Water Leaks -- How to Find and Fix



  • johnequickiiijohnequickiii Member Posts: 4
    I just fixed a leak in one of my coolant lines, the line between the water pump, the oil cooler, and the heater core. Now that it's fixed, the water pump seems to leak coolant ONLY when the car is cold. Once it has warmed up, the leak stops, only to return once the car has cooled down again, pretty much emptying all of the coolant.

    My question is, What could this leak be, where could it be coming from, and how would I go about making it go away.

    I heard that there is some sort of spray that, when sprayed on the OUTSIDE of the water pump, will seal any leaks. Is this true, and would it work for a long time, or only a short one.

    Thanks in advance for any help yall can lend.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No there is nothing you can do from the outside. A water pump leak will sometimes leak only when it is not moving...once it starts to spin, the shaft seal can swell or move around and prevent leakage---but once you shut the engine off, the water can slowly leak down the shaft and past the seal.

    Probably you need a new pump.

    Also, stop leak hat you add to the cooling system will NOT work on a water pump, so don't go there.
  • johnequickiiijohnequickiii Member Posts: 4
    Damn... ok Thanks for the insight.

    Probably not easy to replace the leaky seal either, is it?

    Actually, what I meant to ask was... I see you can buy a replacement gasket for a water pump. Would THAT be the problem, or might it be something else in the water pump?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Between the cost of parts, and the cost of labor now a days......if you have to take it apart, I'd also replace the pump so there is a high likelihood that you don't have to take it apart again.

    Just think of how you'd feel, if 5K or 10K miles from now that water pump bearing totally goes out, and now you have to take it apart again (or pay someone to do that), to do the job all over again.

    If it was me pulling it apart, it's getting a new pump, new radiator hoses, and coolant.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    The water pump has failed. You will also need a new gasket along with a new water pump. Both parts are inexpensive and I wouldn't even consider to change one without changing the other.
  • johnequickiiijohnequickiii Member Posts: 4
    Here's another question I should've asked. There is oil in my coolant overflow. What, I HATE to ask, would cause that one? lol
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    If your head gasket is leaking between the coolant and the cylinder, you'll get exhaust oily residue in the coolant. The coolant into the engine/cylinders/bearing areas is the bad part of this equation.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Better head on down to a dealership and see if the car qualifies for Cash for Clunkers. ;)

    Oil with coolant? Best guess would be blown head gasket. The other way to check is to see if there is coolant in the oil.
  • johnequickiiijohnequickiii Member Posts: 4
    There doesn't seem to be any coolant in the oil at all, just vice versa.

    So... More than likely, to resolve these issues, replace the water pump, gasket, and the head gasket? That should, hopefully, do it. ^^;
  • jrkesqjrkesq Member Posts: 4
    I have a water leak on the driver's side front floor after it rains. The passenger side front is slightly damp but the driver's side is very wet. I understand that the front passenger side leak is common...but the driver's side is not common. Any advice as to the cause and how to fix? It would be greatly appreciated.
  • ralkaralka Member Posts: 72
    the hood release cable / grommet is the culprit in many cases, water flow's from the plennum area onto the cable than runs down the cable to the grommet section at the firewall . sometimes the part of the grommet which the cable passes through is torn or stretched which allows the water to run into the car freely . access the inside firewall where the cable passes through and than let water run down the left side windshield after a little time you should be able to see the water entering if this is the problem.the fix is to seal the open section or replace the cable(with grommet). also check for windshield leaks .
  • ezas314159ezas314159 Member Posts: 1
    Here is where the water was coming into my 1996 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It took forever to find it. It would leak even when parked. I finally used some food coloring in some water and poured it in by the vent where the wipers are. Water in the front of the windshield is how I had isolated it to this area just like gkwiatkowski did. I had to patch it from the inside though since it didn't look like I could get at it even with the left fender removed. It is the Urethane that was leaking. I had to remove the emergency brake and all the insulation under the carpet up there. This is as far up towards the firewall you can get, see the hood release to the left in the picture. I patched it over with some 3M Windo-Weld and so far so good.
    Picture of where my Delta 88's leak was
  • kjk9728kjk9728 Member Posts: 1
    After 3 days of heavy rain, my brand new 2010 acura tsx (bought in November) started leaking through the front overhead console light and the headliner in front of the console next to the windshield was soaking wet, radiating over a few inches on each side behind the visors. The water was only in the center of the ceiling, next to the windshield. The dripping only happened 1 time while driving, it was a small stream of water, then stopped dripping after a second. The moonroof was completely closed and dry, could not find any moisture around it at all.

    The car is currently at the dealer, after running a hose on it for a couple hours today, they were unable to recreate the leak, tomorrow they will try leaving it in the car wash for a while. I have a feeling they are not going to be able to find the problem, of course they were closed when it happened, so they could not see it.

    Any ideas what could cause this kind of leak, or other ways to figure out what is going on?
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    -Clogged drain on the moonroof.
    -Windshield is not sealed across the top. You said you were driving the car when it leaked, right? The dealer may not be able to find the leak when it is sitting still.

    P.S. Many years ago, my wife bought me a 'leak detecter' from Sears. (Why? I don't know. She's a wife.). This is a machine that has a small black box with battery that you put inside a car. It emits an high-pitched sound. There there is a large detecter box with a rubber hose attached, also battery driven. You move the hose around until it 'hears' the emitter box. That's where the leak is. This thing will also find a vacumn leak because sucking air also creats an ultrasonic noise.

    I would think that some nice equiped body shop would have one of these devices. After a major rebuild of a wreck, there could be leaks that this device can find.
  • ricardo50ricardo50 Member Posts: 1
    Picked up this car from a dealer last week.
    Noticed 2" of water standing in the passenger footwell.
    Read some of your posts here.
    Removed soaking wet front passenger carpet with foam backing.
    Poured some water in the sunroof drain channel. Right front ponded water at drain.
    Used a straw and blew some air down the drain line. (wife says I'm just full of hot air). Noticed debris/water loosening at the drain out/ wheel well of right front tire.
    Could not get trim off of the A pillar and could not find auto manual for it.

    Frustrated, took car to Volvo mechanic to remove seats, console and rest of carpet (soaking wet at rear passenger side). Mechanic said they found blockage in A pillar drain out.

    Mechanic says they used a shop vac but the carpet has 4-5" of dense polystyrene? attached to it and it is still very wet... hard to dry out when it is cold and rainy out..

    I don't want mold to set in, any ideas on how to get the carpet/foam dryed out completely?
    I'm tempted to pick the carpet up and rent a dehumidifier for a day or so.

    Thanks for any ideas.
  • gdh1gdh1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 Dodge Ram Quad, when I folded up the backseat to store some gear, it was storing water! The seats were dry, the carpet was dry, just the stoarges under both seats. You can fold up either the rear passenger seat or the rear drivers seat, and there was water on both sides. Just had a recent heavy rain. Have know idea where it is getting in! Help please!
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    Do you have the sliding rear window (which is what I have on my 2005 Dakota)?. Maybe the water is leaking in there.
  • gdh1gdh1 Member Posts: 3
    Yes I do, good suggestion, I will check that out. Thanks.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    Also the 'high brake light' on the rear of the cab on pickups have a seal. If bad, water comes in here.
  • gdh1gdh1 Member Posts: 3
    I will check that also...may have to wait for a good rain to find out exactly where the water is coming in. Thanks.
  • rderrder Member Posts: 1
    I have an Accord EX 2000, which has the same problem. The trunk seal looks perfect, but the rain water comes into the trunk through a hole near the passenger side speaker. I saw water gushing in when snow started melting after the major snowfall on the east coast last February. Water collects in the spare wheel well, outlets of which I have had to unplug to drain out the water. Since it was covered by mats etc., I didn't realize until I lifted up the mat one day and saw rust in the well. I don't feel any moisture in the car back seat or anywhere, bu the inside of the car fogs up unusually.

    Did you get your car fixed? How and where? What was the problem? And how much did it cost? I would appreciate you or anybody letting me know. Thanks
  • romanmarromanmar Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT V6 SOHC which leaks water on the driver's side floor whenever it rains. I see the water comes down along the firewall inside of the car. There is some sort of black rubber possibly for protection in the event of a fire covering the firewall along the interior of the car. It seems like a lot of disassembly might be required to remove this rubber intact. I would appreciate any suggestions in locating the cause of this leak and fixing the leak. If I pour water down the plastic grill in front of the windshield I see water leaking into the cabin along the firewall. Is there any sort of drian that could be clogged? It also occured to me that maybe some area of the metal below the plastic grill rusted and is letting water through.

    When I pour water on either the passenger or drivers side grill in front of the windsheild the water seems to come out in multiple places along the door and below the car. Not sure what is supposed to happen exactly. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Water does not seem to leak in on the passenger side.
  • ytnewtruofytnewtruof Member Posts: 1
    Hey i have a 95 honda civic dx 2 door and there is water in the bottom of my trunk and the floors in front and back are wet and my back seats are wet, what is causing this and how can i fix this can someone please help me?
  • jeet_kune_joejeet_kune_joe Member Posts: 1
    water seems to be dripping down to the floor, dripping somewhere from between the door and dash... It soaks my front and back passenger carpets... doesnt seem to be the door but i could be wrong. somebody help please! gimme some reference points to where it could be coming in from and how to fix without going to a mechanic. Thanks for your help, or just for reading...
  • dondivadondiva Member Posts: 1
    I have a '99 Ford Expedition that has an annoying leak that appears every so often on the drivers side after a good rain. I have actually had water to pour in a stream on my foot while it was on the brake pedal. The water doesn't show nor does it cause problems every time it rains, it will usually cause problems after a couple of days to a week after the rain. The fuse box will usually get wet which causes everything to malfunction(defroster running,wiper blades starting/stopping,radio turning on/off,security system engaging-all without the key in the ignition,slow start/or not at all). I have had my windshield replaced and even resealed as I was told that the windshield was the source of the problem. However,this did not solve the problem!! I have replaced the fuse box twice, which can get pretty pricey. I was recently told that it may be a body seam and that I should go to a body shop and have someone take a look at it. After making a few calls, it appears that everyone that I talked to is a little hesitant to even take a look at it. This vehicle had been wrecked before I purchased it. I am desperate, please help!!!!!!! :cry:
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Not sure how anyone can really help via the internet. Sounds like to me that whoever put the vehicle back together after the wreck, either left off a gasket, or didn't close a weld, or they could have mistakenly closed a drain, or something else like that.

    It's going to take a lot of hands on sleuthing to try and determine what is causing the problem. Your problem is undoubtedly complicated by the fact that it was wrecked. The bad thing is, this water is going to ruin your electricals and cause many other problems down the road. You're going to need to fix it, or dump it.
  • pashukopashuko Member Posts: 3
    i have a pontiac montana and on the long runs with the a/c on the water go's in side the car the driver and passenger the carpet get all wet but only on long runns
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    A drain hole in a pan that's under the evaporator coil is clogged up somewhere.
  • hugdianehugdiane Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 2002 Vue too. I want to get it fixed but am not sure how to do it.
  • willis3willis3 Member Posts: 76
    The repair work was covered under the extended warranty, so I do not know the cost. However, the Honda dealer did keep the car for a week to perform the work.

    Just to recap, the leak was from the sunroof which was not draining properly and leaking into the trunk and cabin.
  • ryestormryestorm Member Posts: 2
    Hi Rainchaser,
    Could you possibly let me know what I would be looking for? My neon does not have a sunroof. I have had to remove my back seat all together, as the water seems to be leaking near the seat belt lock... please send me responses to [email protected]
    Any helo is greatly appreciated.
  • ryestormryestorm Member Posts: 2
    I have the same issue..I know the water is coming in from the back seat near the seatbelt lock.. as I have taken out my seat all together... any advice?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Have you tested for leaking tail light assembly? You ca spread some newspaper in the trunk, then close it and spray the trunk and tail lights with a hose or car wash wand, then open the trunk and see where/if the water is coming in. If it is the tail lights, it's not the gasket around the lens itself, but rather the seal around the entire body of the tail light assembly. Sometimes you can tighten this up with thumbscrews provided, or you might have to seal it from the outside with some clear LATEX sealant, which is water-soluble and not messy like silicon
  • jrkesqjrkesq Member Posts: 4
    My 2001 Lincoln Towncar has a terrible water leak both driver and passenger side. I had a window glass installer check and he claimed no windshield leak. I removed the cover and cleaned the tray under the windshield wipers but still get soaked carpets when it rains. A couple years back I had the wiper motor replaced...nor sure if there is a gasket or seal there that is the problem. Car windshield frosts up on the inside from the moisture inside the car due to the damp carpets. I place towels down under the mats and they get completely soaked. Top of the mats are dry. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    When you cleaned the tray under the wipers did you also check and clear the drains under each tray? You should be able to test this by pouring a shotglass or two of water in there and you should see it dribbling on the ground.
  • jrkesqjrkesq Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply..I have free flow of water from the three drain holes in the tray area (left middle and right side) water runs out to the ground. I used silocone sealer around the screened vent in the tray that is in front of the passenger side. (often cited as the cause of leaks on the passenger side). It rained eariler today and the towels under the mats were soaked again. I can't understand how the water is getting into both sides of the interior. Any other thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    How hard is it to remove the floor mats - down to bare metal? If you can do that, you might be able to locate the approximate source of the water - see if it's dripping from the center of the dash, running down the inside of the firewall, or down along inside of the car (the parts that are usually covered up with carpeting).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Do you have a sunroof?
  • jrkesqjrkesq Member Posts: 4
    No I don't have a sun roof. A prior posting suggests that it might be a leak where the hood release cable goes through the fire wall? Any thoughts on that and how to fix. Lastly,,, a couple of years back I had the wiper motor replaced. Is that located where a leak could occur? If a possible source of the problem...any ideas on how to fix that... Thanks all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well I suppose the wiper motor didn't seal too well against the firewall--but gee that's a long shot.

    So have you ever tested the windshield gasket, using the newspaper method I outlined (laying down newspaper on the floor prior to the test, or against the firewall inside the passenger compartment?)

    Have you ever had the door panels off on this car for a repair?
  • nancy65nancy65 Member Posts: 4
    I have water building up inside my car on the driver's side ceiling between the window & windshield. It becomes saturated after raining & then a small drip starts which ends up getting my seat wet. I had it checked by my insurance agent who said it is not covered but suspected it was a windshield problem. I've had it checked by 2 glass guys who said they cannot tell till they remove the old windshield & even if they replace it, that still might not be my problem. Is there an easier way to approach this problem? Thanks to all that reply.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Why don't you read back in the topic a bit and look at suggestions for sunroof leaks and for leaks from the fresh air vent cavity under the wipers?
  • nancy65nancy65 Member Posts: 4
    I do not have a sun roof.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay then...there are drains in the cavity under the windshield wipers--where the fresh air comes in for the car's interior. If any debris, dried leaves, junk from trees, gets washed in there by the rain, eventually this organic matter forms a kind of plug in the drains---then more rain comes in, or melting snow, and you've got a little fish tank in there.

    What has to be done to check this is to remove the cowl plate below the wipers and peek in there and see if there's water accumulating. The drain itself usually ends up as part of a rubber tube that sticks out of the firewall and drips /drains onto the ground beneath the car---but of course if the drains are plugged, it's going to leak into your car.
  • nancy65nancy65 Member Posts: 4
    My leak is on the CEILING. Would a plugged drain in the cavity under the windshield wipers cause leaking that far up or would that just be found on the floor?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh no...I didn't catch that part. So you have a leak on the headliner and you don't have a sunroof? Is that right?

    And where exactly do you think the leak starts? Is it near the front of the headliner, or on the side, or.....

    My only guess at this point is that a roof leak on a car without a sunroof as either got to be a windshield seal leak up top there, or if not that, then a leaking seam where they didn't weld it properly.

    you might have to drop the headliner in that case.
  • nancy65nancy65 Member Posts: 4
    When the area becomes saturated, you can feel it almost all along the area just above the side window all the way to the windshield. The wettest point is in the corner before the windshield. When there is a lot of rain (which we've had) it becomes so saturated that a drip of water starts & that's how my seat gets wet. I just wonder if going to all the expense of replacing what looks like a perfectly good windshield may end up being a waste of time & money and in the end the origin of the leak will be in the area above the side window. It's like exploratory surgery. I'll just be having guys replacing stuff till the leak stops. It seems like there should be a more efficient way to solve the problem.
  • psd3psd3 Member Posts: 1
    Have Honda Accord 1995- recently, when I pulled the rear passenger side seat belt, got water on the seat. There is water in the trunk too- seems water is entering from the underbelly- any ideas?
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    What makes you think the water is coming in from below the car?

    I would look for a bad rear windshield seal, or a dried out/cracked gasket between the trunk lid and the trunk.
  • walnut3walnut3 Member Posts: 1
    Would it be the same for a Chev. HHR 2006 we have like a mine lake inside ?
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