About 3 years ago, our 2011 Toyota Highlander (6-cylinder, not a hybrid) started having a very wet floor (as in very damp to the touch, and the bottom of the mats were always wet) and smelling mildew-y. Turns out that the tube running from some part of the air conditioner that exhausts out water got a spider-web in it; so whenever we used the air conditioner, water couldnt drain out and started overflowing from something and into the car. We ended up having to tear out and replace all the carpets, having all sorts of mold/mildew remediation, etc. Took something like 2-3 weeks; not fun. The actual fix for the problem (not the fix for all the damage) was apparently just taking canned air and spraying out the tube to get the web out. We were told that spiders building webs like this is a known issue but that there is no way to stop it.
Fast forward to yesterday we again have a wet floor (although maybe not quite as wet but the mats are wet on the bottom), the mildew smell, etc. We obviously havent been using the air conditioning recently (were in NJ), but Im assuming that using the defroster could have the same effect. So, if there is a spider web there, it looks like I may have to have that removed, and then tear out all the carpets and go through all the mold/mildew remediation again.
Am I looking at this correctly? Could it be something else? My wife drives the car, and she doesnt remember driving through any huge puddles recently. Any thoughts, help or insight would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on taking it to STS (where we generally go for all non-warranty work) to take a look on Saturday, but I’d rather avoid the time and expense if not needed.
Also, I seem to remember that last time, the mechanic at the dealership we went to said that from inside the car, near where the drivers or front passengers knees are (I forget which), there is a panel that can be removed and the exhaust tube accessed. Anyone know anything about this?
Thanks for any help.