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Topic # 144122 8-May-2014 07:51
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I need some Geekzone assistance laughing

My car lives outside and last week after our first really big frost for the year I noticed I had more condensation on the inside of the car than I had frost on the outside. That night I felt around the car interior but couldn't find any damp spots, until I got to the boot.

I removed the carpet, then the wood liner than sits on top of the spare space saver tyre and found my problem
The spare tyre was sitting in about 5cm of water.

So over the weekend, I cleaned everything out of the car, removed the tyre and dried everything letting the sun take car of the rest. Then I started testing for the spot that the water can get in but so far no dice.

Overnight (Wednesday/Thursday) it has rained and checking the boot this morning I have about 2cm of water in the boot again.
As my testing as not found a leak, I am wondering what type of automotive service store I should take it to.

Google tells me a glass repair would be better than a panel beater, others say just your regular machanic


Thoughts?

Car is a 96 Honda Civic LXi if that helps

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BTR

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  Reply # 1038737 8-May-2014 07:58
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Have a look and see if you can work out where its coming in roughly as the boot lid and around the boot lid will be damp. Its likely to be the window seal or the actual boot seal itself. Has the car had rear end damage before, a work mate had all sorts of problems with his Honda Jazz leaking after he was rear ended and the panel beater didn't fix it properly, in the end he took it somewhere else to be resolved.



What you could try it spray it with the hose i.e. hose the entire back end of the car and then open the boot and see if you can see where its been leaking.




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  Reply # 1038742 8-May-2014 08:16
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No accidents in this car, either caused by me or caused by others
In the weekend I checked everything for leaks, including running water over the rear of the car and checking immediately and checking 3 hours later - no dice

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  Reply # 1038744 8-May-2014 08:20
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Physically get in the boot with a torch, get someone else to spray all around the boot and over it for a good 3-4 mins and see what happens.

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  Reply # 1038747 8-May-2014 08:26
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Unless there's a known/common cause of leaks with that model that a workshop knows about and you don't, then they're going to end up charging you $100 / hour to do the same checks you can do yourself with a hose, and fix with a tube of RTV.
If it's normally parked nose uphill or nose downhill when it's leaked, then test it with a hose when it's parked on a similar slope.
As well as rear window seal and boot seals, rear tail lights are a place where water can get in.

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  Reply # 1038748 8-May-2014 08:29
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I had this happen once with my vehicle, cleaned it out and it never happened again!  It was weird.

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  Reply # 1038751 8-May-2014 08:38
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I had a Vauxhall Victor ten million years ago that had mushrooms growing in the back it was so leaky. The concerning thing was that one morning I went out to check them out and something in my car had eaten them???

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  Reply # 1038753 8-May-2014 08:45
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lxsw20: Physically get in the boot with a torch, get someone else to spray all around the boot and over it for a good 3-4 mins and see what happens.


I remember doing just this about 12 years ago. I think it was my first car, I climbed in with the torch and Dad doused the rear of the car heavily until we found where the water was coming in. From memory it was drippig down from a wire and we just altered the way the wire was positioned and re adjusted the seal.

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Reply # 1038756 8-May-2014 08:50
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lxsw20: Physically get in the boot with a torch, get someone else to spray all around the boot and over it for a good 3-4 mins and see what happens.
Hope they dont mind me setting this as answer.  I am mechanic of 40 years and through all the years this is the way to check where water gets in.    Spray all around joins.  Start from the bottom and work up.  Spray around rear window as if not sealed properly can get in there.  Starting from bottom to get more accurate spot as water runs down will sometimes appear to be from certain spot but is in fact coming from higher up




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  Reply # 1038757 8-May-2014 08:55
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I had a leaky car and was unable to locate the leak initially - until i stripped all the carpet/linings out so that I could see the metal. Then got chalk and drew chalk over the inside - then once the leak came through I could keep narrowing down where the water was coming from by seeing where the chalk was wet. Worked a treat for me :)

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  Reply # 1038764 8-May-2014 09:21
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Hi - some great suggestions here for finding the leak... I've had the same issue in my old Toyota. I tried a bit of RTV around some dodgy looking seals, but didn't fix it. I never seemed to have a spare person around when I wanted to try and locate the leak, so I took the lazy way out - I removed a rubber bung at the bottom of the spare wheel well and let it drain through by itself (I'm guessing that the bung is there for draining purposes - I was thinking of drilling a couple of holes).




Cheers,
Mike

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  Reply # 1038768 8-May-2014 09:29
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Is it civic hatch or sedan? If hatch (and probably sedan) I expect it would be around the tail lights, I've had two civic hatches which leaked in the same place. You can remove the little panel in the boot to see the tail lights, you may be able to a e water there when leak testing.

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  Reply # 1038786 8-May-2014 09:43
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Definitely get in the boot with a big torch and have the car in the same place that it normally resides in. Spray the rear window including the pillar as some vehicles have air vents in this area that can leak. Also the boot lid/seal and the tail lights.

At the end of the day if you can't find the leak then drill a small hole in the lowest point to allow the water to drain and put some paint over the bare metal.

Chasing leaks can be very tricky and time consuming and costly if you have to pay someone else.

Cheers
Matt.



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  Reply # 1038828 8-May-2014 10:20
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Cheers everyone for the replies

Civic Hatch, Google advised me of the tail light issue - but can not find the source when I was doing the water testing in the weekend

To everyone who suggested using water and climbing in to test - have done that, but haven't found the spot yet
However I did top to bottom and so this weekend will try bottom to top


I am trying to fix myself as I am well aware that it could be rather expensive to get someone to look at it 

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  Reply # 1038862 8-May-2014 11:00
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Strip everything out of the boot including any linings, covers etc that you can, and do the torch/friend method as suggested.  My money is on the rear window, or taillights.  taillights are easily fixed with a bit of silicon, and could be worth doing if for nothing else than process of elimination for very little time and money.  

Unlikely so much water would be getting in from underneath, especially if it is parked when this happens.

The flip-side is that a couple of strategic holes in the bottom of the wheel well may at least let some water out and prevent it from pooling.   





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  Reply # 1038870 8-May-2014 11:06
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joff_nz: Is it civic hatch or sedan? If hatch (and probably sedan) I expect it would be around the tail lights, I've had two civic hatches which leaked in the same place. You can remove the little panel in the boot to see the tail lights, you may be able to a e water there when leak testing.


I would guess this.  I had a 96 Civic Lxi Sedan, and it used to leak around the tail lights.  Car was garaged so I never got around to fixing it as it didn't bother me enough.

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