Wet carpet in Volvos comes primarily from one of four sources:
- sunroof/trunk/roof drains clogged
- AC condensation
- leaking heater core
- simply leaving the windows open while parked… D’oh!
MVS Forums member VFLXC90 had a wet carpet disaster in his XC90. This is how he tracked it down and fixed it.
The sunroof drains were clear
When I ran the A/C the condensation line wasn’t dripping out under the XC. The drain line was plugged. That was the easy fix. Drying out the carper was the hard part.
A/C Condensation Drain Line
- If you look in the area of the gas pedal to the right of it. You can see a small black flexible hose behind the center console trim pane. That’s the hose you want to pull out and stick a close hanger through to clean out the clog.
- The trim panel on the side of the console will pull off. Just grab it in a corner and give it a hard pull. Then work it from left to right pulling. It will come off. Just pull it.
- The black hose is then accessible. Above the hose there is a clear white reservoir that the hose connects to. I could see the condensation (water built up ) sitting in the reservoir. Do the same with the trim panel to the hose. Pull it out of the reservoir. Then pull it out of the floor.
- Stick the clothes hanger or something small to free up the clog. Put the hose back on. Putting it into the floor isn’t to hard to do. You will have to work the lip back onto its seat.
Just take your time. Take a break if you don’t succeed. Give it another shot. It might be possible to just pull the hose from the reservoir and do the hanger trick. Might work without pulling at the floor?
Drying the carpet
It took me about an hour to pull the carpet back and gain access to the soaked foam under the carpet. My drain was clogged most of the summer. The foam insulation was drenched.
- I took a rope and tied it around the front leading edge of the carpet and the seat back at the head rest to keep it up in the air.
- I took dozens of towels to soak up the water.
- A shop vac would be a good investment if you don’t have one.
- I had 2 fans blowing on the foam insulation for 2 days. Drying with towels the puddles of water.
By the 3rd day it was dried out. It was a lot of work. I can’t image what the dealership would of charged. $1,000 to $1,500?
I learned if the a/c condensation [AC condensation explanation] isn’t dripping out from underneath the vehicle, I will be checking to make sure the drain isn’t clogged.
Simple to unclog the line as opposed to drying out the carpet.
Also see this excellent XC70 clogged AC drain topic with photos of the mess and fix… symptoms: wet carpet, humid/misty air blowing from vents
Using a Shop-Vac to get water out of the carpet
Also in that forum thread is forum member gobies‘ experience. The incline tip is a good one! The source of his water in his Volvo’s carpet wasn’t so hard to find:
Then there was time we traveled out of state to wedding, gone a week. Before cab to airport arrived, asked daughter to make sure car was locked up. On return, found car was locked, but all windows were open a bit, as was sunroof. Splish, splash, I was taking a bath. Carpet was soaked, squished when I pressed it. Surprised to hear water sloshing under the subfloor!
- Unbolted amp under passenger seat, used shop vacuum, and crevice tool.
- Helps if car is on slight incline, nose up.
- Reach crevice tool back to rear seat support and vacuum water. Shop vacuum will also pull water up from carpet and padding pretty quickly.
- Pressing bare hose end against carpet gives best suction. Shop vacuum had 6″ of water in tub!
To continue drying during the night, placed a few solid objects under carpet to lift it and to let air circulate, placed a portable dehumidifier in rear cargo area, shut rear hatch gently on extension cord. Overnight the dehumidifier pulled another 3-4 pints of water from air in closed car. Next day was sunny and warm, opened everything, placed box fan in cargo area to keep air moving through. Interior dry by afternoon. Placed a pound box of silica gel in subfloor under amplifier. Check it periodically. A/C does good job of dehumidifying interior.
I doubt the weatherstrip that fits around the perimeter of the sunroof glass seals well after 100k. Drive through a car wash to verify.