2000 Mazda 626 Stench & Trunk Well Leak

  • 2000 MAZDA 626
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 93,000 MILES
Had not used car in a week and when I entered it there was an overwhelming stench-my wife says it's like an old wet garment but I thought it had an ammonia-like odor. Completely emptied trunk and found lots of water under donut. My son resealed the area-didn't help the situation. We are not physically able to do any reapairs on our own but can you tell us what type of repair shop we should look for and what the problem might be. Thanks so much!
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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 AT 12:15 PM

1 Reply

Hi kernelbozo. Welcome to the forum. What did your son reseal? Water leaks in around the rubber weatherstrip that the trunk lid contacts. Body shops can handle this type of problem, but as a former suspension and alignment specialist at a very nice Chrysler dealership, I can suggest that everyone there knew what to look for. We rarely sent water and air leaks to our body shop.

If you stick a dollar bill under the lid between the weatherstrip, and close the trunk, you should feel resistance when you try to pull it out. Most dealerships have cans of white powder, similar to talcum powder, that you spray on the weatherstrip, then slowly and gently close the trunk, open it again, and look for places the powder did not transfer to the metal trunk lid. A third way of finding the leak is to convince someone to let them self be locked in the trunk to look for places light is shining through.

Look for leaves, dirt, or small tree branches that got stuck on the weatherstrip and is holding a gap open. If the rubber is simply deformed or shrunken from drying out with age, you can cut a slit in it and slide in a piece of vacuum hose to build up the size of the weatherstrip. Another trick is to pull the weatherstrip off the metal lip, squeeze in some silicone gasket sealer in the groove, then reinstall it but don't push it down tight. Leave it up enough to force it to compress when the lid is closed, but don't close the lid for a few hours to give the sealer time to cure and harden. Usually raising the weatherstrip 1/8" is plenty. Don't just raise it in one spot because that will cause a dip on either side. For a one inch gap, start raising the weatherstrip at least 6" away and taper up to the gap.

Another trick, if you can get that kid to stay in the trunk is to water the car from a garden hose and let him see if he can determine where the water is seeping in. You might also see the wet water track after opening the trunk again.

When you're done repairing any leaks, look on the floor for drain holes that are blocked with dirt or debris.

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 AT 12:40 PM

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