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Thanks for the great pictures and thanks for keeping us in the loop with the problem and the potential solutions.
 

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Thanks for the info and Pictures. I found my carpet to be drenched under the rubber mats. I traced it back to an opening in the caulk just like in your picture. I sealed it up. Hopefully thats the only place it was coming in.

What did the dealer end up finding with yours?

Thanks,
James
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Discussion Starter #23
I've had no further leaks as of the date of this post. I've driven in heavy rain, but the only times I've ever seen a leak was when the RL was parked outside in a heavy rain.

So either it's fixed or I haven't had similar conditions yet that caused the leak in the first place.
 

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I've had no further leaks as of the date of this post. I've driven in heavy rain, but the only times I've ever seen a leak was when the RL was parked outside in a heavy rain.

So either it's fixed or I haven't had similar conditions yet that caused the leak in the first place.
Thanks for the reply, I didn't realize I was commenting to the same person.

Your last update post with the picture says the glass place sealed the hole, but water was still coming in, so you were going back to the dealer. Did they find the second leak location?

Thanks,
James
 

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Discussion Starter #25
The dealer didn't do anything about it. All the leak work was done by the glass shop.
 

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Thanks for the info and Pictures. I found my carpet to be drenched under the rubber mats. I traced it back to an opening in the caulk just like in your picture. I sealed it up. Hopefully thats the only place it was coming in.

What did the dealer end up finding with yours?

Thanks,
James
I have a similar issue. I have water drip on my feet after a long heavy rain and when backing down my inclined driveway. I have been to two body shops and the glass shop but so far all are stumped. I am in the process of pulling the dash. Is that what you needed to do to see that seam?The water when it drips screws up the electronics, TPMS and security system as well as door lock/unlock functions. It's only a mater of time before there is a larger electrical failure.
 

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Re: Water leak identified

After several attempts by the glass shop and two body shops to find the cause for the leak under the dash ( with the water spilling on my feet when backing down a hill), a third body shop was willing to work with me to remove the dash. I removed all the electronics, kick panels, pillar trim, air bags, etc and at the shop we removed the steering column and dash. That is not a pleasant job and it took many hours, a lot of which was spent trying to understand the shop manual instructions. After the dask was out, we spent an hour looking for a leak and after almost giving up, we found it. We found it with soapy water on the outside and compressed air on the inside. The odd thing is that the leak ( bubbles) on the outside is about three inches away from where you need to blow air on the inside. Somewhere in the drivers A pillar there is a leak that channels water to the bottom of the glass seal. After finding the air leak, we were able to run a very slow trickle of water down the top edge of the outside A pillar and after several minutes, water stated to puddle on the top of the firewall. The design of the firewall has an indentation pretty much in the center of the drivers side and the passengers side that forms a small ponding area. Water that leaks, if a lot, fills the indentation and then overflows over the edge onto the area above the steering column. On the passenger side, the water overflows and runs down the intake of the heater/AC blower housing.
Since some water puddles in that indentation, it stays there until the truck is angled back as it was when I backed down the hill in my driveway. The pooled water flows out of the area and splashes on your feet ( as well as wetting all the electronics and connectors that are in its way.
Note that with the dash installed, you can not see the area where water pools nor could you have seen the water leaking into that area from the a pillar. The actual entry point appears to be behind the VIN plate shroud.
I am waiting for the glass shop to take a look and confirm/repair the glass. In addition, I have claim in for repairs.
I hope this repair does it before my truck 'washes' away.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Discussion Starter #28
Fantastic job. I hope you took lots of pics and can post them here. In addition, you should write this up and send it and the pics along to Honda Corporate to inform them of this issue.

I'm curious what the glass shop charged you for this? I'll bet this mirrors my problem too.
 

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The RidgeKid figured it out...great job.

I often wonder if Honda knows the fix, but because of the few complaints, let it run its course.
 

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Here are a few pics of the dash in various stages of disassembly. First of all, without a service manual, you would be at a tremendous disadvantage trying to remove the dash. Even with the manual, the job took several days.
The leak that let water into the seal was on the seal of the windshield on the bottom of the left pillar just about where the rubber gasket ends and the cowling starts. There was a small channel in the sealant that directed that water along the glass edge to a small unsealed section just in front of the VIN plate. Note that the leak near the VIN plate did not go from the inside to the outside, it went halfway to that small channel that was between two beads of sealant. The second or outer bead had a leak a from the center of the two beads to the outside. This is why it was so difficult to find the leak, even with compressed air and soapy water, it took quite some time to see that the outside bead leaked when air was blown about 6 inches farther along the glass. This leak could not be seen without the removal of the dash. Of course if the glass shop had just replaced the glass I wouldn't have had to go through all the work. The glass shop had the truck several times and could not see a leak. Two other body shops were also unable and or unwilling to find it

In the pictures, you can see the dash, still installed but with all the trim and panels removed. There is a picture of the top of the firewall with the dash removed. Just to the left of and below the heater wires in the glass on the firewall is a small indentation that collects the leaking water. If a small amount leaks, you don't see any water until the truck is slanted backwards as when backing down a hill. Then the water overflows the lip and drips down the steering column area onto your feet. If there is more water leaking, eventually two things happen: Water overflows into the dash and starts to fill the indentation on the passenger side. When that fills up and either overflows or drains when on a hill, the water runs down the front of the blower housing. From there is enters the foam filter and runs into the cabin filter and eventually onto the floor.
The hardest part of removing the dash is location and disconnecting all the harness connections, SRS connectors, steering wheel ( it has to be pulled), steering wire spool, steering column and the harness mounting clips. Take a lot of pictures and make notes.
There are 13 bolts that have to be removed to pull the dash, two of then get loosened and slid half way out with the drivers door half open. There bolts can not be completely removed without the door being off and you have to be careful not to open the door fully with the bolts undone or that will damage the door edge.
The center console has to be removed to get the rear AC ducts out but you do not have to remove the rear heater ducts as the manual states. To do so requires the removal of the seats and I tried to avoid that. To remove the dash without removing the heater ducts, you have to spread the center dash floor brackets to clear the ducts. It take two people and a bit of wiggling.
Note that the dash is heavier than you would think since you are removing the plastic and the internal metal frame as well as the structural cross member.
When all was reinstalled, we had a few error codes which fortunately traced back to one connector that we missed when reconnecting. Thanks goodness that the shop had a scanner with Honda software. It really narrowed down the issues and where to look for a harness issue. SRS error codes were cleared and everything seems good.I sure hope so! One surprise was that after I entered the radio code, it still had my presets. I didn't expect that and sincethe battery was disconnect for two days.
For the record, this issue does not seem to be a Honda fault but rather was caused by incorrect replacement of the windshield. Either a slit of old sealant was left or that area was not properly primed causing a small area that was not correctly bonded.
 

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So the fix for this is new windshield, or the existing one removed, all old sealant removed, everything cleaned up, then reinstall properly sealed windshield?
 

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So the fix for this is new windshield, or the existing one removed, all old sealant removed, everything cleaned up, then reinstall properly sealed windshield?
Yes,
The removal of the dash was necessary to convince the glass company that the previous install was faulty and get them to pay for the body shop work. Had I bit the bullet and just had the glass replaced, I would have avoided all the work and effort. Then again, why pay if the original job was botched?
The main point is that the glass folks insisted that there was a design issue with the truck that caused water to enter the firewall vents when it rained heavily. Of course asking why this only happened after the glass was replaced was not good enough for them.
It's been a year or so and all is dry.
 
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