Water Leaks -- How to Find and Fix



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Are you asking if water can leak in through the passenger mirror.?

    If that's your question...yeah, that's possible. Mitsubishi Eclipse was famous for that.
  • bluippolbluippol Member Posts: 1
    Water has been collecting on the front and back passenger side floor of my '98 Subaru Outback LT. It has been raining heavily recently, but has not done this during other heavy rain. Front air intake drains are clear. Bottom-of-door drains are clear. The rubber door seal is not glued to the door, but attached with clips every few inches. This seems to be on purpose, though. Should I glue the rubber door seal to the door with silicone?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    have you checked the sun roof drains?

    How about the "squeegee" rubber seal that sits on the top of the door where the window runs down through it?

    Has the door panel been off for repairs recently? if so, did anyone put back the clear plastic moisture barrier?
  • sandlappersandlapper Member Posts: 3
    1998-2002 LTC have this problem on passenger side. I have 2 '98 LTC & have fixed both ... found some info on another site but it wasn't too explicit. This is simple to fix but time consuming. Remove the black plastic grille that's at wiper arm on pass side ... two black plastic screws. Lift away grille ... no need to remove wiper arm. You'll see a black plastic tray surrounding a screen mesh ...tray has about five 8mm sheetmetal screws & two 11 nuts ... remove screws & nuts ... lift tray up over the two studs and then pull to pass side ... then lift tray away from car. Turn tray upside down & you'll see a thin foam gasket ... make note of it's shape and then remove gasket entirely ... use rubbing alcohol to get every bit of gasket adhesive off. then clean the car's bodywork up around where the tray was sitting ... clean it real good ... damp cloth & 409 ... followed by rubbing alcohol. Make sure both tray & bodywork are very clean & very dry. Now, for the fix ... have a tube of good quality 100% silicone sealer (I used both auto type $$$ ... and the 10-11oz tube found at Lowes/HomeDepot cheaper at $5 ... both work equally as well) on hand ... put a VERY thick heavy bead around tray where gasket was ... put another VERY thick heavy bead around bodywork where gasket did contact. DO NOT use another gasket ... the silicone will do the job & not fail. Now put the tray back in ... install & tighten all fasteners only hand-tight ... don't let the car get wet for 24 hours ... that leak on pass side front footwell is fixed. Drying out the carpet is another matter though ... best to take seats & carpet out. Each front seat has 4 fasteners & electrical connectors ... then console slips off studs ... take seat belt anchors loose ... pop plastic trim panels off that surround door openings ... lift rear seat bottom out and away ... carpet will pull right out (it's HEAVY!)... it's NOT glued in. Carpet has an integral closed cell foam backing that holds ALOT of water ... taking it out is the ONLY way I've found to dry carpet ... scrub it good w/pinesol & water & soft brush... rinse it good ... hang it up on a ladder ...allow a good 48 hours in warm dry air. Once carpet is out you'll see two foam backed black pads that're up in each footwell ... they'll be soaked too ... too much trouble to pull them out ... simply prop them up ... squeeze out as much water as you can ... then run a small ceramic cube heater at pad overnight on low. GOOD LUCK!
  • preformcsuckspreformcsucks Member Posts: 1
    Hey I have the same problem . Bought this used car from a dealer nothing but problems from the get go. Now I discovered the trunk leaks....yahoo I am a happy camper. The dealer wants to fix the problem ...maybe next week, after my 30 day expires...what to you think.......?
  • sdmsdm Member Posts: 2

    My carpet on both passenger and driver sides (in front) is soaked after a recent heavy rainfall. Seems that passenger side is much worse. But I don't know where the water is coming from. Continues to be wet even though rain stopped several days ago.

    This hasn't happenend before. My car (bought new from a dealer) hasn't been driven much and only has 35,000 miles on it. No accidents or anything.

    I've had the sunroof drains cleaned and the air vents below the windshield unclogged. The Honda dealer I took it to says it's the windshield seal at the top/bottom, but auto glass places say that's very unlikely. What could it be?

    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  • navanodgnavanodg Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 civic DX, This is the second car I have had leaking problems with. There was standing water in the trunk as well as under the back seat. I think the water under the seat was caused by sloshing water which came from the trunk because after I took the plug out from the low point in the trunk the water under the seat wasn't an issue anymore. Anyways taking out the plug was only suppose to be a temp solution because the water leak is still causing mildew and such, not to mention my trunk is practically unusable because anything back there gets soaks. I am having a really hard time finding the leak but I am fairly certain that it is coming in from the driver’s side wall of my trunk, or at least running along the top and ending up dripping down the driver’s side wall. Any suggestions? Maybe I have a bad weld or something, the seal looks good but I guess I could be wrong? Any info is appreciated.


    The floor in the back seat is damp, I haven’t really looked into that thinking maybe they are somewhat related but I’m probably wrong about that because the dampness is still there after the plug was taken out of the trunk. Any input on that would also be helpful.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A likely source of trunk water is the seal around the tail lights. If you want to try and fix it yourself, you have to unscrew the whole assembly (not the lenses, but the whole body that holds the lenses and then put some LATEX window caulk around the seal using your finger and some water. LATEX caulk is a lot cleaner than messy silicon and works just as well.

    INTERIOR LEAK: You can easily test the sunroof drains and fresh air vent drains with a cup of water...you should see it spilling out behind the front wheel (for the fresh air vents) and depending on your sunroof drains, at the A Pillar or C pillar, (some sunroofs have two drains per side).

    I agree, windshield gasket leak is unlikely...more likely is that the fresh air drains get clogged and then you've got a fish tank in there, so it can leak even after the rains have gone.
  • sdmsdm Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your help. Will wait for the next rains and see what happens.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Put some newspaper under your tail lights before the rain...then during the rainstorm peek inside and see if the newspaper is soaked through...then you'll know, and you know which side (or both).
  • c7zmustangc7zmustang Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for the post. My mother has taken her 1999 Town Car to the dealership three times to fix the leak that you described, with no luck. My son and I followed your instructions, and after a weekend with 2.5 in of rain, no leak. Thanks again!
  • chromeguychromeguy Member Posts: 1
    We have a 01 LTC, bought used. love the car hated the water leak that came with it as a surprise. Went to google typed in problem and this forum came up. problem was fixed right away. This guy was absolutly right. It was a gasket under a grill. Followed his advise and problem fixed.
  • pete1965pete1965 Member Posts: 2
    I have a water leak on drivers side an can't figure where it is coming from?The drivers side floor is soaked could it be a seal or weld? Any help would be appreciated,

    Thank You
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    could be a seal up top where the window slides into the door...this is called a "squeegee" in case you have to order one.

    Also, has anyone been in the door recently for speaker work or window work? If so, they might have forgotten to re-tape the plastic moisture barrier inside the door panel.

    Another thing to check are the door drains (little holes at the bottom of the doors). If they are plugged, you'll have a little fish tank in there.

    Last of all, a loose rear view mirror can cause a leak.
  • pete1965pete1965 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply,I just got in ,I found some sealent that came off easily in the corner where the hood latches on and a little rust underneath it.I scraped it all off,cleaned it and put some new sealent.There is a seam there where it looks where it might be leaking I hope.....if not I will look into what you sugested .Thanks Again
  • przig1przig1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a used 2003 Honda Accord Coupe. Every time it rains I find water on the floor in the back behind the driver's side seat. I have had it in the shop 3 times, twice to the Honda Dealership. They said the sprayed water all over the car and found no leak. The last time they said the sunroof drain was clogged and they unclugged it. Last night it rained and I found water in the same place. One day I was in the car when it was raining I saw a stream of water going from the doorwell across the back floor.
  • brad3899brad3899 Member Posts: 2
    I bought this accord used almost 3 years ago and have found that every time it rains I have a passenger side floorboard full of water. This is seen both in the front and the back. I took it to a honda dealership and they said that the drains along the windshield frame were not working correctly and supposedly fixed them but the problem still occurs everytime it rains. I even took the car to an auto glass place and had them re-seal the windshield and back glass. The problem remains. Please if anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Could be the following:

    1. Drains in the door itself are clogged.

    2. The plastic membrane that sits behind the door panel may have been removed for a repair and not replaced?

    3. The rubber seal, called a squeegee, is worn/torn. This seal sits at the base of the window as the window goes into the door.

    4. If you have a sunroof, the front sunroof drain is clogged, or a rubber hose inside the car's A pillar (where the windshield is glued in all the way on the right side) has slipped off its tubing.

    5. the fresh air vent (under the windshield wipers) has filled with crud and tree debris and is now a fishtank in there, and needs to be cleaned out.

    In order of possibility, I would check 1, then 3, then 5, then the other two.
  • beaton38beaton38 Member Posts: 8
    Hi! Thanks for the info. Your fix was 100 percent right!

    I took my 2001 Town Car to the deler today and they said they had lots of Merc & Lincolns with this problem.

    They preformed the exact fix you told about. They even took out the seats and they are keeping the car tonight and tomorrow drying the carpet. Don't yet know the cost, but this dealer was very helpful, especially about drying out the carpet as I have no garage! Bill E
  • sandlappersandlapper Member Posts: 3
    BILL E:
    Hope that does it for you. I realize you have a helpful dealer ... but please pay close attention to whether the carpet is REALLY dry on BACK side where there's a thick foam that's VERY hard to dry.

    I'd sure like to know what your dealer charged $ to pull carpet & seats ... dry it .. and reinstall? Would you post cost $ here or email $ thru this forum?
  • valpetvalpet Member Posts: 1
    the floor of the passenger side -from front to rear - is completely soaked. Driver's side is dry. Can't find any obvious source beneath the carpet. Have cleared out the debris where the fresh air vents are, but still having a problem.
    - what are the likely causes of a leak only on one side?
    - if it could be that the vents aren't draining properly, how to fix? and is there a reservoir in there now that we need to drain somehow?
    - how to dry the carpet once the leak stops?

    thanks for your wisdom.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes there is a drain hole at the bottom of the fresh air vent cavity. You can test it easily by pouring a small amount of water in there...you should see it coming out beneath the car. If it isn't, you'll have to pop open the vent clean out the gunk in there (bio-degraded tree debris, etc.) and unplug the drain hole.

    Another possibility is a clogged sunroof drain (which would drop water from the ceiling) or a dislodged sunroof drain tube that sits behind the A pillar interior trim.

    Last possibility would be a leaking windshield.

    Some fresh air vent systems have a plastic removable tub reservoir in there with a gasket around it. Others are just a metal basin that is part of the car.
  • beaton38beaton38 Member Posts: 8
    Hi! Got that leaky Lincoln back from the dealer today. The charge was $197.50 which I didn't think was bad as they fixed the leak (just like your post with the silicone seal) and took out the seats and carpet and dried them out for two days. Lots of labor there! Bill E
  • brad3899brad3899 Member Posts: 2
    How do I access the the fresh air vent cavity and the various other drains to check if they are clogged?
  • billy817billy817 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Honda Civic Hatchback that after it rains there is about an inch of water in the well where the spare it at. The carpet is not we at all and I cannot find anyhwere that it leaks from. If the seal was leaking I would think the carpet would be wet? Anyone have any ideas? I have tried everything that I can think of. There was one post on there that had this problem but, I didnt see anyone answer his question?? Help!! :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:
  • gavin89gavin89 Member Posts: 1
    On the floor behind the passenger seat everytime it rains the floor is soacked with water. I've done some inspecting and it isn't leaking from the roof or door seals of seat mount bolts. As the on wet spot in on the fllor in the middle. Anybody heard of this or seen it before, would really appricate the help. Thanks Alot!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Try two things:

    IF you have a sunroof, open it and look for the rear drain hole in the groove where the roof rides...pour just a little bit of water in there and see if it goes down to the ground under the car...or...into your back seat.

    2) lay down newspaper in your trunk, especially in the area of the tail lights and where the trunk seal goes 'round...and then test with a hose and see if anything wet the paper. What CAN happen is that water leaks into the trunk, then you brake quickly, and it squishes into the passenger compartment under the seat.
  • i0i0ii0i0i Member Posts: 2
    i have the same problem. the water also collects under the back seat and makes the seat wet. help!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Any water in the trunk/hatch area, that might slosh forward when you brake, or are you sure it's only in the rear seat area?

    If it is isolated to the rear seats and isn't coming from the trunk or hatch, and isn't coming from the front seat area, you had better check the rear sunroof drain (if you have a sunroof) or the rear door "squeegee" that wipes the window clean when it goes down....or the door drains...if you shake the door can you hear water in there?
  • i0i0ii0i0i Member Posts: 2
    yeah, i heard water sloshing when i brake. i checked under the spare tire and there is a tone of water there. any ideas? any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You could put some newspaper under the tail lights and then test with a garden hose around the tail lights...those gaskets get old and water can easily come in there....also the hatch or trunk seal...you can test by carefully examining the hatch or trunk seal for tears or places where it's come loose. If you see a suspicious spot, lay a dollar bill over it and close the lid. If the dollar bill can be slipped out easily, that seal is not tight enough to keep out water most likely.
  • persuazionpersuazion Member Posts: 4
    I have a 99 lesabre and we had heavy rainfall for about 3 days..went to get in my car and my front driver side carpet was wet but it was nothing compared to the back.There was a swamp behind my seat.I guess from where it settled.So I poured water all over the wiper area and finally I saw some trickle down right behind the gas pedal down onto the floorboard.I took the vent off and I dont really know what Im looking for...I dont see alot of leaves on top.Where am I supposed to unclog it from....the top or bottom of the engine?The seal thats attached to the vent is basicly ripped off and Im missing a few of the rivets that hold it down...could water get in those and cause a leak?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    There should be a drain down there, at the bottom of the basin. You unclog it from the top usually, if you can. On some cars, the drain pipe is visible on the firewall, down low. You can also check for various grommets or seals that are broken. If you poured water on the windshield that could also have a small leak. Did you see water pouring out the drain when you tested?
  • persuazionpersuazion Member Posts: 4
    Yes water came out right under the front driver wheel.I dont think its the drain becuase the water just instantly poured out from the top.If it was the windshield wouldnt I be able to see the water coming in from the inside by the windshield?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Not necessarily...sometimes the leak can travel to the corners of the windhshield...but that's not where you leak is. Well if the drain is working it must be some grommet or seal in the cowl area, or a body seam that wasn't totally sealed at the factory.
  • figaro462figaro462 Member Posts: 1
    My daughter complained about her windows fogging up and a wet rear seat in her 1996 Civic Hatchback. Sure enough, I checked and the spare tire well has 3 inches of water in it that must be sloshing under the rear seat. I am useless at fixing stuff myself and I really trust my car guy, but I don't want to give him a bolank check. I hope that it's the fault tailight gasket like you guys are suggesting. I have checked the trunk gasket and it seems really tight. Have you had any feedback that the tailight gasket turned out to be the problem? Thanks
  • islesrockislesrock Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1987 Honda prelude which has a slow rainwater leak from the windshield which slowly drains into passenger side flooboard from behind the glovebox. I slowly poured water ONLY down the windshield and within 30 seconds, the
    drip started. Most of the water correctly drained behind the right front tire. I tried to take off the fresh air cowlings--but didnt have too much luck due to the age of the car. I even have the service manual for the car and it doesnt reference that at all

    any thoughts or ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well usually there are a couple screws holding it in....all cars are different, so......do you know a good body shop that might give you a tip on this?

    Once you're in there, look for a cracked grommet or some loose seal in the firewall area...your drain might be working but might also be backing up a bit...
  • nsalmeronnsalmeron Member Posts: 4

    I recently discovered standing water under the driver seat of my GFs Honda; no work has been performed on the car door in over 6 months (I removed the speaker to check the speaker brand). I have reviewed some of the posts on this forum but need to know if it is possible to have water trickle past the speaker.

    I ask this because, I have dismantled the car (driver side seat, door panel, carpeting, rear seat, and any molding that might hide a leak. The only smoking gun I turned up was the trickle of water from the speaker which was dripped on by the power mirror cabling(with hose applied to driver side door window).

    What is the cause? The squegee type window seal? A leak in the mirror housing? WIndshiled leak? Possibly the vents (but wouldn't my front floor pan, also have standing water)?

    Help. Any advice or just a damn good fix would be greatly appreciated.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay, couple of ideas:

    Did you replace the plastic membrane inside the door panel or did you just tear it out? If it's not in there, that could be your problem.

    If the plastic is in there, how are the door drains at the bottom of the door? Are they clear of debris?

    Yes it could be the squeegee at the top of the door. I think you could test this by removing the door panel and pouring water on the window.

    Usually squeegees just slide out...you just pull 'em backwards toward the rear of the car---but all cars are different...some require removal of a chrome trim piece first, so I dunno....
  • nsalmeronnsalmeron Member Posts: 4
    Thank you very much for replying so quickly (Oregon rain is never ending)! Here are few other tidbits of information:

    Plastic membrane was removed sometime ago (not sure why), I will replace with new plastic but I was able to trace the leak last night to the speaker. The water is following the wiring from the power mirror to the top of the speaker (which by the looks of the plastic membrane was never there), then out the bottom, into the floor pan.

    Door drains verified clear, no debris, working well.

    Checked the hood vents, verified no debris and good drainage.

    I also looked underneath the car and at the floor pan for broken welds, cracks, or anything resembling a potential leak source; all looked solid.

    As I am to understand the squegee's function; 'some' water should pass into the door, but exactly how much is a mystery to me; I applied the hose the the door (minus door panel) and watched approximately 30%-40% of the water to pass into the door. The water did drain through the channels but also 'my leak' traveled along the wiring of the mirror.

    I am placing the order for the squegee (This Honda parts store does not stock them), but should that be the only place I look? Is it possible to have a leak from the mirror housing? Any other ideas where a leak to the driver side floor panel might come from?

    In the interim I have made a makeshift umbrella inside the door to cover the speaker, if my standing water has disappeared, I may have gotten lucky(at least until I get that part).

    Again, Thank you for being available, quick to reply, and a wealth of knowledge...

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    So you don't think the mirror base gasket is also leaking?

    The squeegee will allow a little water yes. That's why you have door drains.
  • nsalmeronnsalmeron Member Posts: 4
    I am not sure. I have had a hard time trying to isolate just the mirror gasket, since the water from the hose travels to the squegee.

    Since I am going to replace the squegee, I will more than likely replace the mirror gasketing. If you think it could also be a potential source (which seems logical). though, I haven't performed either repair, hopefully I can manage it.
  • graceggraceg Member Posts: 6
    I just got a used car three weeks ago, and noticed it is wet at driver's side on the floor. Dealer told me it was b/c they shampooed it for the floor was dirty when it came in.

    But it is already three weeks after I got the car, it is still wet there, seems not drier at all. Yet during these weeks it had some snow and rain, and now becomes sunny again.

    I really have no idea why the floor still wet! Is it b/c of the weather that made the shampooed floor so hard to dry? :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:

    Help, please! Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    It could be that the underlayment that lines the floor, under the carpet, is soaked through. This won't EVER dry unless you pull up the carpeting and this underlayment and dry it out in the garage, or with a hair dryer, or in the sun, etc.
  • graceggraceg Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for your reply! Today morning I finally the water may came out from speaker at driver's side! Since last we had a heavy rain, I checked my floor today, it got wetter, and saw there was water remaining on the speaker. So I thought maybe rain got through the speaker and sprayed out there to the floor...

    It is odd, I do not know how could water came through there, and my speaker still works well? What should be done to repair it? Is it because of the side mirror, for I was told the first owner once replace that mirror.

    Thanks again for your help! Good weekend :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sure it could be the mirror. What you'd have to do is remove the door panel and then test the door with water. I bet you'll see it.
  • nusealnuseal Member Posts: 1
    You wont be able to see the rear sunroof drain. there are 2 in the rear . Open the trunk..look for a tube at the right side. It will come over top of the wheel house and drain out behind it. pull it loose and blow into it. Hard. If the debris doesent break loose you may have a crimp or the tube may be flattened and need replacement. Home Depot has it.Let me know
  • jonjon14jonjon14 Member Posts: 2
    Hello everyone, I have an 03 civic and theres water leaking into my car on both sides (driver and passenger). Last year, i noticed it to be more so on the driver side, but now it is pretty bad on both sides. I just removed the carpet today since it is a nice dry day and i'm going to spray it with water to see if its a rain leak. If its not the doors or speaker like the last guy, what can it be? please help. i have a puddle in my car. thanks!
  • jonjon14jonjon14 Member Posts: 2
    here are some pics of what i think it may be. the rubber mat with the foam under the clutch/break is soaking wet as well. its on both sides. can it be the gutter on my windshield?

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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