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Ask -Brad- Your Own Question
-Brad-, Dodge Dealership Tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 6740
Experience:  16 Yrs Chrysler/Dodge Technician. ASE Master Certified(L-1)
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2001 4dr Dodge Stratus SE. The drivers side floor is getting

Customer Question

2001 4dr Dodge Stratus SE. The drivers side floor is getting soaked when it rains, not antifreeze. Thought it was windshield and took it for repair. The glass people said it was not the windshield leaking. Last rain I could see the floor getting wet only on the bottom and could not see the water trailing from anywhere. Starting to think the area leaking is some where ion front of the door. Door seals seem good.
JA: Have your car been overheating? Have you noticed any leaks?
Customer: No overheating. It is not antifreeze, it is water and it gets wet from rain as I have dried it out more than once.
JA: What year is your Ion?
Customer: 2001 Dodge Stratus SE 4dr
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Checked the AC drain clear. Took in for windshield seal repair. The glass shop said windshield seal was good and they had id apart.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: I have crawled under the dash and sat while it rains and the flood gets wet but slowly. So it is a somewhat log path for the water to get to the floor. Water is not coming in form under the dash. My next thought was to take up the carpet to try to find the trail.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Dodge Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  -Brad- replied 4 months ago.

Good afternoon and welcome to JustAnswer!!

My name is ***** ***** I have worked for a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership for 19 years and I will do my best to help.

I work part-time here on JustAnswer to help you and other repair their own vehicles, and I get credited by your ratings.. So before leaving the site make sure and leave me a rating. You can still reply to me as many times as needed, even after the rating.. I will need for you to be my hands and eyes since I'm not there, and to be honest with today's electronics a scantool may very well be needed to retrieve the codes or to monitor data to see what's going on...

Here is how to find your water leak...


Water leaks can be caused by poor sealing, improper body component alignment, body seam porosity, missing plugs, or blocked drain holes. Centrifugal and gravitational force can cause water to drip from a location away from the actual leak point, making leak detection difficult. All body sealing points should be water tight in normal wet-driving conditions. Water flowing downward from the front of the vehicle should not enter the passenger or luggage compartment. Moving sealing surfaces will not always seal water tight under all conditions. At times, side glass or door seals will allow water to enter the passenger compartment during high pressure washing or hard driving rain (severe) conditions. Overcompensating on door or glass adjustments to stop a water leak that occurs under severe conditions can cause premature seal wear and excessive closing or latching effort. After completing a repair, water test vehicle to verify leak has stopped before returning vehicle to use.


Verify that floor and body plugs are in place, body drains are clear, and body components are properly aligned and sealed. If component alignment or sealing is necessary, refer to the appropriate section of this group for proper procedures.



When the conditions causing a water leak have been determined, simulate the conditions as closely as possible.

  • If a leak occurs with the vehicle parked in a steady light rain, flood the leak area with an open-ended garden hose.
  • If a leak occurs while driving at highway speeds in a steady rain, test the leak area with a reasonable velocity stream or fan spray of water. Direct the spray in a direction comparable to actual conditions.
  • If a leak occurs when the vehicle is parked on an incline, hoist the end or side of the vehicle to simulate this condition. This method can be used when the leak occurs when the vehicle accelerates, stops or turns. If the leak occurs on acceleration, hoist the front of the vehicle. If the leak occurs when braking, hoist the back of the vehicle. If the leak occurs on left turns, hoist the left side of the vehicle. If the leak occurs on right turns, hoist the right side of the vehicle. For hoisting recommendations .


To detect a water leak point-of-entry, do a water test and watch for water tracks or droplets forming on the inside of the vehicle. If necessary, remove interior trim covers or panels to gain visual access to the leak area. If the hose cannot be positioned without being held, have someone help do the water test.

Some water leaks must be tested for a considerable length of time to become apparent. When a leak appears, find the highest point of the water track or drop. The highest point usually will show the point of entry. After leak point has been found, repair the leak and water test to verify that the leak has stopped.

Locating the entry point of water that is leaking into a cavity between panels can be difficult. The trapped water may splash or run from the cavity, often at a distance from the entry point. Most water leaks of this type become apparent after accelerating, stopping, turning, or when on an incline.


When a leak point area is visually obstructed, use a suitable mirror to gain visual access. A mirror can also be used to deflect light to a limited-access area to assist in locating a leak point.


Some water leaks in the luggage compartment can be detected without water testing. Position the vehicle in a brightly lit area. From inside the darkened luggage compartment inspect around seals and body seams. If necessary, have a helper direct a drop light over the suspected leak areas around the luggage compartment. If light is visible through a normally sealed location, water could enter through the opening.


When a water leak into the passenger compartment cannot be detected by water testing, pressurize the passenger compartment and soap test exterior of the vehicle. To pressurize the passenger compartment, close all doors and windows, start engine, and set heater control to high blower in HEAT position. If engine can not be started, connect a charger to the battery to ensure adequate voltage to the blower. With interior pressurized, apply dish detergent solution to suspected leak area on the exterior of the vehicle. Apply detergent solution with spray device or soft bristle brush. If soap bubbles occur at a body seam, joint, seal or gasket, the leak entry point could be at that location.

If you need anymore assistance feel free to reply and don't forget the RATING before leaving the site!!

Have a great day,


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Brad,I was looking for information specific to the Stratus. What you sent I consider to be general generic information. I have been to other forums regarding the matter. I have done the obvious looking at door and window seals. I am looking for specific points of entry as wherever the water is coming in on the front drivers side. Split seam where the body is put together? I thought maybe you would have some insight into entry areas before I started taking the trim out and carpet up. Someone else has had to deal with an issue like this I would think. As far as the rating, I will wait for a response. Thanks in advance, Lee Weiss
Expert:  -Brad- replied 4 months ago.

There is not a common leak area on the JR body style Stratus. Here are a few cases.

Case Number999928493

Vehicle IssueWater leak from the A pillar / cowl area. => Inspect the hood hinge pocket area.;In what Body/Chassis/Brake area is assistance needed? >> Body What is the general nature or location of your Body concern? >> Water leak Is there a water leak from the cowl / A-pillar area? >> YES Have you reviewed all diagnostic resources and performed appropriate test procedures for given concern?... >> YES

System or ComponentWater Leak;Customer Concern (No DTCs);Group 23 - Body / Chassis

RecommendationInspect the hood hinge pocket area... The hood hinge may have to be removed in order to thoroughly inspect this area. Inspect seam weld and / or lack of sealant at the seams. The repair procedure is listed in the JR Water Leak Information Manual publication number 81-170-00009(TSB 23-17-01).

Case NumberK26809797

Vehicle IssueWater Leak On Front Passenger's Or Driver's Floor Board. Water Appears To Be Entering Where Floorpan And Kick Panel Are Joined Together.;2001 - 2005 JR. Water Appears To Be Entering Where Floorpan And Kick Panel Are Joined Together.

System or ComponentWater Leak;Customer Concern (No DTCs),Repair Procedure;Carpet / Floor Mat,Floor Pan / Undercarriage;Right,Left,Front,Interior

RecommendationRemove the inner fender liner and inspect seams for missing sealer. May want to spray water in area where the kick panel and floor pan join together while someone observes for water leaks inside vehicle with kick panel trim removed. Seal area as required.

Modification Date

07/01/05 4:14 PM

Once you turn the blower on with the windows up you should be able to locate the leak with detergent in a spray bottle. Once you locate the leak then you can repair it..

If you need anymore assistance feel free to reply and don't forget the RATING before leaving the site!!

Have a great day,


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok thanks for that info. That was more of what I was looking for. Sounds like an obscure problem with my particular Stratus. I will pursue the areas listed in your service reports. Thanks- Lee
Expert:  -Brad- replied 4 months ago.

You are very welcome!!

And thank you for the positive rating..

Have a great evening,


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