zeppo

Water Leak Into Passenger Side Floor

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Already checked the AC drain and that was fine, not to mention I haven't been using it.

Next I fished weed-eater line down the two front drain holes of the moonroof. That still didn't solve it.

Next I put a tarp over the vehicle and, next rain, it still didn't solve it, though it may have reduced it. So it should have anything to do with the moon roof.

It is only the floor that is affected and it begins in the front passenger side, and in a well behind the front passenger seat where the seat belt attaches. I'm not sure if it begins in one area and then is draining along the floor of the car to the other area, or if it affects both at once. The answer would apparently lie behind what is hidden behind the trim of the front passenger door. Are there photos online anywhere that shows me what is behind that, and also perhaps a tutorial on how to remove that trim (I'll also need to if I want to pull back the carpet and really make sure it dries out)?

On the photos attached, I highlight the depressed area in front with a paper towel and put a blue strip where a line of moisture first appeared after a rain. In the rear photo, I blue tape shows the area where water accumulates by seat belt and a strip showing the general route where water may be traveling between back and front.

No problems stand out when inspecting weather stripping. I wonder if a drain is clogged somewhere.

Could anyone point me in the right direction? I'm sure a dealer would charge an arm and a leg just to diagnose it.

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Oh well I found info that help me brave pulling up some of the interior panels to allow me to peel back the carpet. Of course, I did screw up in that instead of being able to pull out the plastic clip that the carpet is stapled to, instead the carpet came unstapled from the clip. Not sure what the trick is to getting the plastic things out other than luck.

At any rate the padding underneath was soaked all over, extending to the drivers side as well. So I really have no clue as to the source.

If it were somehow coming from the hatch area (which is bone dry are far as what can be seen, would it be channeling down the sides by the doors, or is there somewhere in the center where it would channel?

If it would have to come from the side, I can test those channels without removing the backseats by peeling back the carpet a little.

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There are several types of clips holding interior trim panels in place. Some are just pried out with a clip tool with a Y-shaped head and others you have to pull up the inner portion of the clip with a small screwdriver before pulling the clip out. Clip and interior panel removal tools are sold at auto parts stores and online. One of my favorite panel removal tools is just a putty knife with its blade wrapped with electrical tape to prevent scarring panels.

The door threshold in your photo can be removed simply by pulling it up and out but try to do it a little at a time along the threshold to avoid damage. It's often necessary to insert clips back into grooves in panels before reinstalling panels - particularly on door thresholds. Just about every vehicle made by Toyota is held together the same way. Tearing apart the interior of the most expensive Lexus LS is done the same way as doing it in the cheapest Toyota Corolla.

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After peeling back the carpet in all corners front and back, I was able to determine the leak is from the front passenger side moonroof drain tube. It is either backed up or dislodged. Fishing a weed-eater line down it hasn't helped, but it was a pretty thin guage. I will try compressed air when I get the chance.

This picture from an old post by Draco shows the hole where water backs up and enters the cabin. The red arrow he drew points to the hole.

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I'm in the US, so in my car, the set up is the same as in the photo, but on the opposite side as what is shown. Water must have to accumulate and stand inside that cavity before it finally fills enough to exit that hole. I guess I'll have to duct tape a small tube to the end of a shop vac to get out the standing water and then hope the compressed air trick works. But given Draco ended up having to take his to a dealer to solve it, I'm guessing I'll have to do the same.

I'll probably have to file and insurance claim for the carpet. Taking it out looks to be a pain, and even if I can manage to fold it back and dry it by running a floor heater for days, it smells like mold has already taken hold of it.

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Was going to take it to the dealer today, but decided to take a closer look at it first. I was able to solve the issue myself.

First off, for a passenger side (U.S.) problem, it is possible to remove the box that all the wires are plugged into on the side panel and have a big enough opening to fit your hand in if its not to big. I can just about palm a basketball but still managed to fit my hand in. Here is a pic of the wires unplugged and white plastic box (on left) pulled out of its compartment in the side wall. You can see the rectangular hole of that compartment just behind it in the top left of the picture.

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Now it is impossible to see down inside the compartment, but you can carefully insert a camera in there with the flash on and view it that way. I used a regular sized iPhone 6, but you just have to be careful not to scratch it or drop it in the hole if you don't have screen protection. Oh, by the way, before I did this, I rigged small hose to my shop vac and cleaned out any standing water.

Here is the view of what the drain hole should look like (after I cleaned it out) and what mine looked like clogged up.

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The hole is set into a conical piece that acts as a drain to catch water coming out of the hose. I've seen speculation that in a case like this the hose has shrunk a few inches over time from where it was once inserted into that hole, but I don't think that is the case at all. I think the design is just as you see, with the hose stopping a couple of inches above the drain. The compartment is water tight at the bottom, but when the hole gets clogged it fills with water until finally pouring out a small hole in the sidewall of the compartment and into the interior. Blowing out the drain hose with compressed air could solve a hose blockage, but you would probably have to get lucky for the air to dislodge the debris blocking the drain hole at the bottom of the compartment and not have it fall right back into the drain and clog it again fairly soon after.

The hose I rigged to my shop vac with duct tape is 3/8" in diameter, and can actually just fit down into the drain hole if you feel your way around. I vacuumed the sludgy stuff out of the bottom of the compartment and drain hole as best I could by blindly feeling my way around it with my hand down in the compartment. The 3/8" hose will also just fit snuggly inside the moonroof drain hose that you see in the pic. That hose hangs freely, so you can pull it out of the compartment if you want to fish a line through it from the bottom, or as I did, vaccum it with the smaller 3/8" hose (it didn't yield anything from it in my case).

After cleaning it the best I could I poured a little water into the compartment and watched it finally come out of the bottom of the car. It can take a bit of time for it to appear and not yield everything you poured into it, because it drains into the plastic compartment that runs below the doors on the exterior . But as you pour more down it, it eventually pools inside there enough to where it starts pouring out more readily. Some of what I poured in actually made its way down that exterior compartment and exited near the rear door in addition to what came out in the front end of it behind the front tire.

I also ran some weed-eater line down into the drain hole, but you can't see where it exits because it just takes a turn and goes into that exterior compartment (which someone referred to as the "rocker panel".

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Zeppo

thanks so much for the report and all the pics.  I really appreciate all of the work you did.  I have the same problem and just couldn't figure out where the damn drain tube went.

what a lousy design.   such a tiny hole for draining the water !.    and no way to access it from underneath or from the outside .   I have having to mess with and move around electrical connections.    w

As of now.  I ended up just blocking out the  drain opening at the top of the moonroof because i couldn't understand why it would only drain into the floor.   

will have to go in and take it apart again and either extend the hose to drain outside of the cavity into the wheelwell area or just clean it out again so that it works as the original lousey design.  

t

Once again.  Thanks again.  You were the only one to figure out the whole problem and fix.  

 

 

 

1!

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by the way...I was thinking that instead of taking apart the electrical connections and the box .....would it be possible to just clean out the drain hole by making 

a tool out of wire and going through the hole (that the water overflow out of) and poking around to clear out the hole.    I will give this a try first before messing around with the wiring.  I would hate to mess with the electrical and develop some sort of new problem in the electrical system. 

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I made a tool out of stainless steel wire and used the hole that the water was overflowing out of.  I was able to clear out the drain again with the tool.

tested the drain by pouring a gallon of water from the sunroof.   no more flooding and the water came out of the seams of the chasis as it should.

 

No need to mess with the electrical or extend the hose.  It took about 20 minutes of poking around to feel for the drain hole. It feels rubbery rather than 

metal sheet metal so you can tell if you are hitting the hole.  

 

i tried attaching pics but it doesn;t seem to work for me.  

 

 

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ok  here are the pics .  first one is the wire tool  second one is the drains working and the last one  is the hole that i used to poke through to clear the drain.

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Just wanted to thank everyone on the forum, particularly Zeppo, for posting all this. Had a major water issue last week and it's been driving me nuts trying to figure out the drain issue. I think I have it pretty well cleared at this point using a shop vac and a wire hanger, but actually being able to see the issue in pics has helped a ton. Thanks!

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Having the same problem ... 😞 i think I got two suspects for water coming in at passenger area and then moving towards back seat of passenger area:

1. tested all four sunroof drain holes, front two are kind of slow, i noticed water drips from three-four places at the bottom black plastic rail/trim (near front passenger tire and also between passenger and rear passenger seats) when I pour water in front passenger side drain hole on the sunroof. 

which makes me think, the blockage is at the body frame(footwell) where drain pipe drops water and it got clogged up, or slow to drain water from here to ground.

to clean this part, what do you suggest? should i remove the electric parts ? not sure how another user(zeppo) got the pic of it. i think its the culprit in my case, let me know if you have any suggestions(attached pic from prior reply from another user)

 

2. Another suspect is the leaves/debris below wiper in the front windshield since i was parking under the tree 😞 i can clean the leaves etc but not sure how to open and elan under it , just to make sure there is no blockages from this drain. 

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On 12/9/2015 at 9:45 AM, zeppo said:

Now it is impossible to see down inside the compartment, but you can carefully insert a camera in there with the flash on and view it that way. I used a regular sized iPhone 6, but you just have to be careful not to scratch it or drop it in the hole if you don't have screen protection. Oh, by the way, before I did this, I rigged small hose to my shop vac and cleaned out any standing water.

Here is the view of what the drain hole should look like (after I cleaned it out) and what mine looked like clogged up.

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1

i think this is the root cause for me, as shown in your pics. not sure how you got access to this part, do you have a suggestion on how can i clean this footwell ? or should I go from the bottom, remove black plastic trim and then try to increase the drain hole opening?

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On 12/5/2015 at 3:32 PM, zeppo said:

Oh well I found info that help me brave pulling up some of the interior panels to allow me to peel back the carpet. Of course, I did screw up in that instead of being able to pull out the plastic clip that the carpet is stapled to, instead the carpet came unstapled from the clip. Not sure what the trick is to getting the plastic things out other than luck.

At any rate the padding underneath was soaked all over, extending to the drivers side as well. So I really have no clue as to the source.

 

If it were somehow coming from the hatch area (which is bone dry are far as what can be seen, would it be channeling down the sides by the doors, or is there somewhere in the center where it would channel?

If it would have to come from the side, I can test those channels without removing the backseats by peeling back the carpet a little.

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I found the leak on my 2005 Rx330s in the rear pillar body seams along the rear hatch. It is missing factory seam sealant. It was soaking the carpets so bad they took the floor plugs out to allow the water to drain. 

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Rx330 2005 WATER LEAK FOUND 

My car has been leaking from the factory. It is missing seam sealant in the rear hatch side pillars!! I forcibly chalked them in and solved the problem this car has had from the factory. The problem is now where to find new carpet?

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Hi Ron_S, 

I had a really hard time accessing that drain but made some progress using a bent wire hanger and scraping around down there. Then I built a very thin shop Vac extension using rolled up paper and was able to pull out a lot of debris. The other thing I did was bang, rock and wash the body molding below that drain...the black plastic running below the doors. A TON of dirt came out when I did that. I think that was affecting the draining as well. It's been two years and I've had no more issues. It's still a crap design but it's hanging in for now. Hope that helps a bit. 

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