About 3 weeks ago I noticed my dear '93 Honda wagon with only 68,000 miles was developing lots of condensation on the inside windows. About a week ago I noticed that there was about half an inch of water on the passenger side in the front, back and a little in the well that holds the spare tire. I have contacted my mechanic and a leak specialist. The leak specialist said (without seeing the car) that there was more than one leak since water was appearing in all these areas. I thought it strange that all leaks would appear at one time. Anyone else had this problem? If so how was it addressed. Also need to mention that about 3 weeks after I bought the car 18 years ago, I forgot to set the parking brake and it backed into a rock wall which damaged the passenger side of the wagon. That damage was repaired at the time. The windshield is also cracked but I can’t imagine that would be the source of the problem. There is no water on the dash. Please help, can’t afford a new car!
Check your condensation drain tube. It’s supposed to drain condensation from the evaporator housing to the street, so that you don’t get water and mold on your carpet. Turn on the engine, turn on the AC and check after several minutes if water is dripping underneath the car. It should be.
Get that windshield replaced. No excuses. Windshields are cheap to replace. I’ve worked on cars where the windshield caused condensation on several places inside (under the headliner and in trunk) because it needed to be resealed. This happened when it was raining or damp outside.
Have a shop or one of those mobile windshield guys replace the windshield and do an especially good job resealing it.
Thanks for responding. I will follow your suggestions.
On Hondas it isn’t uncommon for a taillight seal to fail eventually. peel the inner cover near the tail light away and see if there"s water coming in there
OK, good suggestion. Do you think that would cause leakage in the front and back seat areas as well? Thanks for responding.
Water travels. I’ve certainly seen water in the trunk area because of a bad tail light seal.
With a car that is nearing its second decade, it is possible that there are multiple problems.
Yes, a tail light seal may be defective.
Yes, the broken windshield may also contribute to the problem.
Yes, the HVAC condensate drain may be clogged.
And…let us not forget about some other possibilities, including a leaking heater core and/or the HVAC system either being inadvertantly left in the recirculate mode, or simply not functioning properly.
This could be a case of more than one problem contributing to that accumulation of water inside the car.
Hi VDCdriver, Can you explain what how the HVAV system could be left in recirculate mode? Is that the button on the dash that I push to recirculate the air in the car?
Thanks for your response.
“Can you explain what how the HVAV system could be left in recirculate mode? Is that the button on the dash that I push to recirculate the air in the car?”
That button should not be pushed when using the heater.
It is intended only for obtaining extra cooling on very hot summer days and for temporarily blocking out nasty odors, such as when driving through an industrial area.
If the HVAC system is allowed to operate in recirculate mode when the heater is being used, it will lead to fogged-up windows, and may expose you to odorless and colorless deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Your car is 20 years old and that is plenty of time for build up of debris that can clog and block water drains and channels. Is the car generally parked inside in a garage, or outside? In spring and fall a lot of debris from the trees gets all over my cars in eastern PA. I have to make an effort to clear out the gunk before it gets solid and clogs a drain.
Does your wagon have a moon roof, or sunroof? If yes, in an old car this can be the source of the water. The seals can get old, and the drain tubes can clog and water will collect in the floor of the passenger area. There also drains beneath the windshield cowling that when clogged can allow water into the passenger compartment, usually comes from under the dash and collects in the foot wells for front passenger and/or driver. The heat AC evaporator and condenser housing has a drain hole and when that clogs water comes out from under the dash too. The seals for the door windows can fall apart and water can get inside the doors and if the drain holes in the doors clog the water can build up at the bottom of the doors and get inside the car.
A cracked windshield will not usually leak, but the seal around the windshield can be a source of significant leaking. Lot’s of possible areas to check out on your '93.
Do you lock your doors? It could be a prankster. Cars can develop multiple leaks over time but a sudden onset of this many leaks isn’t that likely.
Thanks to all for responding, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. The car is parked outside and I do lock it for that reason. I also have a sunroof (never again) but the water is only on the passenger side on the floors, front and back and in the cargo wheel well not on the seat. After I noticed the leak I tried to scoop out and squeegee as much water as I could. I was able to get a substantial amount out of the car. I talked to my mechanic (who advises me to see a body shop) but also told me potential areas where the leak could be occurring, ie the windshield wiper well (sorry I don’t know what that is called) so I put plastic over that area and it seemed to alleviate the problem even though we have had torrential rains in our area recently. I am not sure what to do next, see a “leak specialist” whom I didn’t quite care for over the phone or take it to a body shop. There seems to be only one person in the area that specializes in leaks.
What do you folks think is the next step? Thanks again!!!
I would take it to a body shop. In fact, that’s exactly what we did to find a leak once recently. Water was being channeled down the seam of a hatchback (1987 Supra) and hitting a tail light that wasn’t tightly sealed to the body. Water was getting in and filling the rear quarter panel and spare tire tub. The point is a good body shop often has experience in where some cars are prone to leaking. Anyway, that’s where I would start.
Thanks, AlanY. Good place to start. Here’s hoping.