1998 Honda Civic HX leaking trunk - Fuelly Forums

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Old 03-03-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
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1998 Honda Civic HX leaking trunk

Ever since I bought this car used in 2005, water leaks into the trunk during heavy rain. It drips from the rail on the right upper side of the trunk (just beneath the rain gutter). I tried finding the source by climbing in the trunk with a flashlight, closing it, and having someone slowly pour a bucket of water starting on the trunk. With each successive bucket, they poured it further up beginning at the right side of the rear window and moving up the window on the right side gasket until they eventually poured on the roof. I never saw the leak from this test. Last week when we had 3 days of heavy rain here in RI, the towel on the plastic bag (to prevent the entire trunk from getting wet) was absolutely soaked with water, and I want to fix the leak once and for all. It can't be anything rust or rot related because I bought the car in Florida with only 50k miles on it. There's no rust or rot anywhere on the car.

Any Civic sedan or coupe owners with the same problem?
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:51 PM   #2
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As hard as it is for me to say this, but maybe take it to the dealership?
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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I know that the tail light gaskets dry out and allow water to pass from the tail light into the truck...new gaskets from the dealer or going to a fabric store and getting thin, dense foam, and making your own gasket works. #5, #17, and #21 from picture:


But if it's coming in from the top of the trunk near the rear window, then you need to look for any damage on your trunk seal. #12 in the picture below.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:33 AM   #4
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I know that the tail light gaskets dry out and allow water to pass from the tail light into the truck...new gaskets from the dealer or going to a fabric store and getting thin, dense foam, and making your own gasket works. #5, #17, and #21 from picture:

But if it's coming in from the top of the trunk near the rear window, then you need to look for any damage on your trunk seal. #12 in the picture below.
Tom,
Thanks for the advice. Definitely not the tailights because they're several inches lower than the rail where it's dripping from. I'm not sure if it's originating as far back as the rear window...that's the problem, I can't see where it's coming from. The trunk seal seems to be in good shape, but perhaps it's lost some of its pliability from the hot Florida temps for 7 years of its life (even if it seems pliable). Another possibility is a small hairline crack in the factory sealant used in the rain gutter to seal the welded seams.

*************,
I may ask a dealership for advice on the leak. A Google search indicates it's fairly common (more often from the tailight gaskets that Tom mentioned), but I haven't found any online forums with a definitive answer to the source of my particular leak.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:41 AM   #5
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Found on H-T:

If the leak is on the drivers' side check this out: Trunk Leak fix
Heck even if it isn't leaking on the drivers' side I'd still look into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaTech
You're going to need two people to do this. One folds the rear seats forward and lays on the folded seats with a flashlight. The other stands outside of the car with a hose or a large cup of water. I'd recommend stripping the trunk interior for this too (a good idea if you have a trunk leak anyway).

Now, the person on the outside with the hose or cup will start FROM THE BOTTOM. Gently spray or pour water onto the car. First pour it on the lowest suspected place for a leak. For example, the taillights.

Wait for a second. If the person inside says it's leaking, you've found your problem.

if the person inside says it's not leaking (give time to let it trickle down) then time to try again. You now know that it's above the point that you previously poured water on now.

This time test just a little higher. Maybe right above the taillights, at the corner of the trunk.

Go on like this until you've narrowed it down.

This is how we found a leak in my '98 EX coupe. My leak is on either side of the car, coming in through the rear winshield seal about six inches from the top of the glass. On the inside of the car it drips in around the trunk arms. So it will often drip inside to a place not near the source of the leak.

Sources for leaks in 6G coupes:
- Moonroof (seals around the moonroof, plus there are drain tubes, one on the front driver's side and the other on the rear driver's side).
- Rear window seal (this requires the rear window to be removed and reset).
- Taillights (more common on hatches, but the cheapest thing to replace).
- Trunk seal (carefully go around this pulling it apart to look for cuts in the seal).

The vent in the side of the bumper and the white clips are *highly* unlikely to be the source of the leak. Honda designed those to be just like they are and in order for it to let water in, you do have to hit it with just the right angle and pressure. The vent is strong enough that if you pour water over it (even with the bumper off), the water doesn't get into the car.
Hopefully this will be helpful.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:09 PM   #6
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Found on H-T:
If the leak is on the drivers' side check this out: Trunk Leak fix
Heck even if it isn't leaking on the drivers' side I'd still look into it.

Hopefully this will be helpful.


TomO,
Thanks so much! You're a better detective than I am. I'll let you know what I find.
Steve
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Talking Same Problem, but resolved

Hey man, I have the same EXACT problem as I have the 4 door ex 1998, BUT I have found a solution. Tired of the leaking as well I stripped the entire trunk and under the plastic part where the latch is I found that water was seeping through where the metal over laps UNDER the weather stripping. What was going on was that when it rained or I washed my car water was getting UNDER the weather stripping due to the previous owner trying to seal it... When you try and seal something like that it causes bubbles and gaps, water WILL find its way under the smallest gap like that and it follows all the way around that stripping to gaps in the metal that are normally protected by the stripping and then boom, water gets in. I replaced my weather stripping with a genuine oem strip and I have not had the problem since. It was around 50 bucks but well worth it. Make sure to get an oem one because knock offs do NOT fit the same. And dont use a sealant when putting this on, it needs to set flush alllll by its self. I hope you read this and I hope it fixes you problem =)
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