe that's the key to it. Both of our vans were purchased new. Maybe Chrysler designed in something to cause them to leak once they've been moved on to secondary and tertiary owners. :p

DSMLVR
10-20-2007, 10:17 PM
I have one thing to say. Even though you have had leakers, you keep coming back. That means that you must really like the C/D/P vans. :headbange :headbange :headbange

joepeterson56
10-20-2007, 11:54 PM
Maybe that's the key to it. Both of our vans were purchased new. Maybe Chrysler designed in something to cause them to leak once they've been moved on to secondary and tertiary owners. :p

I think you are on the right trac. I believe Chrysler designed something into them to just just screw with a hapless sap named joe peterson, and see how crazy they can drive him, or to see how good he is at finding and fixing the headeaches they give him! :lol: :headbange :beerchug: :cheers3:

joepeterson56
10-21-2007, 12:02 AM
:beerchug: :rolleyes: :crazya:
I have one thing to say. Even though you have had leakers, you keep coming back. That means that you must really like the C/D/P vans. :headbange :headbange :headbange

hereweareagain
10-21-2007, 11:40 AM
thanks to joepeterson56...apparently this is a larger problem than 'Mr.' DSMLVR does not realize that when one does a search for 'Chrysler Pacifica water leaks' a link to these discussions is number 6 on Google! This is a persistent and real problem that I am finding my Naples,Florida dealership refuses to acknowledge; apparently so does Chrysler by the remarks made by DSMLVR.

My passenger side has been leaking water into the carpet for sometime (months) and it has been an exercise of wet dry vacuuming, leaving the windows open and blowing hot air over the area only to have it all reappear when it rains again.

It makes me outrageously mad :mad: to even think that Chrysler wants to side step the issue and not think about acknowledging that this is a potential issue and offer a fix for this problem, is outrageous to say the least.

Why not? They are afraid that is why. They are broke, and Chrysler is NOT concerned about Customer Service. In fact it is the last Chrysler product I will buy! I have repeatedly run in to the holier than though attitude when you ask them for help. I have even run into this attitude when there is a recall - it is as if it is not their fault - but mine, the owner that created this!

I will try my best to follow some of the instructions given here to un-plug the cowls or drain tubes, but they were not that clearly written - heck just the information is great to have - to realize it was not me alone with this issue.

Chrysler needs to re-examine themselves. Perhaps DSMLVR friends and family members keep all their cars in garages and get a bit of 'special' attention when they go in for services...like someone blowing the tubes clean - nothing can be taken for face value from a car manufacturer, especially after you have just basically came out and said that all of us with this problem do not really have this problem and it certainly can not be a design flaw and water leaks are a result of other issues beyond the manufactures control. Give it a break, be a human being with a conscience and integrity.

Thanks for nothing DSMLVR.
Thanks for everything joepeterson56.
And Shipo - you are either an idiot or a snooty Chrysler brat to even attempt to denigrate the issue as DSMLVR has.

The bottom line is we are mad :mad: and no one at Chrysler wants to admit there is a potential for this to happen and have a solution ready, regardless if it costs the consumer or not - have a solution and admit there is a potential for a problem ...:mad:

shipo
10-21-2007, 11:49 AM
And Shipo - you are either an idiot or a snooty Chrysler brat to even attempt to denigrate the issue as DSMLVR has.
Ohhh touché, your rapier like wit has sliced me to the bone.

Suggestion: Grow the he11 up before joining any more internet communities. If you don't you'll fast become an outcast and a pariah.

DSMLVR
10-21-2007, 01:55 PM
Mr hereweareagain. Welcome to the Forum. That was a heck of a first posting. Very Impressive.
Apparantly I am suppose to appologize because I have not had the same problems with my minivans (AND my Pacifica). I NEVER said there was not a problem. I said I/WE have not had these problems. I did hint that the way Joe's posting was, that EVERY MINIVAN BUILT by Chrysler apparantly had the problem. I was stating that it was not so.

I can see that you are going to go along way on here. Thanks for your comments.

DSMLVR
10-21-2007, 02:00 PM
thanks to joepeterson56...apparently this is a larger problem than 'Mr.' DSMLVR does not realize that when one does a search for 'Chrysler Pacifica water leaks' a link to these discussions is number 6 on Google! This is a persistent and real problem that I am finding my Naples,Florida dealership refuses to acknowledge; apparently so does Chrysler by the remarks made by DSMLVR.

By the way, IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE TSB's ( THAT Chrysler refuses to acknowledge about the Pacifica) , I will send them to you. Seems to me that IF A TSB is PRODUCED, Chrysler apparantly is acknowledging there is a problem. BUT, I APPOLOGIZE since MY Pacifica does not have these problems. I must be the most unlucky son of a gun there ever was since I did not get a leaking Van and/or Pacifica.

hilleary
10-21-2007, 04:46 PM
I'd had a faint odor and very occasional unexplained wet carpet at the extreme right edge of the passenger footwell of our 96 GV for years until one day while parked on an uphill incline in a pouring rain and actually saw water--lots of it--dripping off the bottom of the blower motor housing onto the passenger side carpet.

Next rainstorm, I showed that to the local dealer's service manager (great guy; also part owner). He had me close down the van and crank up the fan to pressurize the cabin, and we both saw tiny bubbles emerging in the rainwater at the right edge of the windshield.

That sent me to the body shop where I'd had the w/s replaced two years ago. The owner there repeated that test using aerosol foam window cleaner, didn't see a leak, and dug deeper. After removing the wiper tray cover, the glove box, and the bottom of the blower housing, he demonstrated with a sprinkler how water was running off the w/s into the wiper tray, with the occasional drop (or several) wrapping under and entering the air intakes in the firewall, filling the metal plenum with water, which would overflow into the plastic blower housing, meanwhile saturating the foam gasket between the two. (Neither of us noticed the plenum drain, a tiny rubber hose about a foot long coming down from a nearly inaccessible area of the firewall/plenum.)

His fix was to apply a horizontal run of foil duct tape along the sheet metal edge below the w/s in such a way as to reposition the drip path farther forward, farther from the air intakes. It passed his sprinkler test (and my garden hose test later at home) and cost me $140 for two hours shop time. Now I'm partway through drying the carpet and padding at home; I've unbolted and removed the front passenger seat and folded back the carpet/padding. Most of the water was going under the rubber-backed carpet into the padding, which is how it went undetected for years. Likewise the foam-backed silencer pad at the front of the footwell.

Had we noticed the plenum drain, maybe he'd have skipped the bit with the foil tape. That would also have saved me having to reach all the way through the blower box from inside the car and laboriously sponge out of the plenum about a pint of standing water that wasn't going anywhere.

Today, after reading the detailed account above, I went out in the driveway, spotted the drain hose, yanked it out, unclogged it, and with considerable effort (it's behind the alternator, with almost no space for a hand) put it back. I considered leaving it out, as the hole is about 3/4" and much less likely to clog than the 1/8" ID hose, but I don't like the idea of air from the engine compartment coming directly into the HVAC system.

Lots of work and hassle for a stupid hidden clogged drain.

davidhegg
10-22-2007, 05:42 PM
my 96 leaks water into the blower housing when I leave it outside. I took the access panel from the bottom of the blower and you can see it dripping down from the fresh air door (opened or closed).

I also took the cowl off below the windshield and tried to examine how the water was accumulating and dripping in. All of my drain lines were flushed clear and water was still leaking in.

This isn't just a problem for the OP, I think it is a potential assembly inconsistency at the factory. This is a problem I have never had with any other car I owned. Fords, BMWs, Saabs, Mercurys, Hondas, Toyotas, etc.

The only car that I have ever had leak like this was an MG midget. The convertible top was just meant to keep the rain off like an umbrella:biggrin: .

in my 96 I literally took the whole intake plenum off, cleared all the hoses, checked the condition of the sheet metal on the firewall and windshield, everything looks like it should. But in a steady rain, it will drip in, especially if I park it pointing uphill (like in my driveway). For now, I have resorted to tossing a gym towel in the passenger side floor to catch the drip, and parking inside.

The dealer is aware this is a common problem, but they keep saying that *most* but not all the time, clearing the drain lines stops the leaking. The next possible solution they think is that there is a crack in the firewall:blink:

FWIW, the leak developed about 3-4 years into the life of the van.

kruzzn
10-22-2007, 08:26 PM
My 05 leaked until I extended the A/C drain hose another 6 inches. End of problem!!

davidhegg
10-22-2007, 11:57 PM
My 05 leaked until I extended the A/C drain hose another 6 inches. End of problem!!

Curious what you mean by this? When I am looking at mine, I don't see how having a longer hose would affect my problem...but perhaps I am looking at it the wrong way.

I in my case, water is leaking in at the fresh air vent door into my fan housing, not in through the evap housing.

Are we talking about two different water problems?

hilleary
10-23-2007, 02:26 AM
moved

joepeterson56
10-23-2007, 02:20 PM
Joe, to read your writings one would think that every single Chrysler minivan ever put on the road dumps buckets of water into the front passenger foot well. I guess that makes our two DGCs a bit of an anomaly as the front carpeting has never gotten wet on either, in spite of a quarter of a million miles of driving through every kind of weather that the northeastern part of the United States (and occasionally southern Canada) can offer. Can you say "Torrential Rain"? It's doing that right now. Can you say "Heat and Humidity"? Trust me, it gets plenty hot and humid in the NYC and Boston metro areas.

So, how is it that some vans wet their carpeting and some don't?

Hi Shipo,
Sure I can say heat and humidity..... If it applies!
But it doesen't in any of the cases I spoke about. I have spent my entire life living 12 miles nort of Manhattan, and then here in the Danbury area of CT, and I most certainly know the difference between water intrusion and humidity. Belive me it was never a case of heat and humidity, and also, in my entire life in this area it has never been hot and humind enough in my area to produce the effects you hint at.:beerchug:

joepeterson56
10-23-2007, 02:38 PM
my 96 leaks water into the blower housing when I leave it outside. I took the access panel from the bottom of the blower and you can see it dripping down from the fresh air door (opened or closed).

I also took the cowl off below the windshield and tried to examine how the water was accumulating and dripping in. All of my drain lines were flushed clear and water was still leaking in.

This isn't just a problem for the OP, I think it is a potential assembly inconsistency at the factory. This is a problem I have never had with any other car I owned. Fords, BMWs, Saabs, Mercurys, Hondas, Toyotas, etc.

The only car that I have ever had leak like this was an MG midget. The convertible top was just meant to keep the rain off like an umbrella:biggrin: .

in my 96 I literally took the whole intake plenum off, cleared all the hoses, checked the condition of the sheet metal on the firewall and windshield, everything looks like it should. But in a steady rain, it will drip in, especially if I park it pointing uphill (like in my driveway). For now, I have resorted to tossing a gym towel in the passenger side floor to catch the drip, and parking inside.

The dealer is aware this is a common problem, but they keep saying that *most* but not all the time, clearing the drain lines stops the leaking. The next possible solution they think is that there is a crack in the firewall:blink:

FWIW, the leak developed about 3-4 years into the life of the van.

Hey David, Seems like you have an honest dealer that you go to. I commend him. I do have to disagree with the assessment though about a cracked firewall. In your case maybe it is, but I am convined after takink apart both my 97 DC and my 00 C T&C, and seeing the deflector that chrysler added during production, that it is still nothing more than a design flaw with a simple fix.

I have also seen fords from the earlier yrs (all Escorts), with a similar but worse flaw in the design of the fresh air intake plenums. The motor housings were of a diff design than C/D/P, and were pretty darned water tight, so most owners were not aware of the water infiltration, until the coldest or winter nights. When they would get in their cars in the mornings, and turn on the heater blower, the fan would be encased in a solid block of ice and burn the motor right out. When I had my glass shop, I had taken apart several of them and after droping the blower housing cover and motor and removing the cowling and screeens, I put a drop light on the floor in the passenger area and could look right into the car from the outside at the end of the windshield.:lol:

shipo
10-23-2007, 02:39 PM
Hi Shipo,
Sure I can say heat and humidity..... If it applies!
But it doesen't in any of the cases I spoke about. I have spent my entire life living 12 miles nort of Manhattan, and then here in the Danbury area of CT, and I most certainly know the difference between water intrusion and humidity. Belive me it was never a case of heat and humidity, and also, in my entire life in this area it has never been hot and humind enough in my area to produce the effects you hint at.:beerchug:

Hmmm, so what are you saying:

That your carpet gets wet from rain intrusion into the van?
That your carpet gets wet from condensed water from the evaporator in the A/C system?
Other?

joepeterson56
10-23-2007, 03:26 PM
Hmmm, so what are you saying:

That your carpet gets wet from rain intrusion into the van?
That your carpet gets wet from condensed water from the evaporator in the A/C system?
Other?


I am saying just what all of my postings have clearly stated:

1 - That my carpet gets wet from rain intrusion into the van through the fresh air intake plenum which clearly is a poor design. I never stated that it gets wet from condensed water from the evaporator in the A/C system.

2 - That every dealer searvice department in my NY/CT area that I have spoken to, have refused to acknowledge a water leak problem with these vehicles.

3 - That the few who stated there was "an occassional rare problem with water leaks" were "ALWAYS" corrected by cleaning out the two drain tubes attached to the wiper housing tray under the cowling obviously are or were clueless about the extent of the water problems or refused to acknowledge them.

4 - That I have removed all of the possible to remove parts covering the problem area both outside the vehicle over and infront of the freshair intake plenum, and inside the vehicle under and in front of the fresh air intake plenum and saw the point of and method of water intrusion into the blower housing and passenger compartment.

Now that you ask what am I saying, and after reading several more recent posts than mine on the subject,

I am also saying :

7 - That I did actual water tests on the vehicles, with both gentle flowing water down from the roof and windshiled with the vehicle on varying angles and level, and with pressurised water directly and indirectly at the cowling and windshiels and down over the roof with the vehicles on varrying angles and level. The results were always the same !

6 - That apparently not one of these service departments is or was even aware of the third drain tube at the exterior bottom of the plenum behind the alternator that is basically a 2 1/2" long tube with about a 1/8" id that snaps into the approximately 5/8" id plenum drain tube opening with a gromet like top on the tube.

7 - That common sense tells anyone, that because the entire design of the cowling and vent system allows fine particulates like road debris and pine needles and fine leaves into the plenum and clogs the 1/8" id third drain tube to clog even faster than the 2 approx 3/4" ID tray tubes clog.

Also, as I stated in an earlier post of mine, I owned and operated an autoglass shop for some time, and my shop specialty happened to have been leak detection both air and water, and water intrussion detection and repair.

The purpose of these forums, is to exchange info and stories and discuss problems we have all had or have and exchange ideas and advice on how to best deal with or cure the problems.

It is not a place for bashing or insulting or doubting anyone elses advice, repair suggestions, validity of their claims of problems, as I have noticed lately in more than one post in this site.

It also is not a place for anyone, be he a dealer, mechanic, designer, engineer, salesman, service rep, mopar or c/d/p satisfied customer or fanatic or anyone else to defend the Car companies or get insulted or get their nose bent out of shape over someone else's problems or opinions!

We all need to share and enjoy this forum for it's actual purpose.

Happy motoring everyone! :beerchug:

shipo
10-23-2007, 03:56 PM
Okay, then I have to ask again. Given all of the criteria that you cite as reasons for the leaks, and given that these are mass produced vehicles that are extremely alike; how is it that neither of our vans has ever leaked into the carpeting?

FWIW, our 1998 spent its first five years and 60,000 miles in the NYC area, and outside for much of the day. Since moving to the Boston area it spent over three years outside with no garaging at all, and then another two years being garaged for most nights and weekends. In all, the van has some 150,000 miles and nine years of age, and it doesn't leak.

joepeterson56
10-23-2007, 10:36 PM
Okay, then I have to ask again. Given all of the criteria that you cite as reasons for the leaks, and given that these are mass produced vehicles that are extremely alike; how is it that neither of our vans has ever leaked into the carpeting?

FWIW, our 1998 spent its first five years and 60,000 miles in the NYC area, and outside for much of the day. Since moving to the Boston area it spent over three years outside with no garaging at all, and then another two years being garaged for most nights and weekends. In all, the van has some 150,000 miles and nine years of age, and it doesn't leak.

Damned if I can answer that question for you. :wall: I also would like the answer to it. I can only tell you what I have seen and experienced first hand !

"The only possible explanations I can come up with, are :

There is an old saying around that cautions buyers beware.

Along those lines, I have been told by several people I have known over the years who were employed on automobile assembly lines (companies I will not name) that everyone that buys any car should hope they do not get a "Monday or a Friday" built car, as they seem to be missing more parts or have more problems from assembly on the 2 worst days of the week! I am sure this statement will ruffle a lot of feathers and spark a lot of debate. Fact or fiction ? Beats me, but certainly not implausable :lol:

Similarly, along those same lines, having toured several assembly plants and watching the cars being built, I do know that each person along the assembly line is almost always responsible for the installation of just one part or system, & saw several instances while watching them, where one assembler had trouble getting something to line up or fit properly.

I also saw one break 2 push in type fasteners when mounting an underhood part at his station. I also know from several assembly line workers that I personally know, that most plants give them royal **** if they stop the line to fix a problem they couldn't do on the fly.

I can not help but wonder if the problems some people experience and others never do, could be caused by:

an assembler afraid of being reamed out for stopping the line to fix a problem,
a disgruntled employee,
a tired employee working second shift or a double shift
poor or non supervision on the line,
sloppy craftsmanship,
no pride in one's work, or
some assemblers idea of a bad joke to screw with some poor unsuspecting consumer or dealer or
to get back at the "company" in some sick and twisted way.

Anyway we look at it, there are lemons and creampuffs coming off the lines everywhere. Some of us get them and others that don't, have a hard time believing that such things happen, because they have been extremely fortunate or lucky.

Others seem to never get that creampuff and have nothing but headaches or a long series of little annoying problems that add up to major frustration.
:headbange

It seems to me, that you are more suprised or incredulous over the fact that I have 2 leakers, a 97 DC and an 00 CT&C, both with the identical problem, and seem to not want to believe that the design flaw does exist, even though others have written here about having the same problem but they do not claim to have knowledge of how and why the problems exists, as I do.

Maybe, the assembly plants left out a baffle or two someplace in the intake plenum someplace, I don't know.

I do know, that the 00 has a baffle, or more accurately, a deflector installed from the factory in an obvious attempt to correct the problem, and the 97 doesn't have it. Nor is there any mounting holes where one would have been mounted if it did exist in 97.

For all I know, maybe both of my minis are missing some kind of internal baffle or diverter that was designed for but not installed inside the plenums when assembled.

I also doubt that my 97 Dc and 00 C T&C were assembled at the same plant, but I could be wrong. I don't know all of Chryslers assembly plants for the minis, and if they were even in the same palce or built these vehicles in the year they were built. Also, what about the other people who HAVE HAD the same problem ?

Can you explain any of that ?:beerchug:

shipo
10-23-2007, 10:48 PM
Well, I just checked the door jam on both of our vans and found that the 1998 was built in the U.S.A. while the 2003 was built in Canada. Beyond that I don't know how to descipher the sticker to determine which factory they were built in.

So, I have two different vans from two different years and different generations and different countries of origin. What does that tell us? Unfortunately, nothing. :(

joepeterson56
10-23-2007, 11:01 PM
I am incredulous that anyone could possibly beleive that just because vehicles are mass produced, that they will all be built identically or assembled identically and perfectly.:blink:

Since they are assembled by humans with the help of robots, as opposed to by robots, There can be broken or improperly place or improperly mounted parts.

The margin for human error is very wide.:eekkkk:

joepeterson56
10-23-2007, 11:03 PM
:lol: Now you sound like you understand my frustration some what, and deffinitely one of the points I was trying to make !

I luv these forums!:beerchug:

De Hill
10-23-2007, 11:26 PM
I had the same problem in my 1996 T&C as you do. When it rained, water leaked in on the passenger side of the van. I even paid the dealer about $350.00 to do a service bulletin to the van that was supposed to fix the problem. (it didn't) I finally fixed it myself.

The problem was caused by rainwater running down the windshield and getting to some of the 5 air holes on the air intake which is located below the plastic louvers that the windshield wipers stick up through.

I removed the windshield wipers and removed the plastic louvers. I could then see the rectangular air intake holes . I went to the local hardware store and bought one of those white metal house air conditioner return air grills. I cut off 5 complete louvers from the grill. I made sure that each louver had a tab on either end. I drilled a hole in each tab and painted them flat black. I then attached each one of them above each rectangular air intake hole using very small sheet metal screws and silicon seal.

This fixed the problem. the rainwater now came down the windshield and hit the louvers which delected the water so that that it didn't enter the rectangular air intake holes.

This worked for me.

Good luck to you!

davidhegg
10-24-2007, 08:41 PM
great fix, now if I only had spare time.:beerchug:

BrooklynBridger
10-31-2007, 10:06 PM
Fascinating posts, but does anyone have a clear answer to this related question?

I apparently have some mold in my evaporator drain area, although all my drains are clear. I get a musty smell when first using the A/C. So, I need to de-mold and flush out, and sanitize the evaporator drain area. THUS, how much water could I shoot up into the evaporator drain hose before I will have water leaking out of other places??? A pint? A quart? A gallon? I plan on using a disinfectant solution and repeatedly soak the evaporator housing area and let it drain and repeat.

Any ideas the volume of the bottom of the evaporator drain area? It would be awesome if someone had a diagram of this whole area. Anyone know where I could find one?

Thanks you.

Signed,

Stinky :blink:

BrooklynBridger
11-11-2007, 05:35 PM
Just checking to see if anyone knows the following: how much water could I shoot up into the evaporator drain hose before I will have water leaking out of other places???

I apparently have some mold in my evaporator drain area, although all my drains are clear. I get a musty smell when first using the A/C. So, I need to de-mold and flush out, and sanitize the evaporator drain area. THUS, how much water could I shoot up into the evaporator drain hose before I will have water leaking out of other places??? A pint? A quart? A gallon? I plan on using a disinfectant solution and repeatedly soak the evaporator housing area and let it drain and repeat.

Any ideas the volume of the bottom of the evaporator drain area? It would be awesome if someone had a diagram of this whole area. Anyone know where I could find one?

Thanks you.

Signed,

Stinky

alvin
11-11-2007, 06:26 PM
There are spray cans for disinfecting evaporator cores, and on a minivan
it is convenient to spray through the opening for the temperature probe,
after removing the glove box and the access cover. The hole is big enough
to spray the whole surface, if only on one side. This is also where you check for refrigerant leaks.

joepeterson56: could the third drain you're describing, behind the alternator, actually be the
evaporator drain opening, which is located there, or is it really yet another water drain from
the air box on the top?

BrooklynBridger
11-14-2007, 12:42 PM
Thanks Alvin. I've done the whole 16 oz can of de-stink, anti-mold, freshener thing into that access area you mention. It worked for a few days, but the stink came back, especially after it rains and especially while I am using the A/C. So, I think the fungi might need more than a surface spray. Thus, my question about trying to "flush" out the evaporator draining area.

What is the size and depth of that compartment? Any diagrams or fotos?

Thank you.

Mark

alvin
11-14-2007, 01:21 PM
If you think the drain is clogged, you can remove the rubber elbow and try snaking it out
with something like a long nylon tie wrap.
I guess you can try shooting some spray cleaner from that side too but don't know how far up
it will go. I believe peope posted photos of the drain in 4th gen. forum.
It's just a stubby pipe molded into the evaporator housing that comes out
through a hole on the firewall.

mjt
11-14-2007, 01:50 PM
In my 02 it was the drain from AC evaporator. The line passes straight thru the firewall. Somehow it was wicking back into the car. Carpets were soaked and took several days to dry. Added small bent house available from dealer and all is fine.

tony0707
07-23-2008, 08:37 PM
HI MY VAN IS A 1999 LXI- 3.8 ENGINE- LOVE THIS VAN---FLOOR HAS BEEN GETTING WET FOR ABOUT 8 MONTHS ON AND OFF-NO PROBLEM ON short DRIVES-WHEN A/C IS ON ( BUT ALWAYS ON -I AM IN FLORIDA )-WHEN I GO 200 MILES OR SO-THE FLOOR IS WET AGAIN- IT IS LEAKING-TO THE RIGHT OF THE GAS PEDDLE-I REMOVED THE BLACK PLASTIC COVER (3 BOLTS )AND I AM LOOKING AT THE SIDE OF THE EVAPORATOR CORE-I SEE THE WATER DRIPPING FROM THE LOWEST CORNER OF THE EVAPORATOR ON TO THE FLOOR--I HAVE CLEARED THE EVAPORATOR DRAIN HOLE ON THE FIREWALL under the hood-JUST BEHIND THE SERPENTINE BELT-NOT EASY TO SEE -OR TO GET TO ( ON PASS-SIDE ) -AT FIRST A GOOD DEAL OF WATER RAN OUT OF THE DRAIN-THOUGHT I FIXED THE PROBLEM-MY CAR IS USED VERY LITTLE MOST OF THE TIME-SO ANY WATER THAT ACCUMULATES -MIGHT JUST DRY OUT-BEFORE IT FILLS UP VERY MUCH- I ALWAYS SEE WATER UNDER THE CAR -AS I SHOULD-SO I KNOW THE EVAPORATOR IS DRAINING AT THE FIREWALL-THE LAST TIME THE FLOOR GOT WET -I WAS IN A GOOD DEAL OF RAIN- (AC ON )SO I WILL NOW BE CHECKING THE FRONT VENT DRAIN TUBES(PER THIS WEB SITE )-AS THEY MAY BE CLOGGED-HAVE A LOT OF SMALL OAK LEAVES HERE THAT WORK THERE WAY INTO EVERYTHING-SOME COME OUT MY A/C VENTS IN THE CAR-- AT TIMES --I HAVE SPENT ABOUT 10 HOURS -INSPECTING AND SEALING MY RUBBER TRIM AT THE DOORS AND WINDSHIELD-THE MOISTURE IN THE CAR HAS CAUSED MY HEADLINER TO START TO SAGE- ANOTHER BIG HEADACHE !-CAUSED BY THIS VERY UNUSUAL FRUSTRATING SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES- MY A/C IS WORKING AS IT S/B- AND I DO NOT SEE ANY OTHER 1999'S-THAT ARE LISTED WITH A WET FLOOR PROBLEM HERE -I HAVE DRIED THE FLOOR OUT 4 TIMES -BY REMOVING THE LOWER GLOVE BOX-POP OFF THE PANELS BY THE DOORS-AND PULL UP THE CARPET(FOLD IT OVER THE FRONT SEATS )-IT TAKES TWO DAYS TO DRY OUT HERE-IT IS HOT HERE IN FLORIDA IN JULY-I AM STILL WORKING ON GETTING TO CORRECT MY WATER PROBLEM AN WILL BE BACK -IF AND WHEN I HAVE AN ANSWER- I HAVE BEEN A VERY SUCCESSFUL HOBBY MECHANIC FOR 48 YEARS-IN THE OLD DAYS IF THE FLOOR WAS WET -THE HEATER CORE WAS LEAKING-THIS WATER STUFF IS NEW TO ME- OWN MY VAN ONLY TWO YEARS--- I WILL FIND A SOLUTION -- JUST MY TWO CENTS ===TONY===

shipo
07-23-2008, 08:47 PM
Hello Tony, welcome to the site.

Please, if you can, would you repost the above in standard mixed case format. Posting in all caps is considered yelling and some folks consider it rude. For my part I simply cannot read it.

DASander
07-23-2008, 08:51 PM
Your A/C evaperator drain tube is plugged. You will find it under the right side of the van, where the floor goes up to the fire wall. It is a rubber hose that stops about an inch below the floor. Probe it with a stiff wire or coat hanger and you should get some debris followed by a gush of water. I had to throw the Miata up on the lift and fix this same problem yesterday (yea, we've been keeping the top up and running the A/C...). Cost to fix? $0.:ThumbsUp:

kruzzn
07-23-2008, 10:06 PM
That little A/C drain tube is the culprit. Extend it or get an elbow for it and the problem is solved.

Glen Millar
07-23-2008, 10:19 PM
I experience this phenomenon with my '97 Dodge Neon where I get water in the passenger side after a hard rain.

Never had it though in either my '88 Plymouth Voyager or 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan.

Dubuquer49
07-29-2008, 03:55 PM
[QUOTE=joepeterson56;49797]I hate to be the bearer of bad news everyone, but every c/d/p mini i have ever owned has leaked thru the fresh air intake venting system. If they didn't leak water into the passenger compartment, they blew snow in your face in the winter when you turned on the defroster. I am currently running a 1997 Caravan, and a 2001 Town&Country LXi and both do it and always will, and smell like they were fished out of a flood after sitting under water for a while.

Joepeterson56:

VERY, VERY helpful post. Mine smells also. Can I take out the blower motor to clean and clear out the drain passage in your 4 square inch location. I have removed the cowl and cleaned the drain ports. I have drilled a 1/4" hole down in the corner of the floor board to drain out the water. Does this water situation cause the blend, mix or recirculate doors to fail? Thanks for all you effort to report this issue!

silversurfer
05-29-2010, 11:05 PM
sorry...posted a new topic...

Mazda626awd
01-12-2011, 03:50 PM
I know this is an old thread but I aquired this 97 T/C in april 2010 after it developed brake failure due to corroded lines behind the gas tank. While it was up on blocks, I noticed a flooded/wet carpet on the front passenger side. While fixing the brakes system by fabricating new lines and replacing wheel cylinders and all hoses, I kept the front half of the van covered with a tarp until I had time to T/S the leak. I had pulled the cowl cover and wiper mount out to make it easier to replace the valve cover seals and spark plugs, and noticed that the wiper tray was full of pine needles and other debris. After reading the previous posts, they revealed some common symtoms. Someone had mentioned the headliner separation. The previous owner claims that he never got a wet carpet but the headliner did start delaminating a few years ago. I' m thinking that this leak was being contained somewhat by the rubber under the carpeting and that moisture has been premiating with in the vehicle to affect the headliner.

When the weather warms up I will be digging deeper into resolving this leak with some of the suggestion noted in previous threads. But since 2008, there has been no discussion, I was wondering if anybody has found a viable repair.

andyg
01-13-2011, 09:31 AM
When the weather warms up I will be digging deeper into resolving this leak with some of the suggestion noted in previous threads. But since 2008, there has been no discussion, I was wondering if anybody has found a viable repair.

Water on the passenger floor is usually due to a clogged drain for the hvac box. When water gets in there (from the cowl) or condenses from the a/c, it need to drain but sometimes junk will build up in there.

Another possibility is the door seals. My passenger side carpet gets wet at random times. Sometmes when it rans, it will be dry, sometimes not. Has nothing to do with how hard its raining either.

Mazda626awd
01-14-2011, 11:41 AM
AndyG Thanks, it may be door seals, but they look pretty good. Whats a good way to get to the HVAC drain? I figured the problem was in the cowl area since it was full of pine needles when I got the leak. But as I think back I noticed water in the door jam when I opened it after that first deluge of a rain storm. I have it covered for now here in VA. since the weather is cold and I have no garage. I'm currently having problems finding a new quarter turn fastener for the wiper cowl cover. Chysler parts can't find the part on the computer display and recommends the junk yard or buy a new cowl cover in hopes that its included.:angry1:


97 T/C 192K miles origional trans
5 mazda 626s

kenbutler
04-18-2013, 01:18 PM
Dose taking out the plug at the bottom solve the problem?

Towny
04-28-2013, 07:56 PM
I have the same leak problem on my 2000 Town and Country LXi AWD. The cowl had gotten very clogged with leaves and in washing it out, I washed the mess down into the drainage tubes which were then clogged. It was then leaking under the passenger carpet as joepeterson56 describes. I cleaned out the tubes but it still leaks- perhaps the 3rd drainage tube is similarly clogged?
Is there an easy way to reach the 3rd tube and clean it out/?

Yellowdart69
04-28-2013, 10:15 PM
Maybe it's where you park your vans. I've had a 94 , 96, and still have a 99, and 02. The only problem I've had is with the 99 that gets parked under my neighbour's pine tree. The drains get plugged with pine needles, and have to be cleaned out periodically.

imickey503
05-07-2013, 08:01 AM
Well, both of my vans leak. More so on the white 1997, it leaks down the firewall and into the foot well. So I pulled up the carpet so I could get it to dry. FOR ME, It does not seem to be an HVAC problem. But I am pretty sure it is something coming from the cowl. When I take a garden house to the wiper cowel, it leaks inside.

For the record, you can't just clean the cowl. You have to also clean out the drainage tubes. Water might not be enough. You might have to use some small flexible, NOT SHARP object, to clean the drainage pipes. When I shot water through mine, It was still draining kind of slow. So I used a shop vac to suck out the line and made it worse.

I used some copper Home wiring and used that to unclog it . Worked for ABOUT a year.

AndyN800
06-02-2013, 08:42 PM
Our 2003 T & C AWD has the interior water leak problem that is the subject of this thread. In our case, it's 100% caused by water from the outside (e.g. rain, washing), and not from the A/C evaporator. One thing I didn't see anywhere in this long thread is any pictures, so got inside the van after having pulled back the carpet and insulation, had my daughter spray water on the windshield/cowl area, and identified the location of the leak. Here it is:

8577

Sorry the picture is so dark - if you double-click on it to enlarge it, you can see much more clearly. I'm not sure exactly what this black plastic box is, but it houses the cabin filter, the door of which you can see in the foreground. It seems that if I could remove this box, apply some sealant on the firewall where it attaches, and get a new foam seal, I might be able to at least minimize the problem. Does this make any sense? Anybody know how to remove this box? Thanks.

AndyN800
06-02-2013, 10:00 PM
Sorry, I just realized this thread was in the 3rd gen minivan forum - I didn't see how to do a model-specific search. In any event, our 4th gen is leaking, so obviously Chrysler didn't fix this problem in the 4th gen iteration of the van.

imickey503
06-04-2013, 08:31 AM
Dude, I think that is your AC/Hvac box. I think that is where the condenser is that drains moisture from the condensation that forms on the "coils" inside the box. There is a small tube that may be clogged so it will not drain, so it fills up and then overflows into the cabin.

You may not want to hear this, but really, the right thing to do is do PMS on the unit. Home AC units get this every few years at the minimum. There are short cuts, but they are again, all shortcuts. The reason for this is items getting past the filter, (Yours should have a filter unit) If you have dogs, cats, people with long hair, live where there are allot of ***** willows, dust etc, this can all become a problem really fast.

For the 3rd gen guys, they do make a filter that fits in the area, or you can make your own from a vacuum cleaner HEPA "Like" filter. I think however when you use recirculate, there is no way of purifying the air unless you find the intake duct, and strap something on there as well.

Also, another cool note, you can install a UV lamp inside the unit and it will kill the germs in the condenser area. They make LED UV lights that would be perfect for the application if you wanted to go down that route.

Otherwise, the best thing to do is keep a clean car, and vacuum often. The build up of dirt in the carpet in a car is substantial.

You can try some of the over the counter chemicals, they do make some that work great to clean the gunk out of your condenser without having to take the whole unit apart for servicing if you want to go down that route. However, chances are all you will need to do is clear the blockage, and it should work.

Again, I AM NO EXPERT, but I hope some of these suggestions may find some use.

If the leak is coming from the other side of the firewall, it may just be as simple as clearing out some drainage holes in the uni-body.


Again, I hope this helps.

imickey503
06-04-2013, 09:00 AM
One last thing I forgot to mention, check that cabin filter and also, this worked once for me, (on the gen 4 I had to deal with :jpshakehe ) Get your big 12 amp electric blower and back blow through the vents with the Filter out and the HVAC motor out as well.

Then replace the motor, and do not install the filter, and then again, blow it through the vents. I would use the main vents in the center console.

This can clean it out on the cheap and easy for a while.

If you happen to have Air compressor, you can try to find the tube and with an flexible extension, blow the crud out of the drainage hole. HOWEVER! THIS MAY CAUSE MORE PROBLEMS THEN IT SOLVES!

You can damage items inside the HVAC unit if you are not careful. So please, take this advise with a grain of salt, and a STRONG HEADWAY OF CAUTION!

The best way is to service the entire unit if you plan to keep the car for a while by a person who has the time to undertake such a task as it is VERY labor intensive. Scotty Kilmer has some articles on YouTube on how to deal with HVAC service. However, finding leaks on the vans seems to be something that Richpin should take a look into doing a video on soon. If not, I will make some crappy video about how not to do it, so you can learn how to do it. But I don't have access to a 4th gen anymore unless I go to the junkyard.

Vienna Dude
06-24-2013, 01:02 PM
Joe -- I appreciate your analysis of the problem. It is now 2013 and, for the first time, my 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager started to leak on the passenger side after being parked in rainstorms. The water dripped from the bottom of the blower motor. Here is what recently changed -- the van is no longer parked in a car port and there was work done on the engine (to include changing all six spark plugs). Also, I suspect that the cowl and wiper tray were removed (more on that later).

Your comments were my starting point. I verfied the leak was coming from the bottom of the windshield or cowl area via a water spray test. I also noted that the small weather strip between the windshield and cowl was not very tight. I removed the cowl and there were no leaves or crud in the tray but I noted water spots above the top of the air chambers on the passenger side. Water put directly into the wiper tray (no spray) drained and did not enter the air chambers. I also noted the rubber shield at the front of the wiper tray was mis-aligned and interfered with getting a good tight fit with the weather strip (windshield to cowl) since it flopped over the firewall lip on the passenger side (near the fender).

SUSPECTED PROBLEM: Two -- (1) the misaligned rubber shield from the wiper tray was causing more water to leak past the weather strip at the windshield, permitting (2) water to flow over the lip of the firewall (above the air chamber opening).

SOLUTION: I relocated the misaligned rubber shield so it ended under the firewall lip. This permitted a snug fit for the cowl and weather strip. I also put a line of 3M Window Weld across the edge of the firewall lip, connecting with each of the brackets holding the wiper tray. At the middle of the firewall and about 9 inches from either end (towards the fender), I put an intentional opening on the line of Window Weld, hoping that if water did get past the windshield-cowl weaterstrip, the water would be directed to collect in the wiper tray from one of these three openings in the Window Weld bead (and not directly over the air chambers).

After reassembly, I soaked it with water running down the windshield and also with water sprayed directly into cowl opening. No water entered the passenger side air chamber. I suspect this will be the permanent solution. Why didn't this van leak for the first 14 years I owned it? I suspect the misaligned rubber shield from the wiper tray interfered enough with the fit of the cowl that more water was permitted to get past the weatherstrip than before. If I get any more water, I may just duct tape air chamber openings on the passenger side and depend on the driver side openings for air.

Joe - again, thanks for the analysis.

Vienna Dude
06-24-2013, 01:12 PM
Joe -- I appreciate your analysis of the problem. It is now 2013 and, for the first time, my 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager started to leak on the passenger side after being parked in rainstorms. The water dripped from the bottom of the blower motor. Here is what recently changed -- the van is no longer parked in a car port and there was work done on the engine (to include changing all six spark plugs). Also, I suspect that the cowl and wiper tray were removed (more on that later).

Your comments were my starting point. I verfied the leak was coming from the bottom of the windshield or cowl area via a water spray test. I also noted that the small weather strip between the windshield and cowl was not very tight. I removed the cowl and there was not any leaves or crud in the tray but I noted water spots above the top of the air chambers on the passenger side. Water put directly into the wiper tray (no spray) drained and did not enter the air chambers. I also noted the rubber shield at the front of the wiper tray was mis-aligned and interfered with getting a good tight fit with the weather strip (windshield to cowl) since it flopped over the firewall lip on the passenger side (near the fender).

SUSPECTED PROBLEM: Two -- (1) the misaligned rubber shield from the wiper tray was causing more water to leak past the weather strip at the windshield, permitting (2) water to flow over the lip of the firewall (above the air chamber opening).

SOLUTION: I relocated the misaligned rubber shield so it ended under the firewall strip. This permitted a snug fit for the cowl and weather strip. I also put a line of 3M Window Weld across the edge of the firewall lip, connecting with each of the brackets holding the wiper tray. At the middle of the firewall and about 9 inches from either end (towards the fender), I put an intentional opening on the line of Window Weld, hoping that if water did get past the windshield-cowl weaterstrip, the water would be directed to collect in the wiper tray from one of these three opeinings in the Window Weld bead.

After reassembly, I soaked it with water running down the windshield and also with water sprayed directly into cowl opening. No water entered the passenger side air chamber. I suspect this will be the permanent solution. Why didn't this van leak for the first 14 years I owned it? I suspect the misaligned rubber shield from the wiper tray interfered enoght with the fit of the cowl that more water was permitted to get past the weatherstrip than before. If I get any more water, I may just duct tape air chamber openings on the passenger side and depend on the driver side openings for air.

Joe - again, thanks for the analysis.

rancid089
07-07-2013, 06:59 PM
Hello All:

Long time reader--first time poster. My 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan (3.3L 201CI V6 FI VIN: G-Flex, 201,500 miles) suffers the same wet passenger side padding/carpet issue. After looking at the cowl seals, drains, and weatherstripping I have come to the conclusion that the problem is the short drain hose on the passenger side of the cowl that is directed at the firewall. I assume that after all these years the seal/weld has opened up a tad and the some of the drain water is working its way into the vehicle. However I don't see how I can re-route the existing hose to drain further underneath the vehicle (there's not enough slack to really go anywhere).

I purchased a Universal Dishwasher Drain Hose kit from Home Depot which has the right size fitting and enough length to direct the drain water away from the firewall/passenger floor but I can't quite find a proper route to get the drain water to the underside of the vehicle. Obviously I want to avoid the drive belt and provide some clearance while getting the end of the hose as close to the bottom of the vehicle as possible. Any suggestions? Many thanks!