For some time, my Jeep has had something leaking or draining into the carpet in the front-passenger floor space. My mechanic has told me that the AC drain keeps getting clogged by leaves and such, and that the overflow from this clog is what's going into the carpet.

At least a few times in the past several months, I've taken it back to the shop (sometimes just for this, others for different issues) and I've been told that the clog has been cleared once again. However, it would seem to me that for the car to require this routine clearing of the drain (If I were to try to keep up with it, I'd have to do it every week or two, I think.) would represent a rather significant design flaw (Somewhere up on the same ranking as the exhaust port on the Death Star.) that really shouldn't have made it to production.

Is there some more permanent solution to this?

EDIT: For clarification, I'm fairly certain the issue I'm experiencing is similar to what's discussed in this thread:



2 Answers 2


You need to stop what's getting in the HVAC system that's stopping up the drain, most likely dirt, debris, and leaves. These are entering they system through the fresh air intake of the HVAC system located in the cowl area.

You can see the fresh air inlet below, anything small enough to get through that grate will eventually end up in your AC drain.


This grate is under the one shown above, and still has some rater large holes for debris to get through.

fresh air intake

I have simply removed the cover shown in the first picture and put a screen (like screen door screen) over the fresh air opening in several vehicles with great success, some vehicles come with that from the factory.

It seems as though they may be a better way, as you can get a cabin filter for this particular vehicle as I found at this website when searching for the pictures above.

This is a more expensive option and will do more than just keep the AC drain from clogging, but it might be worth it.


It's hard to tell exactly what to do without seeing your particular case, but my bet is that there's a place where you can put some mesh screen from a hardware store that will stop this from happening.

  • But then, wouldn't that just be changing the location of the clog to wherever the mesh screen is put?
    – Iszi
    Nov 29, 2011 at 18:55
  • @Iszi The image in my head is like a clogged pipe or gutters -- a leaf gets in there, gets wet, and gravity just keeps it there. It's also probably never going to dry as it can't evaporate on the solid side and is regularly exposed to moisture. A leaf on top of a screen has a chance to dry and float away or be washed off the screen. Imagine a screen on top of gutters at your house versus no screen and how leaves might behave differently Nov 29, 2011 at 18:59
  • @Iszi make sure that the open end is pointing toward the ground, that may help also. Nov 29, 2011 at 20:24
  • So, we're effectively saying "Yes, that's a bad place for the exhaust port. You'd better jury-rig a good force-field in front of it."?
    – Iszi
    Nov 29, 2011 at 23:44
  • Yes, that's it :) Nov 30, 2011 at 1:26

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