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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #1
Before now, I've had relatively no issues with my baby. Unfortunately, Murphey's Law struck me and it appears I've got a major water leak... I was complaining on the forum earlier of my driverside footwell being wet, so I pulled up the carpet and it appears that things are absolutely soaked... There's puddles of water underneath the carpet. It's terrible...there's even some mold starting to grow. Glad I caught this when I did!

So I'm still not sure where to find the leak...I figure ill take it to a dealer... Yikes! Anyway, any idea what kinda replacement carpet to use? Any good brands? Or should I just get it from a dealer? I know they'll overcharge me, but I would prefer an exact match and for it to be real high quality.
 

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2005 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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717 Posts
My guess would be ruptured heater matrix, and its a big job to get at it, whole dash has to come out, what's the coolant level like?
 

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2005 3.6 cts, 2011 AWD coupe cts
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I experienced that prob. on my pass. side foot well once and immediately thought &%$#@$* HEATER CORE !!!!! After calming &%$#%$ down. I noticed that usual smell of coolant wasn't present and in fact was just plain ol' water. My chief suspect was the sunroof but it appeared closed and never had a issue. But apon closer inspection, I noticed the dial was not exactly in the closed postion but a notch off. I guess even though the roof appears shut, the dial must be perfectly aligned to "closed" in order to be fully sealed. D U H :cookoo: Never had a leak since.
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #4
I don't believe it's either.... :(

I more fully inspected the car, and it appears that there is water under all areas of the carpet. EVERYWHERE!! The spongy foamish material underneath that the carpet is layed down on top of is acting like a sponge. There's mold, it's absolutely water logged, and it appears this may have been going on for a while now.

It seems to be the most concentrated in the driver footwell, but it is definitely on both sides of the car, front and rear.

Please help...anyone. :(
 

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2004 CTS luxury package
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300 Posts
Condensation from the evaporator coil, getting into the passenger compartment via a crack in the evaporator housing. That would be my guess.

Way back when I still had my '78 Fleetwood Brougham, I had exactly that issue and when I discovered it and went to check on it, when I pulled up the passenger side carpet,
the floor came along with it. I ended up cutting out, literally, a 16" square section of what remained of the floor and screwing two layers of aluminum sheet over the damaged
area to give the passenger something for his feet to rest on.

I almost never carried passengers so that little "issue" had gone unnoticed. But if you had sat in the seat, your feet would have only been kept off the road by the strength of the carpet itself.


Your problem is serious enough that you really must find the leak source and get it taken care of. It will eventually trash the car otherwise.

You can get replacement carpet pretty easily. I'd get it from a clean car in a salvage yard. Cheaper by far than getting it from the dealer.
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #6
cmjohnson said:
Your problem is serious enough that you really must find the leak source and get it taken care of. It will eventually trash the car otherwise.

You can get replacement carpet pretty easily. I'd get it from a clean car in a salvage yard. Cheaper by far than getting it from the dealer.
Yeah...I suppose that's my best route to take. Ugh... :/
 
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CadillacAsAlways, I'm so sorry you've been experiencing these leak frustrations! I hope you'll let us know how your dealer appointment goes, and I'm just an email away if you would like any assistance working with your dealership. I'm reachable at [email protected]!

Best,

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #8
Cadillac Cust Svc said:
CadillacAsAlways, I'm so sorry you've been experiencing these leak frustrations! I hope you'll let us know how your dealer appointment goes, and I'm just an email away if you would like any assistance working with your dealership. I'm reachable at [email protected]!

Best,

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service
I may contact you over this Katie! Thanks for the support. Normally I'm skeptical of dealers in general due to high costs, but I've decided to schedule an appointment on this one as I feel it's a bit over my head, and just too much to deal with due to my busy schedule and lack of a garage.

What exactly would you be able to do for me as far as assistance working with my dealer?
 
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What exactly would you be able to do for me as far as assistance working with my dealer?
Hi CadillacAsAlways! While I can't guarantee a particular outcome, we Customer Service agents can take your resolution desires into account as we investigate the options available to you (the assistance available varies from case to case, depending on a number of different factors).

Best,

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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28,963 Posts
A common problem is a plugged A/C evaporator drain line. Mud dobbers build nests in them. This is where the water is coming from that runs out on the ground when your car is sitting idling on a hot day.
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #11
dkozloski said:
A common problem is a plugged A/C evaporator drain line. Mud dobbers build nests in them. This is where the water is coming from that runs out on the ground when your car is sitting idling on a hot day.
Yeah I've read a bit about that. The only problem with that hypothesis is that the issue was nonexistent this summer when I heavily used my AC, now during the winter when I haven't set the temp below 80 degrees in months I'm suddenly having this problem.
I believe it may also be more related to water getting in from the outside...

Anyway, tomorrow I've got an appointment with a local mechanic who I trust (did my timing belt, water pump, sparks, and serpentine belt a few months ago and has worked on all our cars). He's going to throw it up on the lift and see if he can spot a problem from underneath and troubleshoot around other places. If he can't figure it out, I've got a service appointment at a Cadillac dealer on Wednesday.

Either way, I guess it'll resolve itself. I couldn't find the cause of the leak even after removing the driver side carpeting and don't have time anyway with my schedule. I'll let everyone know what it was! Hopefully it's a cheap fix...
 

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Your A/C runs whenever you select defrost (regardless of the interior temperature you set), so as to dehumidify the interior air and reduce fogging. Find the drain hose and run a thin flexible wire up it and see if that helps
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #13
*Update....

After leaving it with my mechanic, he was totally unable to figure out the source. Not good...

So, guess I'm taking it to a dealer...

Jim's 06 said:
Your A/C runs whenever you select defrost (regardless of the interior temperature you set), so as to dehumidify the interior air and reduce fogging. Find the drain hose and run a thin flexible wire up it and see if that helps
Thanks, I'll look into that. The only thing is it appears to not be coming from that direction, plus it is literally a few gallons of water that has been soaked up by the spongy padding material under the carpet. It is completely saturated throughout. It took so long to discover this issue in the first place cuz the actual TOP of the carpet (that you see and touch) was dry for the longest time while it saturated the lower levels of spongy padding/insulated material first. It's very confusing...
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Discussion Starter #14
Update here just for documentary reasons...figure I might finish off the thread for future references as it is a bit interesting...

$390 later, we believe the water leak issue is fixed. I'm crossing my fingers and praying to God it is...
Essentially, it wasn't the sun roof, A/C or any other suspected reasons. As far as I understand it, the front left corner of my CTS (where the driverside firewall between the engine/footwell area connects to the side of the car) was splitting apart by about an inch and a half. They believe this was caused over time by just the age of the car but also improper jacking up of the car that managed to oddly twist the vehicle.

It's hard to explain, but basically water would run down the windshield and into the crevices that are around where the wipers are near the corner of the car and directly flow into the cabin. Due to insulation and rubber linings and stuff, the water would be routed directly to the underside of the carpet, soaking it from the bottom up. Seems logical, and I saw first hand where they did the work while the guy had the fender pulled away.

They used a black sticky material to glue it back up somehow...

The only thing I'm skeptical about is how water would manage to get in and flow to all four corners of the car, but the explanation is apparently the numerous valleys and ridges of the floorboards which I can plainly see myself.
I can stretch my imagination to see how water could get everywhere along those little channels...

Anyway, I'm hoping this fix holds. They claim it will and I surely hope so. This weekend I'll take out all the carpet and dry everything out, hopefully finding no other leaks. I'm somewhat glad to know that this turned out to be a repair that I honestly couldn't do myself, and that I didn't just waste my money at a dealer.

So, that's it! If anyone who may be experiencing something similar would like pics elaborating the splitting corners and stuff, lemme know.
 
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