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Leak on driver's side floor when it rains.
May 22, 2014 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Mechanics of MeFi, can you help? I replaced my car windshield about 2 years ago. Not sure if that is the cause of the leakage or if it's the air intake (which has been suggested). Or something else?

I have a 2002 Honda Civic LX. I replaced the windshield about 2 years ago. Coincidentally, soon after that, I started to noticed dampness on the driver's side floor. I blew it off thinking that I accidentally left window cracked or whatever during a rain. Happened a few more times, started to notice a LOT more dampness.

I called the privately-owned glass biz who did my windshield and if it could possibly be leaking; he suggested it could be something else (I forgot what he thought it could be) - and he referred me to someone to check it out. I never made an appointment to have it checked. Life got busy, I was selling place to relocate about 5 hours away. Needless to say, the leak issue got put down on the priority list.

Here I am, 2 years later, still leaking (of course), the driver's side carpet is disgusting and what appears now to be mold in some areas. The water does not actually drip down from anywhere - I have checked, there is never water from anywhere "above" the dampness. It's more like it is running down from the top, alongside the door or something and settling under the driver's side carpet.

I spoke with someone at a reputable glass installation place and they said they had run into that before and suggested that the air intake could be clogged. (This was not the same glass company who installed my windshield).

Not only does the mold worry me, but I'm concerned that it could be rusting underneath as well. So my questions are: how do I check what is the cause of the leak? what kind of shop should I take it to? what am I looking at in terms of cost to fix the air intake (if that's what it is)? who would I have remove the carpet and possibly repair any rusting action going on? and what kind of expenses could I be facing? (About a year ago, I did take it into the Honda dealership to have my oil changed and asked them about it then. They said that it'd probably cost about $300 simply to test for the source of the leak.)

Thank you greatly in advance for any and all insight and advice with this!

p.s. I checked and insurance will not cover this since I didn't make a claim in the beginning. I just outright paid for the windshield and didn't want to make a claim.
posted by foxhat10 to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I need to add that I am actually unsure if it leaks ONLY during a heavy rain. I am pretty sure I noticed damp spots once or twice after running the A/C, but my memory is pretty vague about it.
posted by foxhat10 at 7:37 AM on May 22


If you have a garden hose, an assistant, and some free time you can confirm or eliminate the possibility of an outside leak and maybe narrow down where it is coming from. Wait until the carpets are dry, close the doors and windows, position yourself so you can check on the carpet, and have your assistant give the outside of the car a good soaking. Look / feel for water and try to work backwards to the source.

If the leak isn't coming from outside the car, the most likely cause is a clogged or disconnected air conditioner condensation drain line or a heater core leak. Hopefully it's just the AC line. They are usually relatively easy and cheap to fix. If it's the heater core, you might notice a sweet smell and you will be loosing coolant. It is also a lot of work to fix, unfortunately.
posted by indyz at 9:30 AM on May 22


came in to say check the air conditioner evaporator line, but indyz has covered it all so well already.
posted by bartonlong at 10:22 AM on May 22


I can't help you find the leak, but I can help with some short-term water pooling on the floor. This was happening to my ancient Corolla and while I was looking for the leak (eventually turned out to be the tail light!!!) I removed a small plug in the floor of the front seat that let water leak out the bottom. Instead of an inch of standing water I then only had a slight wet spot that would regularly dry out. You might consider removing any small rubber plug like this that you might find under your carpet to at least help with water removal.
posted by BearClaw6 at 1:05 PM on May 22


Does your car have a sunroof? I had this problem in an older car once and the culprit was degenerating (plastic? rubber?) drain lines from the sunroof . There was no evidence of a leak in the ceiling or walls of the car, only water pooling on the floor.
posted by lunaazul at 9:07 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Honda's are notorious for the drain tube leading down from the sunroof along the left front post becoming detached about knee height. There is a joint in the tubing where it meets the tube that goes through the bulkhead. This joint comes apart. Simply re-insert the top tube into the bottom one and tuck it all away again carefully. At least that was the problem with our 2001 Accord.
posted by DesbaratsDays at 12:32 PM on May 23


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