Sourcing water leaks

JordanSuth

Advanced Member
Messages
115
Hi all,

I thought a thread dedicated to water leaks would be beneficial for anyone who is struggling to source damp, moisture or leaks.

I've had a fair few issues with water leaks since I got my car last year but fortunately for me I took the decision to strip the whole car to check everywhere. Some of the leaks I would never have noticed without doing this and the worrying thing is if I had left it then would have started developing into rust then possibly holes which I've seen on a few DC5s! Just remember that water can makes it's way anywhere. As you'll see with some of mine... it leaked in the front but was wet at the back If you car is bad for condensation in the winter then this is a good sign that there is moisture in your car. Integras can rust very easily so it's best to catch these early.

Roof gutters - Pretty common in a lot of Hondas. Under the roof trim (to remove it pull up from the middle and pull the corners towards you.) The sealant here cracks, usually on the corners of the roof, and allows water onto the roof headliner right in the corner where it means the A pillar. If it gets bad then it will stream all the way down and create a nice pool of water under your carpet. I never even noticed this until I saw the headliner wet.

The roof on the Integras for double skinned. On my driver side the water was coming and sitting between the two skins so when I started driving the water would travel all the way to the back where it left a spray mark on the rear of the roof headliner where it was eventually able to escape.

To resolve this I cleaned up the roof gutters. I didn't have rust but if I did I would use some sort of rust remedy in the cracks. I then used a bead of tiger seal along front to back. Once you get to the back you might see cracks going down behind your rear windscreen. Yes that's seam sealer too. Personally I didn't chip out the old stuff because 1) I didn't have any rust and 2) I didn't want to chip the paint by mistake and have my paint flaking on my roof.

Front windscreen - the sealant in the roof gutters continues behind the front windscreen. You'll see from the photo that I have attached where I could only physically get the sealant and how the sealant actually carries on behind the windscreen. Unfortunately it was still leaking even though I had sealed all the way to the window.

To resolve this one I had to take it to a local garage who thankfully took out the windscreen for me (without breaking even one clip so it is possible!). He then sealed up the cracks and put the window back in.

Now the two above points brings me to this photo. I lifted the boot seal back and could see rust but I didnt know how far back or how bad it was so when lockdown came I decided to take out the headliner. I was horrified when I saw this... As I said earlier the roof is double skinned so the water travels back must been sitting there for years and not able to escape causing the rust.

Behind the front wheel arch - where the A pillar, scuttle panel and firewall of the engine bay meet is a big dose of seam sealant and is notorious for cracking and allowing water into the footwell. The only reason I knew mine was leaking was because I had fixed the above (roof seams and behind windscreen) and it was still damp in the footwell. If you remove the necessary trim and look up you'll see seam sealant from the inside and mine was cracked. It's difficult to do this test from the outside but remove the two rubber things on each side of the scuttle panel then you can peak down. You'll probably find the sealant looks old and rusty and will have very minor hairline cracks but that's enough for water to make it's way in and to crack it open further over time.

Like me you might be getting water behind your rear passenger seat. I was getting water under the carpet. Only a small amount but I figured that it was getting wet from the front wheel arch. It leaks in and channels down above the side skirts and will poke a crack in the seam sealant to gets it's way back into the car. Although it could be leaking from the rear if there's loads of water getting into the boot which brings me to...

Rear light seals - notorious for perishing and letting water in. There is countless threads on this so I won't spend anytime here.

Behind rear lights - you'll find some seam sealant behind the rear lights and mine was cracked so while in the bodyshop I got it fixed. Unsure if it caused leaks as my light seals were leaking too but it's worth noting.

Underneath the car - if you're car has been nuked with black waxoyl then it might be difficult to inspect it. The facelift in particular is really poorly finished off underneath with seam sealer so I expect with time that it will begin to cause people problems.

I've not personally had issues with the below but after doing searches on facebook, this forum and other forums this is other areas to watch out for:

Watch out for bungs/grommets coming loose.

Sealant around the door skin can crack allowing water into your door. It can then seep through your speakers and into your footwell.

The rear washer nozzle can allow water to seap in. If it gets bad enough then you'll see your headliner wet but it could drip in for years without you knowing which is the worrying thing.

I thought this was a thread worth making as I've done countless hours of research along with countless hours of work on the car to figure out where these leaks are coming from. My car was a fresh import in March 2019 so I've caught all this early so where the leaks came in and the water sat is rust free but I fear for people who have been driving about the cold, wet weather of the UK then you might find a few surprises.

I hope this helps save a few cars and head scratching moments trying to find leaks.
 

gaza4

Advanced Member
Messages
410
the seam sealer behind the rear lights got me recently too. replaced the light seals thinking that was the issue but still got a flooded wheel well. took a few buckets of water to find the source and the crack in the seam sealer was barely noticeable. stripped it back, resealed and its been bone dry since
 

JordanSuth

Advanced Member
Messages
115
the seam sealer behind the rear lights got me recently too. replaced the light seals thinking that was the issue but still got a flooded wheel well. took a few buckets of water to find the source and the crack in the seam sealer was barely noticeable. stripped it back, resealed and its been bone dry since
Ah that's good to hear as I wasn't sure if it was an issue or not. How far does that seam sealant go? I didn't take out the lights to do it. I just sealed as far down as I could see.
 

badeshi

Advanced Member
Messages
155
Great post. I was getting wet carpet behind driver seat which I think was coming from drivers for, under plastic type r trims. Had to remove carpet to let dry as thick layer of plastic keeps the metal wet
 

ste01

Advanced Member
Messages
918
I'd say it's worth adding that the seams on the facelift cars might be more likely to fail, or at least it appears that way anyway. Seen loads of facelifts having issues e.g. with the roof seams, compared to only a few prefacelift cars, despite them being older and a lot more PFL cars about. Looks to be the same on RSX forums as well
 

JordanSuth

Advanced Member
Messages
115
I'd say it's worth adding that the seams on the facelift cars might be more likely to fail, or at least it appears that way anyway. Seen loads of facelifts having issues e.g. with the roof seams, compared to only a few prefacelift cars, despite them being older and a lot more PFL cars about. Looks to be the same on RSX forums as well
Correct, it does appear to be more often facelifts for some odd reason. I'm not sure if they used a different seam sealant to the PFL.
 
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