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Old 08-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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Interior water leak problem

If your car has persistent condensation in the winter and a damp mildew smell, chances are that the foam pads in the footwells and in the floor behind the seats are saturated with water.

Yesterday I got to the source of my problem after living with a damp interior for possibly years!

A cursory check will confirm this for you: have a feel around the join of the floor carpet and rear carpet behind the seats - press down on the floor carpet. If you see, feel or hear water squelching, then you're carrying water down there.

There is no quick fix to this one: forget about gel pads, hairdryers, heaters, etc. That is only pussy-footing around the problem. The seats have to come out, various bits of trim removed, the carpet lifted. Not a major job. You will see 2 thick foam pads attached to the carpet, as highlighted in red in the picture.. The pads sit in "sumps" that do not drain anywhere - how clever is that?! Once the foam pads are exposed, that will allow you to squeeze out as much water as possible and then use whatever other means to dry out the pads.

Apparently the main cause for water ingress is blocked front and/or back drains. All 4 of my front drains were plugged with soil, probably from years of decaying leaves and other muck. I cleared out the holes using a combination of a screw-driver to loosen the muck and a vacuum cleaner to remove it. The flimsy rear drain trays need to be inspected for any holes - see other posts.

Hopefully that should do it!


Last edited by Stan_D; 08-11-2012 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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I just removed the driver side carpet, this was from previous owner(just purchased a 97 few months ago) must have been there looooong time..........
i noticed on rainy day, it was soak wet at the door side panel, bottom front of driver side, under the speaker. i opened inside the door panel, it was dry.
checked the drains behind the seats, it was ok.. just quick test front drain hole, there was ok..
There is no problem on the passengers side.

any ideas?

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Old 11-02-2012, 05:10 AM   #3
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Drain hole under the top rear of the drivers seat blocked

Water behind seat - Drain hole clog fix - Seat Heat elements? - 986 Series (Boxster, Boxster S) - RennTech.org Forums
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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Good god, that rust looks terrible! Just as well you found it or you'd end up with a Fred Flinstone car!
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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I've been trying to get mine dried out since getting dumped on by Sandy. I assumed I scooped up some water driving in the flooded streets but the more I think of it, it has seemed humid in the cockpit for a while. I'm gonna check the drains right away!
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Just found the problem, water come thru the holes where the small plastic plugs are plugged into the door and soaking the door carpets around the speakers(check those areas when parked outside a rainy day), and then drains thru the trunk buttons and to the driver/passenger panel floor and the water stays there......
the door has been opened for some repair before by previus owner at repair shop and by my suspicion it has not sealed proberly after repair. I have now sealed the membram inside and the plug holes with silicon and sealed electric parts inside.. now it works fine.
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Last edited by ilikeching; 11-21-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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after using some rusteater and grinding. Hammerite paint, great use for inside, will not rust again.

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Last edited by ilikeching; 02-07-2013 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikeching View Post
after using some rusteater and grinding.

Looks like you did a great job! Makes me want to go check my carpets!!
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Looks like you did a great job! Makes me want to go check my carpets!!
I don't think its a problem unless you had any leak before, but its a good idea to check sometimes, the rust was only at drivers side, I've checked the passenger side, there were no probs, looks like new.....
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:01 PM   #10
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ilikeching - I have the exact same problem: door panels were never properly re-seated after electric window regulator repair and I suspect water is getting in via the door card plug holes. In fact no matter how much I try to bang them in, I'm not getting a snug fit.

How did you seal the plug holes?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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Sry for late answer, lost the thread...
I've sealed the the mid and lower plugs with silicone and around the membram, im not sure its the the proper way to do with silicone.... but it stopped the leak..
before i did that, i've checked where leaking is, by pouring lots of water around the door and checked inside the door, in my case, leaking was around side mirror(sealed there with some silicone too).
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stan_D View Post
If your car has persistent condensation in the winter and a damp mildew smell, chances are that the foam pads in the footwells and in the floor behind the seats are saturated with water.

Yesterday I got to the source of my problem after living with a damp interior for possibly years!

A cursory check will confirm this for you: have a feel around the join of the floor carpet and rear carpet behind the seats - press down on the floor carpet. If you see, feel or hear water squelching, then you're carrying water down there.

There is no quick fix to this one: forget about gel pads, hairdryers, heaters, etc. That is only pussy-footing around the problem. The seats have to come out, various bits of trim removed, the carpet lifted. Not a major job. You will see 2 thick foam pads attached to the carpet, as highlighted in red in the picture.. The pads sit in "sumps" that do not drain anywhere - how clever is that?! Once the foam pads are exposed, that will allow you to squeeze out as much water as possible and then use whatever other means to dry out the pads.

Apparently the main cause for water ingress is blocked front and/or back drains. All 4 of my front drains were plugged with soil, probably from years of decaying leaves and other muck. I cleared out the holes using a combination of a screw-driver to loosen the muck and a vacuum cleaner to remove it. The flimsy rear drain trays need to be inspected for any holes - see other posts.

Hopefully that should do it!

Where are the front drain plugs?

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Old 09-12-2017, 05:44 PM   #13
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Where are the front drain plugs?

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Under the hood, near the battery.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:00 PM   #14
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+1 for the door plastic sheet integrity. I had mine off for a couple of days. I had to return a bad new regulator and left the door disassembled. Caught an odd rainy day in So Cal and I was surprised at how much water accumulated inside in such a short time. Luckily it was the passenger side.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:06 PM   #15
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What if the rain is extremely intense ( I could hardly see the road even with high scale of windscreen wipers!) ? Would the clean drain holes sustain that amount of water ?

Last edited by Lacostas; 11-17-2017 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:33 AM   #16
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I would suggest that you test them with a pitcher of water to see how well they drain. The top may be clear, but there may be debris somewhere in the tube restricting flow.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:40 AM   #17
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What if the rain is extremely intense ( I could hardly see the road even with high scale of windscreen wipers!) ? Would the clean drain holes sustain that amount of water ?
I was in a torrential downpour for over an hour while driving past Tampa on I-75 2 years ago in my Speed Yellow 2001 S - water up to the rocker panels - and I didn't get a drop of water inside. It was coming down so hard you couldn't see more than 10 feet. I stayed on the bumper of a tanker truck - figured if HE his something it would all be over quickly! LOL Felt like I was living in a "yellow submarine".

SO, my guess is that you will be ok as long as you keep those drains clear. I like to check them about once a month. My Boxster is garaged, but you never know (falling leaves, leaf blowers, etc when parked outside).

I plan to order a waterproof enclosure for my immobilizer in the next week or so from Specialized ECU Repair. For $150 it seems like money well spent. I just need to confirm that I don't already have one installed! (I've never been under that drivers seat)...
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