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Interior A/C Leak

ThisGuy on Wed August 27, 2003 10:22 AM User is offline

Year: 1998
Make: Buick
Model: Century
Engine Size: 3.1L
Refrigerant Type: ?
Ambient Temp: varies
Pressure Low: ?
Pressure High: ?

Hi guys,
I came across these forums by chance and figured I would post a question here before i brought my car in to a service facility.
I have a 1998 Buick Century and A/C is leaking (maybe draining?) into the interior of the car. It is happening right over the front passenger's feet and it can get very wet. I replaced the interior air filter and all seemed to be running smoothly, then about 3 weeks later the leak started. I don't think the two are related, but I figured the more info the better. I took the material that separates the passenger compartment and the A/C parts down and the system looked brand new, but I narrowed the leak down to a specific area. It is directly below the interior air filter where a fan is mounted. It seems that water is somehow collecting in the fan itself and leaking out. The fan is cylindrical in shape and is white. It is encased in a black housing and it screws into the A/C stuff by three screws and it has a rubber gasket/seal that seats in-between the two pieces that is in perfect shape. is it possible that the screws are over-tightened or something? Could the drain be clogged and be backing up in to the passenger compartment? If you would like to see pictures I could take a few. Any help is truly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Matt

Edited: Wed August 27, 2003 at 10:23 AM by ThisGuy

Mitch on Wed August 27, 2003 10:42 AM User is offline

It is almost certain that the evaporator drain is clogged causing the condensation water to build up in the evap case and eventually overflow.

You need to find the drain and clear it. I will check a Pontiac GP manual tonight to see where the drain may be. The Century and GP are built on the same body.

Maybe someone else will know the location sooner or you may be able to track it down in the meantime.

Edited: Wed August 27, 2003 at 10:44 AM by Mitch

Chick on Wed August 27, 2003 10:44 AM User is offlineView users profile

Sounds like thge drain is plugged. Not sure where it is on the 98, but look under the hood just below where the evaporator lines go in. Should be a rubber elbow that is the drain. You can very carefully snake it out and you should be fine..Hope this helps..

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

JACK ADAMS on Wed August 27, 2003 11:23 AM User is offline

I like to use a pencils eraser end to clean out the drain hole, Nick D. likes to use a wooden dole rod. All personal preference, witch ever you would prefer to use, be careful not to poke around to hard and damage the coil. Hope this helps and good luck!!

ThisGuy on Wed August 27, 2003 2:13 PM User is offline

Wow! Thanks for the quick and informative responses. I will try to find the drain tube when I get off work and I will report my results. It is nice to come across a community that is so helpful. Thanks again.
Matt

Mitch on Wed August 27, 2003 9:25 PM User is offline

The evap drain tube on a 2001 GP is a black 90 degree rubber nipple sticking out forward and then down from the firewall just about in line with, and lower than, the right rear spark plug on the passenger side.

You can see it and touch it from under the hood.

It is about 5/8 diameter, 2-3 inches long and has a closed end like a baby bottle nipple that only opens when some weight of water builds up behind it.

ThisGuy on Thu August 28, 2003 8:07 AM User is offline

After work I went home and found the drain tube with very little difficulty. As soon as I pulled it off a good amount of water drained out and i was able to clean away the blockage with my fingers. I then took it over to our garden hose and blasted some water through it using a spay nozzle. Since I replaced it and drove 60 miles i have had no leaks. Thanks again for the help.
Matt

GM Tech on Thu August 28, 2003 8:30 AM User is offline



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The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

GM Tech on Thu August 28, 2003 8:34 AM User is offline

GM W-car (century, regal, impala, grand prix etc) all use the nipple idea on the end of their drain tube- I cut all nipples off to avoid your exact predicament- The design is to restrict air flow losses out the drain tube- yet allow water to exit- but the niplle becomes plugged easily. All other gm vehicle do not use the nipple concept and they don't have the problem- I have seen 2 gallons of water hit the ground when pulling the tube off- have seen blower motors spray water out the vents and seen blower resistor modules bite the dust due to shorting out when turning hard left turns all because of a nipple design.......

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The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

Bigchris on Fri August 29, 2003 1:53 AM User is offline

So you nip it in the bud...so to speak?
If air leakage was really a problem it seems like a simple p-trap design similar to that found under almost every sink in the country would have done the same job without the problems. Lord save us from wheel re-inventors!

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