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Old 08-03-2008, 08:00 PM   #1
lt12c
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Dizzy 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

My son has a 2003 saturn ion 4 door automatic. Water is leaking from the seams on the black box that contains the A/c condenser or heater core. Has no sun roof.It is just water no anti freeze in the water. Only leaks when the A/C is put on and it leaks more if you put the vents on the setting for floor and front. If you put the vent setting on just the front it leaks less.Water is draining out the firewall drain like it should it appears that this drain is not clogged. The water leaks out onto the firewall and ground.If you don't run the A/C water does not leak. The water leaks onto the passenger side of your left foot if you were the passenger. Any idea what is causing this wter leak?

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Old 08-03-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

Welcome to the Board.

Unfortunately it is the HVAC box leaking. It would need to be removed, disassembled and resealed when reassembled. You can try checking the water drain that goes through the firewall to see if it is clogged but 99% chance that it is the box not sealed properly.
This is not an easy job as it involves the removal of the entire dash, draining the cooling system (at least removing the heater hoses--you can pinch them closed) and getting the R-134 out of the AC system in order to remove the HVAC box.

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Old 08-04-2008, 10:46 PM   #3
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Dizzy Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

Is this a common problem does it happen often? The car is only 5 yrs old, why did it start leaking? What would be a rough guess on the repair cost, you think . Sounds like a very labor intensive job. The drain is not clogged it is spilling lots of water out of the drain plug and down the firewall.What do they seal this unit with from the factory? Sounds like a bad design or a defect but after 36 months no warrenty I own it. Oh well. Thanks for your support and comments. How many inflated US dollas would you think?
The car has only 47,000 miles on it.

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Old 08-05-2008, 05:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

It has been a few years since I had to do one of these so I checked for the TSB. Looks likely it is no longer there, if I come across it I will let you know, but there is this one.

03-01-38-020A: Air Conditioning (A/C) Condensation Collecting Causing a Water Leak onto the Vehicle Floor During Times of A/C Usage (Remove Obstruction From Evaporator Drain Hole) - (Oct 20, 2004)


Subject: Air Conditioning (A/C) Condensation Leaking onto the Vehicle Floor During Times of A/C Usage (Remove Foam Block Obstruction From Evaporator Drain Hole)


Models: 2003-2005 ION Vehicles with Air Conditioning (RPO C60)





Condition
Some customers may comment on moisture leaking onto the floor of the vehicle when the A/C system is running.

Condition 1 - 2003-2004 vehicles with foam block obstruction built prior to VIN 4Z131776.

Condition 2 - 2004-2005 vehicles with plastic flashing built prior to VIN 5Z106107.

Cause
Cause 1 - During Assembly of the HVAC module, a foam block used to isolate the evaporator core from the HVAC module case may fall off and float over the top of the drain causing blockage.

Cause 2 - During the manufacturing of the lower A/C Evaporator Case housing, the evaporator case drain hole may be restricted with plastic flash from the injection molding process.

Correction
Remove obstruction from drain following the procedure outlined in this bulletin.

Service Procedure
Important: Prior to performing the following procedures, ensure the heater core cover front of dash condensate drain is not obstructed.

Important: The evaporator core is contained in its own compartment with its own unique drain hole (the drain hole is approximately 5 mm (.20 inches) in diameter). This drain hole allows condensation collected by the evaporator core to flow from the evaporator compartment down to the heater core compartment at which time it exits the vehicle through the heater core cover front of dash condensate drain. The evaporator compartment drain hole is located about 25.4 mm (1inch) inside and down from where the access hole is being drilled.

Important: Keep copies of the original template provided in this bulletin for future use.

Locate the passenger side area of the HVAC module on the right side of the console.




Cut out template (several included in this bulletin) and place on right side of the HVAC module as shown in the above illustration.
Center punch through the template.
Important: Prior to drilling into HVAC module, place an absorbent towel below area to be drilled to collect any condensation that may flow out of the hole.

Notice: To prevent possible damage to the evaporator core, do not drill more than 19 mm (3/4 in.) past the HVAC module case wall.

Notice: Use of an angle drill is required. There is not enough clearance to use a standard drill motor as this will cause the hole to be drilled at an angle. Drilling at an angle will cause HVAC case damage and may result in another leak. The holesaw must be held perpendicular to the HVAC case while drilling.





Using a 15/16 in. (24 mm) hole saw, drill hole at the specified location.
Using a deburring type tool, remove all drill shavings from around access hole to ensure a proper fit for the cap plug. Do not allow these shavings to fall into the access hole.
Once the access hole is drilled, use a work light to illuminate through the hole and identify location of 5 mm (.20 in.) drain opening located 25.4 mm (1inch) inside and down from access hole opening.
Identify whether the obstruction is Cause 1 (foam block) or Cause 2 (plastic flashing).
Important: The evaporator core is wrapped with a foam insulator. This insulator is visible through the access hole. Do not mistake the evaporator insulator for the loose foam block that needs to be removed.

For Cause 1, remove foam block and proceed to the next step. For Cause 2, use a right angle tool (a cotter pin puller tool, or equivalent) to clear the plastic flash from the opening and then proceed to next step. Make sure the drain hole is entirely unplugged.
To verify 5 mm (.20 in.) drain is open, with the vehicle on level ground, add approximately 4 ounces of water through access hole opening. The water should immediately drain through the front of dash condensate drain. If the water does not drain through the front of dash condensate drain, re-inspect the 5 mm (.20 in.) drain opening for other debris.



Once the foam block and/or debris has been removed and the drain is functional, apply a bead of KentŪ Leak Chek Sealer, P/N 10070, or equivalent, around the perimeter of cap plug, P/N 25652432.



Install cap plug into access hole opening to re-seal HVAC module.


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Old 08-06-2008, 10:30 PM   #5
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Dizzy Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

I want to thank you for your schematics and parts drawings and part #'s. I just want to make sure I understand you correctly I am a little confused? I will have to remove the whole dash ? It almost looks like if I use a right angle drill I may not have to remove the dash and I may be able to drill the HVAC cover? Is it possible to fix this issue without pulling the whole dash?

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Old 09-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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Question Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

My AC is leaking the exact same way, I'm curious if you ever fixed yours or just put up with it and stopped using the AC?

JD

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Old 09-28-2009, 06:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

a/c on a 4 cylinder is a joke take it out.

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Old 09-28-2009, 08:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

how do you figure? whether it's on a 3,4,5,6,8,10, or 12 cylinder AC is more about where you live. everywhere I've lived (except Germany) it got too hot to justify not having AC, in Germany the only way I got around it is opening the sunroof and just buying more gas (then again, when you're driving 240KPH +, you don't care about gas anyways).

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

I fixed it by rigging it. I did not remove the whole dash. I bought a funnel and heated it to make it almost flat on one side. Then I put the funnel under the leak and put about a 16 in heater hose hooked to it. I drilled a hole thru the lower part of the firewall and stuck the hose thru it. The AC is still causig the water leak, it just now drains outside the car. The hose and funnel is under the carpet so you cant see it. I used silver AC duct tape to hold the funnel in place and siliconed it in place and it is holding and draining the leak fine. It was a lot easier than removing the dash and alot cheaper.

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Old 09-29-2009, 05:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

my figure is that every 4 cyl ive been in with the ac on cant get out of its own way. the little power it robs makes it more doggy. on bigger motors its like you didnt turn anything on.

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

mine only notices it at idle, so I just turn it off at stoplights. our 4 cylinders have more or the same power as a lot of 6 cylinder cars, it's not like we drive hondas.

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion Leaking inside pass side?

oh, and your defroster doesn't work as well without it, either.

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