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Old 08-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #1
stevelogan
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Default 2005 Vue major water leak


After a month of heavy rains in April this year, we noticed that the passenger side carpet in of our 2005 Vue (V6 FWD) was soaking wet. I took it to the dealer, and they supposedly pulled the carpet back and said it was drenched. They investigated common causes and found nothing and suggested that the next step was to pull the interior out and do 3-4 days of water testing - $1000 and up(!!) - and we were already in for $400 for the first round of testing. Decided not to get it done, and things have been fine - until this morning. We've had a couple occasional heavy rains, but nothing sustained, but this morning I noticed that the area under the passenger seat was soaked - freshly wet looking like someone had dumped a cup of water there. It extends from the right rear bolt holding the seat down, up to about the front seat edge, along the right hand side - about 4" wide by 12" long. I pulled out the front mat and the carpet under there was wet also - you could hear it squish if you pushed down on it. The wetness here is more towards the center console and along the transmission hump - not along the right side edge of the car. I looked under the car for any obvious holes and didn't see anything. The car has never been abused, in any sort of accident or driven hard - it's our family mobile. I really do not want to have to spend another $1000-$1500 at the dealership for them to investigate this. Nothing up high in the car seems wet, but I don't know how much water could be getting in from underneath - especially directly under the seat.

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Old 08-01-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
Ssicarman
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Welcome to the Board.

Do you have a sunroof?

If you do then there is a good chance that one of the drain hoses for it has come off of the sunroof module. To repair you would need to drop the headliner down enough to get you hands in to reattach the hose and use a zip tie to secure it on.

Other than that there are not any common water leak problems on the VUE's.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
stevelogan
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no - no sunroof (that would have been to obvious!).

I've also checked around the door seals and everything seems fine. Also, the bottom edge of the door seems dry so I don't think it's getting in around there. I'm still betting that it's somewhere along the firewall (dealership did check that AC part that can go bad causing a water leak inside) and draining down into the floor pan from the front. Otherwise, I can't see how it would be getting that wet under the seat from rain coming down - there were no huge puddles - or even small ones - that we've splashed through with it. I'm 99.9% sure it's happening when the car is parked.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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If you are able to pull the carpeting out yourself, which should be done to dry it properly, do so. Then use something like talc powder or some kind of powder (contrasting to the body colour under the carpets) that is fine enough to stick in place and spread it all over the floor and sides
(remove lower trim panels) of the car so that everything that you can get to is covered. Then play the waiting game. Once the car interior gets wet again you should be able to see the water trail in the powder. You will then be able to track the leak source that much better.

Has the windshield been replaced recently?
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
tycam01
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Default severe water leak

I've been fighting a similiar problem, Removed all molding from windshield, interior and exterior. Not from the windshield. I did remove the plastic covering the cabin air filter. Funny, the drain was clear. I did another water test. Still water in side. Found it was thru the fire wall behind the ventilation controls. Did another search of the fire wall from the engine compartment. Found the cabin air filter compartment drains on to a wire/hose/cable the penetrates the fire wall. I caulked around where the cable goes thru the boot. Also, I added a extension to the drain to ensure it does not drain on the cable. So far so good. Oh, by the way. I tried Saturn and after several trips/money I gave up. Purchased repair manual thru e-bay.

Hope this helps.......
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:19 PM   #6
saturnspotG
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I second that about the engine/firewall grommet. It all depends where the water is coming from.

After spending hundreds at the dealer - there are 4 sunroof drains 2 in the front pillars that drain in front of the doors and 2 that run in the back rear door pillars that drain behind the doors. The dealer blew them out with compressed air, then replaced two. Still leaked.

In my 2005 Vue I had a water leak on the passenger side - after spending hundreds at the dealer for them to look at the sunroof drains - I lifted the carpet to find the water coming from the hump (center of the vehicle) {compared to the sunroof drains are on the outsides/kick panels/by the doors}.

With a little searching I found the large grommet on the firewall in the engine compartment just to the passenger side of center with a cable run through it. I siliconed the grommet and where the cable goes through - so far so good.

With the carpet lifted I also sprayed/saturated the underside/padding with Lysol to kill mold/mildew and let it all dry out. You have to make sure under the carpet you get under the firewall padding that has the rubber'ish top to it. When in doubt follow the metal floor.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:57 AM   #7
spcline
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I've had a similar, yet unresolved, problem with my 2004 VUE AWD. We have no competent Saturn dealers in the Portland, Or area. The dealer I purchased the vehicle from didn't have qualified technicians that knew where to look. There are two known leakage potentials with this model of Vue. One is the outside air intake canister in front of the firewall on the passenger side. It is designed to take in air from at the bottom of the windshield. It also takes in water. There is a drain hole with a small tube at the bottom of the canister that is suppose to evacuate the water underneath the vehicle. The little hose can clog very easily with debris and it also collapses with engine heat causing it to close up. When this happens the accumulated water in the canister overflows into the passenger side of the vehicle through the hepa filter that is also located in that canister. It can dump a major amount of water into the interior of the car! The second known water leak potential is from the sunroof drains. The dealer I purchased the car from didn't even know those drains were there until close to 30 thousand miles!! They claim that they found and cleaned them but the water still comes in to the vehicle. I've written corporate Saturn many times with no response to my concerns. I've given up on area dealers since they obviously do not know the vehicle.
My hesitation in going after this myself and taking down the headliner is related to the possible damage to the side air-curtain in the process. Has anyone actually removed the headliner without damaging the side-air curtains??
Buying a Saturn VUE has been one of the worst experiences in my motoring life. Saturn went to great lengths to get high ratings from their customers - but when it comes to knowledgable service after the sale it's all a bunch of hot air. And it's not just the leaks that plague the vehicle - there are a host of other issues that make this an inferior american product.

Last edited by spcline; 10-04-2010 at 07:00 AM..
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:56 AM   #8
Onearmedbandit86
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Hey now you cant go and bash saturns on a saturn bord.theres always 1 bad apple in the bunch.u drew the short stick on the sunroof.but calling saturn inferior is a BIG over statement.these vehicles go well into the 300k with little maintenance most of the time.and retain great gas mileage thru there entire life.point is you just cant slam all saturns just because of a personal experience or idiot dealer.remember a vehicle is only as good as you treat it...as much as i loth kia i wont call them inferior just because there cheap.ive seen them go to 250k with care and maintenance
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:02 AM   #9
spcline
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Default Thanks for the reply, but it's not bashing...

The reason I logged in here and shared my maintenance concerns was because this was suppose to be a Saturn forum and I had hopped to gain some insight from other frustrated owners as to how to deal with the problem.
And I apologize but the 2004 Saturn Vue that I have and it's dealer support network in the Portland area represent one of the worst experiences that I've had in new car purchases. It's not just one person and one car. And, it's not just one trouble. I did not detail the other issues with the vehicle. The car's air system and drain system are poorly designed - it's that simple. And when the dealer throws untrained 'kid mechanics' at the issues one realizes that a mistake was made in purchasing this vehicle. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to dump it and get something from else.
I've written Saturn too many times about issues with my Vue. I've only received one follow-up from someone who assured me that they would get me in contact with the appropriate people who could fix it. That has never happened! All other correspondence has been ignored by Saturn. And now, they simply have ceased to exist.
You're welcome to believe that Saturn makes good vehicles. Maybe they do and maybe they don't. The vehicle is only as good as the manufacturer's support and that is sadly lacking with GM and Saturn.
I am one who keeps vehicles for a long time. My last one had close to 300K miles on it and was a GM product - one of the best I've owned. My decision to buy the 2004 Vue was not lightly made - it was done so based upon the experience of my kids who have had several Saturns and my experience with GM. And it does have some appealing features. Sadly, it was a mistake and this vehicle is simply not built with good engineering and quality for a $25K vehicle. The powerplant may make it to 300K miles but that is only because it is built by Honda. Nothing to do with Saturn and their build quality.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:50 PM   #10
RBrown919
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Default We're in the same boat

I had a severe water leak over the windshield and both passenger/driverside doors in my 2004 VUE in March or April of this year. Shortly thereafter, I had to replace an corroded electronic module behind the dashboard . I live in Maryland and we had several heavy snows in late 2009 and early 2010. The dealership said that the weight of the snow pushed the sunroof out of alignment and that caused the leaks. Didn't sound right to me but I'm no expert....I turned it over to my insurance company received full reimbursement minus cost of repairing the sunroof. Just this week my heater/cooling fan went out. Dealer traced the problem to a corroded wiring harness behind the dash. Today 12/12/2010, it's raining and I noticed the leaks are back also. Something is wrong with this picture!
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