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Another Moisture Issue Inside Car

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Technical Discussion' started by piano_man_77, Dec 1, 2009.

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  1. piano_man_77

    piano_man_77 New Member

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    I've seen a few moisture related issues having to do with "fog" or "ice" building up inside the vehicle on the front and back windshields. I have been having the same issues. Is this more common than we think? Most of the answers say to turn on the A/C, let the moisture out, etc. This is not working. I saw someone mention it could be the A/C condenser hose getting clogged. Does anyone have more information or experience with this? Here are specifics:

    2007 Base model (Package 1)
    Added leather seats

    I noticed a slight mildewy smell and I had just cleaned the car so upon investigation I found both back floor boards with about 3/4in. of water standing. The floor mats were soaked so I removed them and painstakingly blotted up the rest of the water with several towels. I thought it could have been rain at first but the windows were up and it hadn't rained in a couple days. Ever since that day (2 weeks ago), heavy moisture condenses on the front and back windshields overnight. I thought this could have been residual moisture from the carpets but its been a while now and I've done everything from run the heat on high on "auto" for the floor, blotted with towels, etc. They don't feel wet at all. I also still smell a mildewy smell obviously.

    Help!! :)
    Elijah
  2. DarrenG

    DarrenG Member

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    I had a leak from an aircon drain tube on a Discovery car that caused water to collect under the front carpets.

    The only way I could resolve it was to remove the carpets to dry as the carpet and the insulation and foam backing was sodden.

    Are you certain there is no residual dampness in the carpets themselves? If the floormats were as wet as you describe then it would be surprising if the carpets were not wet also?
  3. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    piano_man_77,

    Reports of water standing inside the car have typically resolved
    themselves into one of three causes:
    * Blocked air conditioner condenser drain tube
    * Water coming in around the rear hatch gasket
    * Water getting in around a tail light gasket

    In the first case, the carpets in the passenger foot well are always wet
    in addition to anything in the rear.

    In the second case, depending on whether the leak is high or low on
    the hatch there is usually wet carpets in the cargo area, and maybe
    standing water in the spare tire well, sometimes with water in the rear
    pax foot wells.

    In the third instance, water almost exclusively collects in the spare
    tire well after running down, unseen behind the interior panels.

    Do some more poking around to see if there is water anywhere else.

    For the record, has the car ever been damaged around the tail lights?
    1 person likes this.
  4. Bobsprius

    Bobsprius BobPrius

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    It doesn't take much moisture at all to cause the window condensation issue you mention. I would see about using something else to dry out the vehicle, heaters, fans etc. There obviously is enough moisture that remains some place, to cause the window fogging condition.

    The other day, My jacket was slightly damp and without the heat up and fan on hi, the windows fogged quite quickly so I would try some other means to thoroughly DRY the car's interior.

    There has to be residual water someplace.
  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Your condensing on the windows because something is still soaked. You need to pull the carpet up complete at this stage to make sure its all dried up underneath or it will be a mildew machine.
    At least thats what I would do if it was mine. While the car is tore up and the seats are out get inside and have someone soak the car front to back and find out where its leaking.
    Good luck.
  6. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Also, I see you have a 2007. If you are still under the 36 months/36,000 miles basic warranty, I'd bring the car into the dealer.
  7. piano_man_77

    piano_man_77 New Member

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    Ok, it looks like Rokeby is correct. I pulled out the spare tire stuff and the spare tire well was FULL of water!! Obviously this is where the moisture has been coming from. It was a little scary because as most may know, there is another battery right under the tail light on the right side and that well was full of water too. Leave it to the masterminds of Toyota though- they had plugs at the bottom of both areas that I was able to pull out and drain.

    This leads me to another issue.. How do I stop this leak? Is it a matter of pulling out the tail lamp and sealing it? I recently had the tail lamp replaced because I hit a mail box. There were a few small scratches/dents on the body near and next to the lamp that I didn't fix because I couldn't afford the body work.

    I need some suggestions on methods of sealing the tail lamp. I can't afford a lot right now so bringing it to a shop isn't an option at the moment. Does anyone have experience with sealing a tail lamp or have any suggestions? I've attached a pic to see the dents I was talking about.

    Thanks!!
    Elijah

    Attached Files:

  8. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Elijah,

    I'm not going to claim a lot of credit here, all I did was summarize the
    various standing-water-in-the-car threads that I've read over the last
    two years. My, "For the record, has the car ever been damaged
    around the tail lights?" was an afterthought, and more lucky than
    smart.



    I replaced my '08 tail lights with '06s, about a year ago, and here's
    what little further help I can provide. First here is a thread on tail light
    removal, pictures and all:

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...423-2007-tail-light-removal-instructions.html

    A note of caution when taking off the light assembly; the light is pulled
    tightly against the body work be two thin studs that are affixed to the
    light. One or both, I forget which, are plastic. When you reinstall the
    light, be careful not to strip the threads or otherwise goober up the
    stud... you know what's coming... because you will then need a new
    light.

    The black rubberish "gasket" between the light assembly and the body
    work is just trim, it fills the gap but it is not the watertight seal. So,
    the dent/gap you show, while unsightly, is not the real problem.

    The real problem is a soft gasket that surrounds the hole in the
    bodywork where the light's wiring harness passes through. The hole is
    somewhat irregular and softball sized. This gasket is compressed
    when the nut are tightened on the studs mentioned above. In my
    experience, the gasketing just fits around the hole. On my lights, it
    looked like this gasket was applied by hand; it was a little sloppy and
    irregular, but it did seal the gap.

    On your car, the visible dent may also be evidence of the surface that
    the hidden gasket sits against is bent/twisted/crimped/whatever. So, I
    think that there is hope for stoping the leak: (I'm guessing here.)
    * Maybe the soft gasket is pinched or folded and can be straightened.
    * Maybe by straightening the gasket seating surface.
    * Maybe by filling in a wave or bend with silicone caulking and let it
    cure before putting the light back on.

    Well, you're just going to have to take the light off and see what's up.

    Good Luck. I hope this helps.
  9. Cip

    Cip Junior Member

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    Did you ever manage to track it down?
    I am having the same problem, see http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-care-maintenance-troubleshooting/84852-mildew-under-rear-passenger-carpet-2.html#post1285597
    And it doesn't seem to be the taillight!
    Thanks!

    Btw, the smell is like sheep wool. My grandfather used to have sheep farm; in the summer, he was cutting the wool, wash it and hang it to dry ... guess what: the smell was exactly the same ... and in the Prius it comes from the wet padding under the carpet as far as I noticed.
  10. PriusTech

    PriusTech Member

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    Part of the value of posting to a forum is to post a final post when you resolve your problem. If you don't do that you are not returning the favor of all those that offered you information/advice.

    The most economical way to seal a taillight is to go to NAPA and buy some body sealer, dry everything very thoroughly, and apply the sealer all around the taillight opening gasket. On both sides of the gasket, where it touches the body and where it touches the taillight. Allow the sealer to dry before driving.

    The very best way to get rid of the mildew smell is with baking soda. It kills the mildew, it absorbs the odor.

    First dry everything, the quickest way to do this is to buy a dehumidifier ($150) and put the car in a garage with all doors/hatch open, put the dehumidifier inside the car and run until everything is dry. (at least 24 hours). You can remove the carpets and use fans but this take 3-4 days and is technically difficult.

    next pull back the carpets and liberally sprinkle baking soda all over everywhere that there was moisture.
  11. Cip

    Cip Junior Member

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