Drains aren’t just for bathtubs, or the kitchen sink, they also exist in your car to drain away from the effects of rain, ice, and snow. Yet, they’re one of the most neglected of service items. Often considered only when it’s too late.

The Problem
If your car has persistent condensation in colder weather and damp mildew smell, chances are that the foam pads in the footwells and on the floor behind the seats are saturated with water. A cursory check will confirm this for you: have a feel around the join of the floor carpet and rear carpet behind the seats – press down on the floor carpet. If you see, feel or hear water squelching, then you’re carrying water down there.

There is no quick fix to this one: forget about gel pads, hairdryers, heaters, etc. The seats have to come out, various bits of the trim removed, the carpet lifted. You will see 2 thick foam pads attached to the carpet, as highlighted in red in the picture.. The pads sit in “sumps” that do not drain anywhere – how clever is that?! Once the foam pads are exposed, that will allow you to squeeze out as much water as possible and then use whatever other means to dry out the pads. The flimsy rear drain trays need to be inspected for any holes that might allow water entry. And we generally run a small dehumidifier inside the car for 2-5 days to thoroughly dry it all out.

That’s just the start, for you now must check the control modules, and there are numerous ones, wiring harnesses, and electrical connectors for the deleterious effects of water entry. Modules really need to be opened up and circuit boards exposed, wiring needs to be checked for insulation integrity, and the small, often very small, electrical connectors checked for any signs of corrosion.

An Ounce Of Prevention
Check, or have checked, regularly, your vehicle’s cowl, sunroof, and other body drains. This is doubly true if the car lives outdoors, rather than in a garage. You’d be amazed at how quickly the “schmutz” builds up in the drains and lines. Pine needles, leaves, road dirt, pollen, you name it. Cars that live outside should have drains checked, and cleaned as necessary, ideally every quarter. As my mother used to tell me, “An ounce of prevention is worth it pound of cure.”

If you’re an Atlantic Motorcar customer, we’re going to be keeping an eye on this for you (Doesn’t hurt to remind us if you’ve noted any water inside your car, odd, musty smells, etc.). If you’re not, make sure it gets done, kind of like that old bromide about voting, “early and often”. 😉

Our Goal For You and Your Car
Our goal is to save you money, not spend it. Which is why each and every car that we service gets a free Courtesy Maintenance Inspection during its first visit. Our goal is to let you know about the small problems before they become big ones. Right now we have a number of customer cars with well over 200,000 miles, and several approaching 300,000! And these cars are not just limping along – most look and drive pretty much the way they came out of the showroom.

Proper maintenance is an investment in the life of your vehicle.
Knowing, not just doing, but actually knowing and understanding the difference, makes all the difference.
Be sure your car is properly loved, our professionals will attend to both you and your car’s needs.
Atlantic Motorcar…Extraordinary Service for Extraordinary Cars, just a phone call away, (207) 882-9969.

Thanks!