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Cabin water leak 2010 Altima

edited November 2011 in Repair and Maintenance
Hi Everyone,

I have a 2010 Altima with 15000 miles on it. About 3 weeks ago I was driving to work when I noticed water leaking down the left (for lack of knowledge), "windshield support." As I continued to drive the leaking became worse. I took it to my dealer who looked at it and had the, "leak guy" look at it as well. After 2 days they could not find the source. This morning it had been raining all night and again on the way to work the leak returned. Again I took it back to the dealer today and they could not find the leak. I'm due to have the leak expert look at it again next week.

I'm attaching 3 pictures of the leak. When I first get in the car it isn't there, but as I start driving and using the windshield wipers the leak appears. They state the sunroof drains and not clogged.

Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks again!
2592 x 1944 - 2M
2048 x 1536 - 1M
2048 x 1536 - 1M


  • It appears that the headliner is wet. Just a thought, maybe the windshield is leaking. The shop would call in a glass guy to remove and reinstall the windshield.

    If it is leaking between the door and side body then maybe pull the weatherstripping down and bend out the pinch weld.
  • Your car should still be under warranty. The dealer needs to go to work with a hose and direct the stream around the area until the water leaks into the car. This should give him a clue as to what to fix.
  • Take a dollar bill and insert it along the door opening at various point. With the door shut you should feel a fairly strong pull on the dollar bill if the door is mating with the seal properly. If the bill pulls out easily the door is probably out of adjustment.

    Doors and other panels do get out of whack due to body flex. Body flex occurs with all cars and sometimes adjustments are needed.
  • Do you have a sunroof?
  • edited November 2011
    Looks like this vehicle has a sunroof from the pics... In my VW my sunroof drain tubes exit the car in the doorjamb right near the upper door hinges...on both sides of the vehicle. The ends of these tubes have a closed end on them...looks like someone pinched the tube flat at the prevent critters from getting in the drains. These tubes get debris in them over time (from the top down) and clog up... Happens rather frequently to me cause I leave my sunroof vented a lot... Periodically I squeeze the ends of my drain tubes which opens the flat end..... Usually I get a bunch of black crap/dust and leaf debris that comes out along with a rush of water that has been trapped in the tube.....when the tube is clogged it will leak at all sorts of places (probably junction points in the tube, why its not a single tube is beyond me) along its route from the roof to the doorjamb.... FIND your sunroof drain tube ends and make sure they are clean and clear....sounds like you have a clogged tube or two.... Your drain tubes may exit under the car or in the door jamb near a hinge....(just locate them, mite be in your owners manual actually, if not on the net I have them on both sides. Easy fix.... This is most likely your issue. Hope this helps

  • "The dealer needs to go to work with a hose and direct the stream around the area until the water leaks into the car. This should give him a clue as to what to fix."

    Normally a shop would have a shower head on a standpipe and let it "rain" on the vehicle for a long period of time. That way the problem is being replicated, only 1 tech is involved and if all goes well a happy customer and a dry car is the result.
  • Sunroof ? I Think Honda Blackbird Is On The Right Track.
    Did The Dealer Mention Anything About Nissan TSB (Technical Service Bulletin NTB11-045), Dated 4/25/2011 ?
    These Bulletins Help Dealer Technicians Find/Fix Problems.
    This Particular Bulletin Is For 2007 - 2011 Altima Sedans, 2008 - 2011 Coupes, And 2009 - 2011 Maximas.

    The bulletin addresses concerns with "ALTIMA AND MAXIMA; SUNROOF FRONT DRAIN HOSE IS KINKED, PINCHED, OR DISCONNECTED," and discusses wet carpets and water leaking from the suroof/headliner, related to the drain hoses.

    Only one page, it tells where to find the problem and how to fix it and includes a color photo of the culprit (kink or pinch in tubing in the lower dash area).

    This may or may not be your problem, but is worth questioning. We just don't know how competent the "leak guy" is.

  • Thank you all for your great suggestions and ideas.

    The dealer said that the sunroof drains were not kinked. They did not mention the service bulletin, but that doesnt mean anything.

    I think it is very odd that when I first get into my car in the morning the leak is not present, but only after I start to drive with windshield wipers does the leak start. Does that lend any more credence to the above ideas?

    Thanks again!

  • Also, after reading the above I noticed that the leak seems to start at the exact angle of the windshield (where 2 different seals come together). Sorry I'm not being very technical. Thanks again.
  • When you turn on your wipers...I assume its raining AND you are driving....moving forward.... Which would push all the water up and over your roof.....thus bringing those sunroof drains into play.... Methinks one of those tubes is disconnected at that level of your roof... Look into can do it yourself actually.
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