Water leak...into spare tire area etc

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by johntpr, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. johntpr

    johntpr Junior Member

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    My 2004 Prius has an unusual water leak (no prior accidents..I'm original owner)...the spare tire well, the area under right side small 12 volt battery and the area on left side opposite battery (under small compartment) all fill with water when it rains or car wash etc. All the body plugs are in place. After soaking the right tailight area ..there is a tiny leak from the gasket, so i don't think this is the total problem. The left tailight stays dry. High up in left side like almost in area from gas door or higher..like area where water channel is where hatch strut mounts..the inside metal is all wet and drips from up high and I think fills up the left compartment and my theory is it splashed into spare tire well as I drive. Looking at exterior hatch channel etc...can't figure out how water is entering and dripping through interior metal panels back down. As far as tailight gaskets..they are not available by themselves..you have to buy whole new tailights!.:( Anyone track down similar problem?
     
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  2. boppo

    boppo Active Member

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    I would take everting out of the trunk and get inside and have someone hose you down.
     
  3. johntpr

    johntpr Junior Member

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    Did that...still can't figure out
     
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Its usually that gasket around the lens. Its a real problem with Nissans too. Especially with Sentra's. The Nissan fix is to do a nice goop job with silicone around where the lamp & that top rain channel meet.You really can't fix that gasket itself as its not a gasket more of a tar/goop from hell. Almost impossibe to clean out & replace. Not sure if the prius uss a nice gasket or is gooped form hell too but there's usually a crack there where water pours over that union. I noticed our cars have that same crack/channel meeting. Fill that crack with silicone so water does not go in that crack anymore and I bet your dry.
    Water in the trunk is awful as it gets quite stinky.
     
  5. Martie99

    Martie99 New Member

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    We are having the exact same problem with our '04 Prius.

    Long story short, we spent about two hours hosing the car down, and taking the trunk panels off.

    We were going nuts, because we confirmed that water was coming in from the top corners of the hatch area. Finally, we noticed this tiny crack that is located at the top corner of the hatch area. It actually starts underneath the rain gutter trim piece. We've pretty much confirmed that this is where the water is coming in.

    There is an identical crack on the driver side rain gutter. It appears to be leaking some water as well, which accumulates under that little storage compartment on the driver side.

    I want to post up some pics, but can't yet since I just joined.

    We are not quite sure what to do. The car is technically out of warranty, so we are not sure how Toyota would handle this.

    As of now, we're going to lightly silicone the crack, and hope the leak stops...
     
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  6. johntpr

    johntpr Junior Member

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    Mine had cracks there too. I used seam sealer on them, pulled back that black trim on roof and did under there too wherever it was questionable with cracks. I also used black silicone around the 2 black rubber boots that are towards roof and go to hatch. I also removed one tailight that was slightly leaking and used silicone around tailight gasket. The gasket is not available from Toyota...you have to buy whole new talight. So far i'm leak free!
     
  7. calebu2

    calebu2 Junior Member

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    Who designed the 12v battery area in the prius?!?

    I just had the same issue as everyone else with water in the tire area and the battery area. But the genius of the battery area is that they designed the grommits at the bottom of the battery well to be more waterproof than the grommit around the tail light. Thank goodness they make the base of the battery out of solid plastic or I would have had problems.

    I swear that my Prius is feeling left out with all the other Toyota attention going on. In the past week, the MFD has started acting up (Need to brush up on my soldering skills before I fix that one) and the back of the car sounds like I am transporting a case of evian.

    Well, if that's all the issues I have, I really can't complain :)
     
  8. calebu2

    calebu2 Junior Member

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    OK. Serious question after my rant last week.

    I just tried spraying the tail light and hatch back area with a high pressure jet of water and did not notice any moisture seeping into the car.

    Where I am noticing moisture is around the battery vent above the 12v battery. Where does that vent go after it cuts through the wall of the car? And is there a common cause of water coming back through it?

    Steve
     
  9. TM2647

    TM2647 New Member

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    I have had the same problem recently with my 2004 prius. We had a huge rain storm, I went away for a week come home to a STNKY car. I went to clean it out and found water in the same place. I brought it to the dealer the other day it turns out the water is coming in through the antenna. Their recommendation for repair, the roof needs to be completely replaced and they plan on tearing everything from the trunk & backseat out of the car to check for mold & electrical damage. It's quite the expensive fix. But, even a little rain leaves water in the car.
     
  10. eluo

    eluo Member

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    I have the same problem with my 07 Prius with the battery compartment filling with rain water. Took apart my bumper looking for the leak but couldn't find any crack or breach in the tail light gasket.

    With the bumper apart and looking at the side vent, I think it possible for the tire to throw rain water into the vent

    PassengerSideRearVent.JPG

    With the bumper back on, there is a fairly big gap between the bumper and the vent with the opening right behind the tire.

    Thinking back, this problem started after I changed out my old Integrities with Cooper GFE. This new tire with deeper threads may be throwing water into the vent. I'll try to block the opening behind the tire and see what happens.

    DriverSideRearVent.JPG

    DriverSideRearCompartmentRemoved.JPG
     
  11. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Could you post a photo of the gap? I just went and looked and did not see any gap but maybe I didn't know where to look. Thanks!
     
  12. eluo

    eluo Member

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    Here is a picture of the opening behind the rear passenger side tire.
    IMG_2101.JPG
    Rear driver side has the same opening. I covered 1/2 of the opening on both side. Was going to cover more but couldn't find thick plastic long enough. As far as effectiveness, I think the covering helps. Drove my Prius in the rain for an hour and didn't find pooled water in the battery compartment. I’ll report back after the next rain storm.
     
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  13. eluo

    eluo Member

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    Here is the same photo posted previously of the passenger side vent with the bumper removed and my interpretation of how water gets thrown into the vent
    PassengerSideRearVent.JPG
     
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  14. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Interesting. It looks like your car had a piece of plastic missing which you replaced with the white plastic. Did you buy the car new? Has the car ever been in the shop for repairs? Here are some pics for comparison: Your car:
    [​IMG]

    Mine: Note the black piece on my car that matches the location of the white plastic you added on yours:
    [​IMG]
    There is a mud flap but it covers only the edge of the bumper cover, roughly where the 4 ">" signs are in your photo, and it does not cover the "gap" shown in your photo.

    Close ups: Top:
    [​IMG]

    Bottom:
    [​IMG]

    Maybe you could ask your dealer's parts department and see if they sell the missing part on your car. Good luck!
     
  15. eluo

    eluo Member

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    Wow... big surprised... My 07, bought new, have never been in the shop except for state inspections and inverter coolant pump replacement that was done about a month ago. My guess is that I bought it like that without that plastic piece. Is that cover standard for all 07 model? Can anyone else confirm if their cover is missing? Thanks!
     
  16. Timotheos

    Timotheos New Member

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    Martie99: Did your fix work? Could you upload pictures of the area you repaired?

     
  17. bigrednw

    bigrednw New Member

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    I am having a similar problem as well with my 2007 Prius. I first noticed it when the foot well on the back passenger side filled up with water. After reading this forum I looked at the spare tire and 12V battery areas. They were both completely filled with water. But my car does have the protective piece of plastic that eulo is missing. I've purposefully driven through some puddles to test where water might be getting in and I see a bit of water coming up through the hole that the tube from the battery exits and also a bit through some of the seams just below and to the right of the latch for the hatch. Any more ideas on where the water might be getting in, since it doesn't seem to be the same as eulo's problem, and how I can fix it? Also, how did all that water travel from the back battery/tire area to the back passenger wheel well?
     
  18. Cip

    Cip Junior Member

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    Hi!
    I am having the same problem. I described the issue and posted pictures in a different thread (I just found this one) http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-care-maintenance-troubleshooting/84852-mildew-under-rear-passenger-carpet-2.html

    I think any update on how you approached the leak issue and especially if it worked would be great! Also some pics would help. Definitely I am not the only one interested in the topic, so it would help others too.

    Timotheos, bigrednw, any luck?

    Martie99, johntpr, can you confirm that your solution worked? Also, can you post some pics? I cannot see the cracks you are talking about. Also is it 100% confirmed that the water under the RR passenger carpet gets there from behind? I would put some silicone in its way, at least to keep it in the "trunk".

    Thanks!
     
  19. bigrednw

    bigrednw New Member

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    Cip,

    The problem turned out to be that my Prius had been in a rear-end collision and improperly repaired. I bought it used from a dealer (Larry H. Miller Honda) and they did not disclose that it had been in a wreck, nor did the Carfax report record a collision. So the lessons I took away from this are 1) buyer beware and 2) don't buy anything from Larry H Miller!

    The repair required welding a seam that hadn't been properly closed in behind the bumper--sorry no pics. Before discovering the collision damage the body repair shop told me common places for water to get in are tail light assembly (as many in this thread have noted) and through worn gaskets around hatchback, but it sounds like you have already ruled those out.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Cip

    Cip Junior Member

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    Thanks!
    I ruled the taillight out in deed. But I am not sure about the gasket ... visually it looks fine, but...! The story about the seam behind the bumper is news. I think that doesn't apply to me, because I didn't see any leak from that side, but I am not sure now. I am the second owner of this Pri, and although the Carfax didn't show anything ... I noticed that the rear bumper is a little displaced and there are some signs that it has been touch-up painted. So I will look again to the bumper area too, just to double check.
     
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