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Rear door water leak…fully explained and solved

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Old 05-23-2012, 06:44 PM
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Rear door water leak…fully explained and solved

My sons 2009 Fit had some water on the rear floor after a heavy rain. I found a thread that mentioned that water can come in between the door frame and the interior door trim (upholstery). The proposed solution was to ensure that the interior plastic sheeting, which is under the door trim, is completely attached to the door. While this is technically correct, let me explain the problem and provide a better solution.

Rain water can enter the interior of the door frame by going between the window glass and the outside rubber wiper/trim located on the bottom of the glass. As a result, you can have quite a bit of water dripping inside the door, basically off the bottom edge of the window glass. If you remove the interior trim (upholstery) and remove the plastic sheeting, you will see this very clearly. Normally this water drains out of the bottom of the door through the drain holes. The design flaw of the vehicle is that on the inside of the door, there is another sheet of metal…essentially the interior door structure that the interior trim is attached to. And this inside sheet metal has a large hole in the bottom area, probably there so that the window motor and hardware can be installed. Unfortunately the interior shape has this sheet metal (and hole) being recessed into the door, with the large hole being under the bottom edge of the window glass. As a result, any water getting past the outside wiper edge, thus dripping off the bottom edge of the window glass will now be dripping right over this hole. If it gets past the plastic sheeting, its now dripping/leaking into the car.

Having a perfect seal with the plastic sheeting will work, keeping the water on the inside frame of the door and draining out of the door drain holes, but frankly that seal will probably fail. Instead, I removed the plastic sheeting, and using A/C aluminum tape I ran horizontal strips over this hole, starting at the bottom. As each strip of tape is applied, the door frame moves further into the vehicle, and any water that drips off the window glass will hit the tape instead of going past the door frame. I only had to do about 50% of the hole. After I finished with the tape, I re-applied the plastic sheeting. There were also two other small holes near the bottom (just above where the interior trim attaches) that I fully sealed...but the large frame hole is the real problem.

Don't think that the plastic liner will never fail, for it will. I've never seen a door frame designed in which it relies on the plastic liner to keep water out. If the liner develops a small gap near the bottom of the door, a lot of water will leak into the car. That's why a number of people have found significant water in the rear area, including me. Hope that helps.
 

Last edited by Spacecoast; 09-23-2012 at 03:14 PM.
  #2  
Old 06-20-2012, 09:41 PM
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Greetings from the Space Coast, I'm a fellow Brevard resident as well! Saw your post on the leaky fit, thanks for sharing your advice. I'm having the same problem with my 2007. Did your solution work?

Also have a question...did you apply the aluminum tape on the inside of the door hole or outside, and by outside I mean side closest to interior of the vehicle and door panel? Seems it would be easier to apply it in the interior side and minimize interference with window mechanism.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:53 AM
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Greeting too fellow resident!! We didn't have any water leak issues until just recently...and spotted it after our first hard rain a while back by noticing some hummidity on the back window. Luck for us that we got to it quickly right after it happened.

So far its working. The tape is the A/C aluminun tape that has a backing on the glue side. I find that tape very durrable for lots of purposes. After we removed the interior trim on the door we applied it over the access hole..so yes, its on the outside of the interior door frame. Its important to make good contact with each strip of tape so that there are no openings. When done, any water dripping inside the door will be dripping against the tape surface (the glue side) instead of dripping through the hole and coming into the vehile. Any questions let me know...
 

Last edited by Spacecoast; 06-21-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:03 PM
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Your fix is still holding? Any changes since your last post? The 3" of rain here in northern VA several days ago, left 1.5 quarts of water in the drivers side rear seat foot well, so looks like I'll be pulling the door cards and applying the aluminum tape. I am currently seeking additional info from my Honda dealer, about this whole issue, which must by now be known to Honda.
-Rod
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:24 PM
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anyone have picts of this? i cant picture this in my head without taking the door apart.

neither of my GE's currently have this problem, but good to know!
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:00 PM
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Y
our fix is still holding? Any changes since your last post?
Yes, no leaks whatsoever. Make sure you use the A/C aluminum tape that has the peel-off backing. The OEM Honda plastic liner will never prevent leaks...every Fit will require a fix sooner or later.

i cant picture this in my head without taking the door apart.
In simple terms there is a large door frame hole just under the interior panel. Sadly this frame hole is located directly under the window glass, that drips with water anytime the outside vehicle gets wet. If your car is not leaking, then the plastic sheeting just under the interior panel (and glued to the door frame) is still holding, and thus making the water exit out of the bottom drain holes...which keeps it on the outside of the door gasket.

The rear driver side door is the worst in terms of this design. If I recall, the passenger side rear was not as bad. What you need to realize is that the bottom window glass (that you don't see unless you remove the interior panel) drips like a water fall when its raining outside and blowing against the glass. I made a video of this (using a hose) be it got deleted. Make sure that the bottom door drain holes are clear and open. Otherwise the door can fill up with water..and of course rust.
 

Last edited by Spacecoast; 09-20-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Spacecoast View Post
Yes, no leaks whatsoever. Make sure you use the A/C aluminum tape that has the peel-off backing. The OEM Honda plastic liner will never prevent leaks...every Fit will require a fix sooner or later.
Okay, thanks for the update. I am going to open up the drivers side door panels today and apply your fix, before rain arrives here tomorrow. I will photo document my work and post it on my Honda Fit web page, so that others can clearly see what is involved. I don't understand why photos of the problem do not appear here in this forum, or have been deleted, given all the reports of this water leak issue.
-Rod
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:07 AM
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Is it one of these holes?

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Old 09-21-2012, 09:15 AM
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My car has done this twice in the 4 years of owning it. Unfortunately with the rubber mats the only way i knew was discovering mold on the carpet under the mat when I went to vacuum.

I have not had the issue since I Raamat'd my doors.
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:06 PM
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Okay, here are some pictures of the aluminum tape fix applied to the drivers side rear passenger door, where I wet vacuumed 1.5 quarts of water off the rear passenger floor the other day. Should make the fix easier to understand.
-Rod
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:21 PM
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rod- thanks for the picts. i have 2 GE's so perhaps is it different than the GD's?

ive not had this issue on my GE...
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kenchan View Post
rod- thanks for the picts. i have 2 GE's so perhaps is it different than the GD's?

ive not had this issue on my GE...
You are welcome. Could be they made some changes in the GE, but I had my GD for over 4 years before this problem surfaced a couple of weeks ago. No doubt due to the failed plastic seal I found today, but also that big hole sure looks like a design issue to me, as I did the factory window water test (page 20-25 in the Fit Service Manual) before I put the aluminum tape on and it was filling the plastic liner. Once protected by the tape, it's not an issue, as Spacecoast discovered. I hope you don't have the problem.
-Rod
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:00 PM
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I am going to open up the drivers side door panels today and apply your fix
I'm not aware that the front doors have a problem, so I've never removed the interior trim on the front doors. Let me know if you think they have issues too.

Good job on your fix...I left part of the access hole open too. I also checked that the fix worked by having someone spray a water hose against the window and ensured that the inside drips stayed on the inside of the door (but draining out of the bottom of course).
 

Last edited by Spacecoast; 09-21-2012 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:03 PM
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Is it one of these holes?
Yes, its the large access hole. There are other holes that I sealed up too, located near the bottom area...but don't seal the holes that the interior trim buttons go through.
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:07 PM
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so i just need to make a little aluminum tape lip for the water to drip inside the metal door (prevent dripping into the plastic door panel through the big hole).... correct?
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:10 PM
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My car has done this twice in the 4 years of owning it. Unfortunately with the rubber mats the only way i knew was discovering mold on the carpet under the mat when I went to vacuum.
I was lucky that I found the problem the day after a heavy rain. When I walked by my son's Fit, I saw humidity on the inside rear window. I knew right away that there was something going on. Got the car dried out and did the fix within a few days.
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Spacecoast View Post
Yes, its the large access hole. There are other holes that I sealed up too, located near the bottom area...but don't seal the holes that the interior trim buttons go through.
Thanks and just confirming I am and I hope you are talking about a GE not a GD.

I had water a couple times on the driver side rear floor mat. Honda replaced the door seal which obviously is not the problem.
 
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:34 PM
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My sons car is a 2009.
 
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Spacecoast View Post
My sons car is a 2009.
That would be a GE then.
 
  #20  
Old 09-22-2012, 05:30 AM
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I've only had my GE for a few months and have not noticed any leaks yet. If this is so common, shouldn't we voice the issue to Honda for a recall or at minimum a TSB?

Coming from former vert days, can you replicate a leak test by constantly running your hose at the same spot (various angles, straight flow not sprinkle)?
 

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