Car Water Leak Repair & Sunroof Leak Repair

Mac's is the automotive water leak finder! We determine where the water leak is, what damage it caused, and how to fix it. Call Mac's if you have a car water leak, a sunroof leak, a trunk leak or your convertible top leaks. We'll find the leak and fix the leak.

Water Leak Repair Alert!

Our water leak repair service is closed for the season.

We will resume automotive water leak repair in the fall.

Diagnose & Repair Car Water Leak

diagnosing water leakCareful diagnosis is the first step in successful car leak repair. You'd be surprised how many times a leak is not where you thought it would be. For example, poor roof drainage is often responsible for water in the trunk. Diagnosis is a lot more involved that spraying water on your car.

Before the testing begins, we disassemble the interior and dry the affected area. The shakedown phase may include removing seats, carpeting, padding, firewall insulation, wiring & relays, gloveboxes, interior trim, computers, amplifiers, etc.

Once we've identified the source of a leak, we talk things over with the customer. If they green-light the repair, we fix the leak then retest the car. After all of this, we reassemble the car interior. Repairing a water leak the correct way is a time-consuming process often requiring two to three days.

Did You Know...

  • Most Seattle repair shops recommend Mac's for water leak detection and repair
  • Your auto insurance policy often covers damage caused by a water leak
  • Mac's will patch your convertible top for free when you order a replacement top
  • testing for water leak
    Testing For Car Water Leak
  • saturated car insulation
    Repairing Water Leak Damage
  • clogged sunroof
    Sunroof Debris Clogs Drainage Lines
  • clogged drainhole
    Drainage Lines Cleared

Fix Car Water Leaks

If left untreated, a car water leak, leaking sunroof, taillight leak, leaking trunk or leaking convertible top can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Standing water can rust floor boards, electrical components and door mechanisms. It can also threaten health by promoting growth of dangerous mold and mildew.

And it's not just older vehicles. Any automobile can develop a body or trunk leak. Weather stripping, window seals, sunroof seals, firewall components and gaskets wear out.

Hazardous Pine Needles

A couple of pine needles in your open sunroof may not seem like a big deal, but beware. A stray pine needle here and a twig sliver there — pretty soon you've got a pile of debris wedged inside your drainage conduit. If your drainage conduit is plugged, rainwater backs up into your trunk or passenger compartment.

plugged car drain

plugged car drain

The same thing applies to convertibles. Check out the pile of debris (above) we found when installing a new convertible top. The drainage lines in this Miata were half-plugged with pine needles. We found the mess just in time. Another few months and the car would have sprung a leak.


Botched Installation Caused Leak

Car stereo shops promise flawless installations. But, every once in a while some nitwit screws up an installation by drilling holes in the wrong place. In this case, a misguided installer ran wires through a van's rear access panel causing a water leak. The shop tried to repair the leak with a spot of silicon caulk. It didn't work, so they tried another fix.

  • damaged access panel
    Attempted Caulk Repair
  • damaged access panel
    Hole Causing Water Leak

To make a long story short, the second repair attempt caused even more damage: a cracked seal and a broken bracket.

  • broken screw
    Broken Bracket
  • damaged seal
    Damaged Seal Leaking Water

By the time the leaking van arrived at Mac's, the owner was fed-up. Fortunately, we were able to permanently fix the leak by "repairing the repairs", then properly sealing the damaged access panel.


Hide & Seek With Water

After a few days in the garage, the carpet in this leaking Land Rover LR3 appeared bone dry. But, appearances can be deceiving.

When we inspected the interior we discovered the padding beneath the carpet was still soaked. And that wasn't the worst of it. We found bundles of wire bobbing in about a quarter inch of water under the floor board.

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    Land Rover LR3 Water Leak
  • land rover leak repair
    Padding Soaked With Water
  • land rover leak repair
    Floor Appears Dry
  • land rover leak repair
    Water In Electrical Conduit

Repairing a leak is only half the job. Hunting for hidden pools of water and then thoroughly drying the interior is just as important. Trapped water is dangerous. It can do significant damage to a vehicle before it eventually evaporates.


2006 Eclipse Car Leak

You'd be surprised how often a parking lot fender bender results in a water leak. It doesn't take much force to nudge a door panel out of alignment. At first you might not notice the damage because a cracked seam can snap back after impact. But after a few months of road vibration the crack re-opens. Before you know it, rainwater is dripping down the wrong side of the windshield.

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    Driver's Side 2006 Eclipse
  • mitsubishi leak repair
    Trim Panel Fasteners Missing
  • mitsubishi leak repair
    Roof Door Joint
  • mitsubishi leak repair
    Cracked Seam

We suspect a minor accident spawned the water leak on the driver's side of this 2006 Eclipse. It's difficult to see, but there's a tiny crack where the "A" pillar is welded to the roof. It also appears that some trim fasteners have snapped off; further evidence of a fender bender.


Hyundia Accident Leak Repair

If a vehicle has been in a traffic accident, large sections of its body may be compromised. Even if a car looks good on the outside, a damaged vehicle may spring water leaks later.

The owners of this 2002 Hyundai Tiburon knew before buying the car that it had been damaged in an accident. It looked fine on the outside, but there were water leaks all over the place.

  • hyundai tiburon leak repair
    Hyundai Tiburon
  • resealing hyundai door
    Sealing Hyundai Door Frame

After running tests, we determined that the passenger side door, a roof seam and the right hand tail light all needed attention. Fortunately, the damaged sections were only slightly out of alignment. The sunroof was in good shape. After drying the interior of the vehicle, we removed the damaged seals and assemblies.

  • hyundai tiburon leak repair
    Resealing Tail Light
  • resealing hyundai door
    Roof Seam After Repair

On projects such as this, identifying the source of the leak is usually the tricky part. Fixing the problem is relatively easy; apply a special sealant to the affected areas, then put everything back together. That did the trick.


Repair BMW Leak at ½ the Price

Repairing a BMW is notoriously expensive. A dealership would've charged the owner of this X3 roughly $2000 to fix the damage caused by an interior water leak.

They charge an arm and a leg because often times this sort of repair requires replacing the entire floor cover. Rather than replace everything, we limit repairs to the damaged section.

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    Car Leaking Water
  • bmw
    Damaged Speaker & Water Conduit

This is a great example of how vulnerable modern cars are to water leaks. Electronics, computer components, and speakers are often located right next to conduits – in this case a red cleaning fluid hose (above right). Water from the leaking hose damaged the speaker.

  • bmw
    Drying Interior
  • bmw
    Car Leak Repair

The owner of this vehicle chose not to repair the speaker, so we diagnosed and repaired the leaking hose then sprayed the area with a special anti-fungal solution. After drying the interior, we custom-cut and installed sections of foam to replace the damaged ones, then refitted and attached the carpet. Our repair was effective and much less expensive than a dealer fix.


 

Remove Nasty Odors From Cars

Water leaks often spawn mold and mildew which can stink-up your car. When repairing an automotive water leak, we routinely treat the affected area with a special anti-fungal spray. This helps eliminate odors. For really stubborn smells we recommend treating your vehicle with an environmentally friendly odor elimination system called Auto Shocker™.

auto shocker odor removal

This safe and effective oxidation treatment doesn't just mask odors, it neutralizes them. Many in the health care field recommend a similar compound to fight bacteria and viruses. Check out this video explaining how it works.

This system eliminates odors caused by cigarettes, skunks, pets, urine, vomit, spoiled food, gasoline, paint, fish, fire, trash, sweat, sour milk, mold, mildew and other types of stubborn odors.

Auto Shocker™ is available at our Ballard shop. You may also purchase it from our online store.


Car Water Leak Detectives

When is a trunk leak not a trunk leak?

The case of "The Phantom Trunk Leak" illustrates how tough it is to diagnose and fix an automotive water leak. The owner of this Volkswagen Jetta complained of a trunk leak. But, after repairing all the leaks in that section of the car, there was still water in the trunk.

  • trunk leak
    Leaking Trunk
  • bolt leaks
    Leaking Fastener Holes
  • trunk leak
    Leaking Key Lock Assembly
  • trunk leak
    Replace Trunk Seal
  • sunroof leak
    Leaking Sunroof
  • sunroof drainage channel
    Sunroof Assembly Removed

We stripped the interior and spotted the problem; most of the water in the trunk was actually coming from the other end of the car. It turned out the drainage channels for the sunroof were clogged. Debris in those lines caused water to collect in the trunk area. We had to repair a sunroof leak and clear the drainage system. Along with a few other tweaks, that did the trick.

  • drainage tube leak
    Drain Line Under Headliner
  • drain tube nozzle
    Repaired Drainage Channel
  • trunk leak
    Sealing Nozzle & Drain Channel
  • sunroof leak
    Clamp & Seal Drain Valves
  • drainage tube leak
    Leaking "Flapper" Valve
  • trunk leak
    Enlarge Passenger Drain Valve

Often times we have to disassemble entire sections of a vehicle to identify the source of a water leak. What this customer thought was a simple trunk leak, turned out to be far more complicated and systemic. A do-it-yourself repair would have been a waste of time and money.

90 day warranty on water leak repairs

We warranty our automotive water leak repairs for 90 days. Please note our warranty does not apply to any subsequent leaks unrelated to the original repair.

water leak drip
    Sunroof Leak Checklist
  • Sunroof Seal to Roof
  • Sunroof Seal to Glass
  • Obstructed Drains
  • Damaged Drain Hoses
  • Inoperable Sunroof Panel
  • Sunroof Track Assembly Damaged
    Trunk Leak Checklist
  • Trunk Seal
  • Body Seams
  • Damaged Tailgate Assembly
  • Damaged Seal to Body
  • Rear or Side Windows
  • Antenna
  • License Plate
  • License Plate Lights
  • Key Lock Assembly
  • Spoilers
  • Leaking Third Brake Light
    Car Leak Checklist
  • Windshield
  • Side Windows
  • Rear Glass
  • Body Seams
  • Door Seams
  • Access Boots
  • Door Shields
  • Fresh Air Vents
  • Electrical Connections
  • Leaking Firewall
  • Rust
  • Speedometer, Throttle Cables
  • Luggage Racks
  • Water Damage

    Left untreated, water leaks invites rust. In addition to rust, moisture trapped inside closed-cell carpet padding breeds mold and mildew. The yellow debris (below) is what's left of a water-damaged floor pad. The dense foam had absorbed so much water that it couldn't be dried.

    The only thing to do is rip out and replace the old padding.

    damaged foam
    Water Leaks Destroy Carpet Padding
  • Find Car Water Leak

    Our automotive water leak repair experts use a number of techniques to identify the source of a water leak. The first step; modified lawn sprinklers to simulate rainfall.

    water leak damage
    Diagnosing Water Leak
  • Repair Leaking Sunroof

    While most auto insurers don't pay for sunroof leak repair or leak repair, many comprehensive policies will pay for the damage caused by a water leak. Check with your insurance company for details.

    testing for water leak
    Testing Sunroof For Water Leak
  • Roof Rack Leak

    Roof racks are usually watertight when they exit the factory, but fasteners eventually go bad. The roof rack on this Sierra Classic was leaking so badly, the headliner turned to mush. We pulled the headliner and resealed the roof rack from the inside. Problem solved.

    suburban roof rack
    Roof Rack On Sierra Classic
    suburban roof rack
    Fasteners Sealed
  • Dangerous Mold & Mildew

    Left untreated, mold and mildew can cause significant damage. The pictures below illustrate how mold that sprouted in the carpet of a car leaking water eventually spread to the seats and underneath the headliner.

    mold growing in car
    Mold Growing In Carpet
    mold growing on seat
    Mold Growing On Seat
    mold growing under headliner
    Mold Growing Under Headliner
  • Leaks Cause Rust

    Standing water from a leak can be big trouble. The picture below shows a rust ring inside a wheel well. It was caused when water from a trunk leak pooled under the spare tire. It's a good thing they contacted us when they did. Left untreated, this car could've turned into a Chicago-style rust bucket.

    rusted wheel well
    Rusted Wheel Well
  • Patch Vandalized Top

    When you file an insurance claim for a top that's been vandalized or when you order a new top from Mac's Upholstery, we'll temporarily patch your leaking convertible top free of charge. The patch is not designed to last forever, but it's much more than a strip of duct tape. Our technicians take time to sew and seal the damaged area.

    mold growing in car
    Temporary Patch
  • Convertible Leak Repair

    If the leak is not the result of vandalism, we'll test your top to determine if the leak results from a bad seal or a damaged top.

    diagnosing covertible water leak
    Diagnosing Convertible Leaking Water
    testing covertible rain seal
    Checking Side Windows For Leak
  • Guaranteed Results

    When we fix a trunk leak, fix a convertible leak, repair a sunroof water leak or repair a car door water leak our work is guaranteed. Count on Mac's to fix any car water leak or truck water leak.

  • diagnosing car water leak
    Diagnosing Car Leaking Water
  • sealing water leak with epoxy
    Sealing Water Leak with Epoxy