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I was thinking with all the torrential rains we've been getting that perhaps it might be a wise idea to check the passenger floor, since I've seen mention of flooding on that side. I pulled up the floor-mat and found the floor was wet, as in quite wet. What to do? First I looked under the hood. The windshield drains around each of the hinges on either side of the hood.. and it basically looks like it just runs down inside the fender housing and dribbles to the ground. I released and pulled up the plastic cowling on the passengers side that seals the bottom of the windshield. If you remove the two twist locks, you can bend the plastic up enough to see what's going on without having to remove the entire thing (which would require R&R of the wiper arms..) I found a formed foam dam that was supposed to direct water down into the fender innards - (crappy design IMHO) and it was totally plugged with several handfuls of leaf munge/nuts/twigs. I scooped out as much as I could, then I got the industrial shop vac and vacuumed out a lot more. I finally made sure the passage was open by poking a large diameter (10 gauge) insulated wire down the water path. I checked the drivers side just for fun, and it's harder to get to since the wiper linkage is in the way, but it looked clear on that side. I also vacuumed out the little drain in the center recess for the wiper eccentric linkage for the port side wiper. I then attacked inside. I took down the kick panel under the AC, and pulled off the AC drain hose from the HVAC housing. It appeared free, but to make absolutely certain, I used my #10 wire again to poke out until I could feel and hear it in the engine compartment. I then pulled the carpeting out from under the door sill, and the port side kick plate. I found there is a large wire bundle going through the area, which is located in an elevated plastic tube/tunnel on the floor. As it goes up the firewall, it turns into a cloth wrapped cable. I opened up the tube/tunnel, and happily, all was dry there. What was wet was the massive amount of foam rubber that forms the bottom of the carpet and the lining for the floor. There must be 2" of foam rubber under the carpet. Several towels were soaked as I sopped up the water, squeezing the foam rubber to make it release the water. The water was clear and no-smell, so I suspect it was from the HVAC drain. I then took my industrial shop vac and sucked a lot of water out of the foam rubber. While I was in the area, I decided to add a drain. The lowest point of the floor has a body plug in it. I can't get to the other side of the plug since it's above the extra trim that the Titanium package has (the extended body sill trim).. so I cut a hole in it.

 

Makingadrain.jpg

 

As I continued sqeezing water out of the foam, it happily drained right out the hole I made. Since it's above the sill trim, I suspect unless I start submerging the Cayenne, it isn't going to cause any leakage into the vehicle. For those who haven't had this happen, or those who have (it's not uncommon) - I'd suggest making the drain hole. Only takes a minute, and can be done with a pocket knife.. I'm going to check the rear seat area, and the port (drivers) side to see if the same drain can be done. It might be sufficient to simply make the X cuts in the plugs, that would allow any small amount of water that gets in to drain out, and would restrict ingress of water if the floor gets submerged..

Edited by deilenberger

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Did you open that black plastic box shown in your pic to see if it contains any connectors that need drying out?

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I did as far back as I could (it goes under the seat pedastal), and no - it appeared to just be a wiring duct.. The wiring just about filled it up, no real room for connectors that I could see. Luckily, it was pretty much dry - it stands up off the actual body sheet metal by about 1/4".

Pulled the carpet back up this AM. The top (fuzzy part) of the carpeting is dry. The foam still had a bit of moisture in it, so I put the AC on and used a heat-gun to pump hot air into the under-carpet area. Plus I tried stuffing some dry towels in under the carpet, then compressed the foam.

After doing that.. there weren't any "wet" areas I could find. Still some dampness, which I'm hoping the AC dries up in a day or two. What's interesting - before the AC used to dump a puddle after the car was parked, rather slowly draining. Now it appears it drains out as almost a stream, no puddle, just a stream draining across my driveway if the AC is on. I may take my air-hose to the HVAC drain and make absolutely sure everything is cleaned out.

What I can't fathom is how water from outside the car could get to the footwell area. The windshield drains around the hood-hinges. A rather silly looking foam dam keeps the water from getting to the HVAC intake (which is on the starboard side under the cowl, and raised about 3") and whatever the electronics box is that's under there (a Bosch control unit of some sort.) It should run right down through the fender. Even if that passage was plugged up, it would seem it could get around the foam dam, and simply drain into the engine compartment. I did see a single hole that went through the most external part of the firewall right below the hinge area, but the water would have to back up several inches deep to get into that hole, and the hole was about 1/4-3/8" in diameter. I may poke around my box of plastic crap and see if I can find a plug that fits that hole, just in case. We've had some rains of biblical proportions in NJ lately, so I guess it's possible it reached that level..

Edited by deilenberger

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Thank you for the detailed report. Could you please explain an easy way to take away the carpet? I have the same flooding problem in the car. I cleared the ac drain because i thought its the reason. But it was open. Today driving a few miles with ac switch on and again wet like crazy. Makes me really mad this story :-(

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For me, the wet foam caused corrosion of some of the connections inside the wrapped wiring, eventually causing a real cascade of electrical problems that were a challenge to correct. The carpeting itself appeared completely dry - it was troubleshooting the electrical failures that eventually led to me pulling back the carpeting and finding the water.

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Thank you for the detailed report. Could you please explain an easy way to take away the carpet? I have the same flooding problem in the car. I cleared the ac drain because i thought its the reason. But it was open. Today driving a few miles with ac switch on and again wet like crazy. Makes me really mad this story :-(

The drain hose itself might be damage and leaking water into the cabin, you must inspect it carefully.

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If it's AC water - the hose is either damaged, or perhaps loose on the plastic fitting on the HVAC housing. A tie-wrap would likely fix loose. I went and looked again today. To pull the carpet up, just take a dull something (I use body trim removing tools - plastic - from Harbor Freight - $8, identical to some P-vendors sell for $30) and push them under the door sill horizontally, then pull it vertically and the carpet will bunch up and start showing the edge of the sill trim where you can grab it. The carpet only goes about 3/8"-1/2" under the sill trim. It also is just under the edge of the kickplate on the right side. You can sorta see the edge of the carpet in my photo and how it's pulled out from under the trim.

As mentioned - I looked under the carpet again today - the rubber is basically dry now. I opened the duct as far back as possible (about even with the front edge of the seat pedestal. There are no connectors in it. Just wires. Lots of wires. Some fiber too I think. It was bone dry inside. While I had the dash underpanel removed (1 T15 torx screw), I took my air-gun to the drain tube, it's completely clear.

I did take my air-gun (off my compressor) and make certain the drain path under the hood hinges was open. I then popped off the front part of the extended sill trim the Ti series has, the upper part pops right off with the same trim removing tool. It has little plastic nipples that go into rubber grommets in the body. I'd found this before when looking for drains - and found it full of leaf crap and rotted whirlygigs (seeds from maple trees.) I'd cleaned out that - but some more minor crap was still there. Once I did this, I took a bucket of water and poured it on the right (starboard) side of the windshield. As expected, it runs down by the hinge, and very quickly emerged on the ground from the area under the trim I'd pulled off. I tracked down a cast-in duct on the extended sill trim, and made certain it was not clogged. Before, water used to drip out of this area for quite a while after a rainstorm.. now it runs right out.

Papagut - I'm curious, where were the connectors that gave you problems? I can't find any on the section running up the back of the firewall (the big cable appears to head toward the fuse box area, but I didn't drop the glovebox to make sure..) and the other end runs back under the front seat (going who knows where.. I imagine some of the wiring comes out under the seat for the DVD-GPS player and the seat electronics.)

Edited by deilenberger

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Thank you for the detailed report. Could you please explain an easy way to take away the carpet? I have the same flooding problem in the car. I cleared the ac drain because i thought its the reason. But it was open. Today driving a few miles with ac switch on and again wet like crazy. Makes me really mad this story :-(

The drain hose itself might be damage and leaking water into the cabin, you must inspect it carefully.

I inspect it. Take it away from housing. Looking for damages. Nothing. Everything looks fine.

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Paid also attention to the sunroof drains, if present, which may also be damaged.

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Wow. I found the problem. Take out the carpet like described. Now i could see the entire mass. Like a small lake water everywhere.

First i make this small hole into the plug to let the water go away. I disconnected and take out the ac drain tube to inspect.

And you are right. Not enough to see if its free. It was not very well connected into the firewall. That caused the water. After putting everything together i ran the car with ac for a while and...... Thanks god water was nicely going to the street outside. I take lots of pics but i dont know how to get it into this page with iphone. Thanks to everybody for helpful advises.

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Great photos - especially of the tube. Since I didn't pull mine out of the firewall, I wasn't certain what sort of seal is on the end. I suspect the end seal is just to keep insects from climbing up the tube, and to keep treated air from rushing out of the tube. It's also easy to see how the end might get displaced from the hole in the firewall, doesn't look like there is much holding it in. Perhaps some trim adhesive when reinstalling it might keep it in place.

Where it's located under the dash, if someone poked a toe up under the under-dash-panel, they could easily displace the tube...

I think I'll have to look some more at mine and make sure it's firmly in the firewall hole.

This is turning out to be a useful thread.. :)

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RFM - where exactly are the sunroof drains, and where do they run? I know about the rear ones coming apart, I assume there are some going down the A-pillar? Where do they come out under the truck?

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Great photos - especially of the tube. Since I didn't pull mine out of the firewall, I wasn't certain what sort of seal is on the end. I suspect the end seal is just to keep insects from climbing up the tube, and to keep treated air from rushing out of the tube. It's also easy to see how the end might get displaced from the hole in the firewall, doesn't look like there is much holding it in. Perhaps some trim adhesive when reinstalling it might keep it in place.

Where it's located under the dash, if someone poked a toe up under the under-dash-panel, they could easily displace the tube...

I think I'll have to look some more at mine and make sure it's firmly in the firewall hole.

This is turning out to be a useful thread.. :)

There is a flap on the end of the tube on engine / firewall side. So nothing should come inside the tube.

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Trough the A style to the lower longitudinal beams, the problem occurs when there is a leak arise in the drain tube, rather than a clogged tube.

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Just a comment/update. Since clearing the tube with the wire then air-pressure, with the AC running (in 70% humidity) the water now falls nicely to the ground and runs off in a stream about 2" wide. Before it would form a small puddle under the car. What comes out now is quite a bit of water actually compared to what I used to see.

RFM - I assume you mean the sunroof drains. Where might the leaks arise? in the A pillar, down lower? Up near the sunroof? So far I've seen nothing. I guess I could try pouring water into the drain (common test on a BMW). On BMWs when they plugged up, the fix was to push weed-wacker string down the drain until it came out under the car (with the munge that was plugging the drain tube.) Weed wacker string is stiff enough to push, yet it won't easily puncture the tubing.

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It is indeed about the sunroof drains, the best way to check is pouring some water into the drains and look where a part of the water enter into the car interior. If a leak in the drain tube is concerned, and no clogging, most of the water will still leave the car through the drain, Do not think everything is OK if you see water running under the car, a part of it is just dripping under the carpet.

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Well, we had another round of rain of biblical proportions last night (inches in an hour sort of rain..) so this AM I checked the P!G.

I found the floor wet again. Not as wet as prior wetness, but for sure wet. I pried up the carpet and the foam was again wet, but it appeared my drain had worked, the wet wasn't up as high, and not as much got wet. Spent some quality time with towels wringing out the foam and drying it off again.

So - it appears that heavy rain causes the leak (and perhaps the HVAC contributed..) So I started tearing things apart looking for the source.

I first popped off the fuse cover and the trim next to it on the starboard side, to find:

leakdrops.jpg

Hmm.. drips. Then I looked further and saw:

leaktrail2.jpg

More drips. They're appearing from behind the A-pillar trim piece (at the top of the photo..)

The drips appeared to be travelling down the inside surface of the A-pillar inside trim. The path followed down past the fuse box and behind the right side kickpanel under the dash, right into the foam backing of the carpeting.

I decided to look further upstream.

To do so - I had to remove the A-pillar trim. This is actually rather easy. I had already popped off the little trim piece near the fuse box cover, and I went looking for what holds the A-pillar trim in place. Found it - one long T25 screw under the "AIRBAG" logo on the trim:

trimremoval2.jpg

After removing this screw, you can easily pull the trim out from the top down - pull it toward the center of the windshield to release some stab-clips on the back, and it then slides up and out from next to the dash.

Quite easy actually (and a good time to tidy up any wiring that had been tucked behind it.) There is a side-curtain airbag there, so use a bit of caution (don't jam screwdrivers willy-nilly in behind it.)

This is what's found once that trim is removed:

drainrouting2.jpg

You can see the path the drain hose takes. It's quite well protected, and there was no sign of leakage on the outside of the hose, so I suspected that up higher in the hose wasn't a problem (but decided to look anyway.)

I next took the trim piece off the sunvisor mounting and two T20 screws behind it, which allows pulling the headliner corner down a bit. The actual mount stays attached to the headliner and no wiring has to be disconnected.

headlineraccess1.jpg

If I could have figured out how to remove the passenger assist handle in the roof I could have pulled the headliner down even further, but as was, it came down far enough that with a Maglite LED flashlight I could see the hose all the way into the drain fitting for the sunroof drain:

drainhose1.jpg

All looked good on the drain hose. No tears, no sign of wetness.

I went up top, opening the sunroof and looking around, and found there was leaf-munge in the drain area and on the tracks of the sunroof mechanism. I used my high-pressure air-gun to clean the crap out (after using my fingers to get the big stuff out - and there was some crap blocking the drain.)

It turns out, if the drain is plugged and enough water gets into the area (I did an experiment with a pitcher of water), it will overflow around the edge of the sunroof, and the headliner happily routes it right down the A pillar trim with the plastic backing of the trim keeping it flowing nicely down past the fusebox and out eventually to soak the floor.

Lesson - clean sunroof drains. I blew them out, then checked again with a pitcher of water, and the water happily ran out the bottom of the truck, and none appeared along the drain line, or dribbling down the headliner.

Here is the rough location of the drain as seen from up top. It's actually almost (not quite, but almost, you'll need a good Maglite to see it) impossible to see due to the wind-dam popup in the sunroof housing.

drainhole1.jpg

While I was in the area, I cleaned up the fuzzy edge of the sunroof gasket (it had hardened munge on it) and where it meets the body (which also had hardened munge on it) in the hope that the gasket seals better.

I'm awaiting the next rainstorm (doesn't look like it will be a real long wait - probably tomorrow) to see if this actually helped anything.

Thanks to RFM for suggesting I check the sunroof drain. Biggest trick is getting so you can see it.

Edited by deilenberger
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Very good. Now very easy to check for the possible water problems. Thank you for your report and the pics

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Great joy! After the P!G sitting through several torrential downpours, the under-carpet area has stayed DRY! In one lighter rain I took a look under the truck, and I can see water running out of what I assume is the sunroof drain.. in a nice stream (just about where the AC drain is..)

So lesson is - 1st check the AC drain, 2nd clean and check the sunroof drains, 3rd - make the drain hole in the body plug anyway, it makes it easier to mop up (and less chance of the wiring getting soaked.)

:D

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For me, the wet foam caused corrosion of some of the connections inside the wrapped wiring, eventually causing a real cascade of electrical problems that were a challenge to correct. The carpeting itself appeared completely dry - it was troubleshooting the electrical failures that eventually led to me pulling back the carpeting and finding the water.

What electrical problems did you have?? I have some real strange things happening on my Cayenne which i believe are linked to my wet floor.

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Papagut - I'm curious, where were the connectors that gave you problems? I can't find any on the section running up the back of the firewall (the big cable appears to head toward the fuse box area, but I didn't drop the glovebox to make sure..) and the other end runs back under the front seat (going who knows where.. I imagine some of the wiring comes out under the seat for the DVD-GPS player and the seat electronics.)

That's really what got me - you have that thick harness running down both sides of the cabin, right where you are describing it, from behind the dash to under the seat close to the door. The whole thing is wrapped in a black fabric tape, and inside that is a thin clear plastic layer. The connectors I am talking about are actually inside the harness. There are a fair number of wires that are split and fused to one another inside the bundle itself. I was amazed when I found them - and relieved, and it was really frustrating me trying to get to the bottom of my problems. The connections are in different points inside the bundle, and typically are just pinch welded together and inside a rubber sheath. It is immediately apparent if they are corroded - you can see green around the connection or the wires feel stiff or brittle, or they may be falling right apart. One more thing, I found that moisture had seeped up into the wires themselves through the connections, corroding the wire up inside the insulation itself. I ended up replacing at least 6" in each direction if it looked sketchy.

For me it was one small corroded connection that was causing the car to lock the shifter completely out, but there is also, on the left side, a really large connection of I think three + ground wires that was in need of cleaning up in my truck too that I suspect was causing a bunch more problems.

I repaired three or four connections in each side in the end, some worse than others, but all definitely in poor condition.

Hope that helps.

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