It’s a welcome reality that a Tesla requires far less maintenance than a traditional car. However, even these, the most aspirational of electric vehicles, are vulnerable to performance and service issues over time. As we reach a point where early-purchase Teslas have been driving for some years, their owners are bound to encounter an issue here and there.
At the same time, new owners may notice something that gives them cause for alarm. Today, we’re going to address one thing in particular—the dreaded water leak. As unpleasant as it is to discover a puddle underneath your vehicle, water leaks are actually usually one of the easiest issues to remedy with a Tesla, if they are actually problematic at all.
The usual culprits for liquid leaks in vehicles don’t apply here, because your Tesla is an electric vehicle rather than a fossil-fuel-powered one. That said, this type of EV does contain some familiar liquid types. So without further ado, let’s dig into what a water leak might indicate, as well as the other liquid-type losses that a damp patch on the garage floor might indicate.
Potential Liquid Leaks From a Tesla
The air conditioning system in your Tesla draws humidity from within the car’s cabin. This liquid may evaporate from the air conditioning system as you drive, but if an excess builds up, this Air Conditioning Condensation will drain from the bottom of the vehicle as part of its entirely normal functioning.
The Tesla also contains a Windshield Fluid reservoir, a Coolant reservoir, and a Brake Fluid reservoir, just like any other car. Momentarily, we’ll come back to knowing how to tell the difference when identifying a leak. But first, let’s address the issue of the day and look at water leaks specifically.
Why Is My Tesla Leaking Water?
If you have noticed a pool of water underneath your parked Tesla, there is a good chance that this is simply condensation. As we mentioned, this could be excess condensation running off from the air conditioning system. You are more likely to notice this in warmer or more humid weather, so if the “leak” seems to be getting worse, take a moment to consider whether the thermometer has also been climbing before beginning to worry.
As we covered in our article about hearing the car’s cooling system continue to run after the car is parked, it’s important to remember that water condensation may appear under the car because its crucial temperature regulation continued after you walked away from the vehicle.
Another possible source of condensation that appears under your car is a condensation build-up within the taillights. Now, this is not something that is supposed to happen, but it definitely won’t impact your Tesla’s functionality. Fundamentally, this suggests that the taillight seal has failed, and because this is a known fault, you can get this issue fixed free of charge by Tesla Mobile Service if the car is still under warranty.
What Looks Like a Water Leak But Isn’t?
At first glance, other types of leaks might look like water, but be something else entirely. You can easily check simply by examining the fluid on the ground to assess its viscosity, whether it is clear, and whether it has a scent.
If the liquid is water-like and odorless then it is only condensation and no cause for concern. If it has a color or odor, it may have come from your windshield reservoir or coolant reservoir. If it is both colored and more viscose—or thicker—than water, then it could be brake fluid. Read on to find out more.
A Windshield Reservoir Leak
This type of leak is very rare in Tesla vehicles because the liquid doesn’t need to go far, so there aren’t many parts to fail. To confirm that the leak is in fact windshield fluid, compare the liquid’s color and scent to that in the reservoir. While this leak won’t impact the running of your car, it is important to address it so you can continue to maintain good visibility.
A Coolant Reservoir Leak
Coolant liquid often looks quite similar to windshield reservoir liquid, being both colored in appearance and thin in form. It will have a different scent to the other, however, so you can double check. If you suspect that your coolant reservoir is leaking, get it repaired right away. Without this liquid, your Tesla will overheat, causing potentially substantial damage.
Brake Reservoir Leak
A leak of brake fluid from a Tesla is certainly an unlikely scenario, but something to watch out for non the less. Brake fluid is also always colored, but this liquid is distinct in that it will be thicker than the other liquids listed above. If it does leak, you’ll find the puddle close to the wheels or beneath where the brake pedal is inside the car. You can still compare color and scent to that in the reservoir to confirm. If you suspect a brake fluid leak, consider it an urgent issue as too much loss may cause your brakes to fail as the hydraulics can no longer maintain pressure.
So there you have it. Nine times out of ten, if you realize that your Tesla is leaking water, it is absolutely nothing to worry about. But armed with the above tips, you’ll be able to spot if the leak is in fact another liquid, or if there is anything you need to address. Now that’s peace of mind.