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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard about the FORD TSB on the water leak behind the dash on the passenger side of 2005+ Mustangs, but I was hoping it wouldn't happen to me. Yeah right! (I'm not so lucky...)

Wednesday night on the way to church to drop off the kids for VBS, we got hit by one of those South Florida torrential downpours. When I pulled into the church driveway, I noticed some water dripping under the glove box... after I recovered from the initial shock, I flipped the BlackBerry to video mode and recorded the water leak. This was from mild acceleration in second gear: 2006 Mustang water leak :: VID00022-20110623-1757.mp4 video by sraldiris - Photobucket That is CRAZY crap right there! I was freakin' out!!!

So I dropped off the kids, walked out to the car, and I just couldn't handle the anxiety. I started taking the car apart right there in the parking lot! (no tools, and no real idea of what I was getting into)

First I pulled off the passenger side windshield cowl panel:



It is held on by two of those plastic fasteners with phillips head screws in them. I didn't have a screwdriver, but my pocket knife worked just fine:



On the bottom side, it had four or five of those plastic snaps. The one all the way on the right, near the antenna, requires some delicacy... you have to lift it up and away from the windshield, but it's kinda tucked under the fender there. Be gentle:



The cabin air filter is in the cavity that the cowl panel was covering. You remove it by lifting up on the top lip of the filter housing:



When it's unclipped at the top, just tilt it forward and lift it out:



Filter is out, and there's room to work:


Do you think the filter was dirty?



I mean, seriously... this is nasty. Incidentally, these are locating pins on the bottom of the filter. You'll have to line these up with the holes in the housing when you reinstall the filter:



Next, I just reached in that cavity and started fishing out the crap by hand. (a lot like cleaning out a gutter on the roof of your house, same stuff inside too) The water was about 3 or 4 inches deep. That's where the water inside the car was coming from. It poured through the cabin air filter and into the interior behind the glove box. Not only can this make your carpet nasty and mildewy, but it can destroy the BCM or whatever it is back there behind the passenger side kick panel. I've heard of people's power windows and dash lights getting messed up from the water leak. Anyway, here's some of the crap I fished outta there:



I've never done this before, so I had to feel around to find the rubber drain. Horizontally, it's halfway between the battery box and the passenger side valve cover. When I was feeling around for it, I accidentally pushed it out the bottom of the cowl. It fell out onto the passenger side exhaust manifold. It wasn't hard to reach from the engine compartment though. Here's a picture of me sticking my fingers through the hole where the drain plug was:



This is the drain hole from just in front of the cabin air filter housing:



Close up of the opening:



Uh, yeah, it was slightly clogged:



It was bulging with leaf stems and other crap:



I dumped out its contents:



Then I washed it out in the restroom sink. God doesn't mind. Besides, I wiped the sink down after I washed off the drain plug.



All better!



Then I put the cleaned plug back in:



The reassembly process was the opposite of the disassembly process. No problems! The whole thing was maybe 20 minutes total, taking my time, and with no tools. Of course, I didn't have a cabin air filter with me since this deal just sort of hit me with no warning, but Advance Auto Parts sells them for about $21.

Anyway, that's my experience with fixing the water leak problem. It was much easier than I'd thought. I had read about people fixing the problem, but hadn't ever seen pictures of it. My recommendation is to check your drain periodically, maybe once a year, to make sure it doesn't clog up. It's EXTREMELY stressful to see water pouring out on the floor like that. Thankfully, the problem was solved with minimal drama, and I wasn't late for my appointment at the Ford dealership to test drive a new 2011 Mustang GT. :D
 

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:nicethread those pics will take the mystery out of things for people that are wondering whats up with all that :bigthumbsupglad you got that water stopped, thats a bummer thing to have happen.
 

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ha, wow that video was crazy. its like you had an open bottle of water in your glove box. it doesnt rain much here so i don't think i have to worry about that for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ha, wow that video was crazy. its like you had an open bottle of water in your glove box. it doesnt rain much here so i don't think i have to worry about that for a while.
Yeah, I was mortified! I've heard that leak can destroy your smart junction box. My car is out of warranty and I'm broke, so I can't have nuclear meltdown behind my dash!!



As a post script, I just checked the carpet on the passenger side, and even though I thought the floor mat might have trapped all of the water, it didn't. So I pulled up the carpet on that side to try to let it air out. I might even hit it with some fabreeze if my wife didn't buy the super fruity smelling flavor. I don't want my car to smell musty and mildewy.

Also, my OCD kicked into overdrive, and even though it only leaked on the passenger side, I just went out and checked the drain plug on the driver's side cowl. It wasn't plugged, but there was some junk in there, so I just pulled the plug out from the engine compartment (without removing the plastic cowl) and cleared it out. I could feel more garbage in there, so I pulled out the round black rubber grommet (with wires in it) just above the drain plug so that I could reach in the cowl and drag all of the stems and crap out of there and push them down through the drain hole. Then I replaced the round black grommet and the drain plug.

All is well now. I'm sure it won't leak again. Well, I don't want to jinx myself. It won't leak from those drains being plugged. :D
 

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Thank you so much for the pictures. I had this problem and thought I had it fixed....someone told me to look in the wrong place. Very helpful, like op said, takes about 15-20 minutes to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No problem. I did a search on this when I bought the car last year, but I didn't find any pictures so I thought it was some big mysterious process. I just wanted to make it easier for the do-it-yourselfers to tackle at home. I've heard of people going full on lemon law on Ford over this issue. But if you're like me, broke, and your car's out of warranty... you just have to fix it yourself! :yup:
 

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Great story and photos. Saved me grief and money. Many thanks!

One question....... why replace the rubber grommet that collects all the debris, and causes water to enter the inside? That grommet has a design purpose to allow water to escape, but, also, to prevent water from entering the frame wall from the street.

The design is faulty. Notice the large opening at the top, and the restricted opening at the bottom. The restricted bottom opening just provides for debris collection. How much water will enter the bottom of that grommet hole with the grommet discarded?

Access the grommet hole from the bottom to periodically check the area for debris using your finger or other household tools.

I recommend applying silicone to the five grommet openings that secure the external plastic cover. Those holes are open at the top which allows water to enter the dash area. Takes a few seconds, and silicone is water proof, yet pliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great story and photos. Saved me grief and money. Many thanks!

One question....... why replace the rubber grommet that collects all the debris, and causes water to enter the inside? That grommet has a design purpose to allow water to escape, but, also, to prevent water from entering the frame wall from the street.

The design is faulty. Notice the large opening at the top, and the restricted opening at the bottom. The restricted bottom opening just provides for debris collection. How much water will enter the bottom of that grommet hole with the grommet discarded?
I'm glad they story and pics were of use.

Believe me, I thought about just leaving the drain plugs out. In the end I just decided to check them periodically.

One thing I should add to this thread is that my car smelled like a musty basement after all of this, so I bought some Meguiar's Odor Eliminator and sprayed the whole carpet, including the bottom of the carpet on the passenger front floorboard, and the smell went away. Good stuff!
 

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.....
Believe me, I thought about just leaving the drain plugs out. In the end I just decided to check them periodically.
I'm glad you used the plural... "plugs" & "them". You knew there were two grommets, and I didn't.

Found the other grommet today.... same plugged condition.

You've been a big help.

I fashioned an old hacksaw blade into a rake that fits into the bottom of the grommet hole to maintain a clean path for water to escape. If you need two grommets, they are in my trophy case.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You're very welcome. Mustangs are both my job and my hobby. I enjoy working with these cars, and I'm happy to pass along any useful information I pick up along the way. :bigthumbsup
 

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You're very welcome. Mustangs are both my job and my hobby. I enjoy working with these cars, and I'm happy to pass along any useful information I pick up along the way. :bigthumbsup

Just discovered this same issue myself this week. When going to work I place a plastic bag with several frozen water bottles in it on the passenger floor. I thought that maybe the condensation was causing the wet spot but after reading this post it all makes sense. Looks like ill be changing that cabin filter and cleaning those drains this weekend. Thanks so much for the write up and pics.
 

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I agree that this should be stickied.

I had this same exact problem right after I got my car back from the shop once. Ended up bringing it back to the guy and asking wtf... he found that the drain was plugged up and cleared it free of charge.

Idk if he dropped something down there or if it was just inconvenient timing that it happened after I had the car in his shop. Definitely saving this thread when I get home from the office so I can reference it later if I ever have this issue again!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just discovered this same issue myself this week. When going to work I place a plastic bag with several frozen water bottles in it on the passenger floor. I thought that maybe the condensation was causing the wet spot but after reading this post it all makes sense. Looks like ill be changing that cabin filter and cleaning those drains this weekend. Thanks so much for the write up and pics.
This thread should be stickyed. The video, photos and description are great :bigthumbsup
I agree that this should be stickied.

I had this same exact problem right after I got my car back from the shop once. Ended up bringing it back to the guy and asking wtf... he found that the drain was plugged up and cleared it free of charge.

Idk if he dropped something down there or if it was just inconvenient timing that it happened after I had the car in his shop. Definitely saving this thread when I get home from the office so I can reference it later if I ever have this issue again!

Thanks guys. I'm happy to contribute a little bit to the S197 community. :)
 

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I ended up using this thread a few months back because i had the same problem. An easier way going about it is to just stick your finger in the engine bay and find that rubber hole and unclog it from there, that way you dont have to stick your hand in the water. When i did mine the water was freezing so i just looked at your pictures to see where the rubber hole was at then cleaned the leafs out afterwards.
 

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2005 Mustang V6
Had same water problem, seemed like gallons of water pouring out from under dashboard (girlfriend said my car was peeing on her).
I had it fixed for $25 (compressed air from underneath into the drains), but now interior electronics are acting up.
While driving the voltage fluctuated from mid to high, door lock, air conditioning, lights, and windows all had no power.
I am assuming it is a problem with water damage to BCM, SJB, or wires by passenger side.
The problem is intermittent, but scary as hell.
I seen some of the TSBs on this and seems like I'm actually lucky.

Is it possible for a person with little mechanical and electrical experience to troubleshoot this?
If not, how much should it cost to check wires, BCM, SJB and to replace them if need be?

Thanks for any help.
 

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The connections on those wires are still wet. Take off the kick plate on the passenger side, roll back the carpet and also check that and the matting beneath it. You will need to pop up part of the door sill cover to get the kick plate off. The kick plate and door sill are just held buy clips that will give with some gentle steady force.

Dry off wires and anything else with a towel. You might wanna hit them with a hair dryer then. If you have a hot sunny day like we're getting here, leave the panel off and the carpet up to air out.
 

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Believe it or not - this thread helped me fix a fridge/freezer problem. The unit was an upper fridge/lower freezer and occasionally the freezer would have a bunch of ice built up in the back and on the bottom which required unloading the freezer and melting the ice with a hairdryer. The problem was the defrost drain under the freezer coils. Based on the defrost timer, the freezer coils would be heated and this would melt the ice and the water should have drained out this little drain hole into a pan by the compressor. I pulled the fridge out to see where the drain was going, I saw a smaller version of that rubber drain with the pinched off discharge grommet which restricted the draining of water because of a bit of stuff in it. I pulled this little rubber grommet of and haven't had the issue since.
Thanks for the pics. Oh yeah - I checked the Mustang as well and thankfully no debris in the grommet.
 
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