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Water Leaks -- How to Find and Fix



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    You pop off the vent under the wipers (probably have to take off the wiper blades, then unscrew the shield) and then bail out the fish tank and then either poke a stick or blow air through the vent.

    What typically happens is that biomass (leaves, twigs, whatever) filters into the vent, then it all gets wet, breaks down into a wet clump and forms a pretty darn good bathtub stopper.

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  • yankee1951yankee1951 Posts: 10
    Boy are you teaching ME STUFF..........I did not know that the vent came off!
    I will let you know what happens..........
  • yankee1951yankee1951 Posts: 10
    The grill under the wipers does not pop off it is part of the body of the car........
    Any suggestions?
  • dmw2dmw2 Posts: 3
    Just so you know.....I got my leak fixed today for $6.34. They didn't have the new cowling, but used a couple of cut up plastic anti-freeze jugs that they glued together and put in a new rubber gasket over the top. The water specialist said that a guy from Detroit had showed him the trick. As you said, my rubber gasket had totally fallen off!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    that can't be right...there must be access to the drains....???

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  • yankee1951yankee1951 Posts: 10
    I have no idea
    I know that this is what is causing the front driver's leak now so for the moment, until I can find a way to unclog it.........I did what every good person does.......
    ..........I PUT DUCT TAPE OVER IT! :)
    IF you find out how I get to it............PLEASE let me know & this will solve the front leak!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    What kind of car is this and what year? A '74 ????

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  • yankee1951yankee1951 Posts: 10
    It is a 1974 VW Super Beetle
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    Ah, ok. I don't have manuals going back that far, so I can't tell you how to access those drains.

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  • yankee1951yankee1951 Posts: 10
  • thomasdgthomasdg Posts: 2
    I have a 1990 Miata that I love (in the warm months) but it has started letting in water in large amounts. A month ago I took the passenger seat out to better mop out that side.(water only appears on the passenger side) When I took the lower seatbelt bolt loose from the pillar water gushed out. Water is also slowly draining from a rust spot in the drivers rocker panel.

    It is not obvious where the water is coming in. It was not like this when I purchased the car.

    Does anyone know of the location of drain holes that may need opened up?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated, I really do not what to loose it to rot.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    The convertible top drains are usually accessed in most two-seaters by removing the rear trim panels (on either side of the rear shelf)

    Other areas to check are the "squeegee", the rubber trim that sits at the base of the passenger window and wipes the glass clean when you roll down the window. If that's cracked or warped that could allow water to drip down the door and into the car.

    Other than that, water might be able to come in through the trunk by leaking past the tail light lens gaskets.

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  • thomasdgthomasdg Posts: 2
    Thanks, I will check all of these places.
  • ciciwakenciciwaken Posts: 2
    thanks so much for all your help with this. we got it fixed in the nick of time and now no more leak.. plus i know that this is why my blower motor went out last august.. thanks everyone so much..I have a happy car again
  • i have a ford focus v reg and found a rather large puddle on the floor of the passinger site of the car could anyone help with what the problem may be? also my partner has found the same problem in her x reg model too.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    More than likely a drain hose for AC condensation is clogged.
  • camry00camry00 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with a 2000 Camry. A friend says it's fairly common in this style Camry, and that there is a drain somewhere in/behind the dashboard that gets clogged, and you have to clear the clog. Does anyone know how to fix this?
  • stan60stan60 Posts: 5
    My wife's 1999 Grand Prix has had this problem for some time now so today I took the bull by the horns and ripped the area under the wipers apart. The problem is the gasket between the black plastic moulding under the wipers and the windshield deteriorates. Their is a funnel section above your heater fan under this so the water just runs down into the funnel and into your fan motor. Then it overflows onto the floor in heavy rain to the tune of three inches. The repair is easy, remove the full wipers, remove the rubber hood gasket,remove the washer tube and move it forward and pull four plastic plugs holding the moulding in place. Remove and replace the foam gasket on the underside all the way along the area that sits on the windshield. As an extra precaution put a bead of black silicone along that edge after you reasemble everything. Make sure the funnel for the heater fan is placed in the right position before reassemble . Hope this helps somebody get the floor dried out. :)
  • hey I am having the same issue in my 02 sable

    did you ever get any resolution?
  • Mr. Shiftright - you hit the nail on the head. I am experiencing that exact problem right now. When you talk about "warranty work", would a broken passenger mirror be considered?

    That is, I took my car to the VW shop a week ago for them to replace the recalled seat warmers and give an estimate on a broken passenger mirror. Coincidentally enough, my car started to take on water after that episode.

    Any possibility the two are related?

    Any help is much appreciated. I am being charged $400 for this "act of nature" which I think is a serious design flaw.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    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.

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  • 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 CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    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?

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  • 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!
  • 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 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 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!
  • 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 CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    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 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.

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  • sdmsdm Posts: 2
    Thanks for your help. Will wait for the next rains and see what happens.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,758
    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).

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