Tesla isn’t really known for exceeding quality standards. Gaps in door panels and poor-quality rubber seals can lead to water leakage.
It’s not uncommon for Teslas to leak water. You may find damp mats, water collecting under the car, and even wet floors. This article takes an in-depth look at why your Tesla may be leaking water. We also explore how you can avoid water leaks in the future. Keep reading!
The Perils of Off-road Driving with Teslas
We’ve seen videos of Tesla cars braving tough off-road challenges. This includes crossing water unfazed and without worries about mechanical issues.
Although there are certainly exceptions to the rule. Provided the battery pack is sealed and the doors are watertight, the Tesla should be waterproof.
As long as the Tesla is appropriately designed, a leak shouldn’t happen. Driving through a pool of water can also lead to a leakage.
The water will inevitably collect around the door seals. However, it shouldn’t drip into the car after opening the door and cargo areas.
You definitely don’t want the water ending up inside the charging port. Tesla designers will need to continue improving the design of their EVs.
These ports should be designed to handle exposure to snow, rain, and water. This is especially important when taking the Tesla on off-road driving sessions.
Have a look: Charging Tesla in the Rain
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Water Damage
It is not advised to ignore a water leak inside your Tesla. Exposure to water could result in the accumulation of damage over time.
The electrical controls and wiring should not be exposed to humidity and moisture. The collection of water could create a short circuit.
This serious health hazard could lead to a fire and even electrocution.
We have also heard reports of the water from the windshield reservoir flooding the dashboard. This major problem could easily fry the Tesla’s electronics and instrument panel.
A puddle of water on the car floor would indicate a leak unless you spilled yogurt drinks. This leakage could permit rainwater into the cabin.
Stagnant water inside the car should be dealt with right away. It can lead to the growth of mold and unpleasant odors.
Give it long enough and the moisture will begin to damage the interior’s flooring. But not all cases of water leakage warrant a cause for concern.
Moreover, you don’t want the water to accumulate in your Tesla. It increases the overall weight the car has to carry and eats up the range.
Water can leak inside your Tesla in California for several reasons.
Major Causes of Water Leaking inside Tesla
There are several reasons why water may leak inside your Tesla. Let’s analyze each type of leak.
Water Leaking Under the Tesla
The windshield fluid reservoir is a common reason for water leaking under the Tesla. The water tank is located behind the dashboard next to the driver’s seat.
If you see water collecting under this area, the reservoir is in disrepair. This tank contains water to help clean the windshield.
When it gets broken or damaged, the water spills into nearby areas. This can later damage the electrical circuits and components.
Do not ignore this problem if you notice it. Take the Tesla to an authorized service center right away.
You can use epoxy to repair the reservoir if the car isn’t covered under warranty. Applying some epoxy putty is a quick and easy solution to minor leaks.
However, this is a temporary solution only. We recommend taking the Tesla to an authorized service center for a permanent solution.
Water Breaching the Interior of the Tesla
It is common for water to breach the interiors of your Tesla.
All Tesla doors are designed to keep water out of the vehicle. This is done with the help of waterproof rubber seals.
These rubber seals are very likely to wear out over time. Exposure to the sun can hasten the process of disrepair.
Extremely cold temperatures are also very likely to wear out the rubber seals. Even new Tesla EVs are susceptible to water leaks because of faulty panel gaps.
Tesla cars don’t exactly have an exemplary record of quality control. Water leakage into a new Tesla is an indication of faulty panel gaps.
Another source of water leaks is the glass roof. If the glass roof was hastily applied or has gaps, then it would leak water.
Tesla does not seal some parts as they should to increase manufacturing speed. The water buildup may be a reason why the taillight in Model 3s accumulates condensation
A quick DIY solution is to get a sealant. Find a quality sealant or rubber and glass. This only works if the gap is relatively small. If the gap is too big, you may have to take it to a professional.
We recommend contacting Tesla customer service to repair more significant gaps.
Read: Can You Put Gas in a Tesla? The Surprising Answer
Water Leaking Under the Tesla
Water leaking from under a Tesla is due to condensation from the air conditioner. In gasoline vehicles, this is normal and nothing to worry about.
However, Tesla cars are different. They do not have an internal combustion engine to evaporate the condensate. This can lead to a lot of water accumulating over time.
Reports of a design flaw in Tesla Model 3s indicate this recurring issue. Water and sand tend to collect inside the car.
If the drain hose in the air conditioner is short, the water flows under the car. This is because water chooses the path of least resistance when flowing.
A longer hose allows the water to flow out of the car. Shorter hoses increase the likelihood of the water collecting in the underbelly of the Tesla.
This YouTube video shows how the water leaks inside the Tesla. A quick solution is to elongate the drain hose.
Simply attach the end of the drain with a rubber hose. This will provide a convenient pathway for the water to flow out of the car.
This problem does not have severe negative consequences and isn’t a major concern. However, we strongly suggest taking care of the problem at the earliest.
Water Leaking in the Trunk of Model 3 and Y
Rainwater flooding into the trunk of Model 3 and Y is a common occurrence. This is because of a design flaw in these cars. The problem only occurs during the rain.
Opening the trunk leads to the water gushing into the trunk. All the water accumulated on the back glass makes its way to the trunk.
Moreover, it seems to bypass the rubber seal. Most Model 3 owners have reported that their trunk was flooded with water.
To the horror of most Model 3 owners, Tesla didn’t appear to have remedied the problem.
So you have two problems:
- The water slides through the glass after opening the trunk
- The water bypasses the rubber sealing
- It doesn’t help that Tesla’s ceramic coatings make the water run on the surface. The ceramic coating is hydrophobic, so the water slips across the surface.
This is a severe problem if you live in a rainy area. Tesla seems to have abandoned this particular issue, leaving Model 3 owners to devise solutions.
They have brainstormed several solutions, some with great results, while others lead to disappointment.
The best fix is to replace the rubber seal. Contact your local Tesla service center to replace the stock weather strip with a thicker aftermarket seal.
This should be your go-to solution if the car is still under warranty. Note that the rubber seal is still a partial fix because water still floods the trunk.
The second most recommended repair is to install an aftermarket trunk rain deflector. The rain deflector looks great, works like a charm, and is easy to install.
You can look for the product on Amazon. You can install the detector without the use of expensive tools. Check out this YouTube channel for more information.
A third solution is to add a waterproof layer to the trunk floor. This will prevent corrosion. There are several cargo liners for Tesla models.
The most popular cargo liners can be found here and here. These products will protect the trunk from rust and corrosion.
Finally, the fourth solution is to use a cargo bay cover to protect the trunk. A cargo bay cover will protect your cargo and make the trunk more useful. It also provides another compartment to secure your cargo.
Operating on a tight budget and can’t spend on the above solutions? There are a few solutions you can follow.
- Avoid opening the trunk of the car, especially when it’s raining.
- Wipe the water stuck to the trunk lid before opening it. Some Tesla owners recommend having a towel with you to wipe the water from the top.
- Control the speed at which the trunk opens. Don’t let it snap open in a quick motion. Doing so will splash the water on the rear glass and lead to rust. Use your hands to support the opening of the trunk carefully.
Leakage Due to Car Wash
It is common for water to leak into the Tesla during a car wash. This is primarily due to poorly applied rubber sealants.
However, Tesla has rolled out a new update in 2021 called “Car Wash Mode”. When enabled, Car Wash Mode properly closes all windows and doors.
It also locks the charge ports and disables the wipers. Forgetting to activate Car Wash Mode could open the floodgates of water into your car.
Car Wash Mode optimizes your Tesla for a car wash. It ensures all openings, doors, windows, and charging ports are closed.
Pro tip: Tesla warns against taking your car to a drive-thru car wash. These devices use brushes and bristles that can cause damage to your Tesla. When using a drive-thru car wash, use touchless car washes only.
Check out: Is It Possible to Jumpstart a Tesla?
What is Tesla Doing to Address the Water Leak Problems?
Tesla continues to push the envelope on electric car technology, specifically battery and range. In doing so, designers treated quality control issues as mere aftermath.
The consequence is large gaps in door panels and poorly optimized rubber sealants.
The good news is that Tesla is making improvements to their cars. Features like Car Wash Mode have helped many drivers avoid internal leaks during car washes.
Future iterations of Tesla electric cars in California will feature better quality controls.
Regular Maintenance is Key
Tesla cars may be technologically advanced, but they are not immune from wear and tear. Over time, parts will wear out, especially rubber sealants.
You can avoid many of these problems with regular checkups and maintenance. Take every drop of water that leaks into the Tesla seriously.
Here are a few preventive maintenance tips to keep your Tesla in top shape:
- Notice drops of water inside the car when it’s raining or during a car wash? It may be minor now but it will get worse later. Take it to an expert right away to inspect the root cause of the water leak.
- Regardless of a water leak, always check the underside of the cargo bay floor. This should be done once every two months, especially if you live in a rainy area.
- Owners of older Tesla cars should check their windshields for rubber seals. They could wear out after usage.
- Taillights and headlamps that accumulate water will appear foggy. Check the headlamps and taillights for signs of condensation.
- Inspect the Tesla car’s electronics and computer systems. Look for moisture that may have been trapped inside the electronics. Use a flashlight to look under the dashboard and console for condensation. This may indicate leakage or even flooding
There are several reasons why water may leak inside your Tesla. Some of them are not a cause for concern, others require immediate action.
Don’t allow cases of water leaks to go unaddressed for too long. This will damage your car and lead to more serious repairs.
Preventive maintenance is absolutely important. Examine the source of the leak and use solutions to repair them.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.