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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

The last time I drive my 04 9-3 was Jan 19th. That day we had some snow, then there was a snowstorm with over a foot, then another storm with about 4 inches. The car sat the whole time, never was moved, or cleaned off.

The temperature has fluctuated from mid thirties to low teens over that time. Most of the foot high snow had melted.

I came out to my car this morning, started it up and was scraping it off so I could drive it. Much to my suprise, there was almost a block of ice in the passenger's footwell.

There was solid ice between the end of the floor mat and the hump in the floor by where the seat cushion begins. The mat was frozen to the carpet below. There was also a large spot of solid ice in the middle of the floorboard, right smack in the center under the floormat.

Ive read the archives about the doors dripping, but my handles were never replaced, and the side of the floorboard near the door was dry. The carpet was wet up to the center console, and the moisture subsided at least 2-3 inches before the door.

Almost the entire floorboard was soaked, under the floor mat. The mat was soaked as well.

Ive been trying to dry it out, when I rub with paper towels, I get a little flow of water on the carpet's top.

I will try to drive the car as much as I can, with air to the floor, and hope to dry it both by hand and by air, as much as possible.

Does anyone have any suggestions of how to dry it and prevent mold/mildew from forming? Fortunately I have the winter on my side.

More importantly, can anyone speculate where the water is coming from, or a plan of attack to fix it?

If my carpet starts to stink, of course Ill want to have it exchanged under warranty. To take a frist step, should I call service with the complaint, or bring it in for them to look at?

The car never leaked under heavy car washing, lots of rain, etc. I have to wonder if a floor or other drain froze up and didnt allow drainage. If so, i want to be sure it doesnt happen again.

Any advice or info would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

JMH
 

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JHZR2 said:
More importantly, can anyone speculate where the water is coming from
Oh, yeah, sure! I can speculate night and day, here. No, problem!

I think you have an air-conditioning problem. The evaporator is dripping water. The drainage pan/tube may be clogged (frozen?). You may also have a coolant leak and the evaporator iced due to a low charge.

Assuming you have ruled out door/window seals and holes in the floorboards, the A/C is your source for water.
 

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If you closed and locked the car on the 19th and there was no water on the floorboard then, then got in it and found a block of ice on the floorboard that suggests that water is getting into the cabin as the ice and snow melted. Once it thawed was it obvious to you that the mat and carpet were wet? If so then you probably would have noticed that before it froze. I'd have that sucker to the dealer immediately and demand that they fix the leak/blocked drain and remove and clean the carpeting as well as dry out the interior to avoid future rust problems. I wouldn't leave it to chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Excellent points, however my problem with the AC idea is that the floor was dry after I last used the car. Being the anal person I am, when I have a rider, after I drop them off, I clean out my mats. I had a rider that day, and so afterwards I cleaned the mats, and all was OK. Additionally, I used the AC for 40 miles today, no problem, and no new water as far as I can tell.

Two things that I ought to note though:

The windhsield cowl was completely colid ice. I can bet that there was similar ice in the drains, etc.

If the saab is set up in any way similar to my BMW, the blower motor is right under the windshield, and pulls in air from the cowl. There is usually a drain on one side, and then an 'elephant trunk' drain through the firewall on the other side as a supplimental drain. I popped the hood to look at the drains, and saw a dripping, downward pointing tube with a slit in it. This may be the 'elephant trunk'. Due to the very small orifice, it could have easily frozen over, and any overflow from there would end up in the passengers side.

It was evident that there was water dripping from under the car, under the passenger's seat, onto the ground, and flowing away, outboard of the car, along the ground. This tells me that there is some sort of a drain down there. The ground was dry when I parked today, so it is all new, and evidently drained from under the center/passenger's side.

It is fairly evident to me that the water did not come from the door, as I rolled the window down, and there was no evidence of moisture upon rollup. Typically the window will look slightly wet upon rollup if moisture is present in the door or the seals.

So my guess is that it was an under hood/windsheld drain that got plugged, and allowed water to trickle in through the air ducting and through the passenger's side. Its possible in BMWs so I dont see why it wouldnt be here. Of course I dont have a schematic, so its still speculation...

Now the question is, whats the best way to prevent milder/odors?

Thanks!

JMH
 

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If you have that much ice you may be right about it getting into the ducts. You could try removing the cover over the cabin filter and see if it's soaked. I believe it is pretty easy to access along the top of the firewall.

Regarding the A/C... If coolant leaked slowly, it is possible there is enough charge one day for the evaporator to ice, and the next day there is not. So all the ice melts and the evaporaor flows freely again. In this weather you should know you are getting unconditioned air if the windshield starts fogging, especially with all that moisture in your carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
thanks for the info. I am definitely getting conditioned air, as this morning there was moisture on the inside of my windows. Without using heat, just the blower and AC on a high setting, most all of it went away, at 18F, and with me sitting in it.

Id have to imagine that at 18F, if the refrigerant was low, the pressure would be low enough to set off the switch, and not allow the compressor to kick on at all. 18F is pretty cold.

Do you know off the top of your head if the reciever/dryer in our cars has a sightglass? That could help determine charge real quick...

Also, do youhave an idea if ALL cabin air is routed through the filter, or if there is any other way for air/water to enter into the cabin via the ductwork?

I wish the carpet was wet further up so I could trace it better. It seems to be wet all the way up in the areas along the shifter console, so it may leak in via that area.

Thanks!

JMH
 

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JHZR2 said:
Do you know off the top of your head if the receiver/dryer in our cars has a sightglass? That could help determine charge real quick...

Also, do you have an idea if ALL cabin air is routed through the filter, or if there is any other way for air/water to enter into the cabin via the ductwork?
Probably no sightglass. I haven't seen one of those in a while. If you get dehumidification, your A/C is probably fine. I bought a high/low pressure gauge for R134a at Advance for about $20-30. Not a professional charging tool, but enough for an amateur to top-off and check pressures. Mostly it's a, "Yep, I gotta leak!" tool.

I don't know about the routing of cabin air. There was a recent picture of the filter. I assumed all outside air got filtered. I'm not sure about recirc mode.

I'll try to find that pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the link!

As an update, Ive moved my car a few times in the parking lot. Each spot is dry when I arrive.

When I come back, there is always a wet spot under the front passengers seat and floorboard area. Something is draining.

The carpet is starting to surface dry. I keep wiping it with towels, and am now at the point where I need to 'blot dry' it, putting all my weight onto the hand thats pressing on the carpet. Its hard on the wrists, but its getting the water out.

Drive home is soon... Ill be putting heat, ac, etc onto the carpet, hoping that it helps to dry it.

One thing that I noticed, which is curious, is that (OK, I did this while driving, so its not the best test) if I put my hand down in the drivers side footwell, its easy to feel air rushing in when the airflow is set to blow on the feet. At the same time, I dont feel any airflow coming out of the passenger's side footwell.

Hopefully that will change with an hour of full heat. It was 40F today, so maybe that and all the melting helped too.

JMH
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, fortunately the weather was real nice the past few days, so I kept the windows cracked always, had full heat blasting all commute (40 miles of traffic) everyway, and used some damprid with the side that air should enter on the carpet on various spots to hopefully draw up some of the water out.

Its fully dry to the touch, the carpet somehow feels a bit stiff, but it doesnt appear damaged or destroyed.

Water never came back in despite me using AC for 80+ miles of driving each day.

Im pretty sure that my lack of cleaning the car off over a few snowstorms and wildly fluctuating temperatures caused a drain to clog up. There was pools of water under the car for the first day or two, because something finally started coming out. I think that a frozen over drain didnt actually melt and open during the war days because there was so much snow on the car, and the drains were in the dark...

Ill be sure to spray my car VERY thuroughly under the hood, through the drains, etc, as soon as I can to verify that all stays dry.

Thanks!

JMH
 
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