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Discussion Starter #1
Hello AlfaBB,
My S4 has a mysterious rain-water leak and I was hoping someone might be able to help me pinpoint where to look. When it's a long heavy rain (doesn't seem to happen unless it's hours long) I end up with half an inch of water in the driver's footwell.

I waited in the car for about 20 minutes while it rained pretty hard and I couldn't see any drops from the top latch area, or from under the dash.

One clue is I did find a 2 inch piece of some kind of rubber stripping on the driver's floor a month ago- couldn't find what it came off of though. I was wondering if it's possible a seal up in the cowl is disintegrating? Maybe where the vent is between the hood and windshield?

Another possibility is the weather stripping that meets the door is pretty worn looking (the stretch along the bottom especially) so I was thinking maybe water is rounding the door and coming in to the floorboard via the door jam. This brings up the question, what's the best way to replace the weather stripping and who sells it (and I can't do it myself, as I have no place to work on it, unless it's super easy..)?

This is pretty upsetting- I don't have a covered space for the car. I'm going to get a car cover but I still need to figure out where the leak is. I just moved to Atlanta and it's Alfa-Expert-Starved. One has to go 100 miles for a good mechanic. I've also called all over town trying to find someone who knows how to deal with this stuff but no one wants to touch it.

I moved from SoCal so I guess I was spoiled re Alfa-weather and professional help... Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If you stick your head up under the dash, you will see a 90 degree angled rubber hose that is about 1" in diameter.
Its the drain hose for the cowl area in front of the windshield.
It is either broken or cracked and needs to be replaced. There are a few threads on how to go about it.
There is another one on the passenger side, that may also start to leak one day.
Good luck.
 

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There is another one on the passenger side, that may also start to leak one day.
Good luck.
If one hose is leaking, go ahead and replace them both. Don't take any shortcuts and try to patch or repair the hoses. If you have AC, the passenger side may be hard to get to without dropping down the AC unit.

The hoses exit the firewall and drain down behind the front tires inside the wheel well. They can also get clogged with leaves, bugs, etc. that get into the grille, causing water to enter through the heater core and either drain onto the carpet, or corrode up your heater fan motor.
 

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Replace them both. Don't take any shortcuts and try to patch or repair the hoses. If you have AC, the passenger side may be hard to get to without dropping down the AC unit.
Agree with everyone. Its most likely the cowl drain hoses.

Here is a thread showing the passenger side.

Can be done without dropping the AC. Pop out the glove box door and you will see it.

I highly recommend using the rad hoses as shown in the other thread and never do this job again!

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone- great info though I'm not looking forward to digging under the dash. Am looking forward to a dry Spider though so it's worth it for sure-

I dream of a garage...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi guys, I'm going to try to tackle this today, a la the linked thread, but one thing isn't clear- how exactly do you get to that hose? Do you have to go under the driver's side dash- if so is it necessary to remove the fuse box or anything else? The other thread doesn't really go into that, just which aftermarket hose to buy.

Any advice on this would be great- I have to do this outside in the drizzle so I'd like as much knowledge going in as possible..
 

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Hi guys, I'm going to try to tackle this today, a la the linked thread, but one thing isn't clear- how exactly do you get to that hose? Do you have to go under the driver's side dash- if so is it necessary to remove the fuse box or anything else? The other thread doesn't really go into that, just which aftermarket hose to buy.

Any advice on this would be great- I have to do this outside in the drizzle so I'd like as much knowledge going in as possible..
Access to the driver side hose is under the dash. When you stick your head down there you will see the hose.

The problem is that the connection and the clamp is way up there.

Yes, dropping the fuse box is needed to get access to that clamp.

Sorry to tell you, but you will be spending some time on your back in a limited space but in the end your feet will be dry and more importantly, you are protecting all that wiring from water!

Good luck,

Vin
 

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and you are sure it is the cowl hoses? Have you hosed water through either side of the windscreen cowl (where wipers are) and actually seen it come out on the floors? (lay clean kitchen paper on the floors to spot it)

Another possibility of wet floors:
Does the carpet on the rocker get soaked after a rainfall?
I had a similar large puddle on my passenger floor one day after a really bad rainfall, and it turned out to be the plastic weather-sheeting behind the door card was not tucked back into the door at the bottom...as such the water found its way down inside the door card, exited between bottom of door card and door frame out onto the carpet covering the rocker (the door card sits slightly inside the car with door shut), then soaked its way down to the floor. I also immediately thought drain hoses, but I poured a lot of water down these and it just flowed out under the fenders as it should! Then I noticed the wet carpet on the rocker at the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks very much- the rocker was my first thought also but everyone here seemed to think the drain hoses. I'll check the hoses as per your suggestion and see what happens. If no water comes in then perhaps it's the rockers after all..
 

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and you are sure it is the cowl hoses? Have you hosed water through either side of the windscreen cowl (where wipers are) and actually seen it come out on the floors? (lay clean kitchen paper on the floors to spot it)
SS4,

As usual a great suggestion! Its a 5 minute test to confirm if its the drain hoses.

At the car's age, it most likely is but would be a shame if after all that back/neck straining work to replace the hose, that the leak is from somewhere else.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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I just moved to Atlanta and it's Alfa-Expert-Starved. One has to go 100 miles for a good mechanic. I've also called all over town trying to find someone who knows how to deal with this stuff but no one wants to touch it.
Welcome to Atlanta! Now that the drought has broken it seems we live in a rain forest. In what part of town do you reside? I'm in the West Cobb Co. area and have a Duetto (S1, I guess). Would you be able to post a photograph of the "2 inch piece of some kind of rubber stripping" someone might recognize it.

We'll be having an Alfa Club get together/ going away party for a couple of friends that have been in the Atlanta Chapter for as long as I can remember ~30 years...would you be able to make it? Perhaps we could figure the leak out there. I am not that familiar with the newer spiders but I'd be happy to take a look if you like OR if you want a professional... Bob at the "Hitch House" is probably the closest factory trained mechanic.
Bert in North Georgia works on several club members cars.
Charlie at Grant's European Car Care in Hartwell Ga. works on Alfa's.
Hans in Smyrna may still work on Alfas...
Mark

Ciao ALL,

If you haven't heard, Mike & Barbara H. are leaving us & moving up North (yech) to Rhode Island!

Our FAREWELL PARTY for them will be at:

BAMBINELLI'S RESTAURANT
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2015 • 2 PM
Bambinelli's Family Italian RestaurantBambinelli's Italian Restaurant

Come join us in saying Goodbye!

RSVP to Janet

I guess they are tired of having the annual Christmas party at their house...:crying2:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi Mark,
Thanks for the heads up re ATL Alfa mechanics and the coming meet- I just joined the club a few weeks ago and have been in contact with Rick- great people here in Atlanta. I'm not sure yet if I can make the dinner for the goodbye, if I can I'll RSVP. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone here.

I live down in Old 4th Ward- there's some nice rides along Ponce De Leon near here. Otherwise I come up your way and hit the hills around the river.

And you're right- it's a total rain forest here! I'm sure not in California anymore...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi SS4,
That's a great suggestion and I just tested the cowl drain by pouring several pans of water directly down it- everything went right out the wheel well where it should've, same as for you. If there was a leak it would have had to show up on the floor since I used so much water. So I don't think it actually is the cowl drain (though I can't completely rule that out till getting under it).

I think the door card idea might be it- the weather stripping around the rocker is pretty beat as well. But the bottom of the door card feels pretty damp itself. The rocker carpet not so much though so it's hard to say.

Going to take the car to Bert up in Cleveland- I need some help tracking the leak down. I've tried everything short of taking apart the interior (and I don't have a workspace so I can't get too heavy into it, unfortunately). I hope between the both of us, and a garden hose, we can figure the dang leak out...
 

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Hi SS4,
That's a great suggestion and I just tested the cowl drain by pouring several pans of water directly down it- everything went right out the wheel well where it should've, same as for you. If there was a leak it would have had to show up on the floor since I used so much water. So I don't think it actually is the cowl drain (though I can't completely rule that out till getting under it).

I think the door card idea might be it- the weather stripping around the rocker is pretty beat as well. But the bottom of the door card feels pretty damp itself. The rocker carpet not so much though so it's hard to say.

Going to take the car to Bert up in Cleveland- I need some help tracking the leak down. I've tried everything short of taking apart the interior (and I don't have a workspace so I can't get too heavy into it, unfortunately). I hope between the both of us, and a garden hose, we can figure the dang leak out...
Wow! so glad you did that test and ruled out the cowl drain hose. Its such a pain to replace with the dash in.

So, next leak I had that went into the foot well was from the windshield.

Now that you have ruled out the cowl drain, using a hose, wet down the windshield all around the seal for a few minutes and see if the leak appears.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Vin,
Thanks for the suggestion re the windshield- we're going to blast the car (gently..) tomorrow and I'll post what the issue was when we - hopefully- track it down.
 

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Yes windshield is my next guess. Either the gasket or the black sealant. I currently have one of these issues with my car. But the water only drips when at speed when the wind pushes the water. As for the water shield in the door, when its the problem your storage compartments in the doors with accumulate water which is a real easy check. I had that too.
 

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Quick question on that two inch piece of rubber gasket: Did it have small holes in it for fitment spikes?

Not sure about the S4, but there are small rubber gaskets on the S3 that fit at the top of the interior body at the front of the door where it closes with the body itself. I believe these gaskets are designed to channel the water to the outside, eg, prevent water from intruding through the door gap and making its way into the interior itself. They are about the size you describe and have small holes where studs attach them to holes in the door frame.

These pieces:





I can imagine if they are missing, in a hard prolonged rain, water might make its way through the gap. Just a thought....
 

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Not sure about the S4, but there are small rubber gaskets on the S3 that fit at the top of the interior body at the front of the door where it closes with the body itself.
S4's have the same gaskets.

Vin
 
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