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04 Forester X, MT
1,039 Posts
has the windshield been replaced before, could be leaking if not done properly?

do you have a sunroof (guess not if L instead of S)?

i believe the A/C drain hose is on the passenger side (is in my '04), so that's probably not it.

if it doesn't smell like antifreeze, probably not heater core leaking.

have you or a previous owner parked under trees and/or driven on dirt roads a lot? debris can accumulate behind the fenderwell liner and the plastic on the side of the car. if a body plug was missing or not seated and the debris got high enough, that could be a potential source of a leak. i noticed this on my '04 when I had the passenger side fenderwell liner loose to install an antenna last weekend.

also, i had a mazda wagon once that did leak on the driver's side in the front and back. i noticed a funny sound driving around previous to a large rainstorm and the leak, but it wasn't quite like a "sloshing". what happened was i had to go to a junkyard for some good reason and i noticed mine was missing a body plug under the bottom of the driver's door, so i also got a plug and installed it (it already had a similar plug installed on the passenger side). quite some time went by before i got the water so i didn't immediately connect the 2. when i pulled the carpet back there was a hole in the rocker panel where water was now coming through. when i looked things over better i saw a raised area at the bottom of the rocker panel area under the door near the bottom of the front fender and thought it was probably to drain water. i got a small screwdriver or stick and carefully poked in there ... voila, out came the trapped water and such!

another thing that could happen is if the car was improperly jacked up, the metal flange under the doors could have been bent and stopped up a drain channel.
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