Toyota Tacoma AC Drain Mod: Explained

3rd-gen Tacomas have an A/C drain that drips directly onto the frame, causing rust.

Key Points:

  • 2016-2023 Tacomas have an A/C drain that drips directly onto the frame.
  • Relocating the drain is easy with heater hose and hose clamps.
  • Relocating the drain will help prevent rust.

Have you noticed any frame rust forming towards the bottom of your Tacoma’s engine bay? If not, you might want to check. There’s a common issue with the AC drain causing premature rust.

Thankfully, there’s a Tacoma AC drain mod that prevents more rust from forming.

In this guide, I point out the problem Tacoma owners face with the AC drain. I also look at some solutions so you don’t end up with a rusty truck. 

Why Relocate the Drain?

3rd generation Tacomas (2016-2023) have an AC drain that releases moisture right onto the frame. It’s located on the passenger-side firewall. As the water drips out of the hose, it causes rust to form on the welds of the structure. 

Toyota Tacoma AC Drain - highlighted

How to Fix

To move the location where the drain releases water, you need to make a modification. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to reroute the drain. 

Here’s a suggestion found by other Tacoma users. 

  1. Take 25 inches of 5/8” heater hose (found at auto parts stores)
  2. Gather some hose clamps, 1/2”-7/8” stainless steel with two zip ties
  3. Access the AC drain from within the passenger-side front wheel well
  4. Remove the clips at the top
  5. Fold down the cover to gain better access
  6. Place a clamp on the 5/8” hose
  7. Slide the hose over the stock drain until you get a snug fit
  8. Tighten up the clamp, but not too much that it restricts the flow 
  9. Thread the hose through the second hole
  10. Place a zip tie at the top before both holes to secure the hose
  11. Trim it down to your preference because there will probably be too much

You can also use rust-prevention paint on the welds to ensure moisture doesn’t rot away the metal. This step is just an added precaution. 


AC Drip Relocation Kit

If you don’t want to go through all of the steps I provided for you in the previous section, there’s another option. With an AC drip relocation kit, you can change where the water drips. 

This kit comes with all the supplies you need, made from high-quality materials. All you need to do is install the new hose and direct it to the new location before securing it.

In total, this modification should take you five minutes or less, and you won’t have to worry about rust again. 

Why It’s Important

You may wonder why it’s important to relocate the drain in the first place. If you don’t mind a little rust, it may seem of no consequence to you, but there are many reasons why you should take this seriously.

First, the rust will cause a dramatic drop in resale value. When you go to sell your truck, you won’t be able to get as much money. This ten-minute job saves you from losing thousands of dollars on a plummeting resale value due to rust. 

Second, rust weakens the truck’s frame. If you’ve ever touched rust before, you know how it flakes between your fingers. There’s nothing holding it together. Now, imagine that same substance protecting your family during an accident. It’s not going to happen.

Repairing structural rust is very expensive. It’s far better to prevent it from occurring in the first place. 


Preventing Rust the Easy Way

You can make numerous modifications to your Tacoma to change its appearance, performance, and style. Yet, none of the modifications are nearly as important as ensuring the AC drains are in a better location.

By taking a few minutes out of your day, you protect the structure of your truck for years to come. Unless you want costly body shop repair bills or you like throwing money away at sale time, it’s important to take these steps now. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.