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Old 11-17-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
Sputt
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Vehicle:
2002 252.8whp 259tq
Stock turbo

Default 02 WRX Mold Smell? Water Leaking in?

Hey all,

I haven't driven the Subaru in a while and there is a prominent mildew/mold smell. I noticed the trunk was damp from recent rain. Has anyone had problems with the seal around the trunk or known of this problem?

Does anyone know of a good place near baltimore to completely clean / detail interior? Steam cleaning would be best for this situation?
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
MD04WRX
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Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: In the blue & hating it!
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99 2.5RS 2dr - 2017 XV

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Normally it's not from the seal around the trunk unless the gutters are clogged. Usually it comes in around the tail lights.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
butterflyx3
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Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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WRB

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Mine has the same issue >__< bugeyes are prone to trunk leaks
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
EVL RS-T
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Location: Northern Virginia
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2015 XT

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I've run into this where I found puddles of water sitting in the spare tire well. Check that there is no standing water in there.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
chazly413
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Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: College Park, MD
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2005 2.5RS RBP
too many friction losses

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I get random damp spots in the middle of my trunk carpet and I've had puddles of water in the spare wheel well, as well. I haven't really tried a way to isolate the leak but it's leaking from somewhere (duh)
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:38 PM   #6
Sputt
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Ellicott City, MD
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Stock turbo

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Thanks for the replies glad to hear its not just my baby. There was a bunch of leaves stuck that I removed. I am sure that didn't help.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:37 PM   #7
Lug_Nuts_23
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2002 WRX Sedan
Silver

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I know this is bumping an old thread but I seem to have gotten a bit of water in mine after some freezing rain etc.

I hope it was just an ice dam forcing some water in. Any suggestions on newer threads to look at? The search feature has too many darn results for water in trunk...and most are irrelevant.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
Lagunagreen
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Iím curious as well. I just purchased all new seals and grommets for my sti wing and a new seal for the tail light, and Iím not sure what to do if it still leaks after that.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:02 PM   #9
Lug_Nuts_23
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From what I could see, the slight leak I'm dealing with appears to be around the trunk seal where it goes near the rear window, so the far corner. There were a couple frozen drops of water here and there.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:33 PM   #10
2slofouru
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There are seams in the metal outside the trunk seal, towards the front edge on both sides. The sealant can crack and allow water in. I think the factory just didn't add enough seam sealer, happens in the 02-07 models. Mine is a 2007.

Mine was leaking on the left randomly when it rained. A couple of months ago it rained so much that a tool bag I had on the left side stayed wet and started smelling like mildew really strongly. Had to throw the bag away.

I've been checking the web for a few years for pictures or some kind of lead to a sure fix. Finally found the leak yesterday and put an end to the madness, lol. Mine never leaked on the right side, even with the tiny crack in the sealant, always leaked on the left.

Spray some water and dish soap mixture on top then use an air nozzle to blow from underneath, moving around to get the best aim. Bubbles will form in the areas where the seams meet on top. This is where the water is getting in. I've seen people post trying to fix it many times and there never seems to be a sure fix. You'll need to thoroughly clean the seam areas and apply some factory seam sealer or other flexible sealant that will bond securely and still be flexible. I borrowed some seam sealer from our body shop yesterday and am letting it cure completely. It's been raining all day, but the sealer isn't water based so it won't wash off. I will touch up spray paint it in a few days.

Pretty sure this is the fix...


Free bump!

Last edited by 2slofouru; 01-18-2020 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 01-19-2020, 02:59 PM   #11
Lug_Nuts_23
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Thanks! Sounds like a good way to ensure it gets fixed.

I'm hoping/thinking it was only ice forcing water through, but I'll be keeping an eye on it. There seems to be some tan body sealer compound on the inside around that seam on the right side though not the left, and I don't know if it's OE or not because there also seems to be some of that sealer elsewhere like the spare tire well.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:28 PM   #12
2slofouru
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Right front corner:



https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Go3...ew?usp=sharing

Left front corner:



https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gjr...ew?usp=sharing



Seam sealer:



https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqZ...ew?usp=sharing



Is there a way to get google drive photos into the Nasioc image host site???? I can't get the phone pics onto the windows 10 pc.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:05 PM   #13
Lug_Nuts_23
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Nice, thanks!

Today the weather was nice so I went and looked at the trunk. But after using a little alcohol in places I knew I was stripping anyway and using a plastic knife to scrape away at the attempted fix, I discovered a rather obvious rusty patch where water had gotten in and undermined the factory seam sealer and had sat around under it.

It seems someone tried to fix it with some kind of rubbery tan stuff that wasn't all that tough--the alcohol softened it and helped remove most of it with me barely trying.

I used some Rust Reformer spray on it, and it says to wait 24 hours to topcoat, which I plan on doing. (Weirdly it had a kind of pleasant, almost candy green apple, smell rather than the horrid paint smells I'm accustomed to.)

On the left side of the trunk there appears to be a blob of seam sealer in about the place you show.

I'm thinking I might use E6000 instead of seam sealer because I've had good results with it in the past. It's clear and UV-resistant and not as expensive as the seam sealer.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:07 PM   #14
Lug_Nuts_23
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2002 WRX Sedan
Silver

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slofouru View Post
Is there a way to get google drive photos into the Nasioc image host site???? I can't get the phone pics onto the windows 10 pc.
I don't know; I just saw that Nasioc has a new image hosting site, which I may try out soon.

In my case, though, the place that was leaking was pretty obvious, whether that is fortunate or unfortunate.

I also discovered that there were little rusty spots all along the lip that holds the trunk seal. Grrr... I sprayed everything that wouldn't be too visible with the Rust Reformer, within constraints of time and practicality.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:18 PM   #15
2slofouru
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My BOV goes
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Default

I found ANOTHER leak location yesterday, because the two leaks I used seam sealer on apparently weren't the main source...even though they were obviously leaking!

At the two rear corners of the back window, near the bottom and behind the two roof moldings (really easy to snap up and move), there is another seam where the sealant can crack. I sprayed soap again and this time put the air nozzle behind the left trunk liner through the opening for the jack and more bubbles were at the other seam. Apparently the car flexes enough to crack the sealer and/or the sealer becomes brittle quickly. I didn't have any seam sealer at work and decided to smear some hondabond sealant over the seam after cleaning it with electrical contact cleaner. It should hold and since it's not really visible with the molding snapped back in, I can wait a while and see if that was the last leak.

I'm guessing the passenger side will also start leaking eventually. The plan is to pull up both mouldings at the rear ends and clean it up and apply actual seam sealer, once I've confirmed the location I glued over holds for a few months.

I will share a google drive link and you'll see the seam line. It's actually the long diagonal light line. The lower section with the ton of sealer wasn't leaking, probably just excess sealer.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Hym...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:17 PM   #16
Lug_Nuts_23
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2002 WRX Sedan
Silver

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slofouru View Post
I found ANOTHER leak location yesterday, because the two leaks I used seam sealer on apparently weren't the main source...even though they were obviously leaking!

...

I will share a google drive link and you'll see the seam line. It's actually the long diagonal light line. The lower section with the ton of sealer wasn't leaking, probably just excess sealer.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Hym...ew?usp=sharing
Wow congratulations on finding it and thanks for sharing the pictures!
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:03 PM   #17
MrDoctor
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i have an 04. same issue
glad its not just me
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:58 PM   #18
2slofouru
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My BOV goes
COVFEFE!

Default

The long light diagonal line is the seam that I sealed after. A lot of the stuff further down seems to be excess factory sealant.




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