Wet Floor in 2011 Highlander - Spiders the Cause?


Old 11-23-15, 07:21 PM
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Wet Floor in 2011 Highlander - Spiders the Cause?

Hi All,

About 3 years ago, our 2011 Toyota Highlander (6-cylinder, not a hybrid) started having a very wet floor (as in very damp to the touch, and the bottom of the mats were always wet) and smelling mildew-y. Turns out that the tube running from some part of the air conditioner that exhausts out water got a spider-web in it; so whenever we used the air conditioner, water couldn’t drain out and started overflowing from something and into the car. We ended up having to tear out and replace all the carpets, having all sorts of mold/mildew remediation, etc. Took something like 2-3 weeks; not fun. The actual “fix” for the problem (not the fix for all the damage) was apparently just taking canned air and spraying out the tube to get the web out. We were told that spiders building webs like this is a known issue but that there is no way to stop it.

Fast forward to yesterday – we again have a wet floor (although maybe not quite as wet but the mats are wet on the bottom), the mildew smell, etc. We obviously haven’t been using the air conditioning recently (we’re in NJ), but I’m assuming that using the defroster could have the same effect. So, if there is a spider web there, it looks like I may have to have that removed, and then tear out all the carpets and go through all the mold/mildew remediation again.

Am I looking at this correctly? Could it be something else? My wife drives the car, and she doesn’t remember driving through any huge puddles recently. Any thoughts, help or insight would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on taking it to STS (where we generally go for all non-warranty work) to take a look on Saturday, but I'd rather avoid the time and expense if not needed.

Also, I seem to remember that last time, the mechanic at the dealership we went to said that from inside the car, near where the driver’s or front passenger’s knees are (I forget which), there is a panel that can be removed and the exhaust tube accessed. Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-24-15, 03:20 AM
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I had this happen in a Saturn. It was caused by dirt daubers building a mud nest in the evacuation tube that exited the firewall. I just reached down and pinched the tube and the mud fell out along with accumulated water in the heater pan unit. I didn't have to do it from inside the car.
Old 11-24-15, 05:38 AM
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Other possibility is leaking heater core or connections but you will smell coolant when you turn on the heat.
Old 11-24-15, 11:19 AM
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Look under the car at the firewall, on the passenger side. You will see a short piece of rubber tubing coming out of the firewall. You can clean it as chandler suggests, or use a piece of flexible wire to break up any internal blockage. Some have tried vacuuming it, but you need to dream up reducers to fit.
Old 11-24-15, 11:43 AM
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This happened to my Lincoln MKX this summer. Look for a youtube video on it. Mine was by the accelator pedal under the carpet. Blew it out with air.
Old 11-24-15, 07:11 PM
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Yeah, it's most likely drain tube. AC exchange core stays very cold used or not, so it produces a lot of condensate that drips down. Normal fix is to locate the tube, and blow some compressed air through it. Eric The Car Guy has basic video on it.
Thereafter you want to do this:
DIY: A/C Odor Cleaning - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
It does not have to be Toyota kit, there are several aftermarket kits available.
And after done done, put some mesh over the drain tube so that spiders do not nest in it again.

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