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Discussion Starter #1
I have water leaking in and making vertical “snail trails” from behind the plastic trim on the aft bulkhead of my trunk. The water flows straight down and then collects along the panel sealant lines and around the drain plugs.

I’m pretty sure it’s not the leaky third brake light issue, as my headliner is dry, not stained and nothing in my trunk is wet- the side trunk trim is dry, and no water stains to the left or right sides.

Where I live it’s been raining every day for like 2 weeks. I took out the spare tire, jack and the spare tire cover and just wipe the well with a towel. I get a few spoonfulls of water every day.

All I can think of is a leaky taillight gasket, but I can’t find very good diagrams online. It’s not the lock cylinder- I don’t have one LOL. Maybe the license plate bracket?

Car is in the shop now, and I can’t say I’m impressed with the enthusiasm or pep of this dealer. Any ideas in case it comes back as “unable to re-create problem”?
 

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Elite Moderator
2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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If not the 3rd brake light... How about the lid weatherstrip?
 

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Just had my car at the dealer last week. All the carpet in the trunk was wet and the padding under the spare tire was wet. It was the third brake light leaking I have no stains either
 

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Could it be a insufficient seal of the rear window glass? Dealers should have electronic testing equipment to isolate air/water leaks within the body structure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If not the 3rd brake light... How about the lid weatherstrip?
WINNER WINNER!:smile:

Well, at least that's what the dealer said. Trunk weatherstripping replaced under warranty, no charge to me. It does look like they squirted the back end with a hose- water spots everywhere. And the trunk lid needs some firm assistance to close now. Of course, now it won't rain anymore where I live so I won't be able to tell if it really was the weatherstripping or not.

But I'll give it a bath this weekend and see what happens. Got some pressure washer parts on order (quick connect at the end of the gun wore out) and Amazon says "Friday" so we'll see.

OTOH, dealer seemed to be a bit more on the ball for the "Hey your car is done" call. I hope I never have to go back there, but maybe the service lady was just having a bad day.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Make sure you squirt all around the CHMSL. If it leaks around the light, you'll be back, unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dealer replaced all my weather stripping around the trunk lid and also the 3rd brake light, nuts, bolts, and housing. Hopefully it stays dry now.
So a 2 day job? I really, really hope I don't have this problem. Is your headliner OK?
 

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I have a 2017 still under warranty. Its been raining here for a week and I just noticed wet carpet in the back floor board. I saw this thread and checked my trunk and there was 3 inches of water under the spare. The top that covers the spare was also soaked from top to bottom. No apparent water stains in the headliner. Its hard to believe water can get in and travel that far, especially in a brand new car parked in the driveway. I have an appointment with the dealer on Tuesday and will let you know the result. They are one of the largest Chevy dealers in the nation, hopefully they know their stuff.
 

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I just had my car in today 2017 Chevy Hybrid Malibu and they squirted water at it with a hose and told me no problems. I get home open the trunk and there is standing water in the wheel well........everything is soaked. Guess I will have to ask them to look at this thread instead of insuinating I left a window open.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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You might also want to inspect the trunk before leaving next time. If it's still wet and/or not properly cleaned, refuse to accept the car or sign the papers. You're entitled to expect work to be performed at a certain minimum level of quality.
 

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I am having the same problem. There are so many others having the same issue. I am out of my bumper to bumper warranty and the dealer wants $95 just to "diagnose" the problem. I didn't discover the issue until yesterday. My car stays in the garage or carport with the exception of yesterday and it rained pretty much all day. I noticed my headliner wet & checked my trunk and the wheel well was filled with water. Does anyone have any other solutions besides paying $95 and then whatever the cost will be? I've heard it's pretty pricey. Is it something that can be done on my own? Any advice/suggestions will be helpful. Can something be done seeing as how this seems to be a manufacturer issue?
 

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Elite Moderator
2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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I am having the same problem. There are so many others having the same issue. I am out of my bumper to bumper warranty and the dealer wants $95 just to "diagnose" the problem. I didn't discover the issue until yesterday. My car stays in the garage or carport with the exception of yesterday and it rained pretty much all day. I noticed my headliner wet & checked my trunk and the wheel well was filled with water. Does anyone have any other solutions besides paying $95 and then whatever the cost will be? I've heard it's pretty pricey. Is it something that can be done on my own? Any advice/suggestions will be helpful. Can something be done seeing as how this seems to be a manufacturer issue?
Hello @Tina Crespin and welcome. There are a few different places the car can leak from, just like any car. The most common on this Malibu is the center high mount stop lamp (upper brake light). Seeing water in the headliner and trunk suggests the CHMSL is the source of your leak. There is a bulletin for this repair, here: http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=200328

Here are a few options I can think of:

1) Take the bulletin to your dealer and ask how much to perform it. Offer to buy the new nuts if they can install them for you. This will likely end in a negotiation of some cost but avoid the likely pointless diagnostic.

2) DIY it. You can drop the back of the headliner just a bit and tighten up the nuts. This could correct the issue long term or you may have to tighten it up again down the road. No cost. Another forum user did this and has been problem-free since. Here is the process described by that owner: https://www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/121-problems-service-issues-troubleshooting-generation-9/112663-water-trunk-area-17-lt-*fixed*.html#post857335

3) DIY it with the new nuts described in the bulletin. It would be a bit more work and you need to obtain the part but would provide a long term fix. Low cost.

The only problem is whether this is actually the first time it leaked. Perhaps it had been leaking and wasn't noticed and mold lurks. Once dried out if it is smell free and stays that way for a few weeks no other work needs to be done.
 

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If anyone wants a GM Trunk Lid Weatherstripping I have one for you. My old 2003 Malibu was leaking, I bought the part, but then sold the car. I'd rather have you have it than have it go to the landfill, plus I'd rather not give any more money to GM.
You pay only shipping from So Cal. See L.A. Craig's List - search for "FREE $0 GM Trunk Weatherstripping (2003 Malibu, etc.) New, Unused"
 

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I had the water leak issue early on. They fixed the third brake light, but the trunk lid gasket was leaking also. Both issues have been corrected.
 

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Just had my car at the dealer last week. All the carpet in the trunk was wet and the padding under the spare tire was wet. It was the third brake light leaking I have no stains either
I just found a pool in my Premier's trunk too. The cabin is dry, and no stains on the headliner or seats. I am drying it out now.
 

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Consider this!! The rubber seal around the truck may be defective. Thats what Happened to me and my 2012 Malibu, after an accident. Check the rubber and seal first. What year is your Malibu, Ricky?
 
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