Water on drivers floor after heavy rain??

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by phoebeisis, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    My 1998 Suburban 1/2 ton 2wd gets loads of water on the drivers side floor after heavy-maybe driving-rain.It started about 1 month ago-the 1st time I noticed it was after the weird snow we had. I had snow all over the vehicle,and maybe even in the seams between the door and body.Still, I can't see any cuts in the weatherstripping.

    The seals weatherstripping all look just fine???

    I can't find and water track up high on the door or window.

    Best I can guess is the rain is getting driven in from the front where the door opens and the hinges are?

    Anyone have a guess on this? It looks like the weather stripping there meets the door, but maybe it doesn't really meet it anymore from seal stiffening/contraction?

    Anyone out there have a similar problem? Cure?

  2. cascott325

    cascott325 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i had that problem on a 93 s-10. i cant remember exactly what it was, but im almost certain that it had to do with the drivers side door and the way the water flowed off towards the hood, im thinkin that it dripped in pretty steadily near the pedals . the best thing to do, is to have someone spray or pour water over the vehicle while you and/or someone else looks for drips
  3. ecombe

    ecombe New Member

    I've got a similar issue on my '02 Suburban and have noticed it for about the past year or so, but ONLY in a HEAVY rain (which happens often enough in the New Orleans area - I also live in River Ridge). I have yet to find a cure myself. This one's got me stumped. Until I can find a solution, I keep an old towel on top of a waterproof bed pad right where the water leaks - to at least keep it off of the carpet and floor mat. I just swap out the towel after a heavy soaking.

    Charlie - here's what I've found so far with my leak:
    - It doesn't appear to be the weather stripping on or around the drivers door, this all looks in good condition and has a tight seal - same goes for the windshield. If it were one of these, I'd think I'd have the issue in almost any normal rain.
    - I've taken off the drivers wheel well cover and cleared it from debris (it was pretty cruddy) - even though this appears to be much lower on the vehicle than where the water leak originates.
    - I've taken the cowl cover off (several times now) and made sure its free of leaves and debris. I made sure that the cowl drains on either side of the cowl were free of debris. I had my son sit in the truck and watch for the leak while I held a water hose directly over the drivers side with the cowl cover off. I couldn't produce enough water volume to cause a leak even after 5 - 10 minutes of direct hose spray.

    Some interesting things that I noticed while the hose was on the truck:
    - Each of the cowl drains has a rubber flap over them that open with the pressure of the water inside of the cowl. The passenger side cowl drain hole appears to be about twice the size of the drivers side drain hole. If I held the driver side rubber flap slightly closed while the water was pouring into the cowl (to simulate a greater volume of water entering the cowl), I could see the drivers side of the cowl filling up with water, but once it reached the peak of the cowl (in the center of the vehicle) the excess water would drain on the passenger side of the cowl. The hose didn't have enough volume to fill both sides at the same time. There are no visible signs of any holes in the cowl, but its also not easy to see the entire inside of the cowl. I stuck my hand up into the far drivers side corner of the cowl (not visible from any angle that I could take) and felt what appeared to be small opening near the top of the cowl, covered with what felt like a spongy material (maybe a filter - but I know that the cabin air filter is on the passenger side of the vehicle).

    My hair-brained theory is that if the water volume entering the cowl is greater than the water volume exiting the cowl from the two drains, that the water would begin to reach the opening and leak into the cabin. I could see that happening with the amount of rain we had here for an extended time Saturday night. From the inside of the cabin, this opening is pretty damn near where the water appears to originate, however I've only removed the instrument cluster bezel (as Chilton's calls it) - but that still doesn't give a good view of the underside of the dash. I can't contort myself enough to really see where the leak might originate. I was tempted to cut the rubber flaps off of the cowl drains to ensure the maximum amount of drainage was available all the time, but I figured that some engineer somewhere designed those flaps with a specific purpose in mind.

    What puzzles me is why is this happening now after 7 years of owning the vehicle?? I know that we've had heavy rains during the first few years I've owned the truck, but I don't recall the leak, until about a year ago.

    If anyone else had this issue and fixed it, I'd sure like to know how it was fixed.

    Didn't mean to be so long winded, but I wanted to provide as much info as possible so that it might spark a solution.

  4. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Not speaking out of knowledge, but from past posts...

    Could be a missing grommet in the firewall
    Check your roofrack! It's been said that a roofrack can have cracked weatherproofing and/or missing or broken screws that let the water in
    The cowl is another suspect though I can't say I've paid much attention to those posts in the past.
    Other accessories installed on the outside of the vehicle. Check around lights, mirrors, etc. Anything that looks cracked or has cracked weatherstripping (or plastic base!) could be suspect.

    I'm sure others will offer advice as well.

    Good luck!
  5. ecombe

    ecombe New Member

    OK Charlie, you peaked my interest in solving this issue - so I spent a little more time tonight searching the web for possible solutions and came across the following links to other forums:

    Check out the post from Jan 17, 2007 here -

    And this one about the possible solutions on a Blazer -

    What got me thinking about my particular case (might be similar in your situation) was the bit about the plenum seam seals possibly needing to be resealed. That might account for water staying in the plenum/cowl area for extended time periods (like a heavy rain); but not necessarily filling the entire plenum.

    I may try to examine the plenum seals more closely next time I take the cowl cover off.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Sp0ringthing,Cascott thanks for the tips. I had forotten aboue the hose trick; once our weather dries out,I'll take a hose to it.
    Hmmm, I hadn't thought of the roofrack- I'll get a ladder and take a good look. I had a car that leaked around the mirror-forgot about it.

    ecombe-River Ridge wow,small world! Yes,Saturday night was exactly when it happened; I didn't drive it Sat night(though it should have since there was plenty of water on Williams blvd near Airline-I used the Prius to go to the airport,that was almost a very expensive mistake-at least 8 inches in places on Williams about 300 yards from the levee.

    Thanks for the links.It looks like another not too promising day today-overcast and humid with high chance of rain.

    I have another possible suspect. I park the Suburban in the street but with one side or the other tilted up on my lawn.I wondering if maybe the angle favors water that is in that weatherstripping groove/channel moving to the inside once it is released from the channel and the weatherstripping kinda ends.

    Problem is somethings it is tilted up,sometimes down depending on which way I have the nose pointed. I'm not sure which way it was Sat night.

    Once the weather clears,I'll attack it with the hose.

    We also have lots of trees here-lots of leaves, needles,pollen,acorns so plenty of debris gets everywhere.

    Thanks all,
  7. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Check around the roof and windshield are is there visible rusting or bubbling could be that
  8. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I spent some more time foolin' with it this am- even though rain is expected. I found that the passengers side has the same wet area. Plus, there is a permanent rusty/dirty sort of stain on the carpet on the pass. side that has been there since I bought it. I tried to scrub/bleach this stain out a year ago- no luck.

    In hindsight the stain might be literally a rust stain, or a dirt/water stain.

    I'll have to pull the carpet/ trim out on both sides and use the hose method to see if I can find the leaks.

    VNCJ96 There does seem to be an area on the lower part of where the windshield is sealed to the body where maybe the seal isn't complete. I'm not sure, but the seal seems to move inward,and maybe it is slightly lifted??

    Later in the week the weather is supposed to dry out I have my work cut out for me.

  9. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Do you have full glass insurance on your truck, I would just throw a rock at the glass and get it replaced that way a professional can reseal the windsheild and he might be able to find something else
  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    VNCJ96 Not a bad idea, but I paid just $2950 for it about 20 months ago,so I figured there wasn't any point in insuring it for anything but liability. The insurance company would total it out in any fender bender and probably wouldn't value it more than $1000 or so.

    We're in for some decent dry weather Wed,Thur,Friday and Sat-the hose will come out then.


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