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Toyota Sienna Water Leaks



  • We had the same problem – water seeping and pooling into the front seat driver and passenger foot wells and soaking the carpets. The final solution was the same – replace the tailgate seal. The car is “raked” forward for style, and water was being channeled down the rear floor corrugations to the front seat foot wells. To verify the problem, you can stick your hand down under the front carpet and padding via the open flap below the glove compartment and also behind the brake pedal. If you remove the rear seats, there are small cutouts around the seat brackets where you can also stick your hand under the padding. If both are damp it has to be from the seal problem.
    You have to replace the seal and remove the carpet to dry it. The carpet has a waterproof base, which will prevent the inch of padding under the carpet to dry without removing it. If the padding remains wet it will create a horrible mold problem. You can remove and dry the carpet yourself, but allow an hour or two to remove the carpet, and an hour to reinstall it.
    To remove the carpet: Remove the backseats, pull the little screw covers off the back seat bracket covers and remove the screws under them, remove the front seats by removing the 4 big screws holding each of them down (carefully unplug the passenger seatbelt sensor beneath the front passenger seat first), pull the plastic driver foot rest plate, and pull the carpet out from under all the plastic scuff plates and trim plates.
    Hang the carpet up in your garage. I draped mine over a horizontal beam with the padding side facing out and set a big fan up under it. It took a day to stop dripping, and 3 more days to dry out the 1 inch thick padding. I then sprayed it with Lysol, Oust, and mold order remover.
    We were able to work the carpet back under the plastic scuff and trim plates without removing them, but there are still a few minor wrinkles in it.
    Note – I had originally tried drying the carpet while it was in the car by propping up some of the wet areas and sticking hair dryers under it for 2 days. I gave up and removed it.
    The official Toyota response was the same: “so sorry – we know of no common problems - please take it to your dealer for repair”.
    One of the other responders suggested removing the carpet and just driving with the floor mats. This was an excellent suggestion. If the padding is wet and you have to wait for a repair appointment or seal delivery, then remove the carpet and start drying it now.
  • I have a leak causing passanger floor to be soaked. My mech checked a/c drain and said it was OK . Can't figure out where the water is coming from. Afraid to take it to dealer could cost a fortune at 90 / hr labor. Looking for help. Only on passanger side.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On similar cars I've heard people say it was a clogged drain. See if you can find it and then maybe use a pipe cleaner to clear it.
  • My leak was fixed when I resealed the rubber housing on the back of the van where the hatch comes down. My friend put some kind of sticky glue on the rubber housing because the rubber was still soft and no replacement needed.

    Looks like the water sipped through the rubber housing and and ran down to the floor on the back of the van. Since the van is tilted forward slightly, the water accumulated under the driver's and passenger's carpet.
  • beardsbeards Posts: 3
    Sunroofs have a trough under the seal with the roof to catch the inevitable leaks and funnel them down 4 tubes in the corners. Park the car on a slope with the sun roof open and slowly pour water from a jug into the trough to see that two of the drains drain to the opposite sides under the car. Park the opposite direction on the slope and test the other 2 drains. To clean out the offending drain, use the long twisted flexible cable from inside a bicycle hand break cable, make sure there are no protruding wires on the end, and rotate it in the direction so that the wires will not untwist as you slide it through the tube leading from the trough. Use Simple Green or a similar non-corrosive detergent while you rotor-root to help break up the gunk in the tube. When clean, it should drain fast and you should hear it slurp the water from the trough once it gets going.
  • Hi Again,

    This is to finalize a long history of my 2002 Sienna water leak (I now have traded it by a 2004) so I hope this info to be a help to someone. Just a few days before we did the trade, I brought my van to a body shop and they indicated to me that on the rear hatch door, on the outside was a little rust around the glass trim (bottom) and that could potentially be the culprit. However, I did not have them check it, I really think that was the reason for this leak. For I had many times prior, tested it myself positioning a water hose in various positions and staying inside the van looking for signs of water which I never found, reason being, I never put the hose over the rear glass. So here's is the thing, when placing the hose, try to put it over the van leaning against the rear glass. Again, I did not test this (because I don't have the van anymore) but I am positive that is where water is coming in. Right before you do the water test, remove the chairs, the bottom plastic trim of rear hatch, and pull the plastic plugs and floor covers that hold carpet to the body, then pull carpet from back towards the front. This way you got an open view to better spot any water from inside while hose is running. Please check my other postings where I explained reason that Oxygen sensors and catalitic converters go bad, specially on this van. Believe it or not, related to this very water leak, I think. Like I've said before, I loved this van, very smooth ride, except the water problem, good luck I hope this helps someone. :)
  • berkbobberkbob Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 sienna with moon roof. First I read 67 posts of horror stories about water getting in the rear hatch and finding its way to the passenger floor. But I'm happy to report that the flooding on my passenger side floor was simply a plugged drain line in sun roof. One hour to read the posts, one hour to squirt water over various surfaces of the van, and only 10 minutes to fix the problem, once replicated. If four drain holes are plugged, the water will overflow from the track area into the headliner and down the side of the windshield pillar. As posted elsewhere, open the sunroof, feel with your fingers the small holes in the four corners, carefully stick a semi-flexible wire to clear the blockage. Clean the sunroof track area of accumulated dirt. Run some water down the tubing. Check the track area several times a year for clean holes.
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    I've tried to find an answer to this - but I'm either coming up with mystery leaks or references to a 2011 recall, nothing concrete.

    I am seriously about to lose my flipping mind over my van.

    I'll try to make a long story short. Last summer I had the van open in the driveway to vacuum it out. My son was aiming a squirt gun at the back of the van - door open. I noticed water in the back - where the 3rd row folds into - and I asked him what he was thinking and made him put the squirt gun away. A few days pass and it isn't drying out. And it smells. I decide the water must be leaking in from rain, and my son had nothing to do with it. Take it to the dealer and they say that there are leaves and stuff in the crack/seal of the rear lift gate and that is the problem. It doesn't seem very plausible to me but I don't really have a lot to argue against here. Clean that out, figure that's it, but the smell remains. I try lysol, alcohol, sun - can't get the smell away. My solution is to keep the third row down so at least I can't smell it.

    Just had a baby a few weeks ago and now we need to use the rear row. Opened it up and it is VERY wet underneath and smells like an open grave. I go to an independant mechanic and say find the leak - they find it but say since the car is so new, I should go to the dealer. Back to the dealer - this time they find the leak and say it has something to do with a floor seal recall and MAYBE that spare tire recall? The paper work says "floor seals replaced during open recall." Is this the spare tire recall??? I asked if they would cover getting the mildew taken care of since this was a recall issue. They told me to call main Toyota - after some back and forth the dealer agreed to clean it. When I went to go pick it up they were making vague references to "You must have left a window open."

    It still stinks. I am now trying to get the dealer to replace the carpet. The customer relations lady is saying this has nothing to do with the recall, this is not our fault, we did everything we can. I told her I had paperwork stating floor seals were replaced and the leak should now be fixed. She was like, OH. Can you fax that over to me?

    All I know is, the water was coming from UNDERNEATH my car. All winter. I did NOT leave a window open (under my car?). The car smells so bad that anything left in it for any length of time needs to be washed. I can't leave my stroller in the back or it stinks - even being in there a few hours, it will smell a little. There's no way I could take this car anywhere like on a road trip where things would have to be left in the van overnight. I don't even feel like it's safe to be driving my kids in this van.

    Has anyone else had this problem? What exactly is the floor seal recall? And does it pertain to the 2008? Because I am just waiting for their response to be, this paper work doesn't matter, the recall doesn't pertain to your vehicle, this is a mistake.

    Worst case scenerio I guess we pay out of pocket to replace the carpet but I don't feel like we should have to do this when the van was leaking from underneath due to no fault of ours.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    I was reading thru a recall notice, and happened to remember the question you posted last month. The floor seal kit is P/N 04000-41145, and is part of the spare tire winch recall. But it is not what you think - it is a set of sponge rubber blocks that help to reduce the amount of salty water that make it up onto the spare tire assembly under the vehicle. It's purpose is to reduce rust to the carrier that sits under the middle seats.
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    Hey - thank you for answering! This is actually bad news for me as that means I STILL don't know why my car is leaking. So a week after faxing the paper work showing "floor seals replaced during open recall. This should correct water intrusion" as well as the paper work saying I had the van in last summer for a leak and they couldn't find one I got a phone call and the lady said it was not their fault, they can't replace the carpet, I had to call Toyota. Five minutes later they called back and said they would replace the carpet. NO idea why. So the carpet has been replaced. I asked that they be sure the leak is fixed while the carpet was out - and my van no longer smells - but now I wonder what if it WAS another issue? I know for sure the water was coming from underneath. I did not leave a window open. It seems to be OK now but I don't have the 3rd row folded down so any moisture would dry faster if anything was coming in.

    So at this point ... I don't know what to do. Maybe I should take it to another dealer and have it tested for leaks???

    The lady at my dealership did say these seals have nothing to do with water leaking in but that was NOT what the service people told me. Hence my confusion. I really don't want a mildewy car again - it was SO gross!!!

    Maybe I should sell it while it smells good and be rid of it? LOL Only problem is we have an 8 seater and I HATE the redesign of the 8 seater so I would want a used one... which could put me right back where I am.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    edited June 2011
    Glad I could help (a little bit...). I understand your frustration. Leaks can drive you crazy, and can be so difficult to trace.

    There are a few plastic plugs in the underbody that lead into the seat well area and into the rear quarter panels. If you look at some of the hitch instructions, they show places where you can route the wiring in from outside. I'd start by making sure they are intact.

    Next, when it rains, open up the jack door (right side) and make sure that area is dry. It could be a roof leak that finds it's way down thru the "C" or "D" pillar and into the lower body structure. It is possible to remove the large plastic interior piece on the left side to check that side as well.

    You will also find the rear AC unit is in the right wall, and there is a condensation drain hose that runs by the jack holder that could be disconnected or leaking.

    Any of these could back up water into the interior.
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    Thank you so much! I will look into those areas. I am inclined to think the AC is not involved because of how this got so much worse over the winter when I was not using the AC but who knows. Those things sound easy enough to look into. I am also going to take it to another Toyota dealer and have them give it a once over just for reassurance. And in the back of my head I still think "sell the car and run!!!!!!" Trying to come up with some answers to this problem it just seems I came up with stories of SO many mystery water leaks in the Sienna. Coming from the spare tire issue which covered such a LONG period of time, it seemed logical to blame that, but maybe, maybe not. I absolutely love the design of this van vs. the captain's chair models (I like how all 3 middle seats are really reasonable seats and can hold a car seat) but I don't like this mystery leak issue.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    With just two kids, we've held to the 7 seat models. But hey, that's why they've been smart enough to build both.

    As far as selling the van, you really need to weigh out all your other positive experiences with it, plus the $$ hit of a short sale. But agree, replacing the carpet is worthless unless you can find and fix the underlying cause - because it will just come back again.

    Please, let us know what you find. This way we all advance our body of knowledge. That's the best way of thanking this board for assisting you!
  • I had the same problem. The rear window on the drivers side had the wrong window seal installed at the factory. Water was leaking around the window onto the floor. Open your rear windows and look at the rubber seal. Mine was drooping and folded under. I hope this helps.
  • smb405smb405 Posts: 1
    I just noticed super wet carpeting on the front driver's and passenger's floor. I pulled up the passenger carpet as far as I could to reveal puddles and a completely soaked "padding." It is also begining to smell musty. What could cause this? I don't notice any obvious leaks around the widows or doors. Thanks.
  • I have the same wet floor on my 2001 Sienna. I have to cut out the carpet in the front to dry them (try to use those special blade used by carpet laying guys to make a clean cut).

    You should check under the carpet on the back of the van near where the lid shut. if they are wet, like mine was, it meant the black seal where the lid shut against the van is leaking water (at least in my case). Since the rubber seal was still soft, I had it re-sealed (I think it was silicone) and my water problem largely disappeared.

    I have the odd wet spot but no puddles.
  • The rear power windows on my '99 Toyota Sienna, are both stuck in the open position. Ever since some significant body work was done on it, one window would periodically get stuck open. Eventually they'd work again. Lately it was happening more often, and now they won't budge at all, since about a week ago. (Discovered when I was in line at a local car wash.)

    Both windows continue to be stuck. Then yesterday the side power door got stuck just a little bit open and I had to drive with the alarm buzzing. No fun. Got that figured that out finally.
    Anyone have some advice on how to get the rear windows to close.

    (The body shop that did the work back in 2007 or '08 said there's a lifetime warranty on their work, but to have the windows checked out I'd have to leave the van with them for about a week, which I can't do, as its the only vehicle I have.)
  • annexitannexit Posts: 1
    Has anyone gotten help from Toyota if this is a known problem? I was surprised to hear this may be connected to some error messages - alert lights - I started having problems with error messages before my van was out of warranty (I bought it used and within 1 day had to have the engine replaced -happy to have paid for the warranty) but while they fixed a problem with the door, check engine oxygen detector problem message went away with resetting the error messages. Dampness and mustiness I always attributed to spilt water or windows left open. Steamed sprayed everything I could think of. Recently the smell got much worse and there were actual puddles of water in the front passenger and driver sides -

    I am not physically able to removed and replace the carpets and padding and am quite upset that perhaps this problem could have been avoided - but I guess if a sticking gas pedal didnt concern Toyota why a wet carpet? I live just a few miles from where my Sienna was manufactured - any ideas of how to get help with this?

  • An update on my post from August 3rd, 2011: Nine days after being stuck in the open position, for whatever reason I was able to close the rear windows,
    which is how they will remain forever more.
  • While updating my post on the rear windows that were stuck open, I saw your message re: water leaking in your Sienna. I had the same problem with my '99 Sienna, in January & February of 2010. I had the wet seats and soaked floor mats too, and originally thought the same thing, that I must have left a window open a little. But then it happened again at a car wash. Turned out to be the black rubber seal around the sun roof window had deteriorated
    some and was allowing water in.
    At the time I searched some online forums to find an inexpensive solution to the problem. Didn't really find anything, but happily the leaking stopped. Not sure how, it might have just been because I had tucked in some loose rubber trim around the window? (I didn't contact Toyota as my warranty had long since expired.)
  • If you have a sunroof the drain tubes being clogged will do this. My drivers-side tube clogged, and the floor is soaked. No visible signs of water entry, but a can of compressed air showed clogged. The outlet generally clogs with dirt. You can fish a thin wire down it or find the drain under the car. Bake cable from a bike works well, but be sure the wire is not sharp. The drain tube is thin wall rubber stuff. Use soapy water as a lube. Some use compressed air to blow it out, but this can rupture the "thin" tubing.

    The rear door seal leaking can cause it too. The rear padding and carpet would be wet too though.
  • I have 2006 Sienna with100K miles. A fitting in the radiator has come loose. It's a screw-in bolt in the lower left hand side of the radiator, just above the radiator hose. It's got a "O" ring at it's tip and a hose fitting to the transmission. I'm afraid the female threads in the radiator body must have stripped out, because there is no way the bolt could have just come loose, the hose fitting on it's external would have prevented its turning.

    I've tried to screw it back into the radiator, but it just won't catch.

    The van is undrivable now due to "open" in the transmission fluid line.

    Any suggestions ?
  • Update to say after the carpet was replaced it started leaking again. Called another dealer who referred us to a guy called the water doctor. He found the seal around the back was leaking at the bottom - very common - how did they miss this??? sealed that up and gave a one year guarantee. Month later, water again, starting to smell - he came back, carpet was SOAKED, found one of the plastic plugs (grommets) in the underside of the well area was either poorly sealed or never sealed. This is where the whole leak originated - HOW did the dealership miss this??? So over a year later, having been without my car on something like 5 occasions, having carpet replaced, having the dealership TWICE indicate the leak was in some way my fault - I am back at square one, with mildewed smelly carpet. But I THINK the leak is finally fixed. Now I am trying to decide whether or not it is worth the time and effort to even let the dealership know how big a boo boo they made and why they have lost us as customers. We are just one family but we are a two toyota family. ;-)

    What a mess!!!
  • Hi:

    My husband and I purchased a certified 2008 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD in April 2011. About two weeks ago we noticed that under the third row seat the rug was wet. We contacted Toyota directly and was given a claim number and a case manager. The case manager instructed us to bring the car back to the dealer. The dealer couldn't find a leak so they hired another company that specializes in leaky cars. Today they found the leak. The water was coming from under the car in two areas and also through the 3rd backup light area. They are washing the rug but we did request a new rug. Waiting to see what happens. When we brought the car in for water problem we mentioned about the recall and they said that since this was an XLE it wasn't included in the recall because we don't have a spare tire well. This just show how wrong they can be.
  • Wow corporate Toyota never even gave me a case manager. They gave me a claim number and then I never heard anything until I called them back 2 weeks later - and they just told me to call the dealer. Unhappy Toyota owner!!!
  • Try getting a case manager assigned to you. Our case manager calls me every week to see how things are going. I forgot to mention that the reason we don't have a spare wheel well is because we have the no flat tire on the car.
  • I am not even sure what I would be pushing for at this point. I'm out over $200 trying to get answers, for something that should have been corrected under warranty - it seems like small potatoes, and yet... it's still $200 I shouldn't have had to spend, you know? Plus all the aggrivation and time with out a car etc.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    edited October 2011
    I think you misunderstood some of what the dealership said to you. Because you have an AWD van, you don't have a spare tire. There was a recall for a cabling system & hoist corrosion problem that some thought was related to how water might get into the interior. That hoist apparatus mounts under the right hand second row seat - but only on FWD models.
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    edited October 2011
    Who do you think misunderstands? Me (the original poster) or the guy who just said he has AWD? My van is not AWD, I have a spare tire. I have paper work stating the faulty floor seals caused the leak - they fixed the floor seals, they replaced the carpet, the leak continued.

    In the end the leak was so obvious I don't know how they missed it. I feel stupid because I didn't check but I had no idea how to even get the carpet out and I am not a mechanic so at least I have that to go on. :-)

    (editing to say clearly the floor seal issue did not cause the leak, so the paper work is wrong, but I have it! the dealership actually claimed this, this is not a misunderstanding on my part)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    Reread my post. It clearly says "Replying to: Brandybrindy"

    and they said that since this was an XLE it wasn't included in the recall because we don't have a spare tire well. This just show how wrong they can be.

    Unless you changed your name, you are yelling at the wrong guy. You might look back a few posts and remember that I provided you with a lot of information early on. I'm once again trying to help someone else out who doesn't thoroughly understand the situation, or what they are being told.
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