Tracing source of water in driver footwell

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M2dxb
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Greetings all,

Just back from a few months in the UAE, to the joys of troubleshooting obscure G issues! I have had a water ingress problem for a while now, but not too serious that it becomes a headache.

My initial thoughts were wiper spindles, but I replaced those without any change in the problem. Well not returning to the G after a few months of little use (the 300GE), I find a lot of water in the footwell. Removing the rubber trim on the door frame, and the plastic piece covering the A-pillar on the inside, reveals that is wet as well, so I am guessing the water is entering from the top corner, then seeping down along the rubber seal to the footwell. The side of the windshield seal on the inside is ALSO wet (note: windshield was replaced just before I took delivery a couple of years back).

Could the door need adjusting for better closure? Has anyone had water come in so high up before? I suspect the door doesn't put enough pressure on the rubber seal because near the hinge, I can feel the wind at high speed! Also in a manual car wash, when the jet is directed at the trailing edge of the door, I get sprayed with a few drops.

Did I mention I love those door seals!
1. They are ridiculously priced
2. They fail within a few years of installation
3. There doesn't seem to be a better alternative..yet

I hope this isn't too widespread a problem...

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Ps. I also squeezed some silicone sealant under the lip of the windshield seal (on the outside), at the top and bottom corners, but that did not solve the problem. Perhaps I should use more? Or seal the whole vertical side of the seal...

Any advice appreciated!

Maxwell Smart
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Do a quick search as there are a number of discussions on this as quite a common problem.

Where exactly in the footwell is the water?

1) Other things to check are the intake where the washer nozzles are is not plugged with leaves.
2) The water run off under the bonnet near the hinges is not filled with crud.
3) The drains for the sunroof are not plugged.
4) Your AC is not leaking.
5) Firewall is sound - particularly weld points such as by battery tray or where fenders are mounted.

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Cheers for the quick response Max!
Most search results are for wiper spindle issues, or like Hus55 had, even loose fender bolts, but few describe a problem from the top corner, but I will try again.

1. Clean
2. Must clean
3. Never checked, there are drains up there! Any idea where it drains to?
I will take a closer look as it hasn't started raining yet.
4. Fortunately no AC on this one :)
5. I removed as much of the trim as I could yesterday without removing the dash (steering, steering surround, instrument cluster, trim below steering) to try and find traces of water inside, but it all seemed dry. The only sign of water passage (green residue) was at the bottom corner of the windscreen, just below the level of the speaker, and from there downwards.

dentsmithy
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Just a note:- use windscreen seal, not silicone - it will eat your metal and rubber.
I used screen seal 2 years ago all the way round the screen and no more leaks, from there at least.

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Sorry forgot to answer the first Q: water collects under the floor lining, nearest the door, just before the rear lining begins, there is a depression in the floor. I removed the lining from the front, and it was quite heavy as the foam backing seems to have absorbed a lot of the water. It's now out to dry, so the metal floor is exposed. Good thing is, no signs of rust there, so the paint is doing it's job. That also hints to me that this is not an old problem with the car (the absence of rust).

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Thanks for the response guys, I shall check what type of sealant it was. I certainly don't want to introduce a rusting agent at this age.

dentsmithy
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Just to clarify, there are various silicone sealants and most are acetone based. I think these are the ones that encourage the rust.
If you go to a motor factors they wil have windscreen sealer for rubber seals. If you peel back the rubber the old seal will probably be crumbly - I used a 1" paintbrush with the bristles chopped down to clean it out and then resealed.

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

This seal was installed new, along with the windscreen, about 2yrs ago...but I guess it might be a non-OEM part, of lesser quality?

Maxwell Smart
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

If the side of the transmission tunnel and the firewall section are dry then your leak is most likely the door seals or coming down from the pillar.

In my case it was the blocked sunroof drains. I've got a 2000 so the setup will be slightly different from yours. But essentially open your sunroof and very carefully take a soft (but not too soft) wire and push it through the drain holes at the front corners of the sunroof (near the rails/windscreen deflector). There will be one on each side leading to the rain gutters on the A pillar.

fixwin38
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi before attempting to inject windscreen sealant anywhere the area under the seal must be clean and free from any road grit mud or the like...the only method I know of other than to remove the windscreen is with the blade of a dinner knife (no point or cutting tip) and a piece of cloth.... a very slow process 2/3 cm at a time before changing the position of the cloth....any bulge under the seal will let the water in and any old sealant that sets (like bathroom sealant) must be removed totally.....windscreen sealant is non hardening to allow the windscreen glass to flex within the seal without degrading the sealant adhesion.also check the bottom drain in the airduct for the heater (in the engine bay behind the engine) there is a rubber fitting that lets the water out but will not let water in when you are fording in deep water...this fills with leaf debris and blocks letting water flow into the G' through the heater matrix...It can also cause premature failure of the the heater blower motor. ** note if you find any rusty tracks on the paint in the corners of the windscreen frame behind the top of the dash console chances are that the metal is corroded under the windscreen seal..in that case only removal of the windscreen and seal will allow you to access the corroded areas and treat accordingly

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

I think I have just the wire needed. I looked at the EPC too, and found mention of a water drain. Thanks! What a productive Friday morning...

fixwin38
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi Just an afterthought ....when applying the sealant it must be in a continuous line... No gaps or bulges ....run your thumb along the entire seal pushing gently to towards the outer edge..any surplus that has oozed out beyond the edge of the seal should be removed as the time you finish sealing

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Even afterthoughts are welcome! This is beginning to sound a bit complicated, I might just pass by the local RAC windscreens shop to see if he'll do it..

fixwin38
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi Good idea.... but if you find any rust or corrosion around the metal window frame when they take the windscreen out to clean the seal it will need rectification or leaking may re - occur in a matter of months....I had a screen replaced by the local "experts" and it took them three attempts to cure the leaks even after we had treated the corrosion.....when you changed the wiper spindles did you put sealant behind the big nut and washer that tightens the spindle body to the metal window frame ???

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

So far it seems the rubber seal sits flat on the metal, so I hope that's a good sign. When replacing the spindles, I did not put any sealant between the nuts and body, except to fill the plastic cones that fit on top with grease. Is that contrary to manual/proper instructions? Or not how you would do it, seeing as you've worked on dozens of them?

fixwin38
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi the grease is great for the spindle shafts but the holes in the windscreen surround that the spindle bodies fit into rust around the edges so the seals (which are very shallow) supplied with the spindles do not have a smooth surface to seal against.... either repaint the the rusty edges back to a smooth surface or add sealant to build up the the rusty areas so that the seal mating surface becomes watertight.....

hot66
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

M2dxb wrote:
Greetings all,

Just back from a few months in the UAE, to the joys of troubleshooting obscure G issues! I have had a water ingress problem for a while now, but not too serious that it becomes a headache.

My initial thoughts were wiper spindles, but I replaced those without any change in the problem. Well not returning to the G after a few months of little use (the 300GE), I find a lot of water in the footwell. Removing the rubber trim on the door frame, and the plastic piece covering the A-pillar on the inside, reveals that is wet as well, so I am guessing the water is entering from the top corner, then seeping down along the rubber seal to the footwell. The side of the windshield seal on the inside is ALSO wet (note: windshield was replaced just before I took delivery a couple of years back).

Could the door need adjusting for better closure? Has anyone had water come in so high up before? I suspect the door doesn't put enough pressure on the rubber seal because near the hinge, I can feel the wind at high speed! Also in a manual car wash, when the jet is directed at the trailing edge of the door, I get sprayed with a few drops.

Did I mention I love those door seals!
1. They are ridiculously priced
2. They fail within a few years of installation
3. There doesn't seem to be a better alternative..yet

I hope this isn't too widespread a problem...

I have this too.

Water is running down the door seal area from the top corner on the B post. It looks to me like I could do with a new seal & the door adjusting so it pulls in tighter

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

dentsmithy wrote:
Just to clarify, there are various silicone sealants and most are acetone based. I think these are the ones that encourage the rust.
If you go to a motor factors they wil have windscreen sealer for rubber seals. If you peel back the rubber the old seal will probably be crumbly - I used a 1" paintbrush with the bristles chopped down to clean it out and then resealed.

Yes the sealant was silicone, and it says on the tube "gives off acetic acid", so ideally I need to remove the little sealant I put there and do it again with something more metal-friendly after cleaning out the surrounding metal. And wish it is not rusted. 17yrs old. Hope is still alive...

fixwin38 mind if I ask, what type of sealant do you recommend for between the spindle nut and body? Not silicone I presume?

hot66 I read your threads with interest, both at the time of posting, and again this morning, but from what you say, does this mean you still have a slight leak?

I cleaned out under the bonnet and the air box, and found the sunroof drain holes, cleared them as far as possible, but the wire I had was a bit too thick. I'll repeat it with plastic tubing, a bit safer.
The joys of rainy weather with no garage... :twisted:

fixwin38
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi use "Tigerseal" it comes in various colours and sets like rubber... I have used it to repair gouges and splits in G rubber wheelarches. it can be "dressed to the profile you need when set.

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Thanks for that, will look for it at halfords or the local colour mixer/bodyshop supplier...

hot66
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

M2dxb wrote:

hot66 I read your threads with interest, both at the time of posting, and again this morning, but from what you say, does this mean you still have a slight leak?

:oops: :oops:

Still have all my leaks . Never quite got round to fixing them as I seem to spend all my 'garage time' concentrating on my other toy.

I convince myself that these leaks are nothing compared to the trouble I might have had if i'd bought a Landrover Defender ;) :lol:

I WILL sort them out in 2008 though :shock:

M2dxb
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Lol welcome to the club... :mrgreen:

Tyreman
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Thanks to all the other posters on this topic I am another person to hopefully gain by your various experiences as her indoors tells me she has had drops of water dripping on her feet today while driving. She said it was from the beneath the steering column somewhere. Oh and the carpet is soggy.

Had a quick look tonight and transmission tunnell on both sides is bone dry. The wiper spindles on both sides were done shortly before I got my G as I have the reciepts so its hardly likely to be that issue. Possibly the windscreen thingy.

Hopefully tomorrow will be fine and will get to have a closer look.

Regards,

Mike

fixwin38
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi Mike the factory supplied gasket that fits between the large nut and the body behind the wiper arm is primative to say the least..any corrosion around the fitment holes in the windscreen surround will let the water past..you need to remove the large nut and clean the area.use tigerseal NOT silicone and tighten against the moist sealant*** watch out that you do not rotate the spindle body when you tighten the nut as this will change the geometry behind the dash and the wipers will not function correctly..the fact that the drips are on the drivers legs would point to it as being this problem....the big nut just may be loose..an even better reason to apply the sealant......

Tyreman
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Thanks Fixwin,
But I am still waiting for a dry day and today was anything but that.
Did get to check the door seal though and all seems OK there. Blew compressed air through the sunroof run off pipes and all seems Ok there too as had injected water with a little milton through it first and then the air.

Still hoping for a dry day before the weekend event.

Regards,

Mike

290 gdt
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi Tyreman,
come south to Greece, we have only dry - sunny days this period :D (above 25C and waiting 32C during weekend! :evil: )
I hope you will sotr out the problem soon.
Many regards Angelos

Tyreman
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Re: Tracing source of water in driver footwell

Hi Angelos,

Thanks for the invite, but your best not to tempt me too much because the way the rain is falling here at present it would not take much to get me to sunnier climes.

Bought a 3m x 3m canopy for outside the garage to keep the rain off so I can get something done in the evenings it was getting so bad.

Regards,

Mike