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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, folks,

Got a 1998 Grand Voyager which has been leaking water on the passenger floor. The water has been dripping from beneath and behind the dashboard close to the wall.

What I know:
- it's plain water, not coolant
- A local auto glass shop did a pressure test and declared the windshield to be OK.
- Cleaned out some pine needles from the driver's side wiper tray drain, but passenger side was clear. Didn't make any difference.
- Seems to only be leaking when vehicle is moving
- pulled the plastic covers off passenger A-pillar and dashboard top, but everything that high is dry.

So it doesn't seem to be the windshield or wiper drains, unfortunately.

At the time I cleaned out the pine needles from the driver's side wiper tray drain, I removed the wiper tray, and I did notice water sitting in the horizontal surfaces inside and above the air intake area, which I dried up with a rag. More recently when I noticed the leak was still happening, I removed the wiper tray cover, and those horizontal surfaces above the intake appeared to still be dry.

I'm running out of ideas, and would welcome any suggestions.
 

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On the outside of the windshield at its base, there should be a rubber sealing strip where the glass windshield and the hard plastic tray under the wipers meet. If you see a gap between the tray and glass, it isn't there. Without it, all sorts of crap can slide down the windshield into the cowling tray.

The gasket may fall off when replacing spark plugs (100K service) or when a windshield is replaced and not be noticed when the cowl is replaced. I had no problems with leakage in my '97 GCV until after the 100K mile service which replaced the plugs. After that, all sorts of small leaves and twigs clogged the cowl drains. The problem went away when I put some electrical tape across the gap (after cleaning the cowl of course).

Water (and stuff in the water - pollen, leaves, twigs, etc) running down the windshield will fill the cowl tray when the drains are blocked. Eventually, the water rises enough in the tray to flood down the cabin air intake, filling the blower motor housing with water. When that fills enough, it leaks on the carpet.

So clean both drains and your tray, and then seal the gap. The bends in the corrugated drains under the cowl will catch crap so be sure to clean both the drains in the bottom of the cowl and the drain pipes. Should be good to go after that, as long as the seal remains intact.

Your blower motor housing behind the glovebox may still have water in it so check that once the drains are clear and the gap is sealed.
 

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Are you absolutely sure that the wiper cowl drains are totally clear?

You should be able to hook up a garden hose to them after pulling them off of the cowl and water should pass through to the bottom of the vehicle as fast as the garden hose can feed it on both sides. It's a very large hose-sized drain. When it is raining a LOT of water collects and falls into the cowl from the football field sized windshield. If the water is just barely getting through the hose to dribble out but there is some blockage it might be enough to back up the system enough to cause it to overflow into the air intake.

Also, check the AC condensate drain as well, especially if water has been getting in into the vent system through the air intake it has probably been dirty water with bits of material large enough to plug up the tiny condensate drain once it gets to that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you absolutely sure that the wiper cowl drains are totally clear?
Yes, 100%. To be sure I double checked again, detached drain hoses, ran a garden hose jet through both - no backups, no pine needles out the bottom. And last week I removed wipers, wiper cowl, and wiper tray, and so I can say with certainty that it's clean and clear up in the wiper tray area.

Wasn't able to check the AC drain - looks like it's in the middle behind the intake plenum and not easy to get to from above.

Took the car for a spin in the rain last night, and still getting some drips. :jpshakehe Then left it overnight in some on-and-off light rain, and no drips this morning.

Seems like it only leaks when car is moving. Wheel well, maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like you were right, so hat's off to you for challenging me. There must have been residual water that I was seeing. It's been a couple of months now since cleaning out the pine needles that were clogging one of the two cowl drains, and things are looking dry. Thanks for taking the time to respond!
 

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Yes, those drains do get clogged. I pulled the drain hose off to make it easier to install the serpentine belt when I did a water pump the other day. Lots of accumulated crap in the vent drain and the hose. Astounding how much crap accumulates over time...

The idea of it leaking only when moving was probably the reservoir of water in the heater plenum sloshing over when underway.
 

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For others, my 96 Voyager was leaking clear water onto the driver's carpet after my son started using it in more humid Oakland. I stuck a wire up the condensate drain on the passenger's side firewall and a bunch of water poured out. Didn't see any debris. It feels like there is some type of check-valve in there (floating ball or rubber lip seal) that can jam and hold the condensate in the air box.
 
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