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Discussion Starter #1
Good day all,

I got in my 9-3 1.9 Tid Linear Sport Estate this morning to come to work and noticed that the passenger footwell was absolutely soaked through.

Now we've had a lot of rain the last few days but, after checking the door seals, it would appear that it's not coming through the door.

I have however noticed a long pipe/outlet-type gutter above the footwell which seems to be damp, so not sure if it's coming out of there - the heater has been making a sort of dripping sound recently from that side, but only intermittently. It looks like this is part of the heater or air con. The heater is working fine though at the moment.

The other alternative is that it's coming up through the floor, but is this possible?

It's not an urgent problem of course and hopefully something that can be rectified quite easily! I'm living in hope for any good advice please!!

Many thanks :)
 

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It is an urgent problem as it may soak the amp that lives under the passenger seat and make it go pop, from memory it costs a distinctly unfunny £400 to purchase a replacement (common problem too!).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmm, now you've got me worried, although it's not really spread too much as yet and there's not much under the seat.

It is under warranty from the garage I got it from, but whether this problem is covered or not I'm not sure as yet.

Bay Horse Saab is just down the road so I may have to call them quickly!!
 

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Hi, it may be a drain that is blocked, I believe it's the air intake for the heater-which may explain the dripping noise from the heater.

From what I remember there is a flap that allows water to drain off the windscreen that can get blocked, it may be worth you asking how to unblock this.

Hope this helps. David
 

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A wet footwell is usually the result of a blockage in the channel running at the bottom of the windscreen - often due to a buildup of leaves. Water cannot then run down to the ground behind the front wheels and ends up in the car instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your help - hopefully I'll get to the bottom of it and will have a good look around to clear any unblocked drains...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a quick update - a chap at work had a similar problem with his Vauxhall Signum just last week. He told me that the mechanic cleared out two vents round the back of the engine, under the windscreen.

Sure enough, after opening my Saab's bonnet and locating a similar duct on the passenger side, we gave it a quick clear out. Loads of gunk came out (old leaves and muck) followed by a small gush of water. Hopefully this is what caused my sudden leak. It looks like it's backed up and leaked into the car somehow.

I'm hoping we're on the right track to solving the problem and hope to dry out the floor properly tonight.

If I learn more, I'll post it up!

Cheers :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right, now the problem begins of drying the carpets out.

It's surprising how spongy they are (must be some kind of underlay there) and how much water has been soaked up.

I've got the majority out by pressing on cloths and wringing out, using a carpet cleaner to suck up moisture and today I've parked the car in direct sunlight hoping that it will warm up and evaporate a bit.

However I'm still concerned as at this rate it's going to take a good few days to dry and am worried about the threat of mould!

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I'd be really grateful, especially if you've had the situation before.

I've tried pulling the carpet back but they seem stuck fast...
 

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Everyone has given the correct reason for the flooding. This happened to me and a new amp is almost £700; I eventually got a used one but even that cost me £230 from a breaker and it took me three weeks using a couple of search engines, having to ask again everyday because the enquiry only lasts for 24 hours. This is an incredibly common problem so all the Saabs that get to the breakers seem to have this amp damaged already. Why Saab (and some Vauxhalls) continue to site this vulnerable amp on the floor under the passenger seat is a mystery.....................or maybe not - at £700 a go it is good business for them.

The drainage channel is accessed by prising out the plastic grid below the windscreen and then clear the drain. However, the pollen filter is accessed in exactly the same way so the drain should be checked at service; check if you were charged last time for a new filter and judge how dirty the existing one is.

After having this problem on the 93 Sportswagon I have, I checked the 93 saloon my wife drives and the same thing was just about to happen; and there are very few trees nearby and certainly none overhead.

Good news: I first noticed my carpet was wet in March but it dried quickly enough and I forgot about it. Even had the car serviced in the summer!! In September I was overseas and so the water built up in the footwell and shorted the amp - I had a few words with the service people!!
However, despite the very good soaking the carpet had, I have had no problem with mould or anything else. I think the type of nylon (?) used to make them resists mould. Like you, I used a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck most of the moisture out then left a container of de-humidifying crystals in the footwell for a few days to really dry it out. Hope you get the same result.

PS. If the amp goes you lose not only the radio etc. but also the sound of the indicators and reversing sensors as that comes via the mis-dashboard speaker. Also there is an optical link passing through the amp and when I had the amp removed initially the battery kept draining in a couple of hours - don't know why - so I disconnected it in case there was over-heating elswhere (current has to have gone somewhere) and didn't use the car until I got a new amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fantastic reply and thanks for your advice. I've located the drain now and will be keeping my eye on it in future.

Fortunately, with the aid of the heater on full for a couple of days, the carpet dried out completely and looks as good as new.

There appears to be no mould or damp smell, so it seems as though I've been lucky really, especially as there doesn't appear to be any damage to anything electrical.

I phoned my local Saab garage who told me that it was a common problem and another thing to look out for is if the heating fan on the left side of the car starts squealing. He said that the water drops in through the fan and will eventually rust and seize up causing this loud noise as it does so.

Apparently they're not cheap to replace either!
 

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The drainage channel is accessed by prising out the plastic grid below the windscreen and then clear the drain. However, the pollen filter is accessed in exactly the same way so the drain should be checked at service; check if you were charged last time for a new filter and judge how dirty the existing one is.

After having this problem on the 93 Sportswagon I have, I checked the 93 saloon my wife drives and the same thing was just about to happen; and there are very few trees nearby and certainly none overhead.

Good news: I first noticed my carpet was wet in March but it dried quickly enough and I forgot about it. Even had the car serviced in the summer!! In September I was overseas and so the water built up in the footwell and shorted the amp - I had a few words with the service people!!
However, despite the very good soaking the carpet had, I have had no problem with mould or anything else. I think the type of nylon (?) used to make them resists mould. Like you, I used a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck most of the moisture out then left a container of de-humidifying crystals in the footwell for a few days to really dry it out. Hope you get the same result.

PS. If the amp goes you lose not only the radio etc. but also the sound of the indicators and reversing sensors as that comes via the mis-dashboard speaker. Also there is an optical link passing through the amp and when I had the amp removed initially the battery kept draining in a couple of hours - don't know why - so I disconnected it in case there was over-heating elswhere (current has to have gone somewhere) and didn't use the car until I got a new amp.
Thank you for this thread. I've experienced the exact same problem, and I couldn't understand how the front and rear passenger footwells were so completely sodden when it was clear that the water ingress wasn't coming through the doors or windows or dropping from the roofline or windscreen somehow! I honestly thought some joker had sabotaged my car by emptying in a pint glass of water into each footwell for it to get so damn wet.

Annoyingly, whilst I dried it when I initially found it, I didn't read this thread and still didn't know the cause at that point. I can confirm that a number of electrical problems developed in my car, all at the same time:

1 - The main heater fan started squealing and working intermittently. In the end it stopped completely requiring replacement.
2 - The alarm system is pissing around like a good'un - simply going off randomly whenever it feels like, and it got so bad, I removed the alarm fuse from the boot fusebox. This made it better, but believe it or not, it still goes off when it feels like it!
3 - The radio started squealing with a high-pitched screech that comes through the speakers - it goes off after 15-45 seconds of use, but I guess that the water did affect the sub underneath the passenger seat to a degree!
4 - The wing mirror controller on the driver's door started to piss around and would only control the driver's mirror. When "L" was selected, it would still move the driver's mirror.
5 - The cruise control adjuster on the end of the left-hand stalk seemed to go a little "melty" and was icky to the touch.

Was so pleased to search for the problem and find this thread - went straight outside and low and behold, found that the "well" in which the pollen filter sits, had a small pool of water sitting in it. Could see what looked like a black "plug" directly underneath the filter housing, and started to absorb out all of the sitting water. Interestingly, for the last few days, I could hear a "swishing" noise coming from the passenger side (somewhere around the glovebox area) which sounded exactly like sand moving about. It seems obvious now, that it was water moving about in the well underneath the windscreen instead.

Once the water was gone, I could see that it wasn't a plug at all, but a small drainage hole that was filled with crud. I pushed it through the hole with my fingers and it oozed onto a black plastic "catch" in the back of the engine bay behind and underneath the ABS control module. This had cleared it and all was fine again. Cleared up all of the crud that had fallen into the engine bay, and got a large cannister of water to rinse the whole area through - thankfully, the flowed away into the engine bay immediately - sorted.

Examined the pollen filter and could see that the bottom half of it was wet and blackened by water dirt. It was clear that water had been pouring through the filter, into the fan and dropping down onto passenger footwell. Now that I know what was happening, it all fits together logically.

Ok, so here's where you want to get into...

IMG_20160223_135006.jpg

As you can see, there's water pooled in the drainage channel directly below the pollen filter. The black drainage hole can be seen in the middle of the pic.

IMG_20160223_135024.jpg

Spot the error - the last clown to service my car couldn't even get the pollen filter in the right way round. What a twat. There was little hope of him checking that the drainage channel was clear if he couldn't even fit a filter correctly.

IMG_20160223_135145.jpg

New pollen filter required!

IMG_20160223_135234.jpg

This is the drainage channel when it's been cleared.

IMG_20160223_140034.jpg

This is all of the crud that was pushed through the drainage channel and behind the ABS module. It looks like it was mainly disintegrated moss and other general crud from the top of the car/windscreen.

IMG_20160223_140051.jpg

All in all - thanks for this thread. I've just finished fitting a new heater blower motor that I got from a breaker's yard. This wasn't too bad at £40 for the blower itself and an old condensor radiator (mine is leaking from stone chip damage and is the next DIY job when it gets a little warmer!). The radio is now squealing less, so I am guessing that as it gets used more and the car warms up a little, that I might be lucky and just about get away with not needing a new amp?! I also grabbed a new mirror controller from the same breaker - this has cured the n/s mirror not moving. It's unfortunate that this happened during a period when I wasn't using the car all that much and might only drive her once in a week - or sometimes even less.

Only real problem remaining is the alarm. I'm thinking - given how many internal electrical issues were caused by the water ingress and sitting in the footwell for some time, is it likely that the volumetric sensor that sits up by the internal courtesy lights is likely to be the cause of my alarm woes?

Can confirm that replacing the blower motor, even though it's really tucked away deep behind the glove box, is a fairly straightforward job to remove the old one and pop in a new one. Defo a DIY job.
 

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Perhaps you can advise where this second "drain hole" is? I've heard a couple of people refer to it, but no-one has actually ever described either where it is, or shown where it is.

The only one I'm aware of, or can see, is the one directly beneath the white housing for the cabin filter....
 

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From what I recall the second drain hole is on the right side similar setup but seems less prone to clogging.

Re the stereo issue my amp went snap crackle an pop so I bridged the optical link under the seat. You get the notification tones back but loose the mids from the doors which that amp drives. You can dismantle the amp quite easily but the main part that gets damaged is quite hard to get into. I would recommend removing it just to dry the carpet directly under it the rest of my floor was dry but under the amp was still quite damp. its just held in by a single bolt an the connector which can be removed you just need the seat all the way forward.

Alarm wise id be tempted to check the door shut sensor on the passenger side as well as the footwell light both have wiring in that general area which could be causing the issue.
 

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From what I recall the second drain hole is on the right side similar setup but seems less prone to clogging.
Hi Step - thanks for replying. When you say "right side" - do you mean on the right-hand side of the bulkhead area as you look into whilst standing in front of the car looking into it? I.e. alongside the nearside inner wing somewhere?

Re the stereo issue my amp went snap crackle an pop so I bridged the optical link under the seat. You get the notification tones back but loose the mids from the doors which that amp drives. You can dismantle the amp quite easily but the main part that gets damaged is quite hard to get into. I would recommend removing it just to dry the carpet directly under it the rest of my floor was dry but under the amp was still quite damp. its just held in by a single bolt an the connector which can be removed you just need the seat all the way forward.
Thanks for this - I'll take a look at it, and see if mine is still damp underneath too.

Alarm wise id be tempted to check the door shut sensor on the passenger side as well as the footwell light both have wiring in that general area which could be causing the issue.
Thanks also for this suggestion - where do I find the door shut sensor? Do all four doors have one? Are they all in the same place?
BTW - how does one check whether the door sensor is playing up? Is it a question of disconnecting it/them and seeing if the alarm continues to go off when the car is locked?
 

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Hi Step - thanks for replying. When you say "right side" - do you mean on the right-hand side of the bulkhead area as you look into whilst standing in front of the car looking into it? I.e. alongside the nearside inner wing somewhere?


Thanks also for this suggestion - where do I find the door shut sensor? Do all four doors have one? Are they all in the same place?
BTW - how does one check whether the door sensor is playing up? Is it a question of disconnecting it/them and seeing if the alarm continues to go off when the car is locked?
Sorry by right side i mean the drivers side, the scuttle panel has two drainage channels. The right one ifim not wrong has been known to cause some other issue with the PAS cant recall if its the revision you have or the earlier

Door sensors should be a plastic sensor stub that pushes in, youll know because the entry lights go off. worth checking that an also the lock mechanism a squirt of WD may be worth a go. theres a couple of micro switches in the locking system that help control the lock/alarm system.
 

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Sorry by right side i mean the drivers side, the scuttle panel has two drainage channels. The right one ifim not wrong has been known to cause some other issue with the PAS cant recall if its the revision you have or the earlier

Thanks - ok, I think you must mean then, immediately in front of the steering wheel as you look out from the driver's seat (the part of the plastic cover that can't be removed without taking off the windscreen wipers?) - if so, I haven't looked in there, as I was able to move the wipers into the service position and just access the cabin filter half of the scuttle panel....

Door sensors should be a plastic sensor stub that pushes in, youll know because the entry lights go off. worth checking that an also the lock mechanism a squirt of WD may be worth a go. theres a couple of micro switches in the locking system that help control the lock/alarm system.
Ok - thanks again Step. Are these underneath the doors along with the puddle lights? Once I've found them - should I be testing them by removing one of them (I'll start with the front passenger door) and securing the car and see if the alarm still goes off? I'm not sure, once I've actually found them, how I go about checking whether they're duff or not!
 

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Should be along do door shut near the hinge an cabling. In terms of testing you will need a multi meter. Also you need to leave them in or the alarm will go a bit mad as itll have no signal from one door.

Testing though is quite easy they are basic two pin connectors so your basically checking the circuit completes. With the switch youll need to remove it then hook up the connectors an press the switch id hold it in for a while to make sure. Wiring youll know pretty quick as it will either work, or not.
 

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Should be along do door shut near the hinge an cabling. In terms of testing you will need a multi meter. Also you need to leave them in or the alarm will go a bit mad as itll have no signal from one door.

Testing though is quite easy they are basic two pin connectors so your basically checking the circuit completes. With the switch youll need to remove it then hook up the connectors an press the switch id hold it in for a while to make sure. Wiring youll know pretty quick as it will either work, or not.
Ok, thank you Step - I'll give this a go....
 

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Thank you rjsdavis. Exactly as you said. I was puzzled by the inch of water on my passenger side floor mat today. I had been noticing a moldy smell too for the last few weeks periodically. But since I'm the only one that really uses my car, I never had an occasion to check the passenger side . . . until today. it rained hard this morning. I happened to look over at the passenger floor to pick pick up a pair of sunglasses that flew off my seat this afternoon during a quick stop and noticed the water. Interestingly, after sucking up the water with a wet vac and after drying my mat this afternoon, I ran my car for an hour with the heat on full blast hoping to dry it out. I came out to find not a dry mat but instead another half inch of water. Completely puzzled by this, because I assumed that the water was from a clocked AC drain after i couldn't find any leaks in the door seal, I came across this post. My drain tube is on the passenger side right in front of the pollen filter which is right in front of the fan. And it was plugged just as your pictures indicate. this thread probably saved me hour of time and or $$. Much appreciated.
 
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