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water leak in passenger footwell
hello everyone

i am new to the forum but hoping to draw on your expertise for a pretty big problem!

myself and my girlfriend drove our 2002 berlingo from ireland to turin in italy and encountered some issues along the way.
about 1/3 of the way through france, we noticed alot of rust coloured water leaking into the passenger footwell. it got worse and worse until we decided we should go to a local garage.
when we were nearly there the windows started steaming up furiously (this was because the air filter had come loose)

a kindly local guy helped us fix the air filter (with gaff tape) and that was the end of that problem but we took it to a garage the next morning to see what the problem with the leak was.
we were told the radiator was completely wrecked and needed replacing, however we had no AA cover and not enough time (the mechanic needed a few days to get the part and we had to be in italy the next day for work) or money to fix it on the way down.

the mechanic did a quick fix, he basically snipped the pipes from the radiator that were carrying the water to the passenger side of the engine which stopped the water leaking in the car. they told us (and our french aint really that hot, so we think they told us..) that the car was driveable but long term the rad needed replacing.

we drove on and made it to turin (where we are currently) without major issues. the temperature gauge stayed steady, we kept checking the water and the air filter and they remained ok.

i guess we are looking for advice from people about things we need to look out for as we prepare to drive back up through france in a few days.. has anyone got any experience with the same problem? not having great french meant we couldn't understand much of what the mechanics were saying to us..

many thanks in advance to any suggestions or advice!

I think you'll find it's the heater matrix. Do a search for more info.
Ex 1.4 Berlingo Multispace
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Landmark for this post:
  • marco123
I agree with Landmark, it is the heater matrix that's leaking, the give away is the steaming up of the interior of the car. I cannot see how an air filter could cause that. The French mechanic has bypassed the heater matrix which has stopped the problem. This should keep you going without any problems, as long as it does not get really cold outside in which case you will freeze inside.

2012 Iron Grey XTR 110 with lots of bits and bobs.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Trevor for this post:
  • marco123
thanks alot guys! we're alot more confident to get back up through france again now, and its good to know what the guy was talking about (never learnt about heater matrixes in the french lessons from school) we did 600 odd miles with the quick fix already and without any more issues should get home safe. cheers
"Radiateur du chauffage" is your heater matrix, you may also encounter "boitier chauffage" or heater box. Occasionally, your blower fan ("pulseur") may be thrown into the mix.

Keep an eye on your coolant levels, the four letter word of damnation is "just" (as in, We were just trying to get home). Balance the value of haste against the possibility of really large expenses...
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to addo for this post:
  • marco123
nice one addo. "radiator" is definitely the word we heard and thats what caused the confusion. we are looking at the temperature levels all the time and checking the water every 100km or so. also driving very slowly to keep stress off the engine!
Have a good trip.:thumbsup:Confusedalut:
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
Bad luck it happening on a long trip but at least you've managed to keep going! I had the same problem on my previous car (Peugeot 306) and the quote from the garage was huge - over £350 if I remember rightly. Which as the new matrix is only £30-40 seemed a lot so I looked up some help on the web and checked the Haynes manual and thought it didn't look too bad so had a go.

Well... I did get it done in the end but I reckon I spent two long weekend days on it, maybe 16-18 hours in all, it was terrible fiddly but didn't require any special kit. However it meant a new lease of life for what was a pretty ancient car and I was glad i did it. So that's an option if you have the time and inclination. I would rate my car fixing skills as a little above beginner but not a lot.
All the best.

PS .. you're still in France - apologies if this advice is of little use right now...
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to djbadger for this post:
  • ron

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