Trunk leaks in 1991 Accord

Good morning.
Water is leaking into the trunk of my 1991 Accord EX. The shop did the following:
1. Verified that sunroof drains are not clogged. 2. Quoted me $500 to replace all the taillights.
It looks like I'll be taking over after step #1. :-)
Have any of you guys dealt with this problem? What is the recommended procedure for making the taillight area watertight again?
Thanks -Mark
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Sounds like you heard this is a common problem for c. 1990 Hondas. It is usually the gaskets used in and around the taillight housings that fail. If you're a little handy, fixing these is pretty easy. One may either (1) simply replace all the gaskets; or one may (2) disassemble, clean with water the old gaskets, apply a bead of good, temperature appropriate silicone IIRC caulking on both sides, and re-assemble.
I did (2) a few years ago with my 91 Civic. No leaks since.
Approach (1) is more expensive. Approach (2) is harder to clean up if and when the caulking has to be redone.
You should try to confirm that the gaskets are the culprits, first, too. Any water in the taillight housings, for example?
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I had the same problem on my 91 Accord and fixed it with a $5 tube of Silicone II caulk like Elle suggested. I also ran a bead down the seam in the gutter where the trunk and rear quarter panels come together. Haven't had a drop of water in the trunk since. A lot cheaper than the dealer's $500 solution.

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Following a suggestion from several people, I removed the taillights and cleaned the gaskets and reinstalled them with a generous application of silicone caulk. This took care of the water that was leaking around the taillights.
Unfortunately, I still have a small leak into the left rear corner of the trunk. I removed the side trim panel and discovered that the water is coming in around the edges of the ventilation outflow valve. Apparently water running down the side of the car gets underneath the bumper and finds its way in through this area.
So my plan of attack is to remove the rear bumper, inspect the area around the outflow valve, and correct the leak with a new gasket and/or silicone caulk where the outflow valve is installed.
Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
Thanks -Mark
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Sure. I don't recollect this particular area leaking, so I'd double check as best I could first. OTOH, I think there have been a few odd sources reported here at times, in addition to the "usual suspects" (taillight gaskets).
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Speaking of odd leak sources... I still have that stupid one at the left- rear corner of the roof at the hatch.
After a good rain, the first couple of right turns causes a little sprinkle of droplets to dribble out of the C-pillar molding and onto the windowsill.
I've investigated as thoroughly as I could, resealing the roof seam at the ditch molding (removed hatch to get proper access), but still it leaks. It's not coming in through the windows and not being driven back from the windshield. It has GOT to be the roof ditch seam, but I'm damned if I can find the leak.
Even when I drop the rear of the headliner, there's no rust trail anywhere that I can see, so I can't even trace it back anywhere that way. My next step is to remove the headliner entirely (in the spring) and drive around like that until I find out where it's coming from.
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Well that's darned annoying.
Not to be too impertinent, but this is FAQ material, oh beloved(!) high lord of the unofficial Q page. ;-)
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IF I EVER FIND IT!...it will make the FAQ page.
Leaks are most annoying, you know?
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wrote

I meant the topic of "trunk leaks" in general. :-)
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Oh. Well, one day...
I did take pics of when I changed my taillight gaskets last fall, but haven't done anything with them yet.
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In the meantime, if anyone else has photos and text writeups of *solved* leak problems, I can add those to my to-do list for such a page.
I've been waiting for work to slow down so I can devote some solid time to the site, but it's been gangbusters since last June.
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wrote:

I've got a leak into my kitchen from the shower above. But whether it's the water intake, drain, or pan, I have no idea. Wrong newsgroup of course, but leaks in any area are annoying and hard to find. Water may always try to get to the lowest point, but it can take some pretty circuitous routes to get there.
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I'll take some photos of the leak around the ventilation outflow valve, and my efforts to resolve it. I'll post 'em if I solve the leak successfully.
-Mark
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wrote:

That would be nice, thanks.
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I still can't locate the leak that I am getting on the left side of my trunk. I had the gaskets changed in the taillights & still was getting water in the trunk. I than took it to Honda & they insist it is getting in from a tear that I have in the gasket that lines the trunk. I don't think that is the problem.....any advice?/
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Which model and year?
If it's a 1991-ish Accord, then I suggest you investigate the air outflow valve as a possible cause. That was the source of the leak in the lefthand side of the trunk in my car. I removed it today, cleaned it up, and reinstalled it with lots of silicone caulk. I plan to test it tomorrow after the silicone has had 24 hours to set.
-Mark
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Mark, I have a 1993 Honda Civic EX Four Door Sedan.....any suggestions what to check??
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Sorry, my Honda knowledge is limited to my 1991 Accord.
Having said that, the likely causes may be similar to the known leak sources in the early-nineties Accord. In the latter case, everyone seems to agree that the taillight gaskets are the most likely culprit.
You mentioned that your leak is at a corner of the trunk. Where is the air outflow valve? Look for a small grille in one of the trunk side panels. If your leak is in that area then that is a possible culprit.
Does the rear seat fold down and give you access to the trunk? If so then I suggest you remove all the trim from the trunk. Then have a friend spray water over the trunk area while you poke your head into the trunk from the back seat. Use a flashlight and look for the leak source. This is how I verified the leak at the outflow valve.
Do you have a factory sunroof? The sunroof on my Accord has drain tubes running down both sides of the car and exiting through the trunk sides. This can also be a source of leaks.
Good luck! -Mark
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Yes I have a Factory Sunroof...where would I find the drain tubes? After I brought the car to Honda & they did a check which included using a hose over the trunk, they said the water was coming in through a tear in the gasket that goes around the trunk....is that possible??
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On my 1991 Accord the sunroof channel drains through a pair of clear plastic tubes about 5/8" in diameter. They run down each side of the car, behind the trunk side panels, and terminate at small exit pipes on each side of the trunk. Both exit points were exposed when I removed the rear bumper. The ventilation outflow valve and the sunroof drains on the Accord are covered by the rear bumper wraparounds.
I assume that "the gasket that goes around the trunk" is the rubber seal. But I still think your best bet is to remove the trunk upholstery, get inside the trunk with a flashlight, and have a buddy thoroughly water the back of the car with a garden hose.
Pretend you're spelunking.
-Mark
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