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Old 07-07-2017, 03:14 PM   #1
I've made a post!
Drives: 2008 Yaris Liftback
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northeast, US
Posts: 1
Yaris Hatch Leak Finally Fixed

I've had issues with my 2008 Yaris leaking in the hatch area when it rains. The water would run down both pillars on the sides of the hatch, often coming out of the two vents behind the taillights, and eventually making its way to the spare tire area. After reading several posts here and trying various things over the last few months, I think I finally have solved the issue. It was a frustrating process, so I thought I'd share my experience in case it could help anyone else going through the same thing.

The areas I checked were:

-Taillight Gaskets
-Underbody Drain Plugs
-Hatch Weatherstripping
-Rear Window Weatherstripping
-Antenna Seal
-Electrical Cable Grommet going to the hatch
-Rear Windshield Washer Tube Grommet
-Top Corners of Hatch at end of drip rails

I had little luck trying to trace back the drips, even after soaking with the hose or on a rainy day, even when I could see the water coming in. The problem is that the drips were coming from behind a sheet metal pocket on both pillars of the hatch, which completely hid the leak trail from view. But at least I had a rough idea where to start.

I did a quick check for missing drain plugs in the back area, but it all looked good. Also, I knew the leak in my case was higher up.

I removed the rear child seat belt assembly and carefully pulled down the headliner. The antenna and surrounding headliner looked totally dry.

I checked from inside the hatch under the area where the two grommets are that route the electrical wiring and windshield washer to the hatch. These also turned up clean and dry.

Then I checked the rear window seals by removing the plastic panels surrounding them (pulled off easily for the most part). These also turned up dry.

The taillights were not wet at the moment, but did show a small residue trail leading down from the main opening. This indicated that it likely leaked at one point. From what I gather here, this is fairly common. I removed the taillights, put permatex ultra black on both side of the gasket where it contacted the taillight and the body, rerouted the top cable to be on the inside of the car for ease of removal later (as recommended by someone else on the forum), and screwed them back in place. This didn't fix the main leak, but I have not seen water or leak trails come back on either taillight.

The hatch weatherstripping was one of the main sources of leaking. I noticed it was lifted slightly at the top corners. I contemplated buying a new one, but wasn't sure this would solidly fix the problem or that it wouldn't develop again later. I wasn't sure if the problem was with the weatherstripping, the mating portion around the opening, or just a troublesome design. I ended up applying a thick bead of ultra black to the outer base surface of the weatherstripping all the way around (up to the taillights). This ended up fixing the leak on the drivers side, but not the one on the passenger side.

Next I checked out the top corners of the hatch, right where the drip rail ends and dumps off all the water toward the back of the car. I ended up finding some hairline cracks there. It sort of looked like factory sealant between maybe what were originally separate panels. Whatever it was, these cracks were the culprit. I ran another bead of ultra black (stuff in the pressurized can is nice to work with) from the end of both drip rails down to the top corners of the weatherstripping. I followed what looked to me like sealant lines underneath the paint, making sure to cover the cracks. And sure enough, the car is now bone dry, no leaks! It has rained at least 6 or 7 times since then, and I have yet to see a drop.

I hope that this info can help someone else with the same issue, as I dealt with a musty smelling car for several years, unable to pinpoint the leak.
Yari$ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 01:44 PM   #2
Drives: 2015 yaris L
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 77
Thanks for your post. Our 15 model Yaris hasn't leaked yet, knock on wood, but our 03 Echo sedan started leaking in the trunk when it was about two years old and we never could fix it.
jra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 09:43 PM   #3
Drives: 2009 5-door, 5-speed
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 687
Thanks for posting. I too have a water leak and those cracks in the drip rails in my roof. I didn't think they were large enough to cause a water leak, but I think it's time to reseal them.
CoryM is offline   Reply With Quote

hatch leak, leak, leaking, roof leak, water damage

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