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I have been catching up on some much needed maintenance lately (1999 Intrepid 2.7. replace leaking water outlet, burned out lights, various pet peeve type fixes), and decided to do a little detail cleaning since i had some extra time today. The cleaning actually started when i reached under the flase floor in the trunk to try to locate a lost tool and felt water, deep water, but that's another story for another thread. I ended up having to go to the car wash to use their vacuum to suck the water out, and decided to use the high pressure water. I have been noticing my door jambs and truck jamb lately, and how grimy they have become. I decided to get them clean. While at the car wash i simply opened my doors and used the pressurized water to spray off the jambs, being careful to minimize the amount of water getting into the cabin of course, and i was completely amazed at how well it worked. The jambs came nearly 100% clean with just the use of pressure sprayer. When i say clean, i mean i could rub all around the jambs with a fresh white rag, and the rag would come out still fresh and white. Basically, all of the jambs on the car look freshly painted. There was a little water in the cabin, but after the first door i got smart and covered up the power switches with rags just to be sure they wouldn't corrode or short, and i just wiped up the rest of the water with the rags. It was simple, cost me about 2 dollars, took me about five minutes, and now the jambs look like i spent all day cleaning them. I also had to remove the tail lamp assemblies to remedy some burned bulbs, and i decided to clean the bumper cover and hidden surfaces of the lamp assemblies while i had them out, and they turned out great, look like brand new. After the unexpected success, i decided to go back to the car wash and spray the jamb surfaces of the actual doors and truck lid, and i got the same result as with the body jambs. This process is completely worth your time and money and effort! I feel much better about my car now. It doesn't even look like the same car... that's how big of a difference it made!
 

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Yes perhaps I was feeling a little bit overconfident, but it turned out to be well founded. All I really had to do was keep the nozzle close to the surface and pointed in the right direction and the momentum of the water kept most of itself going in the right direction. The amount that got on the interior was no more than would get in from putting the window down for 30 seconds in a light rain, and since i had the switches covered up, it was easy enough to dry it off. The heater blowing full blast and a couple cracked windows on the way back solved the rest. The trunk is another story. It was flooded loooong before i ever took any water to it. I had been noticing a weird smell coming from the truck for quite some time, maybe 4 or 5 months, but it wasn't that kind of smell that you get when something has been wet for a long time. It was more like a mild chemical type of smell, which is still part of the mystery. I don't wash my car often, usually only when it's actually muddy for some reason, or when mildew starts to grow in the little cracks, and I try to make it a point to not drive through mud (haha). so there hasn't been any pressurized water near the car in a long time. I still have absolutely no idea how the water got in there. The most mysterious part is that the trunk liner carpet was never noticeably wet, and the fact that there was sooo much water, and it was all contained to the spare tire well. When i baled the water out, i estimated the volume to be about 25 gallons or more. The only source of water that has ever been in the trunk, to my knowledge, and I'm the only person that ever drives the car or has a key to it, was a water cooler that i sometimes take to work with me, and it was only in there one time, and it only holds 1.5 gallons. The one time I had the cooler in the trunk, the cooler was full, and it did leak some, but it was less than 1/4 of the total volume of water that leaked out, and since it only holds 1.5 gallons, there's no way that it was the source for the flood. Most of what leaked out was soaked up by the carpet, and I quickly sucked it up with my shop vac. It was over 100 degrees F for about four days after the cooler leak, so the heat took care of the dampness of the carpet. It was completely dry after a day or two. I'm still baffled as to where all that water could have come from, and how the hell it got into the trunk, didn't get the carpet noticeably wet, and stayed there for I don't know how long, but at least a few months. I had to take the trunk liner carpet out to get it dry, which means I had to remove the upper rear seat because some of the fasteners for the carpet and located behind it. When I took the carpet out, something which I had never done before, I noticed that there are two black 'boxes' mounted to the sheet metal in the truck, which appear to be air valves, the purpose of which I assume to be to release pressurized air out of the cabin when a door is quickly shut so that the air pressure does not cause discomfort to the ears on any passengers. The air valves work by using small rubber/plastic flaps on hinges, which pressurized air can escape through, but only in one direction. Since the valves have been in the car since it was manufactured, and the fact that they are valves and not just open holes, I cant imagine how they would allow so much water into the trunk, and even if they did, it would be obvious since they are mounted halfway up the side of the trunk, and the carpet would have been wet if they did allow water in. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them as I don't want this to happen again. I am going to post part of this reply in another thread so that more people will see it and maybe I will get some answers.
 
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