Water Leaks -- How to Find and Fix



  • cavalier2cavalier2 Member Posts: 1
    :( Water is leaking into the passenger side floor. The sunroof also leaks water. The windows fog up and I have to wipe them down, hence they fog up not long after if I don't open the window when driving. The car smells of mildew and I need some advice as to what to do. At this moment dont' have the money to take it in to get looked at. Any advice how I can fix it???

  • chevz71chevz71 Member Posts: 1
    I've been following this forum and it seems that I too may have clogged drains under the cowl on my 1994 Chevy p/u. When it rains water leaks out of the blower motor. I took the cowl off but couldn't see anything or get my hand far enough in to feel any goop,glop or other nasty things. Where would I find the drains on my truck?
    Very informative forum. Thanks!
  • buckshanklybuckshankly Member Posts: 1
    Hey, I have a 96 Jetta and it just began to leak. I only find water on the passenger side in the back on the floor, nothing else seems to be wet. I thought it was the sun roof but after a car wash and pouring water directly into the water shed canals, it seem to redirect the water out the drains properly. Anyway i don't if this is what you have but take a look at your trunk under the fabric where your spare tire is. I found a little pool of water just sitting there. I have started to think the water fills the trunk and leaks into the back seat floor. If this is the case i have to try and prove it's the back window seal. Check your rear window seal, my isn't so good but i still have to run a test.

    Hope this helped,

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Just pour a little water in there and see if it drains out under the firewall, onto the ground. No drip (a flow actually) = clogged drains.
  • escapedsireescapedsire Member Posts: 2
    I have a 96 grand am that floods all the time! The passenger side floods all the time. At least 5 inches of water forms on the floor in the back and the floor is soaked in the front passenger. The back passanger feels like a water bed almost. As I was driving, I could see the water puddle forming in the front passenger.

    I dont have a sunroof. I poured water into the cowl and saw water drain out from under the car (so i know its not clogged). I layed down newspaper in the trunk and poured water around the seal to see if that leaked and it doesnt.

    I'm a poor college kid. Any suggestions on how to fix it?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Does it only flood when it rains?

    Does it ever flood when it isn't raining?
  • escapedsireescapedsire Member Posts: 2
    yea it only floods when it rains or when it snows and the snow melts
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay, so it's not the AC evaporator drain.

    If you are SURE the fresh air vent drain isn't clogged up, then it could be either the windshield seal or on some cars, a seal under the fresh air cowl...it isn't the drain but a kind of gasket that some cars use to seal the "basin" that catches the water in there. I seem to remember Lincolns being notorious for this.

    You can seal up the windshield easily by spreading some black LATEX caulk with your finger on and under the winshield seal and then cleaning up the excess with water (nice thing about LATEX caulk!). Let it cure overnight and then test it.
  • persuazionpersuazion Member Posts: 4
    What is going on? I have been having a waterleak when it rains for months now come through the bottom of the console,but today when I was going through the carwash I had my ac on and the 2 vents on middle bottom of the console stated blowing bubbles and car wash suds was streaming out of them...how could they get into the vents like that??? I posted the question about the water leak awhile ago,but maybe this will give some clues as to what it could be...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    See post # 265 above.
  • bluesman2007bluesman2007 Member Posts: 1
    I have been getting water on my front passenger rug in my 2003 envoy. can anyone give me some advice as to what could be the problem/
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Have you had the front window replaced? Sounds like a leak in the seal in the window.

  • brown_b07brown_b07 Member Posts: 1
    I have been experiencing a leak in my '01 civic for around two months now. Had to remove the carpet cause smell was so bad and everything was soaked! Found around half an inch of water just sitting under my carpet. I have been watching it for some time and determined that the leak is coming from the firewall on the passenger side. I was just wondering how I would go about getting to the fresh air vent drains to unclog them (seeing the advice from your previous posts). Is this the area where the two filters are for the interior ventilation? I took those out and there was alot of little sticks and and broken leaves just inside there. Any help would be great thanks.
  • duce110duce110 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 94 Civic Lx and water is leaking into my car... I took it to a autoglass shop and they resealed the front glass, but water keeps leaking into the car... I just installed brand new carpet in my car and I don't know where its leaking from... Anybody have any ideas, please help... one more thing, if anybody ask if its the heater core, its not, i just replaced it and the only reason its leaking, its bc we are having a big rain storm... a friend told me to check to see if the firewall seams are sealed, he said honda has that problem of not enough sealer... how do i check that... please please help :cry:
  • leighna17leighna17 Member Posts: 2
    I have had my little mazda for oh about a year and half myself. Well recently I noticed in the passenger side floor board and the passenger side back floor board are absolutely soaked....I thought it was the A/C evaporator drain tube, maybe it was clogged, but no the mechanic said it looked fine. It is just water no other oily (anti-freeze)substance. I also did the toilet paper trick where I lined the inside edges of the doors and windows and sprayed the car with a hose for about 10 minutes and no leak... that I could see. But however, when I proceeded to spray my car's windsheild into what looks like the rain water drain vent (I really don't know, just guessing) the water drained very weirdly...like alot but it goes everywhere and drains behind the wheel well. So I am not sure whats going on...I would REALLY REALLY appreciate it if some one could please help me! Thanks! :cry:
  • lectriklectrik Member Posts: 4
    I have a similar problem with a 93 4dr. Chevy Corsica .
  • dwr0361dwr0361 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, and last week I noticed exterior water leaks on the passenger side. The leaks leave small puddles (about 3-4 inches in diameter) on the ground about 6-8 inches diagnally back and away from the front passenger tire. I have'nt noticed any adverse affect in the operation of the vehicle; there are no "strange" noises, and nor are any system/problem indicator gauges lit. However, the leak just started, and I know there has to be something wrong, cracked, or just unsealed. If you could provide any insight before I spend some unnecessary money to have it diagnosed, then I would greatly appreciate.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh this might just be from your AC drain---it funnels the condensed water it takes out of the air, down the drain and under the car.

    Check to see if this feels/smells like plain old water. If it does, that's what it is. Perfectly normal.
  • bryany127bryany127 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, JOE! I have a Saab 9-5 SportCombi w/ sun+moonroof. I found a puddle of brown soapy-feel water on front passenger floor and some on rear.
    Do you have the same recommendation that I should look at the sun/moonroof drains. Any other cause? Your advices are always welcome sir. Best!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Gee, water front AND rear sure does sound like leaking sunroof drains. You can test this by opening the sunroof, looking for the drain holes, and pouring some water in them...if the drains are leaking somewhere in the headliner or in the body panels, you'll see it on the carpets pretty quick.

    I have no idea why it should feel "soapy"....when I first heard that I thought "heater core" but that wouldn't show up in the rear area....so it could be gunk from the drains....bio-matter all gooped up... from tree debris, etc.

    it's my understanding that the way a sunroof drain leaks into the car rather than to the ground is that either little rubber connecting hoses inside the body panels have come loose (someone shoving a stiff wire down there to clear them can knock off the hoses) OR the metal tube just cracks open in there.

    Sometimes you can pop off an interior trim piece, sometimes you have to take out the headliner (a one-piece operation on a Saab---it comes out like a large piece of plywood) or maybe you can just drop it and sneak in there and have a look.

    The last possibility is that you have two separate unrelated leaks, one front one rear...the front, if soapy, being the heater core or the drain for the fresh air vents (under the wipers) and the rear from the trunk seal or the tailight seals....but that wouldn't feel soapy.

    Could be that it's just plain water mixing with some carpet adhesive, etc.
  • bryany127bryany127 Member Posts: 2
    Thank you sincerely, Joe. Hope this reply finds you and your loved ones well. How's the weather in CA these days? More my cup of tea then NYC - too hasty & not laid back like CA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Weather's good. Around 72. No bugs or humidity allowed. A little windy this spring for some reason. Sailors' delight, bike riders hell.
  • nlkflintnlkflint Member Posts: 2
    I think I have a clogged drain. I recently refilled my windshield wiper fluid. I noticed since that water is pooling in the passenger floor --really pooling as in soaking wet. It seems there is a leak, and the windshield fluid is leaking down from the tubing before it reaches the jets. This water is draining into the ? rain water drain ? and the drain perhaps is clogged with debris and the water ends up on the flooor of the back seat. It is also possible that the water is A/C evaporator water and that drain is clogged. Or maybe they share the same drain. How can I locate the drains and see if they need to be unclogged? Thanks.
  • bcparsonsbcparsons Member Posts: 18
    I have a 1984 300D turbo and I've got water in the drivers side. I have just about eliminated everything and do strongly believe that it is coming from the AC drain.
    So my question is, just where is the hose that drains the condensation. Probably behind the console.
    The water starts collecting right behind the accelarator peddle and flows into the back seat.

    Bob P.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I would think the drain hose comes through the firewall behind the engine. You can test this by running the AC for a while, then shutting the car off and see if water drains under the car. If you see it dripping out, then the AC drain might not be your problem. Of course, if you have no rain and you haven't been in a car wash and it still gets wet inside, then yeah, it pretty much has to be the AC drain.
  • bcparsonsbcparsons Member Posts: 18
    I am pretty much convinced that it is the drain, I just don't know where it is. Yesterday it was 95 degrees out with high humidity and I ran the AC of course while driving around town for several hours. When I got home the drivers side floor mats were wet. We have not had any rain for over a week and no other wet events have happened so it is not that.
    So please how do I identify the drain?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Arghhh! I'm trying to remember where it is. I seem to remember a little rubber hose directly behind the engine, mid-windshield. Hard to say if it's a plug or if the hose just slipped off. If it's plugged, you're going to have to tear out the console. You *might* be able to sneak a look by removing the glove box liner. I think the expansion valve is there on the left of the glove box but I don't know how much of the evaporator you can see or access. It's been a long time since I've been in there.

    Any chance you have a heater core leak? Does the water seem sticky?
  • bcparsonsbcparsons Member Posts: 18
    I am sure that it is not a heater core leak but thanks to you I at least have an idea where to look. I'll be in there this morning.
  • nlkflintnlkflint Member Posts: 2
    Update. My 2001 Mitsubishi Eclypse spyder was pooling water on the floor under the drivers seat and in the floor well of the left rear passenger area. Soaking wet. I was convinced it was the A/C tubing clogged. Got it dried out. Took it in, they put it up and had the A/C running for 2 hours in the Florida heat. Lots of water dripping out like it should under the car, no water into the floor of the car. Tubing "not blocked" Took it home, and did not run the air for a few days. Stayed dry. Ran the A/C yest and its wet again. Not yet soaking. It's just plain water. No smell, not sticky. Convertible top with no rain --we are in a drought, and I do not think it is getting in from the outside. Spent $45 for "dignostics" and still no answer. Help.
  • meltedwhiskymeltedwhisky Member Posts: 3
    My problem sounds a lot like nlkflint's. Only it does not seem to affect the passenger side and I haven't noticed any thing on the rear floor, just front driver's side floor. Here in SC it rains a lot so to isolate the problem I let the floor dry out real good and have been driving around with no AC and with most mats removed so I can quickly check for water each time I get in the car. Not fun when it's 100° outside. Last weekend I took out the center console and still cannot find any obvious leaks around the AC coil unit housing. I also did the AC drain hose drip check last weekend and it did drain then onto the driveway, profusely, which I took as a good sign. Yesterday it was really hot so I ran the AC, and sure enough later found the floor wet. I am stumped. Rain is not seeming to affect the situation. I usually park uphill at home and level at work. Never downhill.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I seem to recall a problem with the Eclipse driver's side outside mirror leaking through the gasket, into the door.
  • flightssflightss Member Posts: 1
    I've been trying to remove the ventilation panel on my door for the last 12 hours to get to two screws i need remove. I took pictures of the clips that are holding the ventilation in place . can someone tell me how to remove these clips (what tool to use) and tell where to go to replace them. My car is a 96 eagle talon.



    thanks :confuse:
  • jwhurleyjwhurley Member Posts: 2
    My 2003 Lexus GX 470 has a leak somewhere that is coming up from under the floor carpet in the back seat. You can't see the water collecting, but you can feel it. In addition, the car has begun to smell terribly. Where do I start?

    I appreciate any advice.

    Thank you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    test the sunroof drains after you've dried out the water. You may have to pull up your carpeting to see what's going on and you'll have to pull it anyway to get rid of the smell.

    Have you had any work done to the doors on that side recently (stereo speakers, etc.?)
  • jwhurleyjwhurley Member Posts: 2
    Where are the sun roof drains? How do I locate them? I have never had work done to it and I bought it new. I took it to the Lexus dealer and they could find anything, but I dont think they check the sunroof drain.

    Thank you so much.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    When you open the sunroof you should see little drain holes right in the rails the sunroof operates in.

    If you pour a little water in those holes,you should see water draining out under the car. Some sunroofs have two drain holes on each side (front and rear), some have only one per side.

    If nothing drains out, then it's draining into the headliner or somewhere in the car's interior.

    You can also spread newspapers near the doors and hit the car with a hose and see if water is intruding through the windows or the bottoms of the doors.
  • mistmist Member Posts: 5
    Ok, not really but its starting to be a real problem.
    I have a 95 Ford Contour.
    The other day we had a really good rain storm and I went out to the car and noticed that the passenger side was soaked. Well today we had another one. This time I happen to be in the car and driving. There was no leak till I stopped. When I stopped there was a gush of water from under the passenger side dash.
    I started playing around and found out where the water was coming from. Its seems that for some reason that the water is flowing down the air ducts into the blower fan :confuse: . I played around with the fan selector switch and found that more water comes in when it is set to the outside selection. DUH right. The water still comes in when it is set to the inside selections as well. Not as much but still at a good leaking faucet rate. I have no idea how this could be happening. It has never been a problem till I got here in Georgia.

    IF anyone could guide me in the right direction or even suggest why this might be happening that would be great. :)
  • tm0818tm0818 Member Posts: 1
    I have some leak in back of my Tahoe. These windows do not open but my rear carpet is getting wet somehow and smells great on the hot southern GA days. Help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Probably the drain hole for the fresh air vents (where your wipers are) is clogged and now you have a fish tank there. You'll have to pop off the fresh air vent (some cars use a few screws) and I bet you'll see a tank of water. You can unplug the drain with compressed air or carefully scoop the muck out of there and then use a popsicle stick or something not too narrow and sharp...you don't want to dislodge the drain tube.

    What happens is that little bits of tree debris, etc get in there, then over time it bio-degrades and turns into a sludge.
  • madatmazda6madatmazda6 Member Posts: 1
    I haven't read a problem exactly like mine, but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice.

    I bought a Mazda6 2006 and when it rains hard the back passenger sides floor gets flooded. When I first saw this I took it in and they did a "Water test" and found nothing. I couldn't believe they didn't find anything, take in mind that when I brought it in the water was there and you could splash in it if wanted. :mad: They said they couldn't fix something they couldn't find, but if it continues to call back. Well it has and when I called back they said that all they could do was another "Water test", but if they can't find a problem they couldn't fix it still. .... A problem??? There's water in my new car, there's a problem! :mad: I'm wondering if there's someone out there that could please shine a light on things before I bring it in again, maybe suggest other ways of dealing with this if they can't "find a problem". I'm one step away from reporting them to the B.B.B for my :lemon: Thanks for any help that might come my way.
  • kabobgtkabobgt Member Posts: 1
    I have a water leak coming up from floor into carpet, behind front seat track, to the right of the tranny case.
    I had a mechanic blow out the a/c drain line (I think?) but still have the problem. Car doesn't have a moon roof and leaks regardless of the weather. CAN ANYONE HELP ME PLEASE?
    Thank you!
  • josep35josep35 Member Posts: 2
    99 Dodge Stratus

    I've noticed recently that there is always a wet spot on the front passenger side. It smells awful, and actually reminds me of dirty coolant. It is a brownish color, but not oily. I think the coolant might be leaking into the floorboard somehow, but don't know what causes that or where to look to attempt to isolate it. The car doesn't run hot or idle bad or anything, so I am at a loss. Anybody know where I can begin looking? No sunroof, and doesn't matter the weather.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Sounds like your heater core is leaking. Inside the cabin on the inside of the firewall, typically on the passenger side is a heater core. The heat from the engine passes thru something that looks like a little radiator, which heats the air as the air is forced thru it. If that gets a leak, it leaks inside the passenger compartment. YOu will probably find your radiator coolant getting lower because of this leak.

    Don't know for your car, but this can be a bear of a job to replace.... not real expensive for the part, but a lot of labor.
  • josep35josep35 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the tip. Quick question, it's summer in Houston and the heater hasn't been used in almost a year. Why would the air need to be heated if i am not using the heater, or does it do that all the time?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    That heater core is connected to the engine coolant system, so it is always connected and pressurizes when the engine heats up. Whether the air goes thru that heater core or not, is dependant upon how you have the temperature switch. There is typically a damper door inside the air plenum, which directs the air and 'mixes' cold and hot air to get the temperature you desire. There may also be a valve in the heating line to vary the amount of heated coolant that goes thru the heater core.

    But regardless, the core is always pressurized and has coolant from the engine.
  • ifixleaksifixleaks Member Posts: 4
    Do you have rear a/c......it would be on pass side. cut end off of drain nipple and see if water drains out.
  • ifixleaksifixleaks Member Posts: 4
    There is one critical screw on pass side cowl not the little endcap piece but the long piece,,,glue that screw in under it is the fresh air intake.
  • praestopraesto Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 Regal. bought used, that for the first year had no problems with water. Suddenly I'm finding water on the passenger side floor every time it rains.

    I have found that when the car is parked level or with the nose facing down it doesn't matter how hard it rains eveything stays dry. Only when the nose is facing up, even a little, does the water come in.

    This happened with no warning and there was no accident or work done on the firewall area. The interior filter located on the firewall had not been touched. I've been told that there is a "gutter" or railing that runs along the firewall that is designed to run off water to the side. Is it possible that it could have fallen off?

    The water seems to collect towards the center of the car but leaks out at the lowest point in the interior, the far right side near the fender wall. I have seen discussions about this problem from a few years ago but no one seemed to have an answer. Any updates?
  • burbanfreekburbanfreek Member Posts: 1
    I have a 62 lesabre and there is water coming in behind the front kick pannles would this be from a blocked cowl vent tube ? or something else i have the dash off but i dont see anything do i need to take the cowl off ?
  • aniaania Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 Regal and I have exactly the same problem as praesto! The leak shows up on the passenger side only and only after the rain. Those two positions seemed also to be working the best in avoiding the leak. Do you have any ideas what can it be? Please help, Florida can be very rainy....
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