Water Leaks -- How to Find and Fix



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think this car had a problem with leaks through the outside mirror base. You might pop the door panel and apply a hose to the mirror and see what happens.
  • jaxmyersjaxmyers Member Posts: 1
    This is a great site, thanks for hosting. I'm experiencing the water leak with my 2003 Eclipse. I confirmed that it is only from the A/C, not rain, not coolant. My carpets are soaked on the drivers side (only) and I finally pulled up the carpet to get the pooled water from underneath. I started the car and within 2 minutes, water was streaming down from where the A/C (condenser? its black and plastic) goes into the firewall...behind the gas pedal. Is this a case of clogged drain that I can fix? Or is it the famous "gasket gone bad" that the dealer says and will take about $700.00 to fix!

    Also, this seems to be a common problem. Are there any cases of dealer recalls to fix this?

    Thank you for your help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No.: TSB-04-55-008
    DATE: September, 2004
    MODEL: See below


    This TSB supercedes TSB-03-55-008REV, to update the affected vehicles and warranty information. New information is indicated by a shaded triangle or an arrow.


    Debris (such as leaves, etc.) entering the front cowl area may clog the evaporator housing drain tube. If this occurs, the evaporator housing may fill up with condensation and overflow into the passenger compartment, and into the blower motor through the cooling tube. To eliminate this condition, clean the debris from the tube and the case, then install a blower motor housing filter as described in this bulletin.

    On Lancer models produced before 9/25/02, also install special wiper pivot caps onto the wiper pivot shafts as described in TSB-03-51-001.

    --> Refer to TSB-04-55-007 for Endeavor and 2004 Galant repair procedures for HVAC drain blockage.

    2002-2003 Lancer
    2003 Outlander
    2000-2004 Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder
    1999-2003 Galant

    1. Confirm proper blower motor operation.

    2. Clean debris from the evaporator housing drain tube and evaporator case.

    3. On Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder and 1999-2003 Galant models only: Refer to TSB-01-55-002 for filter installation procedures.

    4. Remove the glove box lid.

    5. Install a blower motor housing filter (listed in the PARTS INFORMATION section of this bulletin) a follows:

    a. Use a knife to cut a section from the top of the blower motor housing, along the perforated lines as shown.

    b. Install the filter with the air flow directional arrow pointing down.

    c. On Lancer and Outlander models only: Secure the filter with two 5X14 self-lapping screws.
  • ec8ec8 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a similar problem with my 03 eclipse. I have discovered that the water is leaking from the sunroof. I think the water is getting in through the forward corner of the sunroof and traveling under the molding and on to the floor. Next time you get rain, feel the fabric for wetness just above the top of the window. Also check the track for any obstructions. I found part of a round rubber bushing in the track. that had broken off. Obviously the sunroof is not seating properly. I hope this helps. I'm still working on a solution.
  • moeburgermoeburger Member Posts: 5
    that's it. thanks so much.
  • bella123bella123 Member Posts: 1
    Water leaks inside onto the driver's side floor after a rain storm whether driving or parked. It can be a substantial leak, up to a quarter inch or more. This can also be duplicated with a hose. I can't detect where the leak is coming from but I've had my windsheild replaced. I thought it was the windshied gasket but was told by a windsheild technician the gasket was intact. How can I locate the leak?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You could try placing newspaper on the floor, up against the firewall and then down toward your driver's seat--then hit it with the hose.

    You can also test your fresh air vent drain by pouring 1/2 cup of water into the vents (under the wipers) and seeing if it drains immediately under the car. If not, then your drains are plugged in there and overflowing into the driver's area through the firewall.
  • mbehlokmbehlok Member Posts: 3

    Did you find a fix. I just found the same exact issue with my 2004 Eclipse GT. I see some gaps in the front of the track (Both Sides) I just filled with Silicone to see if that helps.. But was wondering if there ay have been something else that you found to fix it.


  • moeburgermoeburger Member Posts: 5
    I haven't "fixed it" yet. when the leak occurred, it shorted out my stereo amplifier--ruined it. this is going to cost hundreds to fix. i've just covered the car and am using another vehicle until i can get both fixed. good luck!
  • moeburgermoeburger Member Posts: 5
    just another quick note: you'll definitely want to assure no more water gets in. the amplifier is under the passenger seat (great place for it). you don't want to have to replace this!
  • dragonfire1dragonfire1 Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I just had a similar problem with my eclipse. There was a heavy rain storm a couple of days ago here and water was leaking from the passenger side where the plastic beam and the headliner meet. I covered my leather seat with plastic, but the floor board got soaked so badly, I'm still waiting for it to dry out. I opened my sunroof and cleared out the drains in the front and back of it with a rigid wire. I did the same with the drains in the hatchback. I also found a ton of debris (leaves, dirt, etc.) inside the doors where they meet with the front fenders. I removed all the debris and then tested everything I cleaned by pouring a small amount of water into all drainage holes to make sure the water would run freely through the drains and out of the car which it did. The water should flow out behind the front tires. When checking the hatchback drains, the water should flow out behind the back tires. All my drains are clear now so I hope no more problems. I hope this info will help someone out.
  • mbehlokmbehlok Member Posts: 3
    I did check all of the drains and they were ok. Where I did find it leaking oddly enough was through the silver part of the track on the front 2 corners. There is a black plastice piece that crews into the silver track, and there was a gap. I dont think that water should be getting there anyways, but after taking the headliner off and having my brother hose down the car, I noticed that the water has been leaking there and driping down the column and to the floor. I siliconed the heck out of that area and it still seems to leak. Almost like it is over flowing over the little gutter that they have made there.. Is anyone else seeing that same issue.. I love the car, but this is really aggravating me... and did I mention the mildew smell is really bad? :cry:

  • mbehlokmbehlok Member Posts: 3
    hahaha, thanks for the info, but this was already replaced by the original owner... Guess it already fried on him..
    This should have been a recall.. My car only has 35K miles on it but the years have expires my warranty.. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now I guess..

  • moeburgermoeburger Member Posts: 5
    same here! mine has 42,000 miles. i just siliconed the heck along the forward enclosure along the metal (getting desperate). will update!
  • cnathanwcnathanw Member Posts: 1
    (2000 Eclipse) If it's water on the driver side floorboard - try this. Standing with the driver door open pour a pitcher of water over the sunroof enough that spills over onto the roof and then rolls down the windsheild...all down the side of the windshield - not toward the fresh air intakes. Water may drip from underneath the fuse housing cover. If so, pull that off continue to pour water. It will probably be coming out of the plastic (interior) cover of the cieling post dripping. The black plastic band that rounds over the roof from the top of the back window to the base of the windsheild actually shifts from back to front about 2 inches total - the passenger side doesn't move at all. Some of the clips may be broke or something.

    Duct taping up the side of the windshield and making sure to cover the small hole at the top were that strip overlaps the windshield strip prevented water from coming into the floardboard. Now its either find more clips to hold it better or some adhesive/silicone to lock it into place and test again. - cnathanw@nospam@ yahoo.com
  • renrewda1renrewda1 Member Posts: 3
    My son just purchased a 1995 civic coupe and has been working through repairing all the leaks. After it was purchased we discovered water in the trunkIt was hit in the right rear Q-panel and whoever did the repair left a few holes to the outside world. He has been using automotive seam sealer to seal all the holes and seams we can find. We still have at least one leak and think it is coming in somewhere near the lower RH side of the rear window but have not definitively located where water is coming in at. We find it dripping down the RH vertical support brace midway between the front and back of trunk. The water appears to be travelling along a seam to the brace. We have tried spraying the area with soapy water and or windex and running the heater but have yet to locate any bubbles. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated on ways of finding and sealing the leak before the Seattle winter hits.

    Our latest attempt was to seal a few inches under the blace trim piece below the window and between the window and the trim piece using 3M clear automotive sealer.

    As I said earlier any help is appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Could be a clogged sunroof drain
  • renrewda1renrewda1 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the suggestion, I did read those solutions but unfortunately this is a plain jane dx with no sunroof.

    Any other ideas on locating the leak? I've been thinking maybe when it got hit it affected the sealant around the window but can't confirm.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You might run some latex caulk around the window seal,sure. Latex caulk is of course easy to clean up with water and can easily be applied with your finger. No muss, no fuss. Seam sealer is actually better for water intrusion from wheel splash, things like that. It's rather over-kill for a drip from gravity---ditto the 3M.
  • renrewda1renrewda1 Member Posts: 3
    Looks like we found the leak. It is below the window on the RH side where the two body pieces meet (rear qtr panel meets up with window) there is a groove. We think the best way to seal it is to remove the interior peice above the trunk (where the speakers mount) and do it from the inside....now just need to figure out how to remove the rear RH and LH side interior panels so we can get the peice above the trunk out. Will let you know if we are successful.

    Thanks again...if you have any pointers on removing the interior pieces let me know.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Never tried to remove one of those. You might have to (gulp) cut and re-weld, I dunno. You might ask your friendly body shop about that one.

    Can't you just pour some goop in there and shake the car? :P
  • kalashnkalashn Member Posts: 1
    Warrenul....did you ever find this leak? The wife just called me and said she has the same problem. It's raining here today, so don't know if this is a coincidence.

    please help!!!
  • sundog24sundog24 Member Posts: 1
    P0507 has something to do with idle speed. Any idea what? What's the fix?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Hi sundog!

    This is the LEAKS department. Might I suggest you post that question here===>

    Technical Questions

    Also give us the year make model of your vehicle when you post that code #.


  • BxItalian65BxItalian65 Member Posts: 2
    I have for a long time been trying to pinpoint why my car leaks water while it is being washed?
    The water comes inside what it looks like to be where the front fender is closest to the door, under the plastic interior and coming into the drivers side floor.
    (NOTE), the floors are completly solid, so where could it be leaking from?
    It also leaks a little near the same place on the passenger side.

    I would be most thankful if you could please fill me in about this problem?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    On a car that old, leaks could be from anywhere, but in your case either a door seal or a mirror seal sounds logical.
  • BxItalian65BxItalian65 Member Posts: 2
    Thank you, That sounds very logical, and will look into it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Take a dollar bill and put it in the door opening at various points, and then close the door. If you can slip it out easily with the door closed, that might be your trouble spot.

    Actually, adjusting for inflation, use a $5 bill. :P
  • ralkaralka Member Posts: 72
    mr Shiftright has the right idea, also i would remove the plastic trim to get a better look. check the side cowl and hinges as well
  • pfhobsonpfhobson Member Posts: 1
    This leak is where the roof meets the support pillar by the drivers head. I have cleaned out the drain tubes for the sunroof with no success. Any other ideas? There is a roof trim piece on the outside that can be removed if that helps. Thanks
  • larsimlarsim Member Posts: 1
    Thanks Sandlapper!

    This problem has plagued me for years. It didn't always leak. Sometimes it would when it rain and sometimes it didn't. When I first bought the car from a used dealership, it leaked for months. Then I got the idea to clean the pine straw and other debris from that tray at the bottom of the windshield and it didn't leak for a couple of years. It just recently started leaking again. But when I clean the tray this time i seemed to leak even more.

    You solution was the REAL fix I needed.

    But could the leaking have caused a problem with the electrical system? My driver seat, trunk, and door locks don't work anymore. I checked the fuses in both compartments and they are fine. Got any ideas on that?
  • tyler09tyler09 Member Posts: 1
    After sitting through an Ontario winter the floor is flooded on both driver side and passenger side front and back, underneath and on top of the carpet. There was also enough water to pool underneath the rear seats which makes me confused about... how it got there obviously.
    I've read some of the posts and it doesn't seem to be a common issue so if anyone has anything on this.. i would like to hear.
    also what would be a good way to dry the carpet?
    the bolts along with the seat rails are both rusted so I'm not confident that it would turn out well to take them off other than drying the carpet

    any information or suggestions are appreciated.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Check the basic drains on all cars.

    Doors have drainage holes in the bottom, which need to be open and draining. Water sloshing in the doors can fill up and leak into the cabin. Moonroof drain holes need to be open, and draining. If they are clogged or tubes off you'll have a problem. Drain holes need to be open for the areas in the engine compartment immediately underneath the front windshield, typical collection point for leaves and other garbage clogging the drains.

    I'm assuming that you are not having to refill radiator coolant. If your heater core is leaking, it will typically drain to the passenger side, but you'd be smelling the antifreeze.

    In a 15 year old vehicle, you'd also need to check the fitting of all of your door and window seals, or rust holes.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You have to pull the carpeting out, along with the underlayment.
  • 2007santafese2007santafese Member Posts: 7
    I recently purchased a used 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe SE with a sunroof. I have read enough forums at this point to know to probably stay clear of high-pressure car wash given the soft gasket Hyundai uses. That being said, the sunroof appears to be seated well, but I notice water dripping into the car at all four corners, and beading-up along the back seam where the gasket meets metal. No leaks at this point beyond the water management system (i.e. it is functioning as designed).

    There seems to be mixed feedback as to whether or not this is acceptable. The local dealership said that it is normal for some water to pass through the gasket and that I shouldn't be worried. Needless to say, I remain concerned. Here are my questions:

    1) Is it normal or acceptable?

    2) If it is, what (if anything) should I be doing as routine maintenance?

    3) Do you have any insight about whether the sunroof drains are problematic in this model (I can't see the back drains, but the front are clear)?

    4) I live in Upstate New York - do you think I will run into a problem during the winter with this "normal" problem?

    Sorry for the lengthy post...thanks in advance for the help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If the sunroof drains are blocked you may get leaks like this. It is definitely not normal. If someone tried to clean the drains with say a wire, this can dislodge the flexible hoses inside the body cavities. You should only use gentle compressed air pressure, not a rigid object.
  • 2007santafese2007santafese Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry if I wasn't clear...water drips into the car and into the trough (water management system). I don't have an actual leak into the car, but rather just dripping past the gasket. Drains are clear up front - I tested those.

    I appreciate your help...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay I didn't understand what you meant...and I STILL dont quite get it. Maybe I'm tired, I"m sorry. Do you mean that with the sunroof closed you'll get water dripping into the car?
  • irir123irir123 Member Posts: 2
    I have a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS 2000 car - last few months, every time it rains, water leaks in and floods the floor on the passenger side - I took the car to a body shop guy, who hosed the car and confirmed that the leak comes from behind the dashboard - took the car to a mechanic who removed the entire dashboard, but could not find any leaks on the firewall there - but he said the water seems to be coming from the left of the dashboard - how do I find it and fix it ?? the water has already messed up my audio system amplifier - the dealer tells me that diagnosis would cost $100 and anything further will cost more - is there a way I can fix it myself ?? thanks in advance
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Didn't anyone check the fresh air vent drain holes under the windshield wipers?!!!

    You have to remove the cowling to see it and hopefully unplug it.

    You can test this easily by pouring a cup of water in the vents beneath the passenger side wiper. You should see the water coming out the bottom of the car somewhere. If you see it dripping onto your passenger's feet, well you have your answer.

    Debris from leaves, junk in the air collects in that cavity, turns to a hard muck, and then you have a fish tank in there that sloshes over into the interior.
  • irir123irir123 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input - my mechanic took out the plastic cowling and we did see some water collected in the chamber below that - but that still does not explain how it is getting into the car, does it ?if the junk collected there is the reason, how do I clean it up ?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    If you have water pooling in there, that's undoubtedly your problem as shifty indicates. Get a wet/dry shop vac, and suck all that gunk out of there. There are drain holes on the bottom, make sure you open them up with a wire or something so the water that goes in drains out (and not in your car).

    There are a holes thru the firewall for wires/cables/tubes/etc, that if water builds up in there the water will then go thru the firewall and into the car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    yep you got a fishtank. No water should be in there. Do as kiawah suggests and then unplug the drain holes on both sides.

    That cavity is not meant to be waterproof. Every time you accelerate, water will slosh against grommets or cabling or wiring going through the firewall.
  • 2007santafese2007santafese Member Posts: 7
    OK - let me try to explain again.

    To answer your question - no, not into my car. When my sunroof is closed, water drips into the water management system, but has not leaked into the interior of my car (not on my seats, carpet, etc.). It isn't creating a problem (yet), but rather I don't understand how it can be explained as "normal" for the gasket/seal to not keep water out. Frankly, it gives me a headache.

    Note that the gasket is a soft, fuzzy rubber seal. I hope this is provides a clearer description. My question for the original post again:

    1) Do you think it is normal or acceptable for this to be happening?

    2) If it is, what (if anything) should I be doing as routine maintenance (i.e. silicon lubricant on the gasket)?

    3) Do you have any insight about whether the sunroof drains are problematic in this model (I can't see the back drains, but the front are clear)?

    4) I live in Upstate New York - do you think I will run into a problem during the winter with this "normal" problem?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    OHHHHHH....now I know what you're talking about....the term "water management" threw me...it's not a common usage for an automobile, but is a good descriptor actually.

    Contrary to popular belief...TA DA....sunroofs are NOT completely watertight, so yes, it is normal for a small amount of water to enter the drains and exit the vehicle even with the sunroof securely shut.

    If your drains were plugged up, the water WOULD enter the cabin.
  • 2007santafese2007santafese Member Posts: 7
    The terminology actually came from dealer description...I suppose everything is more complicated these days.

    OK - if it is normal, is there anything I should be doing to maintain the gasket with silicon lubricant, etc.? Have you ever heard of anyone having trouble during the winter?

    Thanks again for your insight...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    probably the best thing you can do is keep the channels free of debris.
  • ralkaralka Member Posts: 72
    water does pass by the sunroof gasket , different vehicles have different gasket and roof configurations and some will have more leakage past the seal than others .
    This is normal and the water than enters the water management system draining to the front or rear drain hoses. If the sunroof itself is out of adjustment it can allow excess water into the management system and overload the drains and leaking into the headliner and eventually onto the floor. it is always a good idea to lubricate the gasket with a silicone or dielectric grease (clear) works very well to. always remove debris from the water management tray, as it will eventually clog the drainskk
  • imsobuffaloimsobuffalo Member Posts: 1
    There is water coming in from my driver side window along the top of the window (where it begins to bend toward the windshield). It's come in as it's been raining, which has been very frequent as of late. I checked the seal around the door and it looks to be in fine condition. What else could it be, and what would I be looking at in the way of repair cost?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    It's easy for the window frame to be bent slightly.

    Check by getting a strip of paper. Close the door on the paper in different positions around the seal, to see where the paper is tight when you try to pull it out, and where it is loose and easy to pull out.

    If the window frame is bent, you can open the door and gently press on the frame to bend it slightly in.
Sign In or Register to comment.