drowning...

hey folks..
I live in wet vancouver, bc. My wifes car, a 98' civic dx hatchback, decided that somewhere on the body to allow a lot of water in. Probably
over a period of 1.5 weeks of heavy rain, there was enough water in the entire car to fill the spare tire compartment up to halfway of the spare tire and flood the driver and passenger cabin space with enough water that the ground is squishy.
upsetting...
Anyways.. I vac'd out the water from the spare tire compartment and did the best I could with the driver/passenger cabin space (in front and behind the seat). Also under the rear passenger seat.
So I have to:
a) figure out a way to rip out all the carpets and siding and attempt to find the leak. Attempt to dry all sponge and carpet. b) pay someone to do this.
for a)
First of all, I think that I can do a, however, I'm having problems removing the rear passenger seating and need to figure that out.. if someone could help me out there. Removing the seats souldn't be a problem and if I have to remove the carpet I'm thinking that if I remove the side floor panels I'll be able to get to sides of the carpet.
for b)
Where would I take this and how much do you figure that I would be paying for this?
Regardless.. I don't think that I'll ever be able to get the mildew smell out of the car now.. smells like old hockey equipment.. pretty nasty.
thoughts/comments? thanks in advance.
Eric
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Dolph wrote:

--------------------------------------
There's a trick to getting the seat out. tegger knows. Try searching, or contact tegger at www.tegger.com
If it's coming in at the front end of the vehicle, it may be similar to a (fairly common) problem that happens on the first generation Cr-V:
http://www.hondasuv.com/stg/viewtopic.php?t 675&highlight=cowl+leak
'Curly'
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What is it with all these posters posting independent, identical messages instead of properly crossposting?
See my reply to this identical message in rec.autos.makers.honda.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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TeGGeR wrote:

sorry dude.. I wasn't aware of the rules.. when you say proper crossposting, do you mean link the other post? Thanks for your help, much appreciated!
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On 11/9/2006 1:13 AM Dolph spake these words of knowledge:

This is usenet. Back when it was started there were some generally accepted ideas - but there are no rules. There is common courtesy, though.
What Tegger is referring to specifically is this: when you compose a message you are going to post to, say, alt.autos.honda and to rec.auto.makers.honda, you only need to do it once. Then put both newsgroups in the to: or Newsgroup: line of the header, and send it. When a respondent hits the 'reply' button ( with most newsreader software), it will send the reply to all of the newsgroups the message was originally posted in. Only one post, only one reply, but both got seen in both newsgroups. The information in the question and answer is seen by readers in both newsgroups, including those like me who only read one of them. That's Tegger's goal, and why he bothers to respond to the question in one, and put the 'see my reply' message in the other.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
--
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education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would
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Dolph wrote:

WHAT??? It never rains in Vancouver! It's LIQUID SUNSHINE! :)
(Speaking from a relatively-dry Pitt Meadows here... ;)

Brutal.
Well from experience with my last Accord, I can tell you the most likely place the water is coming in is through the hatch area - it trickles down into the spare tire well, accumulates there, and then sloshes forward and down under the back seats and onto the floor every time you brake. If you check, you'll probably find the back seats are pretty wet too.
Can't offer any real suggestions of how to dry it out or get rid of the smell, but as for finding the leak, start with the seal around the hatch, and also make sure the tail light fixtures are in tight and well-sealed (the other common place for water to get in).
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Matt Ion wrote:

exactly what I was thinking.. your right about the braking.. that's what's happening.. the rear of the seat is wet and the particle board was not.. I'm going to attempt to get the car dismantled and dry and then get my wife to hose the car and see if I can see where the leak is coming in. The car was parked on a slight upward slope.. so that might be something to think about. Hopefully I can sort this out.
I'm thinking of air drying and then perhaps spraying with some deoderizer and perhaps some other cleaners.
One thing that makes me curious is that the car had a bumper and side panel replaced last winter.. I think this might be related.
Eric
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> I'm thinking of air drying and then perhaps spraying with some

Hope you have access to a garage. You'll have to soak it all with a germicide and _then_ suck it all out with a good extraction machine. A rainbow vacuum would do it if you can get the right extraction tool on it. If you don't kill all the bugs it will smell forever. Once it's sucked out, put an electric dehumidifier inside and crank it up. You have to get it bone dry. Might mean wedging sticks under the carpet in places and adding a small fan to force the dry air under it.
Of course you have to resolve the LEAK before you attempt any of this. SEARCH for all the posts regard leaking tailights too.
'Curly'
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Dolph wrote:

The trick with the hose is to start at the bottom and work your way up - if you start at the top and the leak is further down, the run-down water may still leak in and give you a false idea of where it's coming in. If you work your way up SLOWLY from the bottom, you don't necessarily need to see exactly where the water comes in, you just need to note WHEN it starts coming in, and correlate that to how far up the hose is.

Very likely, especially if it's one of the rear panels that wasn't re-sealed properly.
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Once the seats are out of the way and the carpet is out where you can get to it, a shop-vac should get most of the water up.Once that is done I recommend using isopropyl alcohol as the pre-drying step. You can get it in gallon cans at paint stores as shellac thinner (not lacquer thinner - check the ingredients). Splash it liberally wherever the upholstery was wet and use the shop-vac to remove the alcohol-water mixture. This will inhibit mold and greatly speed drying. Of course, you won't be able to stand the way the interior smells while it is drying, but it will smell okay once it's dry. Probably the best way to dry the interior from that state is to start the engine and turn the heater full on, with the windows up and the trunk open a crack. For the pieces you were able to remove, the same sort of treatment with a fan-dry should do the trick.
Most of all, you don't want mold to get a foothold in your car. That would be bad.
Mike
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On Wed, 08 Nov 2006 19:45:39 -0800, Dolph wrote:

You can remove the smell(s) completely, and if it's then kept dry, permanently.
Use an ionizer, I used to have a home-sized one, that size would do for a car. About $300.
Ask at your local fire dept. - I read that this is what they use after a fire where everything has been soaked and grows mold/fungus. The negative ions kill all mold, and leave a fresh smell something like the smell of air after a thunderstorm.
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kwatq wrote:

hey guys, I just remembered that this car had a rear bumper and quarter replaced last winter. I'm thinking that the body shop dropped the ball on the seals and that's what might have caused the problem. I'm going to call ICBC and see what my options are. Regardless, probably fix this myself.. just a lot of elbow grease and not a lot of time.
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Look for rubber plugs on the bottom of the tire area and fender pockets, help keep things draining out.
--
Stephen W. Hansen
ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
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