2011 Malibu Water Leak - Chevrolet Forum - Chevy Enthusiasts Forums

2011 Malibu Water Leak

BobsMalibu's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3

March 8th, 2011, 5:44 AM   #1  
2011 Malibu Water Leak

Anyone had a problem with water in the passenger side, front and rear, floor pans? The water actually accumulates under the carpet. The insulation underneath is a very thick spongy material glued to the underside of the carpet and also the underside of the carpet has a water proof rubbery layer affixed between the spongy insulation material and the carpet itself. So the water doesn't soak through to the carpet. Instead the spongy insulation does it's job and sponges up the water and gets soaked full of the water.

There is a bulletin that came out by Chevrolet listing this as a problem on some 2010 and 2011 Malibu's. My new 2011 is apparently one of them.

I took it to the dealer and they supposedly did the fix indicated by the bulletin.

The following is a couple of photos that I downloaded from the web regarding the repair bulletin. It amounts to applying sealer around the drain tube of the AC unit. A few days after the so-called repair the front and rear floor pans are still wet. It could be residual water that was still there. You'd think they would have removed the carpet and dried them out, but either it's still leaking or they didn't dry them out. When I took it back a second time that's what they said, it was probably water from earlier. I have tried to identify the area where the tube comes out but can't find it. The dealer was no help, they wouldn't let me talk to any of the mechanics. I'm including a couple of photo's showing the before and after repair. You can see body panels, and a couple of other items, but so far getting under the floor boards as well as under the car I can't find this spot.

Name:  ACLeak1.jpg
Views: 1046
Size:  22.9 KB
The # 1 in this photo indicates bending the heat sink out of the way to expose the tube.

Name:  ACLeak4.jpg
Views: 1236
Size:  34.9 KB
This photo is the after repair.

If anyone can identify and help me find where to look I'd sure appreciate it.

Last edited by BobsMalibu; March 8th, 2011 at 5:48 AM.
Chevrolet Customer Service's Avatar
Official GM Rep

Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,161
Global Headquarters in Detroit, MI

March 22nd, 2011, 3:58 PM   #2  
BobsMalibu, I would like to direct message you for some information to see if I can assist you. Thank you.

Jeff Morris, Chevrolet Customer Service

jake2011's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2

April 1st, 2011, 12:38 PM   #3  
Hi Bob... I just purchased a 2011 Malibu LTZ and think it's a great car. I love the comfort and styling. Sorry to hear about the water issue you are having, we have been getting a lot of rain lately in the northeast and was wondering how you found the problem?

Was the carpet wet or did you just take it in to have it checked out? I'm in work right now but will take a look tonight.

Hope you get this resolved - good luck
- Jake

EinST's Avatar
CF Veteran

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,706

April 1st, 2011, 5:15 PM   #4  
Welcome to the forum. I hope the OP found the answer he was seeking. As for you, the problem is due to A/C condensate and thus you may not be able to determine if yours has the problem.. I haven't been able to figure out why some vehicles are afflicted and others aren't. Anyway, the following is the TSB:


Date: September 27, 2010

Subject: Water Leak into Front and Rear Passenger Floor and/or Carpet Wet (Inspect White Plug in HVAC Evaporator Drain and Apply Sealer to Front of Dash Area)

2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR, Malibu
2008-2010 Pontiac G5
2008-2009 Pontiac G6
2008-2009 Saturn AURA

This bulletin is being revised to add the Pontiac G5 model. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 09-01-37-002C (Section 01 - HVAC).


Some customers may comment that the front and rear floor carpet is wet on the passenger side.


This condition may be caused by a plugged HVAC evaporator Drain. In some cases, water from the HVAC system will drain back though the front of the dash.


Note: Reposition of the heat shield is not necessary on a Cobalt and HHR.

1. Verify the customer's concern. If there is water on the passenger side front floor area, raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in SI.
2. Inspect the operation of the drain.

Note: Make sure that small debris is not plugging up the drain.

3. Reposition the heat shield (1) in order to gain access to the HVAC drain.

4. Remove the white plug (1) and assure there is no debris in the drain tube and/or plug. If debris exists, pull from the drain tube (do NOT force back into evaporator case) and reinstall the plug.

Important: Do not get sealer on the heat shield, on the end of, or within the drain tube.

5. Mask off the areas (1, 2) by the HVAC drain using high-quality automotive tape.
6. Apply high tech seam sealer, Kent Industries P/N P10200*, to the front of dash area as shown in figure below.

7. Remove the high quality automotive tape and reposition the heat shield to its normal position.
8. Lower the vehicle. Let the vehicle run with A/C on.
9. Perform a final inspection for the A/C and verify that the system is draining properly.

* We believe this source and their products to be reliable. There may be additional manufacturers of such products/materials. General Motors does not endorse, indicate any preference for, or assume any responsibility for the products or material from this firm or for any such items that may be available from other sources.

Parts Information

This product is currently available from Kent Industries (1-888-YES-KENT).

Part Number Description


BobsMalibu's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3

April 2nd, 2011, 4:44 AM   #5  
Jake... the fabric carpet itself was not wet. I tow this car behind our motorhome and based on chevrolet's recommendation to pull the Ignition Sense fuse while towing I was in the process of installing a switch to allow switching the fuse on/off rather then pulling it each time. So-o-o, I lifted the carpet back a bit to see how best to run a short piece of wire. The underside of the carpet is made up of a thick foam material with a water proof barrier between the foam and the carpet. The water was on the metal floor pan itself. The water proof barrier prevented it from getting through to the carpet. So as mentioned the carpet itself wasn't wet.

My dealer did perform the fix according to the bulletin. However, I'm not convinced it's correct. It's been almost a month and I'm still seeing a little bit of moisture down there. I'm not sure it's because it's still leaking or if it's just remaining moisture that's still embedded in the foam. The foam is very thick and it may take some time for it to evaporate. Problem being unless they remove the carpet completely and air dry it preferably with the sun beating down on it I'm not convinced it will ever dry. This worries me because, if not, it might start forming mold. So far, I've used a wet/dry vac and even used the vac in reverse to force hot air down under the carpet. Kinda tic's me off because I requested they remove the carpet, but they didn't. I'm sure the reason they didn't is because removing the carpet would be quite a chore. I think all the seats and center console must be removed to remove the carpet.

Sorry about being long winded but I'm still a little upset about this issue.

Last edited by BobsMalibu; April 2nd, 2011 at 4:48 AM.
jake2011's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2

April 4th, 2011, 7:24 AM   #6  
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the reply and I now understand how you found this issue and I hope it was resoled as stated in the TSB. I would be out-of-my-mind too with this sort of problem because of potential mold, rust and odor issues if not taken care of correctly.

Here are some things I may try if they were possible to do....
- Put a dry towel between the foam padding and the floor pan, then apply pressure to the carpet to transfer the water from the padding to the towel. Repeat as necessary.

- Lift the carpet as much as possible and put a small 6-inch fan (desk fan or clip on style) under the carpet and let it run over night if possible in a garage with the windows down.

Once I was confident that the water was dry, I would put a fresh dry towel under the carpet and use that to check for any additional water. If the towel remained dry while using the A/C for a while I would feel good that the issue was resolved.

Hope it helps!

Devine187's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5

June 1st, 2012, 11:36 PM   #7  
With there being a known issue i.e. bulletin on this matter, will the dealership repair free of charge like a recall? I have an 09 Malibu LTZ that is having this issue and it appears to be related to the a/c. Water is appears on rear passenger floorboard.

BobsMalibu's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3

June 2nd, 2012, 6:12 AM   #8  
I don't know if the issue is still applicable with yours being out of warranty, but I'd contact Chevrolet and ask them. But first is it only the rear floorboard? If it's related to the a/c leak problem the front would be wet also. Mine was very wet, both front and rear floorboards. Does your Malibu have a Roof Window? This is another possibility that could leak. When you open the window, look at the water catch slots along the side. At each end, one front and one rear you'll see an opening that allows water to drain through a tube down to under the chassis to the ground. If you pour a little water into this slot you should see it come out under the car. If it doesn't the tubing could be clogged or disconnected.

Devine187's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5

June 2nd, 2012, 12:23 PM   #9  
It's only the rear passenger. I dried up the water. Even washed my car to make sure it couldn't have been rain. Floor didn't get wet. But once I ran my a/c again with the inside circulation the floor began to get wet again on the same day. So the root of the problem is the a/c. Just have to determine if the fix from this forum will work. I'm taking it to the shop next Friday. I just wasn't sure if the dealership would assist since this is a know issue. I will contact them though.

Devine187's Avatar
CF Beginner

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5

June 4th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #10  
I'm not happy Cheverolet

Well, I contacted Q Cheverolet of Irving, Tx about this matter and was told the cost of the repair for this bulletin would be $175 plus tax. Why should I have to pay for a repair that is clearly a mfg defect as well as it's a known issue. This shall be my 1st and last American car purchase. I never had an issue with my 1992 Honda Accord which I got rid of for the 2009 Chevy Malibu. The service guy gave the infamous line, "It's not under warranty any longer."

Search this Thread
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: