Water is leaking into the trunk of my 1991 Accord EX. The shop did the
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?
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
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
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
Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?/
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.
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
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
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.
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??
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
the trunk with a flashlight, and have a buddy thoroughly water the back of
the car with a garden hose.
Pretend you're spelunking.
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