2000 RX 300 water leak problem

Old 09-13-2009, 07:34 PM
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Default 2000 RX 300 water leak problem

2000 RX 300, 140,000 miles, owned approx 1 year. For the past week or so, my wife has been complaining about a smell in the car, and we thought it was something dropped by the kids (3 and 5) who are terrible about dropping anything from cheerios and gold fish to almost whole cereal bars behind the seat. Friday night my wife came home from work and started cleaning out the car, and came in for some paper towels saying the kids spilled something in the back seat. She came back shortly after saying the carpet was soaked.

Saturday morning we looked at it again and put a home dehumidifier in the rear cargo area and left the car closed up hoping it would pull the moisture out of the carpet. After a few hours and a disappointingly little bit of water in the dehumidifier bucket, I looked at the carpet again and realized this was a larger problem. It took me 3 hours, but I gutted the interior, removing the seats, center console, some of the edge trim and pulled the carpet out.

The under padding was soaked. I took the opportunity to spray off the carpet with the hose, hopefully rinsing all of the stagnant water out of the carpet, and then set it out to dry. I then went back and looked over the car more thoroughly. The firewall pad seems to be a rubber layer on top and then a fibrous layer underneath. That too is soaked from what I can tell. Every low spot in the floor pan had sitting water in it. I looked into the cargo area and there was standing water in the spare tire well. I took pictures of it all, but don't know at this point that it is worth posting them.

I used some towels and dried up all the water I could find, and then put the seats back in so we could still drive the car. I will wait until we figure out what is going on before putting the carpet back in.

I am in Virginia Beach, and yesterday and today the weather was very nice, very dry. The carpet was outside overnight and at this point is almost completely dry. Actually the carpet itself is dry, but the padding has some damp areas still. If tomorrow's forecast is nice, I'll put it out again in the morning and that should take care of the carpet.

We drove the car around most of the afternoon running errands and then my wife went into work for a meeting. Tonight she just came back and said there is water on the floor again. There was a small bit of pooled water in front of the rear seats, and also some small puddles in the spare tire well. I am not sure if this is residual water that may be working out from under the sound deadener or if it is fresh from wherever it is coming from.

I did some searches and found problems with the a/c drain, a/c evaporator case cracks, windshield leaks, door seal leaks, and sunroof drain tubes clogged or disconnected. None of these problems explain the extent of the water we are experiencing.

The previous week or so has seen an excessive amount of rain in this area. We normally keep the car in the garage but were doing some cleaning and taking stuff to salvation army, so the garage was full of clutter so the car was out in the rain the whole time. I methodically and liberally used the garden hose to check all the normal suspects, starting at the front and bottom and working my way up and back. There was no indication of water entering the vehicle after dumping water on it continuously for a good 10 minutes or so.

I checked the a/c drain and it is working fine. If a single seal had leaked, or if we had left a door open or a window down, I would think there would be some other indication of water in the vehicle besides just the carpet being wet. If enough water was coming in to soak the carpet and padding, such as with a door ajar or window open, then surely there would have been pooled water on the leather seats or console, etc. Also considering the rear axle hump between the rear seat and the spare tire well, it seems unlikely that a leak sourced in the very front or the very back would be able to flow past that hump and soak the rest of the vehicle. The only thing that makes any sense is the car literally being flooded and my wife says she did not drive the car though flood waters (the storm drains in our subdivision has been known to back-up during severe storms, and the low area near the subdivision exit floods about 2-3 feet deep).

I have a water leak specialist scheduled to come check the car out tomorrow, but I suspect he will do the same thing I did with the hose and checking for leaks.

Are there any suggestions for what I can do to identify the source of the water?

Also, in the past week, the factory stereo stopped working. Actually, all indications on the display are that the stereo comes on and all functions seem to work, including all display functions with the cd changer, but there is no noise at all coming from the speakers. I found a pioneer unit with a speaker, possibly a subwoofer, under the passenger seat, and another pioneer unit, possibly an amp, behind the rear passenger seat. I suspect that one or both of these have water damage, but with no wiring diagrams or drawing of all the sound system components, it will be challenging to identify what part has failed. This is a minor issue compared to the obvious main problem, but any suggestions on this would be appreciated as well.

As far as I can tell, everything else on the car is working fine.
Old 06-16-2010, 01:34 PM
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Default rx 300 water leak

did you ever get your water leak resolved? I have a similar problem- it appears to be coming from the area of the drivers lower windshield corner- It's dripping down over wiring and fuse box area. How hard was your fix, and did you have to take it to Lexus?
Thanks for your prompt reply- I hope you are still at this email address!!
Old 06-17-2010, 09:15 PM
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Yes, I did get it fixed. It was the rear tail lights that were leaking. I had a water leak specialist come to the house, found him on Craigslist. Paid $160-180 (don't recall) to have it diagnosed and fixed.
Old 11-07-2010, 07:44 PM
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Default rx300 water leak, loss of sound

I've had the same problem as described by sigtauenus on my 2001 rx300, several water leaks over the past year+ that I've dried out but never gotten to the bottom of. This time, the sound has gone on the factory stereo.
Any help appreciated.
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