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Q: Water leak in my rear passenger foot well

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Whenever it rains, I have a puddle of water in the rear passenger foot well. The auto shop first told me the vapor barriers we ok, that it was caused by clogged sun roof drains. They said they unclogged them but there was more water after a storm. This time they said it IS the vapor barriers, which they re-sealed. Again, the car still leaks. They now claim the need to take the carpets up, not to dry the car, but to see where the leak is coming from. I asked if the drains in the front of the car were checked but cannot get a straight answer. Can those cause a leak into the rear? If in fact, the sun roof and vapor barriers have been repaired, what else could it be? At this point, I feel like I'm being scammed and want to know if I'd be throwing more money away by lifting the carpet and seats, etc.

My car has 197000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There may be no easy answer for this. Modern cars are so thoroughly insulated and sealed, and the interior structures are so complex that it can be very difficult to find the kind of leak that you’re looking for. It could be a door seal or a window seal that leaks underneath a trim panel so there is no visible path of water for you to trace. Leaking sunroofs may show up in the darnedest places because the water may travel underneath the headliner and other trim. One valuable piece of information would be whether the car develops this puddle while it is stationary in the rain or does it need to be driven to get we inside. Taking the carpet up is actually a logical step, but it is very time consuming because of the amount of disassembly involved, so this could turn into a very expensive repair. I doubt that the dealer is scamming you, I’ts just a very difficult job and I’m sure they would like to see it solved as much as you would. It may actually be a job that is more appropriate for a body shop because they know more about how the interior is put together and often have a lower hourly rate. If you are really frustrated with your dealer, you could contact Your Mechanic about having a technician come out to your home and look at your car and try to find your water leak.

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