Car owners and drivers are some of the most sensitive people, especially with weird sounds in their vehicles.
A slight new sound when crossing the bumps could make them start stressing about getting new shocks or contacting the mechanic to inspect the car.
And don’t you think that hearing water in the car’s air conditioner is worse?
If you have a similar experience, do not worry because it is an easy fix.
But some causes could require you to hire a professional.
Stick around to get an answer to your question, ‘Why do I hear water in my car air conditioner?.’
Reasons You Hear Water in Your Car Air Conditioner
There are many reasons there is a sound of water in your air conditioner.
Some of them are a clogged evaporator condensate drain, clogged windshield drains, and a blocked door drain.
Besides the blockages, low coolant in the car could also cause the water sound.
Although some causes of the noise are not significant, you should have your car checked immediately.
The water could lead to severe problems like mold and bacteria growth and failure of expensive-to-repair parts.
Clogged Condensate Drain
When you turn on the air conditioner in your car, air passes over the evaporator coil for cooling.
The coil absorbs heat and moisture, which cools and condenses into water.
Sometimes the moisture in the condensate pan has debris, dust, and dirt, which can cause it to clog.
Water cannot exit the pan when clogging happens, making a sloshing sound when cruising.
You can solve the mess of a clogged condensate drain by blowing compressed air into the evaporator tube opening.
It causes any trapped dirty water, mold, and dirt to come out.
But, ensure you wear gloves and face away from the drain tube to avoid contaminated water splashing on you.
Another way to unclog the drain is using a flexible wire to loosen the dirt up.
You can then pour distilled vinegar into the drain or a mixture of water and dish soap. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes and flush it.
Ensure you keep checking your car’s drain pan to notice any clogs.
Washing it with vinegar keeps the holes open and ensures condensed water from the air conditioner drains.
Failing to unclog the blocked drain can cause mold to grow in the stagnant water.
The water also starts leaking on the vehicle’s floorboard, causing a musty smell in the car, and can lead to respiratory problems like sneezing and nausea.
Clogged Windshield Drain
Not all water sounds from the dashboard are due to a faulty air conditioner.
A clogged windshield drain is another cause of the water noise.
When you press your windshield wiper control stalk, water splashes on the windshield, and the wipers turn on.
The windshield drains can clog when you pack your car outside. Dirt, leaves, and debris accumulate on it, causing a blockage.
The clogging causes all the water used to clean the windscreen to gather in the cowl area, which you can notice by hearing water sounds around the dashboard.
The first step to prevent clogs in your windshield drain is checking its condition during car service.
If there is a clog, your mechanic will push high-pressure air to flush any dirt.
However, you must remove the plastic panel at the bottom of your windscreen to access the drains.
You can also clean a clogged windshield by yourself. Access the drain holes by removing the windscreen wipers.
Next, use a flexible wire to loosen the dirt and flush the drains with hot water. If you are inexperienced in removing your car parts, get a professional to do it.
Clogged windscreen drains can cause respiratory problems and damage control units.
Low Coolant Level
If you hear water in your car’s air conditioner every time you start the engine, the problem could be a low coolant level.
The engine pumps the warm coolant through the heater core into the vehicle.
The heating won’t happen when the coolant level is low; air bubbles start forming in the system.
This causes a sound similar to that of water near the dashboard, making many drivers think the air conditioner has a problem.
You must check your car’s coolant levels every time you go for a service. If the coolant level is low, add more until it reaches the required levels.
You can do this by opening the reservoir cap and adding the coolant. Ensure the engine is not hot when opening the cap to avoid burn injuries.
If you do not have the store-bought coolant, use distilled water. Ensure the water is purified to avoid introducing micro-organisms.
These can build up in the engine and block the waterways.
If you use distilled water, you should add anti-freeze to ensure the water does not freeze in winter.
Once you fill your coolant until the Max mark, run the engine to remove any air bubbles.
Blocked Door Drain
Many car owners do not know that the car’s doors are not waterproof.
Water could get into the doors when it rains or during a wash.
If the door drain holes have been blocked due to dust, dirt, and debris accumulation, the water cannot exit, and the collection of the liquid makes a water sound when driving.
You can unclog blocked door drains by using a hose and pressurized water. Turn on your power hose and focus it on the drain holes.
The water pressure will flush out all the dirt and debris.
However, you might need to try cleaning using the hose several times to remove all the dirt.
Alternatively, you can clean the holes using a toothpick. Loosen and scoop all the dirt from the drain holes.
Be careful with the toothpick because a piece of it could break and stick in the drain hole, causing more blockage.
Another remedy for clogged doors is blowing compressed air in the clogged holes to force the dirty water out.
Ensure you blow the drains towards the outside to prevent them from entering the car.
Air in The Coolant System
Air bubbles in the coolant system can be due to low fluid levels in the radiator. It happens when a leak is caused mainly by a loose radiator cap.
Water sounds from the low coolant in the radiator are noticed mostly when the car is stationary and happen due to the air pockets.
Air pockets from the heat core interfere with the engine’s functioning and can cause it to overheat.
The engine is one of a car’s most expensive and essential parts, and overheating can cause damage.
Since low fluid levels mainly cause air bubbles in the coolant system, ensure you fill the liquid to the max point.
You should also check for damages that could be causing leaks that lead to a drop in the coolant.
Also, it is essential to change your coolant after a certain number of months. Old coolant is thick because most water evaporates due to the high temperatures.
The thickening increases the viscosity, which could cause air bubbles. You can get a professional mechanic to change the coolant or do it during the car’s servicing.
If you hear water in your car’s air conditioner, ensure you check the source and the cause of the sound.
Inspect the dashboard, the ceiling, doors, and sunroof, and check their conditions.
If you cannot find the noise source, call your expert for an inspection.
Driving your car under such conditions can cause mold growth, respiratory problems, and permanent seat stains.
Patrick started his love affair with cars in his childhood. Over the years, he claims a sturdy hold on his driving skills, along with a thorough understanding of cars. We can expect some interesting, holistic, and pleasurable blogs with his flair for writing and his love for cars.
Being a car enthusiast, Patrick has experience comprising of two decades in which he has ridden some of the meanest and strongest machines in the automotive industry. His previous avatars include an automotive professional, photographer, and journalist, and you will certainly experience the roundness of experience in his piece on this site.
In his second decade of reviewing cars and analyzing tools, Patrick is all set to give you convincing, reliable, and the latest information regarding what’s happening in the automotive industry. Currently, he owns a BMW Z3 but cannot get his eyes off Aston Martin DB5. He is a car enthusiast; he loves cooking and listening to music, especially jazz. Here are some of the pieces written by our ace author.