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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone hear any fluid movement behind their dash when driving? I'm hearing a noise that appears to be coming from directly behind the stereo/climate controls on occasion. It sounds like a small pool of liquid moving around. For example, if I come to an abrupt stop, I can hear it slosh just a little bit due to its forward momentum.

Could it be condensed water from the air conditioning? I have read that if the drainage hose it clogged, you might get a noise like this. If anything it's only partially clogged. I saw a few spots of water in the passenger footwell yesterday, but that may because I had some groceries that were starting to sweat because of the heat. It was bone dry today. And I saw some misting coming out of the vents last week, but it was super humid and the manual says this is normal. I will have to try listening for it before I turn on the a/c to see if it's there when I first start out.

Or could it be coolant moving around? When the engine is cold, my coolant level is just below the "low" line. The manual says it should be between low and full. I pointed this out on my last visit to the dealer, but they said because it's above low when the engine is hot, they didn't recommend adding any.
 

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Bring it to the dealer and have them listen to the sloshing. Don't just leave the car for them to hear it, you take them out and drive and make it happen. I would start with that.
 

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Bring it to the dealer and have them listen to the sloshing. Don't just leave the car for them to hear it, you take them out and drive and make it happen. I would start with that.
I would agree. This happened to my old ford focus and it ended up doing a lot of damage. Would of been a lot less if I got it done sooner. Althought that was a much less relaible car then the focus. ha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welp,
I did an experiment and found out why I had water in the footwell the other day. I turned on the fan and turned the temperature dial from cold all the way to hot, and my car turned into a sauna, with water dripping out from the vent into the passenger footwell. It appeared to be just water. I have an appointment to take it in on Friday. I wonder why it only leaks on the heat setting and not the cold setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, there was some blockage somewhere in the system that prevented the water in the A/C system from draining. They gave me an A/C refresher service under warranty to clean and flush everything out. The service advisor said this wasn't the first time he had seen this on a Soul, so I'd recommend everyone keep an ear out for excess water that might be accumulating. Just make sure water is draining underneath the car as it should. I am hoping this was just a fluke, as it sounded like this wouldn't always be covered under warranty. (I think a lot of A/C issues are only covered for the first year, and I'm a little beyond that, but I also only have 6,500 miles on the car.)
 

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Anyone able to locate and clear the A/C drain instead of having a dealer do it? I kinda prefer a diy approach and hoping someone might have already done some of the leg work.
 

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Hey Nakkers, did you have any luck clearing the AC drain yourself? Was that the problem with the water noise?

Thanks for the feedback!!
 

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I appear to have the same issue, at least when I stop and turn the car off I can hear what sounds like liquid movement. Almost as if there's a boiler behind the firewall heating up water. My AC line is clear and I've got condensation on the ground when I park. There's no obvious signs within the cabin of water intursion with the AC on, Heat on that I can find. Don't think it's water buildup from the outside as it's parked in a garage 99% of the time however I do wash it every now and then. I'll mention this to the dealer at my next oil change see what it is.
 

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2015 Soul Exclaim Titanium Sun + Sound, Mid-Atlantic region
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Maybe it's that "sounds of the ocean" relaxation therapy soundtrack?
That is almost exactly what it sounds like! The only thing I can think of that’s closer is a tiny Keurig coffee machine behind the dash. The sound was tracked down by some super sleuths in this thread:

(tldr; a problem with the blend door actuator depending on the vent setting)

 

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That is almost exactly what it sounds like! The only thing I can think of that’s closer is a tiny Keurig coffee machine behind the dash. The sound was tracked down by some super sleuths in this thread:

(tldr; a problem with the blend door actuator depending on the vent setting)

My '99 E150 Ford Van has the blend door issue. After turning on the AC system, and changing the vacuum by accelerating moderately, it will cause the fan AC output to momentarily shut off. After resuming even speed, it works fine! too much trouble/cost to get into the dash and replace the blend door actuator. No machine like noises to report. :unsure:
 

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Are you sure that isn’t the “high load cutoff” for the A/C? Ford vehicles with constant displacement compressors have an A/C cutoff switch when the engine is above a certain RPM/load. It shuts off the compressor and the blower so that more power is available to the engine.

You can test if this is the cause by a simple driveway test. Put it in park and accelerate and see if it cuts off and what RPM. This is high vacuum/low load. If it cuts off under these circumstances, it has something to do with the vacuum. Otherwise it is likely the cutoff switch. When you are climbing a hill under heavy load, it will usually cut off right before the point that it downshifts to a lower gear to maintain speed, so there is not much rise in the RPM. That is a high load/low vacuum situation, so the change must be related to engine load and not vacuum, hence the cutoff switch.
 

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It's been quite some time since I did look into this blend door issue. Actually, sometimes you can hear the blend door reacting to the pressure changes. I believe it was noted as a defect (tsb not a recall) back then. Regardless of the speed, load or rpm, upon acceleration it will stop dash air flow. Then resume when I lift my accelerator foot a bit. At this point my 20 year old van has been good to me. Think I checked the A/C cutoff switch back then. Anyway, thanks for your information.;)
 

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I should be more precise with my phrasing, the “switch” is in the logic of the PCM from OBD-II onwards, which probably includes your 99. (Cars had to be fully OBD-II by 94 but trucks didn’t. I think the Econoline went to the OBD-II system because the engines were used in some cars.) I don’t think OBD-I did anything with A/C and it was all still vacuum driven, but I could be wrong. I know some older engines used a link to the throttle position to cut the vacuum to the A/C, resulting in the same effect.

Those old multiport vacuum a/c controls were advanced for their time, but once the vacuum seals wore out they were always noisy and persnickety. And they were hard to get to. As much trouble as the all-electric ones were when they first came out, I don’t think I would ever want to go back.
 

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That is almost exactly what it sounds like! The only thing I can think of that’s closer is a tiny Keurig coffee machine behind the dash. The sound was tracked down by some super sleuths in this thread:

(tldr; a problem with the blend door actuator depending on the vent setting)

I am having the same issue with my 2014 1.6L the sound.is sometimes absent but very loud today.. it starts when I turn my key to acc I don't have to be driving.. it sounds also like it could be an arc.. I don't know..I washed my car earlier also.. so..
 

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I am having the same issue with my 2014 1.6L the sound.is sometimes absent but very loud today.. it starts when I turn my key to acc I don't have to be driving.. it sounds also like it could be an arc.. I don't know..I washed my car earlier also.. so..
Sounds like you might have the A/C control issue. Or a cicada stuck in behind the dash or in your blower. Check and make sure that water is draining from the A/C ok after you drive. (On a hot day it should leave a small puddle of clear water on the ground near the center of the car, closest to the front passenger tire after you turn off the A/C).

Next time you star the car cold, turn the key to ACC or ON but don’t start it. Let all the bells and whistles fade and see if the noise is there. If you hear it, wait a full 30-45 seconds and see if it changes in any way. Then switch the climate controls to defrost and see if it changes or goes away.

If you don’t hear it cold, try again after getting where you are going, (assuming 5 minutes or more, the engine is fully warmed up), listen for the sound when you park but before you turn the car off. Then turn off the car, open the drivers door (so the radio and everything shuts off), wait 30 seconds, and put it back in ACC and listen again. If you hear it now, change the climate controls again. Try different climate settings (with the fan on low speed, or with the car off and key in ACC instead of ON.)

If the noise goes away when you change the climate settings, but all your settings work (feet, dash, defrost), then it is nothing to worry about. It is just a little electronic servo that keeps trying to find the place it’s supposed to stop. Probably best to get in the habit of switching the climate controls if you hear the noise so the servo doesn’t carry on and wear itself out.

If the sound goes away within 30 seconds, it is probably fuel or vapor related and nothing to worry about.

The nasty things to watch for are coolant loss, green puddle under the car, or wet carpet under the dash.

ACC = radio on but engine light and other dash lights off
ON = engine off, dash lights all lit up
 
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