My son owns a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am. The car has sat in my driveway for two years, and last year it was uncovered. Water began to form on the driver’s side floor. I researched the problem online and made sure the drains were clear of any debris. Well, the problem is still there. The water seems to be coming in from the left upper corner under the dash. What can I do to find the leak?

QUESTION: My son owns a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am. The car has sat in my driveway for two years, and last year it was uncovered. Water began to form on the driver’s side floor. I researched the problem online and made sure the drains were clear of any debris. Well, the problem is still there. The water seems to be coming in from the left upper corner under the dash. What can I do to find the leak?

ANSWER: The way we find water leaks is running water over the roof and watching where the water enters. I have seen both rot and bad body welds causing the water to enter. You may also want to lift the carpet so it and the insulation under the carpet will dry.

QUESTION: I am considering the purchase of a classic older car. I live in New York and see a lot of ads for portable garages that set up in the driveway or backyard. Would a portable garage be adequate protection for this vehicle?

ANSWER: There are many types and quality of these portable garages. The problem is moisture and heat buildup during the different seasons. Some people will place a small fan to circulate the air in these vinyl garages. There is another option if you have the room and meet building codes. It is a fully assembled garage delivered and set on the driveway or level crushed stone area. A typical prefab 12x24 garage is around $6,000 to $8,000 plus the permit fee if applicable. These are considered a portable unit because they sit on the ground.

QUESTION: I own a 1996 Dodge Ram pickup, the 5.9 liter V/8. The problem I have is condensation build up in the crank case. I did some research and found I am not alone. My friend has a V/8 Dodge Durango. He removed the oil fill cap and there was a lot of brown sludge and actual water on the cap and in the fill tube. This would seem to indicate a major problem. What is the problem and how can it be eliminated?

ANSWER: You are not alone with condensation complaints on these engines. A combination of poor engine design and PCV system equal the problem. In the old days before the PCV system condensation was more common, even cold-running engines had condensation build up. First, I suggest to clean all the brown crud and moisture off and away from the oil fill, check the PCV system and thermostat. Next switch to full synthetic oil and within a few oil changes the condensation should be gone. I have done this practice with my customers on these problem vehicles and the problem has gone in every case. I would also change the oil and filter at no more than five months or 5,000 mile intervals, whichever comes first.

QUESTION: I own a 2002 Lexus ES300 with only 69,000 miles. The manual says to replace the timing belt at 72 months or 90,000 miles. I only drive 8,000 to 9,000 per year. My question is, should I replace the timing belt at the 72-month period or can I safely wait till I get closer to the 90,000-mile mark?

ANSWER: The timing belt is similar to a serpentine fan belt except for the tooth design. Like a rubber band that cracks and wears over time, so does the timing belt. I would recommend the 72-month replacement interval. I always use a factory timing belt; also check the pulleys that the timing belt runs on.

Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.