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How to Unclog a Car's Air Conditioning Drain

by JoAnn Joubert

If you are hearing water sloshing around within your dashboard while driving or while the air conditioning fan is on high, you may have a clog within your car's air conditioning drain. These clogs need to be removed because they prevent water from draining and can cause serious damage to your air conditioning system over time. Using drain cleaner is a bad idea because it also damages your vehicle. Instead, use a basic method to safely unclog the drain and keep your vehicle's air conditioning system running properly.

Park your car on a flat surface with adequate lighting, and engage the emergency brake. Then raise the car with a jack. Place jack stands below the frame near the front wheels for added security.

Cut about 1 foot of metal wire and form a hook at one of the ends. The hook will be used to grab hold of any clog in the tube.

Go underneath the engine and locate the AC drain tube, which is a small rubber hose. Detach the tube from the engine so that you have access to the inside, where the clog will be located.

Insert the wire, hook first, into the AC drain tube. Do not force the wire, but twist, push and pull the wire within the drain tube until you are able to remove the clog.

Allow water to drain from the tube after the clog has been removed. Reattach the drain tube to the engine. Move out from underneath the vehicle, then remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle back to the ground. Perform a test drive.

Tip

  • If you have a severe clog within the air conditioning drain, you can use an air compressor to shoot compressed air into the drain. This will break up the clog so that you can then use the wire to pull the clog debris out of the drain.

Items you will need

About the Author

JoAnn Joubert started writing in 2005, specializing in the areas of equestrian sports, cars and business. She authored a textbook on the creative industries and was awarded for her work on U.S. presidential nomination reform. Joubert holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Louisiana.

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