Leaky Ford Escape

I have a 2010 Ford Escape. A year ago I noticed that after a heavy rainfall, significant moisture would collect on the INSIDE of the windshield, right above each air vent. It got so bad that the both the driver and passenger car seat track assemblies started to rust. Ford replaced the tracks, inspected all window seals and the cabin air filter, but still could not figure out how the moisture is able to collect on the inside. Can anyone explain this? The car is starting to smell like mold, and I fear that more metal parts inside will start to rust.

Are you using the a/c in fresh air mode? Is this with the defroster on? It looks like the a/c is not removing the moisture in the air and the temp difference is causing condensation on the windshield. If fresh air intake door is not opening or the defrost door is partially opened and max cold is blowing on the windshield causing the condensation. Most new cars the defrost is fresh air and not recirc.

The moisture builds up throughout the night when the car is not running. Pictures above are from when I opened the door on the morning after a heavy rain.

Is there water on the passenger side carpet? Do you here a whooshing sound in a turn or fan hittin water? If so the evaporator housing drain hose could be plugged. Easy as blowing out the hose or rinning a pipe cleaner up it. It’s a little rubber hose that drains the water out the bottom of the car.

I have never notice water on the passenger side carpet. But I will inspect the evaporator housing drain hose. Thanks!

If you have a sunroof, cowl drain and ac drain line get them blown out to insure water is not stagnating.

Has the windshield ever been replaced? I’m suspicious of a leaky windshield seal. All you may need to do is have the windshield re-installed. I think if it were my car, I’d do a visual of all the seals, make sure the water is draining away freely and the drain channels, vents, and pipes are clear to the outlets, so the water flows away from the car on the outside and lands on the road as intended by the designers. If the problem remains, I get a sprinkler going and put the car under that, and get inside after an hour or so and see if I could see how the water is getting in. If all that didn’t work, I’d just have the windshield re-done at a shop w/this kind of experience.

If it’s only at the bottom of the windshield above the windshield vents, it seems like condensation rather than a leak.

I agree with jtsanders that it seems like condensation. When I look at your pictures, I see a body of water through the windshield. If the car is in a particularly humid area and the outside temperature drops at night, the windshield becomes colder and the moisture from the inside air collects on the windshield.
What I don’t understand is how this moisture is making it down to the seat tracks. I suspect that the condensation on the windshield is a symptom of the problem. I tend to think that there is moisture in the carpet someplace. As others have suggested, this could be a blocked drain for the sun roof or the air conditioning condensate drain.

It is very important to not have the heater/AC set on Recirculate. That setting keeps the moist air in the car. Only if it’s on Fresh do you expel at least some of the moist air in the car. There may be buildup of moisture, from whatever source. When possible let the car air out with windows down. Remove floor mats and hang them to dry. If temps are cool or cold, consider running a small electric heater in it with windows slightly open to drive moisture out of carpet and padding and seats.

Let dry out in the sun as stated in above posts. Get damp rid at Home Depot and put it in the car with the windows shut. This will absorb moisture in the car. After extended rain or maybe even a automatic carwash, search around and see if you can find any water. Was the windshield ever replaced. The pine pollen can clog the sunroof drain lines. It looks as if you are in the south east.

The windshield has never been replaced. The car does have a sunroof. I will dry it out in the sun as suggested, as well as get some Damp Rid. The other issue is that the rear window leaks continuously. The Ford dealership in Jacksonville, NC replaced the gasket once; however, it is leaking again ! Any suggestions as to how to fix that ?


I highly suggest you get the front windshield replaced

Resealing is not really on option . . . a lot of installers can’t remove the windshield without breaking it.

In our fleet we had a Honda Civic, only 2 or 3 years old at the time, that had the EXACT same symptoms as your car. After not being able to find a leak, we finally had the mobile glass guy come out and replace the front windshield. That was 3 years ago and the problem has not reoccurred.

Thanks, db4690