01 Elantra. Water entering passenger compartment causing numerous problems. Now dealer won't help.

Discussion in 'Hyundai Elantra / Lantra' started by Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 18, 2005.

  1. Hi Guys,

    We bought a new 01 Elantra +extended 100k warranty in October 2000 and were
    very pleased with it until the central locking stopped working in December
    2002. Upon inspection at the dealership it turned out this was caused by a
    large amount of water in the driver's foot well. We were assured the
    problem had been cured, and the wiring harness replaced, and off we went
    happy that our warranty had done so well for us.

    A few months went by, and the central locking went wrong again. Same thing,
    the water caused it. Once again we were assured they had found the root
    cause of the water coming in, and that it would not happen again. However,
    in April 2005 the car went in for the 10th (!!) problem caused by water
    entering the foot well. In this time the windshield had been replaced (at
    our expense, as ours had a crack), and each time we were assured they really
    had found the entry point this time.

    So in April they water tested it for a number of days, and sure enough after
    almost a week under water at the dealership, some water started to enter the
    foot well. We were told this was coming in through a body seam, which was
    duly sealed and the car returned to us. We were elated (again) that they
    had at last fixed the problem which had been troublesome for so long, and
    which they should have fixed 2 and a half years ago.

    Well, that was about a month ago, and so far it seems no water has entered
    the drivers foot well. BUT. Ever since the extensive water tests, when we
    take a left turn, water shoots out from behind the front passenger glove
    box. Whoever is sitting in the front passenger seat gets a wet foot, and
    the electrics down there get a bath. We phoned the dealership and agreed to
    leave it a while to see if it evaporates or empties. As the problem was
    still occurring, we booked it in again and they said the "air box" had
    filled with water when they were doing the tests, and they drained and dried
    it. On the journey home from the dealership, no water was coming out from
    behind the glove box, and the problem seemed cured. That is, until the next
    morning, when it started coming out again.

    My wife phoned the dealership, and they told her to bring it in. When she
    go there she was told there was no more they would do. This seems very
    unfair, seeing as the "new" problem is not the original water coming in
    (they actually seem to have cured it at last) but the problem THEY caused.

    Can I easily locate the "air box" and see if it's got water in it? do they
    mean the box that holds the air filter? If it was empty the other night, but
    now has water in it, where could it be coming from? Am I the only one who
    has had this problem?

    Incidentally, I wondered if the water was coming from the heater, as it
    seems to be coming from above that heater assembly under the center console,
    but seeing as it is cold water even when the engine is hot, and we do not
    seem to be losing any water from the cooling system, this seems to not be
    the case. It seems the water is of an external source.
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. If your that frustrated, why not drill a couple holes in the floor?
    Not an ideal solution but it should at least keep your wiring dry.

    I had a '71 Opel Kadet back in the day and it had water in the floor
    every time it rained the whole time I owned it.
     
    screwtape iii, May 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    dameedna Guest

    Well, the orignal water "settling" problem in the driver side foot well
    seems to be repaired now (although we won't really know for a few months),
    but if it returns that might be my only option, as the dealership has now
    washed it's hands of us.

    One thing I forgot to mention, moments before the water comes out from
    behind the glove box on left turns, we hear a kind of "rushing" sound
    coming from somewhere behind the dash. This can be best described as
    something like scraping gravel/sand/water. It's like something, somewhere,
    is filled up, and it's all moving on left turns. Oddly, no noise is heard
    on right turns, and no water comes out. I can't ever hear water swilling
    about, either.
     
    dameedna, May 18, 2005
    #3
  4. whoops. sent from different account.
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 18, 2005
    #4
  5. Well, the orignal water "settling" problem in the driver side foot well
    seems to be repaired now (although we won't really know for a few months),
    but if it returns that might be my only option, as the dealership has now
    washed it's hands of us.

    One thing I forgot to mention, moments before the water comes out from
    behind the glove box on left turns, we hear a kind of "rushing" sound
    coming from somewhere behind the dash. This can be best described as
    something like scraping gravel/sand/water. It's like something, somewhere,
    is filled up, and it's all moving on left turns. Oddly, no noise is heard
    on right turns, and no water comes out. I can't ever hear water swilling
    about, either.
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 18, 2005
    #5
  6. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    Neil Guest

    Could you put the left side of the car up on ramps to simulate a left turn
    until all the water has run out?
     
    Neil, May 18, 2005
    #6
  7. Strange you should say that. Over the weekend I jacked up the left side on
    a trolley jack as high as it would go. No water came out, and no water
    movement noise could be heard. I fully expected water to come flying out of
    any little aperture it could find!
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 18, 2005
    #7
  8. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    Jody Guest

    do you think it could be the drain hose for the air conditioner, maybye its
    off of the connector underneeth the dash?
     
    Jody, May 18, 2005
    #8
  9. That's an interesting point. So if I was to wait for a dry day (yeah, in
    Washington state, right!) and run the air conditioner, I could look out for
    the tell-tale puddle under the car. If it's there, the drain is working, if
    not, it could be going somewhere else. That is, of course, if I can't find
    out on the Hyundai website where the drain hose is and what it looks like.

    It seems not even more water is shooting out than before. When I looked
    last week it seemed to be coming from behind the middle console somewhere
    and flowing to the right, now it seems to be falling vertically from just
    above the large connector block about two thirds of the way across the glove
    box. Its landing directly on to those connectors, so I am sure if I do not
    sole this problem ASAP it's going to give us some electrical problems
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #9
  10. I just found this on the Hyundai website. I'm thinking of taking the glove
    box off so i can see where it's coming in. the mention of draining through
    the block connector is making me think this is the problem. Is there
    anything above that connector where it could be coming from? Where abouts
    is the heater blower? I can feel it but not see it.

    Water leaks through the fresh air intake plenum may drain through the heater
    blower motor resistor block connector, or in the area around the heater
    blower. Ask the customer when the condition occurs:
    If the leak occurs regardless of fan speed, the cause may be a leaking seam.
    If it occurs after the fan has been operated at a high speed, water may be
    drawn in with the air.
    If it occurs only during extended rain storms, the leak could be a slow
    seep.
    If it occurs during car washes as well as rain storms, look for a larger
    leak.
    Prepare by removing the plastic cowl top cover at the base of the
    windshield. Carefully reach inside the cowl to the right side to find the
    fresh air intake plenum opening. Make sure that there is no debris around
    the intake.
    Run low pressure water from a garden hose into the cowl area, allowing most
    of the water to drain towards the right side of the cowl. The water should
    drain freely through the right fender. If it does not, look for a blockage
    in the far right side of the cowl area. Use the same procedure to check the
    drainage towards the left side of the cowl.
    Run the water towards the right again. Set the fan to high speed, and select
    "Fresh" air intake. See if any moisture appears around the heater blower
    motor area. This may be caused by debris blocking the drainage through the
    fender. If there are no debris, remove the blower motor and fan assembly.
    Look up into the plenum area to see if any leaks are visible. Use your hand
    to feel for moisture. Identify the welded seam that the water leaks through,
    and apply seam sealer to it. If possible, repair the seam from the outside
    cowl area.
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #10
  11. OK, I took off the glove compartment and all now I can see exactly where the
    water is coming from. I have uploaded a photo here :
    http://www.2hosts.com/elantra.jpg

    It starts on the left (#1) and follows the path where I drew the arrows,
    then comes out of the thing marked #2. I had my wife drive the car while
    the "#2 thing" was removed, and could feel the water rushing in from the
    left when she went round a tight left bend.

    I also took the passenger side piece of black plastic off just beneath the
    windscreen (the thing with the grill) to see if any water was in there. I
    couldn't see any though, because whatever chambers or channels are the just
    bend off elsewhere. I have a strong hunch it's coming from in there
    somewhere though. How can I get down in there to empty it or clear a
    blockage if there is one? Where do those chambers lead?

    So, where can this water be coming from, and how do i stop it?
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #11
  12. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    hyundaitech Guest

    This does not appear to be a problem caused by the dealer doing the
    repairs. I'm not sure why they wouldn't be willing to fix it if you paid
    them, though. Although most dealers don't do water leak work themselves,
    they sublet to water leak specialists like Water Doctor or Auto Seal Tech.
    By the same token, you could deal with these companies directly.

    But before you do that, consider that your source is likely one of two
    places:
    1. Water from the evaporator that does not escape due to a clogged drain,
    or
    2. Water that enters from the air intake under the cowling at the bottom
    of the windshield.

    Considering that the water seems to be starting on the left, case #1 is by
    far your most likely culprit.

    Check your evaporator drain hose. I can't see it in your picture, but
    it's either not two far out or hidden. It'll be on the left side of the
    picture coming off the bottom of the heater box (the big box on the left)
    and going through the floor. Take the hose loose from the heater box and
    verify it's not blocked -- clear as necessary. Also probe into the heater
    box to verify the drain isn't clogged inside.

    If you find the water is coming from the fresh air intake, you may be able
    to construct a shield to install over the intake to prevent water entry.
     
    hyundaitech, May 19, 2005
    #12
  13. Thanks Hyundaitech, I really appreciate your help. So if I check #1 and all
    the drains are ok, how do I proceed with the cowling? I took it off, but
    there just seems to be a myriad of chambers that you can't see into. Is the
    air intake down there in the wing, and if so how on earth do I get to it?
    Would it be a good/bad idea to syphone any water out of that thing marked #1
    (and as far to the left of it as possible) until nothing shoots out, let a
    hose run into that cowling and see if it fills up again?

    I would guess we are getting about a quarter or a half half a pint per day
    coming out. My wife drives about 20 miles to work and back, so the car
    isn't used a lot. she doesn't run the A/C at the mo. will the evaporator
    produce that much liquid?

    someone mentioned a faulty heater core, but surely that would cause cooling
    system water loss and the water coming into the car would have antifreeze in
    it... right?

    PS. Can i check the pipe blockages with something like a pipe cleaner? i
    don't want to put anything too hard in there if it will damage anything.
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #13
  14. just thought of something else. Where is the water that falls into the
    cowling below the windshield supposed to drain to? I mean, where is the
    actual drain?
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #14
  15. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    hyundaitech Guest

    You can probably actually fully remove the rubber drain hose to check it.
    If you pull the drain hose off the heater box and water immediately starts
    running out, it's a pretty good bet that the hose is blocked. I usually
    probe the heater case with a long screwdriver or such. (Just be careful
    not to stab hard enough to puncture anything inside).

    The A/C evaporator will produce no water if the A/C doesn't run. When the
    A/C is running, it acts as a dehumidifier due to its cooling of the air.
    Keep in mind that your A/C may turn on automatically anytime you use the
    defrost. Also be aware that there may be a significant amount of water
    built up from previous A/C use.

    It'll be a good idea to drain the water from anywhere it's present in the
    system.

    If your heater core is leaking (and you have anti-freeze in your cooling
    system), the liquid will quite obviously be coolant, not just water.
     
    hyundaitech, May 19, 2005
    #15
  16. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    hyundaitech Guest

    The air intake is typically at the base of the windshield on the right side
    (above that box on the right side under the dash which houses the blower
    motor).

    The water is typically intended to drain off either side of the area under
    the cowling into the area between the structural portion of the car and the
    back of the fenders.
     
    hyundaitech, May 19, 2005
    #16
  17. Many thanks. Once my wife gets home I'll investigate. She'll be happy to
    have her glove compartment back, I expect!
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #17
  18. Ah, I see what you mean now, if it was coming in from there, it would
    probably not be shooting from the left (where I drew that #1) and would
    somehow be coming from above #2 instead. When you say the box that houses
    the blower motor, do you mean above my #2 box. Taking off #2 drops down a
    white finned circular thing. Is the blower motor above that, or is above the
    assembly in the center? Inside #2 abiove where the finned thing was is
    absolutely bone dry. Putting my hand inside #2 and reaching to the left
    inside #1 I can feel water moving close as she turns left, then of course it
    all comes rushing out on a harder left.

    From the way you describe it, it sounds like the shaping below the cowling
    would make it very difficult for water to end up where it wasn't supposed to
    be. Unless of course the water testing was spraying water at a very
    unnatural angle. I know they were testing the front end and under the hood,
    so assumed they had mistakenly got filled something up with water.

    I feel like I am getting closer to solving this problem. I'll let you know
    how I get on. :eek:)
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 19, 2005
    #18
  19. Great! I located the drain hose just behind the carpet. Pulled it out from
    the grommet first, and as soon as it was clear of the lower floor skin water
    gushed out. I think the very bottom of the pipe was twisted or doubled
    over. Hoere's the thing. I poked the pipe back through the first hole
    (like the upper floor skin?), and wiggled it til I felt it go through the
    lower/external one. Crouched down under the vehicle to make sure the pipe
    was pulled through and open, and about 6 inches to the right (i.e. towards
    the door, as opposed to towards the the middle of the car) of where the pipe
    was poking through I found this. It was wet, and it was on the floor.
    Where on earth could it have come from? It was on our drive, and our car is
    the only one which ever parks there. http://www.2hosts.com/uh-oh.jpg

    I had a look around as best I could but could not see anything missing.
    Maybe is fell off from further back on the car as she reversed in? Surely
    pulling that pipe out and putting it back in can't have made this fall off!?

    Oh, back to the pipe. We went out on a test drive to see if the water
    problem was cured, and it seemed to be. Now time will tell to see if it
    fills again. I can't thank you anough for your help, it is most
    appreciated.
     
    Frustrated Elantra Owner, May 20, 2005
    #19
  20. Frustrated Elantra Owner

    hyundaitech Guest

    There's no way this bolt would have come off just by pulling the hose out
    unless it wasn't attached to anything. I suspect that for some reason
    that the hose was actually plugged with this bolt. I suspect personnel
    doing the water leak work installed it-- possibly for some leak diagnosis,
    but my ideas of what this would accomplish are very sketchy. Perhaps if
    you go back and show it to them they may have a slightly different tune
    about your problem.
     
    hyundaitech, May 20, 2005
    #20
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