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Toyota Avalon Water Leaks

bowler3bowler3 Posts: 1
edited October 2014 in Toyota
Can anyone out there shed light on possible sources other than the obvious trunk seal for a pesky water leak in trunk? Live in the northwest with lots of rain and cannot accept this problem for long. I have removed all interior mats and linings in trunk, sat inside with flashlight and had wife run hose over tailights, all around trunk seal, even checked the sunroof rail vent holes and tubes which seem to be clear and draining o.k.

  Cannot figure this one out and definately cannot afford to have dealer hunt it down yet.


  • Not sure where your water is coming in but where it may be puddling may be a starting point.

    You mentioned the wife pouring water over the tail lihghts which reminds me of my trunk leak on a different make and model in the trunk.

    After much sherlock holmes work I found that on a hard rain with wind, that the water was coming in aroung the license plaste screws. I applied silicone around and in the plastic screw holders and reinserted the screws and presto, leak gone.

     A buddy had a tempo, i know not an avalon, however, where his rear quarter panel met the sill plate behind the rear window the joint sealant had crack and water was running down the edge of the rear window and along this joint and worked it way along the inner wheel well and into the trunk. Just something to think about. Water leaks can be a bugger to find as they can migrate a good distancec from their starting point.

    Good luck and post again if you can be more specific as to where you might think the water is coming from after you get it all dried out.
  • Hey...this may sound totally crazy but I am forever opening my trunk with the remote without knowing it. It is very difficult to tell it by looking at the car but it does lift the trunk ever so slightly above the gasket.

    Could be the happened to me.
  • mwagner123mwagner123 Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 1999 Avalon XLS which collects some water after it rains in the spare tire compartment.

    I'm not sure where it is coming from. Any suggestions on what I should look for would be appreciated.


  • pmoskalpmoskal Posts: 25
    Undoubtably the water is coming in somehow.
    On my new '03 Avalon there are two drainage hoses tucked up underneath each of the rear quarter panels behind the rear wheels.
    Whether those hoses have something to do with what you are experiencing I will check into for you.
  • Hello, just would like to get some help with my floor board on the passenger side, which stays constantly wet. I notice this after I had the windshield reservoir filled, the carpet was extremely wet. So I had that replaced to the tune of $75 per hr for labor, I am female, so they tell me anything at the dealer, but this has not helped.
    The water drains out for the a/c, and the weather stripping around the window seems to be ok. I am clueless, is there anyone out there that can reccommend what possibly might be wrong. a/c works fine, taken it thru car washes to see if by chance I could see water coming in thru the window, but nothing, help!!!
  • coldencolden Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with our 2001 XLS, Turned out to be a factory defect that was covered fully under warranty. They said a plastic drain vent pipe was the culprit. Haven't had a problem since.
  • jchow101jchow101 Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 XLS, I had the same water problem. After rain or heavy snow water collects around spare tire in the trunk.

    I marked the spare tire section edge with white washable marker (Kids), & I checked the trunk after a rainy day. Sure enough the water was going inside from the trunk lid bumber side. There were 3 spots which had wet white paint. Both sides close to the light section (right after spot welding), & the mddle where thruck lock is there.

    Pulled the rubber linner from the trunk edge. It was wet & rusty. Then I notice body where this linner sits, & notice gap for water to enter. Take it to my garage (not the toyota) Mechanic pulled the linner around the trunk. At factory they do SPOT Welding & expect two sheet of metal to press perfectly. However, there were small gaps. He cleaned with angle grinder & put auto caulking to seal & let them dry. Clean the linner. I let it dry for a day, reseated them. No more leaks so far.
  • Water comes dripping in right at the speakers on both of the front pillars. The dealer said that the front pillar drains for the sunroof were crimped so they re routed them. Before going to see the dealer here is what happened. The car was bone dry after being in the driveway in a night of heavy rain. It was not until I was on the road driving on the highway that I noticed that the speakers on both front pillars (next to the windshield) were dripping wet. I pulled off the road still in the rain and it seemed to slow. When I got back on the road here came the drips. It has not rained since and I can not get the leak to appear with the hose. Hopefully they fixed it but I am not confident. I would love to make sure but I do not know where to start. I was thinking that maybe air was pushing water up from under the left and right most part of the firewall. maybe somewhere near the hood hinges. I have driven about 17,000 miles with out a hint of water. So whatever is causing it has to be new. maybe a clogged drain line somewhere?
  • Cbouffard....I had a water leak coming thru my speakers on the a-pillars as well. My car had been parked in pouring rain and when I got in the car, I was using a towel to clean up the water I brought in with me when I noticed water on the dash, directly below the speakers on each side of the car. Then I actually saw water dripping thru the speakers onto the dash. Well at the time, my 07 xls was only about 6 weeks old, I went right to the dealership. First thing the service writer tells me is that the drain tubes from the sunroof may be clogged. When I replied that the car was 6 weeks old, and garaged every night, I found it doubtful that not one, but both drain tubes would be clogged. Turned out we were both right, the drain tubes were not clogged, they had never been "connected" It took the dealership about 30 minutes to ( forgive me for this ) GET ER DONE!!! Anyway, no more water issues in the last year. Mine was certainly attributed to the drain tubes.

  • I had a similar problem with my 2007 Avalon, except the water was not visible except for the pillars and speakers on one side, but the water got into the instruments and the car would not operate - the engine fan and headlights could not be shut off. I had to disconnect the battery to turn everything off. I had it towed to my dealer who told me the drainage tubes from the sunroof were clogged. I told them that I wanted them to buy the vehicle back because of the electrical problems this water caused. They say the car works fine now and want me to keep it.
    Don't know if anyone else had this issue, but would appreciate any thoughts on whether the car will give me problems in the future because of the electrical problems.
  • mcbluesmcblues Posts: 6
    I have a 1996 Avalon in great mechanical and physical shape -- except for chronic water problems. Most recently, water in passenger side compartment all the way to back seat (1.5 inches of water!). I have had most recent A.C. drain clog cleared three days ago, dried interior out two days ago, and now mats are wet again on passenger side.

    There is also water in trunk right-wheel well and spare tire well. Trunk lid and liner were replaced 3 years ago when I got rear-ended.

    I have read here that shrinking plugs, bad welds, gaskets, windshields, wheel well drains, etc., can cause similar problems in both compartment and trunk.

    My question: What would be the least expensive way of getting a bumper-to-bumper diagnosis? I have tried to figure it out but no luck. Shall I see auto mechanic, body-and-fender shop, etc? I would prefer not being fleeced by dealer.

    (Pardon if this posted somewhere earlier. Had pw/login problems, so not sure msg posted first time around.)

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,659
    Do you have a moonroof? If so the drains may be clogged and/or disconnected somewhere.

    How does your trunk seal look?

    Its going to be really hard to tell since you have it coming in the front and back.

    What I would start with first is to lock yourself in the trunk with a good flashlight. Then have a helper squirt a hose around the back of the car and look for leaks. If you find one, take appropriate action to fix and see if that cures both leaks. If you at least stop one, you can then move onto the other.

    You can also do the same test in front. Take off the trim, pull back the carpet and have a helper squirt the car with water and start looking around.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • mcbluesmcblues Posts: 6
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I do not have a moon roof. I am letting the car dry out for another da or so and perform the trunk test. That may also help with taillight seals.

    Should I remove the interior side linings (the ones held on with those pesky plastic plugs)? (Already removed trunk floor cover). I am also looking for simple schematics showing all drain lines (I never knew wheel wells had drains!) The owner's manual does not go into such detail.

    I agree- front and back makes it doubly vexing. I will post when I have more info.

    Thanks again. Mike
  • mcbluesmcblues Posts: 6
    Found the trunk leak! Took all carpeting out. Did not realize extent of water in trunk -- about 2.5 inches in the spare tire well ONLY. I had to remove the tire to realize the water level (I rarely get flats and when I've inflated the spare, it's been in-place.) The carpet became damp on occasion and I blamed slow leak from lid gasket -- only now I know it was likely from water sloshing on on turns or bumps. Contents ABOVE spare tire never got wet (a clue).

    CAUSE: I was rear-ended two years ago. After auto body shop replaced the trunk lid and straightened the bumper, everything seemed fine. Carpeting, etc. back in place. Looking closely today, after vacuuming the water out of the spare-tire well, I closed the trunk and hit the rear car with a hose for about 4 minutes. Upon opening the trunk, I saw tiny rivulets running from the bumper side of the interior trunk into the spare-tire well. When the car was fixed, apparently the shop did not properly seal the bumper after "fixing" the dent.

    The water in passenger compartment -- with a recently cleaned A.C. drain hose -- remains a mystery.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    edited June 2011
    Are you sure it's not the gaskets around the turn signal assembly (not the lens, but around the entire body of tail light assembly as it plugs into the trunk body). ?

    I haven't looked at all your previous posts but have you check the fresh air vent cavity under your windshield wipers (you have to remove the cowl) to see if that drain is plugged with debris?

    Also sunroof drains of course.

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  • mcbluesmcblues Posts: 6
    Thanks! MS --

    I had no idea about the fresh air vent cavity. Can this be what I am now blaming on the A.C? Because I saw water flowing out the drain this morning after driving while using A.C., meaning it remains unblocked. Can the vent cavity drain be diverting water into passenger-side floor??

    Is this just a case of removing the screen that runs across behind the wipers. Just pops out with a screwdriver, yes?

    The rear light and turn signal assembly are bone dry. It's what I noted in a previous post (poor bumper repair) + bad gasket on antenna mount.
  • mcbluesmcblues Posts: 6
    P.S. No sun roof. New windshield installed in 2010.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,659
    New windshield installed in 2010.

    It could certainly be a bad seal on that as well. Water leaks are brutal.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    Oh yes, a clogged up cavity under the fresh air cowl is a common cause of water leaks into the passenger compartment. What happened is that the drain under there gets plugged by bio-debris (leaves, air pollution, pollen, etc) over time and forms a kind of gooey plug. Then the cavity starts to fill up like a fish bowl and your firewall is not meant to be waterproof---if there are wires or cables going through there, or just a seam or two, the rising water will slosh around and drip down into the passenger compartment.

    Some cowls pry off, others have screws. You can test the drain by pouring say a tea cup of water in should dribble down under the car, usually right about in the middle of the firewall area. You might even be able to see the rubber drain tube behind the engine.

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  • mcbluesmcblues Posts: 6
    You have been most helpful -- things I never would have thought going in Monday for trunk repair (full replacement of lid gasket, water-seal bumper-side of trunk, new electric antenna gasket/washer). I will doubtless remove cowl and clean out front air circ. cavity over the weekend. Will also look at seal on windshield. MANY THANKS, MR. S!
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