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Car Care Tips & Advice

Is Your Tesla Leaking Water? 5 Proven Solutions That Work

If you find water collecting inside your car and wonder if other Tesla owners experience the same, the answer is yes—you are not alone.

From wet floors and damp mats to water underneath the car or even water in the glove compartment, both old and new Tesla owners are complaining about the same problem. 

Fortunately for you, I spent hours reading community forums and watching YouTube videos, trying to find solutions to this issue, and I’ll share with you everything I found. 

After reading this article, you’ll know:

  • Why water is leaking in your Tesla (and whether you should worry about it)
  • Different leakage problems — and how to fix each for good
  • How to avoid water leaks from happening in the first place

The Dangers of Water Damage in Your Tesla

Ignoring a water leak problem in your Tesla is very risky and could result in serious accidents.

These could happen if you don’t act right away:

  • Water collecting under the console and anywhere near electrical controls and wirings could result in a short circuit, and that could lead to fire or, worse, electrocution.
  • A broken windshield washer reservoir could flood the backside of your dashboard and could damage the car’s computer systems and electronics.
  • Stagnant water on the floor under the matting could cause corrosion and could damage the floor.
  • Any wet portion, especially the carpet and fabric and leather parts, could cause an unpleasant smell that’s very hard to remove later.

Not all water leakages are created equal, however.

Water leaking inside your car has different causes. Let’s take a look at each of these causes (along with their solution) one by one.

What Causes Water to Leak in Your Tesla — and Easy Fixes

Water can leak in different ways. And each type of leak needs a different fix, so it’s important to identify the type of leak and its location prior to attempting any fixes.

Problem #1: Water Leakage Underneath The Car (Broken Windshield Water Tank)

Water Leak Check @ 3:27 / Solution @ 4:00

In the video by The Chrome Tesla, you can see that water is leaking from the windshield water reservoir. 

The windshield water tank or reservoir is located right behind the dashboard in front of the driver. If you see water underneath this area, then your tank may be broken.

This tank holds the water that cleans the windshield. When it is damaged or broken, the water spill could damage the nearby electrical components. 

Solution: 

If your car is still under warranty, make a Tesla customer service appointment as soon as possible. 

If it’s outside the warranty and you think you can DIY, use an epoxy like Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy to fix the reservoir like the one you see on the video above at the 4:10 mark. 

Problem #2: Interior Leakage (Gaps and Damaged Rubber Seals)

This is one of the most common causes why water is leaking inside your car. 

Rubber seals are exposed to the heat of the sun during summer and to extreme cold during winter, so it is normal that they wear over time. 

If your car is new, however, then there’s a chance the panel gaps from the factory are the issue.

Another water leak location is the glass roof. If it doesn’t fit well or there are gaps, water can freely enter like what happened in this Model Y video.

Solution: 

For damaged rubber seals, your best friend is a quality rubber/glass sealant like the 3M Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive. 

If the gap or damage is visible and relatively small, you may be able to fix it yourself. 

But if the gap is too big or the rubber is not holding up despite being fairly new, I strongly suggest scheduling a Tesla customer service appointment instead.

Problem #3: Water Leakage Underneath The Car (A/C Water Stuck)

Condensation from your car’s A/C can be a big problem if it drains inside your car or is held by the chassis. 

Although it’s normal for air-conditioning units to produce liquid from the air, Tesla’s case is different. 

The absence of an internal combustion engine (ICE) to heat and evaporate the condensation increases the water output from the A/C. 

This particular issue is also attributed to the design flaw of the Model 3 where water and sand are being collected in the underbelly of the car. 

When the A/C drain hose is not long enough, the water is blown toward the underbelly when the car is running. The video below shows how water and dirt is collected under the car (turn on the subtitles — unless you understand German).

Taking the dirt out starts @ 0:15

Solution:

Your A/C unit has a drain hose. Check if it’s draining inside or outside. The end of the hose should be draining outside as in the image below. 

tesla leaking water
Credit to siai47

This is just an ordinary rubber hose connected at the end of the drain so the water can flow directly to the ground and not on the underbelly of your car.

This type of leakage shouldn’t concern you as much as it doesn’t have as many negative consequences as others on this list.

Problem #4: Trunk Water Leakage (on Model 3 & Model Y)

This problem is specific to Model 3’s and Model Y’s trunks.

If you’ve faced issues with water getting into your trunk, we have a separate article that explains how to fix this thoroughly.

Solution:

In a nutshell, the best fix for most owners is having Tesla install an improved version of the weatherstrips — as well as purchasing an aftermarket rain trunk deflector. There’s a lot more to it so we’d encourage you to read my article on this to learn more.

Problem #5: Interior Leakage (Car Wash)

In the YouTube video below, a Model S owner shows leaking water through the rubber seal of his car during a car wash.

Leakage Test Results starts @2:42

A new update released in July 2021 now equips Tesla with a Car Wash Mode feature. 

When activated, this feature closes all the windows and doors, disables the wipers, and locks the charge ports. Failure to activate this feature before having a car wash could also let water enter your car.

Solution:

Always activate the Car Wash Mode feature to make sure all vents, windows, hatch, doors, and charging sports are closed. The following YouTube video will guide you on how to enable such feature. 

How To Enter Car Wash Mode starts @ 1:10

Did Tesla Address the Water Leak Issues?

Tesla is continuously improving the quality of its vehicles. 

Although each of the individual issues above has not been specifically addressed as of this writing, some improvements like the Car Wash Mode feature are a big help to avoid the water leak.

By the time you read this, it’s possible a new software update or hardware refresh addresses one or more of these problems.

Proper Checkup and Maintenance: An Ounce of Prevention…

Vehicle parts get broken and damaged over time, but with regular checkups and maintenance, you can avoid many problems, including water leaks.

Don’t let a single drop of water or a damp carpet fool you. The following preventive maintenance can stop you from spending extra dollars on expensive parts and repairs.

  • If you see any drop of water when it’s raining or while having a carwash, don’t ignore it and check the source of the water right away.
  • Whether there is a leakage or not, always check the underside of the floor mat and the cargo bay floor at least once every month, especially during rainy days, as the water could come from outside underneath the car. 
  • Always check all sides of your windshields especially if you have an older Tesla model. Rubber seals could give up, especially the door linings, any time of the day.

Final Thoughts: Tesla Leaking Water Solutions

None of us wants leaking water in our car.

A leaking windshield might be bearable for those who own fuel-powered vehicles, but for you Tesla owner, it’s something you can’t ignore. 

Water could put your life in danger or damage the beautiful car you paid with your hard-earn dollars.

Preparation is a must. Identify the source of the problem and apply the solutions described above before it’s too late.

By Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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