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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping someone may have advice or a pointer...

Found wet padding/carpet in the driver's side footwell. Must have been there for a while, but recent heavy rains made it obvious (heavy fogged windows and visible water under floot mat). After drying it out carefully (pulled up carpet+pad and used towels and blowing air under the foam padding), water has returned with the rains again. So it is definitely rain water, and an overnight rain added approximately a half cup of water, so not caused by driving (i.e. wheel well splash).

I looked all around the floor pan (lifing the entire carpet+pad, and the only place wet is the area just in front of the seat mount pedestal, mostly closer to the center console. I can't see any way the water is getting there, with the possible exception of through a floor seam. No stream trails or evidence of water anywhere in the cabin. The firewall and rocker panel areas are bone dry, so not the usual hood hinge or pillar area. :confused:

The only clue at this point is the padding seems wet where it climbs up toward the center console. Has anyone ever heard of a water leak under or near the center console area?

Thanks!
 

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Water can come from anywhere. Could be condensation leak from the AC too. Sunroof drain holes plugged up. Your best bet, if your car is still under warranty. Take it in for service. Have them spend the time.

Many years ago, I worked at Chevy dealership. New car warranty trouble shooting. I use to climb inside the flashlight, or service lamp. While someone out side the vehicle, used a water hose. Trying to track down interior water leaks. We would even run the vehicle into the high pressure, car wash. We use to have to pull half the interior out, to locate them.

Good Luck, water leak aren't always in the same common place.
 

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I recently had to deal with this on my wife's GTI. I have also dealt with it in the past on various cars. Here are a few things to check.

-If your car has a sunroof check that it is draining properly. There are usually four drains with one at each corner. This was the problem with my wife's GTI. To check/clean, open the sunroof and slowly pour some water in the corner where you find water. In your case on the driver's side front corner. If it drains relatively quickly then you're good. If not, get a long flexible wire or pipe cleaner and try to dislodge any blockage either at the top or where it exists.

-Check the drains in the raintray. These are typically in the corners where the tray meets the firewall. This is usually where the HVAC gets it's fresh air and if water backs up due to a blocked drain it can flow into the HVAC ducts and come out the floor vents.

-Check the door seals and make sure that they are seated properly. Easy way to check is to sit in the car and have someone put the hose on around the door seals. Not pressurized water but just what rain would do.

Good luck and I hope you find it before the next big storm coming through tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the suggestions. No sunroof on this one, and definitely rain water coming in, not AC condensate. All drains are channels are clean now. Found a few maple seeds in various places, but the water still came in after I cleaned up every place I could think of. I've already got carpet lifted, so will definitely try the hose and/or pressure washer thing next.

I'm now thinking it's the oval drain slots in the bottom of the center trap (below the windshield). The design appears to have no thought put into where the water travels from those on it's way to the ground. In fact, on the Sport that drain water travels along a wiring harness.

If frustration increases, then I'll let the dealer service have at it. However, not looking forward to messing with them as that's a guaranteed aggravation. And not just Fiat either...car dealer service sucks when it comes to problem troubleshooting where the computer doesn't tell someone what to do. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Rain water ingress...SOLVED!

Thanks for suggestions all. After some careful investigation I finally found and fixed the rain water leak! I think this leak was the result of some design flaws in the 500, and one in 500e specifically. I would not be surprised if most of the 500e out there have some amount of moisture under the driver's carpet that simply goes unnoticed (and maybe ignored sometimes as most 500e are leases).

At the bottom of the steel well that is part of the firewall cowl (i.e. the abyss beneath the plastic screen under where the windshield wipers rest) are some oval shaped drain holes. There is one on the left and one on the right. Snapped into each of these oval drain holes is a black rubber drain boot (almost looks like an oblong cow udder) with some slits in the bottom of them. If you raise the hood and look at the top of the firewall, you will see these (they are much easier to see with a flashlight at night because it's dark down there). One of these is depicted in the parts diagram below (item #3):


diagram.jpg

Problem One is that these boots are easily clogged with debris. Depending on what kind of tree drippings you have, these can easily become blocked and won't pass water through the slits fast enough to avoid puddling in the bottom of the cowl drain well. The puddled water will find another way to the ground, but if this happens to be around the boot itself (it's not a tight fit in the oval holes), then that water soaks the firewall and finds it's way into any crease or slit into the cabin.

Problem Two is that almost all the water running down the windshield will flow through the left side drain boot, not the right side one. That's because the windshield water drains (under the wipers pivots) are on the left side of the car in NA cars. So the left side drain hole and boot carry almost all the rain water off the windshield, and this is the driver's side where most of the slits and holes in the firewall are located.

Problem Three is the 500e in particular has a completely different AC line routing that places the AC line directly below the left side drain boot. And even if the boot is not clogged, the dripping rain water from the drain boot will fall directly onto the AC line and can easily make it's way through the firewall and into the vehicle. This can be a lot of water depending on how well the AC line was sealed through the firewall.

The photos below show my quick and dirty fix during the troubleshooting. There is a zip lock sandwich bag shoved under the affected area to divert the water from the left drain boot away from the AC line and the firewall (this complelely stopped the leak). If you ignore the plastic bag, you can see that the blue arrow points to the left hand drain boot and the affected AC line is clearly in view. The white arrow points at the left drain boot in a close up view, and the red arrow points to the AC line in close up.

location.jpg

detail.jpg

I have already pulled up and dried carpet and padding, and am devising a permanent fix for the leak (will post follow up).

By all means, if you see any condensation on the inside of your 500e windows this Winter, you might want to check under the carpet at your feet (especially if you own the car). I'd be really surprised if this one was a fluke with such a dicey design in the first place.

For all 500 owners, I would certainly suggest running your fingers under those drain boots, and clean them out if clogged. Also, make sure the rubber drain boots are seated properly. The right one on our Sport was not fully inserted!
 

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Great post! With all the rain we've gotten up here in Portland this is a good find. I'll be checking out those areas this week.
 

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Nice research and documentation. My 2013 is suffering from water under the carpets right now. Trying to get it dried out, and wondering if this is the cause of mine as well; I suspect it is. Seems like that left hand boot should have a deflector built in.
 

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It's my understanding that they needed to remove everything in order to replace some HVAC seal on the firewall. I expected them to just apply some silicone or something. If I had known it was so complicated, I would have found a way to stop the leak myself.
I just hope that everything goes back together right.
 

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thank you so much! I am just dealing with this now, and I've had my 2013/2014 500e for almost 2 years and have not had this happen before. It was very wet after some very rainy days (and my husband was driving the car and parking it outside at work), and it took a fan overnight to dry it out. I just ran it through a car wash (to test that it was not a 1-time thing), and started getting water in the driver's side again, so I checked the blogs. THANK YOU I will now check for a build up as you suggest. (I had asked my mechanic to put it up on a lift to look for a rack, and he said, nope, it's most likely a leak from a window or something - check the blogs or manufacturer's sites, and he was right. As usual!) ``
 

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread, since it's been pouring here. I checked my own 500e, made 07/13, & it's bone dry.

Those who DO have leakage (& expired warranties) might be able to do an easy fix by just taping a little sheet of plastic to deflect the drainage away from the firewall.

While checking, I noticed my own rubber drain piece is very loose. I felt the passenger side & it's tight. I tried to pull the loose one back down into place, & as a bunch of small leaves fell out I wondered if maybe the reason mine hasn't leaked is because the water doesn't come through it! So I left it as-is. If this is the case, it might be a really easy fix.
 

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Rain water ingress...SOLVED!

Thanks for suggestions all. After some careful investigation I finally found and fixed the rain water leak! I think this leak was the result of some design flaws in the 500, and one in 500e specifically. I would not be surprised if most of the 500e out there have some amount of moisture under the driver's carpet that simply goes unnoticed (and maybe ignored sometimes as most 500e are leases).

At the bottom of the steel well that is part of the firewall cowl (i.e. the abyss beneath the plastic screen under where the windshield wipers rest) are some oval shaped drain holes. There is one on the left and one on the right. Snapped into each of these oval drain holes is a black rubber drain boot (almost looks like an oblong cow udder) with some slits in the bottom of them. If you raise the hood and look at the top of the firewall, you will see these (they are much easier to see with a flashlight at night because it's dark down there). One of these is depicted in the parts diagram below (item #3):


View attachment 93185

Problem One is that these boots are easily clogged with debris. Depending on what kind of tree drippings you have, these can easily become blocked and won't pass water through the slits fast enough to avoid puddling in the bottom of the cowl drain well. The puddled water will find another way to the ground, but if this happens to be around the boot itself (it's not a tight fit in the oval holes), then that water soaks the firewall and finds it's way into any crease or slit into the cabin.

Problem Two is that almost all the water running down the windshield will flow through the left side drain boot, not the right side one. That's because the windshield water drains (under the wipers pivots) are on the left side of the car in NA cars. So the left side drain hole and boot carry almost all the rain water off the windshield, and this is the driver's side where most of the slits and holes in the firewall are located.

Problem Three is the 500e in particular has a completely different AC line routing that places the AC line directly below the left side drain boot. And even if the boot is not clogged, the dripping rain water from the drain boot will fall directly onto the AC line and can easily make it's way through the firewall and into the vehicle. This can be a lot of water depending on how well the AC line was sealed through the firewall.

The photos below show my quick and dirty fix during the troubleshooting. There is a zip lock sandwich bag shoved under the affected area to divert the water from the left drain boot away from the AC line and the firewall (this complelely stopped the leak). If you ignore the plastic bag, you can see that the blue arrow points to the left hand drain boot and the affected AC line is clearly in view. The white arrow points at the left drain boot in a close up view, and the red arrow points to the AC line in close up.

View attachment 93193

View attachment 93201

I have already pulled up and dried carpet and padding, and am devising a permanent fix for the leak (will post follow up).

By all means, if you see any condensation on the inside of your 500e windows this Winter, you might want to check under the carpet at your feet (especially if you own the car). I'd be really surprised if this one was a fluke with such a dicey design in the first place.

For all 500 owners, I would certainly suggest running your fingers under those drain boots, and clean them out if clogged. Also, make sure the rubber drain boots are seated properly. The right one on our Sport was not fully inserted!
Thank you so much for your detailed post. I found water in the passenger side foot well this morning. Luckily I have WeatherTech car mats that captured some of the water. I checked and I dont have any "rubber boots" in either the left or the right ovals in the firewall cowl. I have a 2014 500 turbo. Is that normal? Did you find a permanent fix to your problem? Thanks again.
 

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I have this issue as well and I dont have the rubber "udders" in the oval drain holes. How hard is it to remove the plastic "tray" under the wipers which covers the rain water catchment area? I will need to get access to the oval drain holes to fit a replacement part there? Thanks.
 

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Rain water ingress...SOLVED!

Thanks for suggestions all. After some careful investigation I finally found and fixed the rain water leak! I think this leak was the result of some design flaws in the 500, and one in 500e specifically. I would not be surprised if most of the 500e out there have some amount of moisture under the driver's carpet that simply goes unnoticed (and maybe ignored sometimes as most 500e are leases).

At the bottom of the steel well that is part of the firewall cowl (i.e. the abyss beneath the plastic screen under where the windshield wipers rest) are some oval shaped drain holes. There is one on the left and one on the right. Snapped into each of these oval drain holes is a black rubber drain boot (almost looks like an oblong cow udder) with some slits in the bottom of them. If you raise the hood and look at the top of the firewall, you will see these (they are much easier to see with a flashlight at night because it's dark down there). One of these is depicted in the parts diagram below (item #3):


View attachment 93185

Problem One is that these boots are easily clogged with debris. Depending on what kind of tree drippings you have, these can easily become blocked and won't pass water through the slits fast enough to avoid puddling in the bottom of the cowl drain well. The puddled water will find another way to the ground, but if this happens to be around the boot itself (it's not a tight fit in the oval holes), then that water soaks the firewall and finds it's way into any crease or slit into the cabin.

Problem Two is that almost all the water running down the windshield will flow through the left side drain boot, not the right side one. That's because the windshield water drains (under the wipers pivots) are on the left side of the car in NA cars. So the left side drain hole and boot carry almost all the rain water off the windshield, and this is the driver's side where most of the slits and holes in the firewall are located.

Problem Three is the 500e in particular has a completely different AC line routing that places the AC line directly below the left side drain boot. And even if the boot is not clogged, the dripping rain water from the drain boot will fall directly onto the AC line and can easily make it's way through the firewall and into the vehicle. This can be a lot of water depending on how well the AC line was sealed through the firewall.

The photos below show my quick and dirty fix during the troubleshooting. There is a zip lock sandwich bag shoved under the affected area to divert the water from the left drain boot away from the AC line and the firewall (this complelely stopped the leak). If you ignore the plastic bag, you can see that the blue arrow points to the left hand drain boot and the affected AC line is clearly in view. The white arrow points at the left drain boot in a close up view, and the red arrow points to the AC line in close up.

View attachment 93193

View attachment 93201

I have already pulled up and dried carpet and padding, and am devising a permanent fix for the leak (will post follow up).

By all means, if you see any condensation on the inside of your 500e windows this Winter, you might want to check under the carpet at your feet (especially if you own the car). I'd be really surprised if this one was a fluke with such a dicey design in the first place.

For all 500 owners, I would certainly suggest running your fingers under those drain boots, and clean them out if clogged. Also, make sure the rubber drain boots are seated properly. The right one on our Sport was not fully inserted!
 

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I noticed some moisture on the front passenger side of our new to us 2015 500e and associated window fogging. The driver's side was dry. I know the original poster mentioned that this problem was most likely on the driver's side, but I'm wondering if the drain hole on the driver's side could clog and overflow onto the passenger side. I'll have to explore under there a bit.
 
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