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Any time you see something dripping from under your vehicle, it’s concerning. It can often be hard to identify the fluid, and even harder to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. Some leaks, like oil and coolant, can indicate issues like failed seals, cracked hoses, or a damaged oil pan. Oil and coolant are critical to your vehicle’s function, and any time these fluids are leaking your car needs to be looked at by a professional. However, not all perceived leaks indicate an issue. Dripping water is usually part of regular vehicle operation.  

What is that puddle?

If you notice a puddle under your car, the first thing you need to do is determine what fluid is leaking. Remember, if you have an oil or coolant leak, you need to get your car looked at as soon as possible.

An oil leak is pretty easy to identify. The fluid will be a dark brown or blackish color. Differentiating between coolant and water can be a bit trickier. Typically, coolant will have a sweet smell and be colored or tinted.

If you determine the puddle is neither oil nor coolant, it’s most likely water.

Why does my car leak water?

While you may think of a leak when you see a pool of water under your car, “leaking” isn’t really the best way to describe it. A leak would indicate the water is escaping from somewhere it shouldn’t, but your vehicle (unless it’s an RV or Camper) doesn’t store water. Dripping water is often a result of condensation from running the air conditioning.

If you notice water under your car, pay attention to the weather. Condensation on A/C components happens when it’s hot outside and the A/C is blasting. If you live here in Arizona, there’s a good chance you’ll have your AC on high with summer temperatures reaching over 100 degrees regularly.  

Where does the water come from?

When water is dripping from your car’s A/C, most of the time it will happen on the passenger side. This is where the evaporator drain tube is located. The evaporator allows cold liquid refrigerant to absorb heat as it transforms into a gas. This process can cause condensation, like a glass of ice water on a hot day. The condensation leaves through the evaporation tube, resulting in a puddle of water on hot days.

Do I need to worry?

Generally, not. Condensation occurs on its own and is not indicative of an issue. Sometimes the evaporator drain tube can become plugged and cause water to leak on the floor of the car. If you notice this, bring your vehicle to a trusted shop to get it looked at.

Bring your car to Borst Automotive!

While water dripping from your car’s A/C is not a problem, other fluid leaks and air conditioning issues are. Borst Automotive serves communities in Tucson, Phoenix, and Mesa, Arizona. We strive to provide top-quality repairs that ensure safety at a fair price. Give us a call or schedule an appointment at one of our locations today!