Water Leaks in Your Car When It Rains? How to Find and Fix Water Leaks

There are a few common places rain water can leak in your car, like the sunroof, window, and floor. If you notice water leaks in your car when it rains, this article and video reviews how to find and fix them, and what can happen if you don’t.

How to Fix Water Leaks from Getting In Your Car When It Rains

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Why Is Water Inside My Vehicle’s Interior?

Worn or Loose Rain Guards

Loose rain guard
Loose rain guard

Protective rain shields or window guards allow you to crack the window and protect the interior from debris, moisture, rain and other outside elements. The adhesive on the guards can break down over time. If the shields are loose or broken and, for example, the window is down a little, they can leak water into the interior.

If you have electronics like a master power window switch or lock switch and moisture accumulates inside it, it will cause an issue with the switch and prevent the locks and windows from working.

Rotted Floorboard

Damaged floorboard from jacking up at the wrong spot
Damaged floorboard from jacking up at the wrong spot

If your carpet is soaked, the floorboard could be rotted. Moisture can corrode the floorboard over time, or it can break from an accident, like a crack from jacking up at the wrong spot underneath the vehicle.

If there is a crack in the floorboard, water and moisture can accumulate and make it’s way up to the floor, and this is more likely to happen in the rain when there is more water on the road.

Clogged Sunroof Drains

Debris clogging a sunroof drain
Debris clogging a sunroof drain

If your vehicle has a sunroof, there is an area designed to collect moisture and drain it out. Water will puddle up in the channel if the drain is clogged with debris, and when it overflows it can leak inside and fall into the passenger compartment.

If there is debris in the sunroof, the channel and drains will need to be cleaned of any debris. If debris is left in the channel, it can make its way down to the drain and clog it again.

Read more about how to unclog the sunroof

Damaged Weatherstripping

Damaged and loose weatherstripping
Damaged and loose weatherstripping

The weatherstripping seals the door and prevents outside elements from getting inside the cabin. If water leaks in your car when it rains, it could be from damaged or loose weatherstripping.

Weatherstripping can tear and deteriorate over time, but it can also break. If for example you locked your keys in your car and break in with a wedge and metal rod, the weatherstripping can get damaged in the process.

If the weatherstripping is loose, pressing it into place will usually seal it again, but if it’s torn or broken, you’ll need to replace it.

What Should I Do If Water Leaks Inside My Car?

If you’ve noticed the inside of your car is wet after it rains, you may have a water leak. Water may have gotten on the dash, in electronics, on the seat, or in the floorboards. Water can not only damage electronics like the power seats, but it can also destroy upholstery and the carpeting if the damage is bad enough. Follow these steps to clean water from various areas in your car.

How to Clean Water Leaks in Your Car

  1. Vacuum the Water and Dry the Seats

    Vacuum as much of the water from the cloth seats and dry it off

  2. Remove Moisture and Mold from the Interior

    If there is a little moisture along the door panel or floor, open all the doors and let the air circulate. Using a fan to blow air inside can also circulate and evaporate the moisture quicker.

    Moisture left on or inside the cushion could cause mold on the seats and carpet. Mold spores building up could go airborne and cause sickness, especially with the windows down. Vacuum or cleaning off the mold won’t get it all off.

    If the mold is not too bad, you could call a cleaning service. If the mold is bad, more than likely you’ll have to replace the interior upholstery and carpeting.

  3. Vacuum the Carpet with a Wet/Dry Vac

    Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean the carpet. If the carpet it still wet after vacuuming, the padding underneath could have moisture, and this can cause mold.

  4. Remove and Inspect the Moist Carpet

    If there is still moisture in the carpet after vacuuming, disconnect the battery, remove the trim paneling holding the carpet, and remove any seats if needed. Then inspect the area and the carpet. Airbags could go off when disconnecting or connecting the seats, so we recommend disconnecting battery if you are removing or installing them.

How to Find Where the Water Leaks When It Rains

Spraying water onto a car with a garden hose

If you want to find out where water is leaking into the interior, you can spray water down along the windows and sunroof with a hose and see where the water is leaking from.

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How to Fix Water Leaks in Your Car When It Rains - 1A Auto
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How to Fix Water Leaks in Your Car When It Rains - 1A Auto
If you've noticed water leaks in your car when it rains, there could be a few causes. Watch this video and read this article for tips from our professional mechanics on how to fix and prevent this issue.
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1A Auto
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