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Toyota RAV4 Leaks

cargovancargovan Posts: 10
edited December 2013 in Toyota
I drive a 2002 Toyota Rav4 and my recent problem is that I have a leak that in the front passenger's side floor area. Prior to that I didn't have the windshield replace or had a collsion. I did change a new battery which is located in the front passenger's side. The leak seem to occured through the side wall of the passenger's side. The leak seem to start after the new battery was installed. My question is that normal for 2002 Rav4 or did I forget a procedure when removing and installing the battery. I found out the leak when there was rain for three straight days.


  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    I am not familiar with the 02 RAV, but my last vehicle had that exact problem...turned out to be rust between the windshield seal and the roof metal at the top of the windshield. Water was leaking in there, running along the headliner and down the A-pillar trim and was not visible until it showed up on the floor. Point being the water could be coming in a ways from where it is showing up...
  • I have recently purchased a 1997 Toyota Rav4, and I might get to like it IF I could get the water leaking from under the cargo space rug to stop. Has anyone had experience with that. Does anyone know what the problem might be or where the water is coming from. There is no water on the inside walls or door, but the carpet is very wet. Thanks.
  • Hello Friend, I too have a Rav4 (2003) with wet carpet in rear cargo area. Had to throw away the wood cover underneath the cargo carpeting because it had mold growing on it. Thought it was coming from the big rubber plugs, there are to big round ones in the floor of this cargo area, so put caulking around them and reinstalled and thought I had it licked. Hadn't checked on it in a long time and just today I looked and it's wet again. Not sure what the cause is but am getting really tired of the musty smell it is causing. Never had any rear end repairs or body work.
    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!!!!!!!:)
  • I also have a 2002 toyota RAV4 and am having the exact same leak in the front passenger side floor area. Did you diagnose the problem and come up with a solution and how much did it cost? I am very interested in a solution as it is rainy season, my mechanic didn't have any ideas and suggested I go to a body shop.
  • Hi, we also have a 2002 Toyota Rav4 and developed a leak in the front driver's side of the car. After much research, we discovered that the drain wells from our sun/moon roof were clogged. If you have one of these, I suggest that you open the sun roof and look carefully. You will notice two tiny little holes, one in front, and one in the rear of the sun/moon roof tracks. Over time, these become clogged with dust and debris. You need to find a long, sturdy piece of thin wire and run it down the holes. To test if you have properly unclogged these, take a small amount of water and pour it down the holes. You should see water coming out of the drain wells under the car around the rear of the front tires. Hope this helps.

    We have also recently developed a leak in the rear cargo area as well. We have taken all the carpet out of the car as well as all of the sidewell liners. The water is coming out from the roof area and running down the headliner, coming out around the seal of the left rear passenger door window area and draining into the cargo compartment. We are currently investigating the exact cause of this leak and will update you when we have determined how to fix it.
  • evitanzaevitanza Posts: 4
    Thank you so much for your post bassfishing. I followed your very detailed instructions and in fact it the problem did stem from the drainage holes in my sunroof totally clogged with dirt. I've cleared them and they seem to be draining properly now.

    As for the rear cargo area, I have not yet had that problem but would appreciate hearing your solution as it is probably another drainage design flaw on the RAV4 that might occur with mine, in time.
  • claire11claire11 Posts: 1
    I am currently experiencing the same problem, in my drivers side nearly under my seat. Is this the cargo space? I have sat in my car in the rain to see where it might be coming from, but no answer yet.
    Do any of you have any other suggestions? as its really starting to smell and Im concerned it will be causing rust.

  • evitanzaevitanza Posts: 4
    If you have a sun/moon roof, the solution is most likey what solved my problem which is best described by the bassfishing post in this chain of posts. there were tine holes in my sunroof mechanism that were clogged on both sides and drained underneath both the passenger and drivers side carpet. It just so happened that the passenger was completely blocked where the driver's was still draining.

    If you don't have a sun/moon roof, it probably is still a drainage problem from your roof, windshield area, see above postings, as I learned that runoff drains, when operating properly underneath the drivers and passenger floor. So, look as suggested for remote drainage problem.
  • I feel your pain! We recently went through this exact issue but have now solved it. Your wet carpet in the cargo area of your Rav4 is probably comming from your sun/moon roof if you have one. There is a drainage tube that runs from the sun roof along the top side of the car, down the side and stops just about the level of the bottom of the side window in the cargo compartment. You can't see these tubes because they are covered by the head and side liners of the vehicle. These tubes get clogged with dirt and debris over time. We determinded this was the cause of our wet carpet by taking out the head liner of the car and the side liner and ran a hose over the sun roof. My husband sat in the cargo compartment and watched the water just pour out of this drainage tube into the car. I will get detailed instructions from him on how to clear these tubes out and post it as soon as I can. It is VERY important to clean these tubes and the tubes that drain into the front driver and passenger side of the car EVERY MONTH. If you do not, this is a problem that will happen again and again. My husband has now purchased a small air compressor and blows these tubes out each and every month to prevent this from happening again. Hope this information helps.
  • cargovancargovan Posts: 10
    Is it a good idea to change the spark plugs at 60,000 miles rather at the factory recommended changing intervals at 120,000 miles? If so, what brand should I use?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    If you're not experiencing any performance issues then I don't see a need to change your spark plugs.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I recently experience an unpleasant oil pan plug stripping. It cost me time and money to repair the headache. Has this happen to anyone before? What is the cost parts and labor?
  • This has happened to me on another car. You can by a plug which re-threads into the oil pan if you want to do it your self.
  • My RAV4 hit a rock and my bonnet cannot close fully. there is a bar thats bent underneath. Am told that it is meant to protect the gearbox and possibly the radiator. What is this guard called, coz its bent. I think its the equivalent of a sump guard. I possibly need to replace it, so that the engine can get back into place for my bonnet to close.
  • ktm514ktm514 Posts: 1
    I have a water leak somewhere on my rav,,lft side of motor it does not seem to be the hose but could it be what the hose connects to? how big a job is this? is this a common problem? thanks
  • lizzie06lizzie06 Posts: 6
    Hi there. Regarding your sun roof leak, make sure you get that fixed, since you mentioned you had water on the front passenger's side floor. My Rav4 was doing the same thing. Passenger floor remained damp, smelled and could not figure out why. Finally after my car continued to shut down (would not start, had to be towed to dealership on I-95) while driving x3, mechanics figured out the water in the sunroom was travelling down the passenger side door thus causing the ECU to get wet. Dangerous for me, since the car would just suddenly shut down & of all place on I-95! They could not reproduce the same errors, finally they believed me & replaced my ECU and fixed my sun roof leak. Happy to report my car is now running fine, but it still freaks me out when I am drying on the highways.
  • ravowner8ravowner8 Posts: 1
    I don't remember which forum I read it in, but mine was leaking and after a heavy rain, the driver's side floorboard had about 1/2 inch of water in it (that can't be good). The night before that during rain, I got a drop on my head from the control for the sunroof.

    There are drainholes in the body of the car on the front side of the sunroof on both the driver's and passenger's side. Who knew? Apparently, they drain through tubes, then out between the front door and the mud flap. These become clogged with dirt, leaves and debris. I park under an oak tree, so I get acorns and all sorts of matter.

    The forum described it like this: Open the sunroof. Get in the back seat and stick your head out. Look to the front of where the sunroof closes on the indentation in the roof. To the right and left IN THE BODY ITSELF, there are 2 holes. Near the corners. I actually could not see the one on the driver's side because it was completely clogged with mud and a leaf. The passenger's side was 1/2 clogged.

    Apparently the area where they drain to (between the door and mudflap) also gets clogged. It is behind a plastic cover-type thing. Mine was full. I just used a screwdriver or something to hold it open a little and used needlenose pliers to get out all the debris (or at least some of it - there was alot).

    Don't know if it worked yet, but I am guessing opening up the drain holes can't hurt. Oh, someone else suggested blowing it out with a compressor.
  • redbird24redbird24 Posts: 1
    Purchased a 2008 Toyota Rav4 with 53,000 mile odometer reading from an individual known to me. Figured the rear air fresheners were to mask the odor of the small dogs she transported on occasion. Later determined that the deodorizers were masking the smell of carpet and padding in the rear compartment area that had mildewed. Searched for the source of the leakage many times to no avail. Nothing was ever wet but the carpet in the rear most cargo area. Searched all the forums,youtube,and etc for possible solutions. I ruled out sunroof drainage, taillight seals,and door gasket issues. Much to my surprise,I found the rear door light switch to be the culprit. This door switch is covered with a rubber grommet that surrounds both the actual switch and the switch mounting plate. The entire unit is held in place by one bolt through the lower half of the assembly(a Torx 27 ). I found that this bolt is not adequate in sealing the upper half of the assembly. Basically, a bolt in top and bottom of the switch would probably alleviate this problem.
    Also,since the rubber grommet cover is not permanently bonded or glued to the metal mounting plate, tightening the fastener causes the grommet to pull away compromising the seal. So, to solve the problem I removed the switch assembly and the rubber grommet. Washed,cleaned and dried the switch plate,rubber grommet,and the mounting area on the vehicle. I then applied urethane windshield sealant around the body holes (One for the bolt and the other for the switch pass through). Then applied a small bead of sealant around the outside edge of the reassembled unit. Next, I positioned the assembly and inserted the retaining bolt with just enough force to cause the sealant to ooze from around the entire assembly. Cleaned off the excess sealant for appearance and water tested. Consequently,no more leaks. The following is a list of tips that may help if you have a similar leak problem and quite possibly might be applicable to other models that use the same type of door switch.
    1. The previous owner and her dealer could not find the leak !
    2. In most cases you are unable to duplicate a leak with a water hose,however when it rains it will show up every time.
    3. When searching for a leak with a water hose,start at the bottom of the vehicle and slowly work your way up. It's common to assume that the leak is always from the top.
    4. Examination of the switch assembly did not yield an apparent problem but water testing did.
    5. Silicone Rtv sealant would probably work in place of urethane windshield sealant.
    6. In the case of this 2008 Rav4 the water dripped from the left rear cargo tie d-ring located near the floor area.
    7. Do not excessively tighten the retaining bolt else all the sealant will squeeze out compromising the seal. You can always tighten a little more after the sealant sets if you feel the need.
    8.Also put a small amount of sealant around the bolt head before installing same.
    Hope this helps
  • pegfoxpegfox Posts: 1
    I keep getting water on both sides in the front floorboards of my 2004 Rav 4. I do not have a sun roof and it has not rained. A coworker told me it was the ac backing up but I don't know what or where to look. I can not find where it is coming in from. Any suggestions? :sick:
  • Great topic Redbird24. I have a 06 with a leak problem in the rear cargo hold. I will test and apply your cure.
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