Whether you detect the foul odor of moisture in your car or you notice other signs such as foggy windows or wet carpet, water leaks are one of those problems that can be especially frustrating for drivers. The frustration usually arises from not being able to tell where the water is coming from.
Finding water in your car isn’t difficult – It usually collects in the foot wells! Remember, water obeys the laws of gravity, so it will always pool in the lowest area – but before pooling in the floorboard, it can run along wires, travel up material/fabric surfaces and do its best to disguise where it came from in the first place! When your car leaks, it’s more than just a passing nuisance. Water damage can occur to your interior, necessitating the replacement of upholstery or other expensive components, and create dangerous and unhealthy mold and mildew conditions inside your car.
When Does Your Car Leak?
The first thing that must be identified is WHEN it happens? Is it after rain, when the car’s parked on a slope, or after a car wash? Identifying WHEN you notice water or moisture can potentially narrow down the cause.
Where and Why Does Your Car Leak?
According to the Hayes Automotive Manual the majority of leaks in a vehicle can be narrowed down to the following areas:
Door Membrane Behind the door card there is a membrane – usually a sheet of either polythene or thin foam. Water can enter the body of the door when it rains, and typically drains out of holes in the bottom of the door. If the membrane gets ruptured or torn, water can run down the membrane and soak into the door card. If you’re getting a pool of water in the floorboard, check to see if the bottom of the door is either damp or has evidence of water staining.
Door Seal If the rubber seal around the edge of the door gets damaged, it can sometimes be a cause of leaks. Water will run down the front of the door and into the car. Usually a visual inspection is sufficient to diagnose whether it’s the door seal causing the problem.
Door Weatherstrip This is the rubber seal that rests against the side windows (the bit the glass rubs against when being raised and lowered. If the seal isn’t flush to the glass it can let too much water enter the door cavity (a little is to be expected). It can end up soaking into the door cards and causing a leak. As with the door seals a visual inspection should be able to identify if this is the likely cause.
Air Conditioning Have you ever noticed a pool of water under your car after the air conditioning has been on? This is perfectly normal. Sometimes, however, the drain tube can become blocked and the water finds its way behind the dashboard and into the front floorboard carpets.Debris gets sucked into the evaporator from outside and occasionally will clog the drain tube.
Sunroof One of the biggest causes of in-car leaks is the sunroof! They are by design intended to leak – the seal is not usually totally waterproof – but there will be a channel around the sunroof opening which allows water to flow down drain tubes either mounted in some, or all of the corners. Often a leak that only occurs when the car is parked on a slope can be attributed to the sunroof drain tubes becoming blocked.
Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive Can Help
Very few places are willing to address these types of problems due to the complex nature of the potential causes, and the time and money they can take to repair. However, at Stewart’s Automotive in Tyler, TX, our certified mechanics can not only diagnose and locate the source of your car’s leak, but make the necessary repairs. Got a problem or think you do? Come by or give us a call. Let’s talk about it before it gets serious.