Damp seating surfaces

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sclay115
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:47 am

Damp seating surfaces

Post by sclay115 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:49 am

Water leaks, am I right?! Hate 'em.

I live in the PNW, so it rains, you know, enough. And for some reason or another, I've got some moisture in my 03 Vibe. Yea, it's got a sunroof, and yea, I've cleaned all four drains and checked for pinched rear lines. I've even checked them for flow manually, but, here we are, I still seem to have "damp" seating surfaces.

Notice, I don't say wet, as they aren't really wet. My highly controlled experiment of taking a dry blue shop towel and pressing it FIRMLY into the passenger front seat bottom yields no visible moisture. But sit out there for 10 minutes swapping out instrumental panel bulbs, and you'll notice your behind feel a bit, damp.

Floors are dry, and only once did I have a little water on the drivers rear floor mat (rubber all weather mats) after a particularly strong rain fall. The rear trunk mat (carpet) maybe feels a little damp, but it's hard to say since everything is wet this time of year. Headliner is the same, maybe damp, but hard to tell.

I've got two of those damp rid type devices in the car, and they are certainly pulling moisture out of the air.

I know all about how sunroofs don't really seal, and I'm this close to yanking down the entire headliner and having my Wife hose the car down while I wait in my ghillie suit and catch the damn water in the act.

But, maybe someone can talk me off the ledge. I'm wondering now about door seals, or water maybe backing up in the sunroof drain not because of blockage, but because the rain has been particular intense recently. The water on the driver's rear mat makes me suspect the door seals, as I could see a straight shot down from there onto the floor.

Thoughts? Tips? Places to look?

jolt
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:07 am
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Re: Damp seating surfaces

Post by jolt » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:41 am

Could it be that your roof drip side finish moldings have a problem? The body may be rusted through under the moldings and this would allow water to leak in the roof.

Has the windshield ever been replaced? Could it leaking around or rusted around the windshield or other windows that would allow water to leak in?

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joatmon
Posts: 9495
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:19 am
Location: SMC MD

Re: Damp seating surfaces

Post by joatmon » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:53 am

Does your driving pattern have the car running enough to dry the interior? Only occasional short drives might not be enough to flush out water that gets tracked in, and from breathing. Its odd that all the carpeted surfaces feel wet without consistent visible water. Do you run with recirc turned on? (fresh is better for drying) Maybe take a long drive with the heat blasting and a few windows cracked open, if you can find a day up there in the upper left corner when it isn't raining.

sclay115
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:47 am

Re: Damp seating surfaces

Post by sclay115 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:33 pm

Okay guys, did some work on this and I have a report. Turns out, the passenger floorboard was wet. I wouldn't call it soaked, but the jute under the carpet was wet enough for me to not want to save it. The moisture doesn't good past the floor rail (where the amp and seat bolts to), and there was no pooling of any kind.

Key points:

This is the winter, so no AC (and no, when I run the defog the AC does not run, I disabled this), but the drain line is clear regardless.
The front and rear moonroof drains, both sides, are free and clear, and have been tested for drainage with water.
No other portions of the floor are wet.
After closer examination it's really only the passenger front seat that is damp.

So I have a few questions:

Has anyone ever experienced any other type of water leak? I'm really examining the moonroof assembly itself, and I'm wondering if during some of the heavier rainfalls, the drains are not able to keep up and the water is backing up into an area that isn't sealed? There are quite a few pieces that go into the frame assembly, and if all of that water doesn't make it down the drains, and it backs up even just a bit, there are quite a few places where it would just drain right into the cabin. Or is there anywhere else I should be looking? Door seals look good, and with the headliner out, all of the sealing around the windshield looks good, so all signs point to the blasted moonroof. And I swear to all the automotive Gods, if I can't figure this out, I'm sealing the damn moonroof up with flowable silicone.

Anyways, any help would be appreciated.

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joatmon
Posts: 9495
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:19 am
Location: SMC MD

Re: Damp seating surfaces

Post by joatmon » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:42 pm

How about the area between the windshield and the hood? On a relative's non-Vibe, water was leaking inside because of tree litter plugging the drain holes for the fresh air intake area.

I assume you would have noticed if any of the rubber plugs were missing in the floor pan allowing road spray in, so I won't even mention it.

Might be time to sit inside while someone hoses the outside.

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