Take a Trip to the Car Wash to Test Weatherstripping Issue

Dear Car Talk:

I bought a 2020 Subaru Outback in October 2020. Since day one, after a normal rain, there is water on the bottom door sills of all four doors. The service department tells me this is normal. I'm an 83-year-old female. Are they gaslighting me?

They have worked on my car twice. Once resealing around the doors and the second time replacing the door gaskets. The problem still continues.

Am I being a "Karen" for complaining, or should I still be concerned? Thank you. -- Vivian

Well, first of all, Vivian, you're not a Karen. You're a Vivian. I'm glad we cleared that up.

Second, it depends on what you mean by the "bottom door sills."

When you open the door, you'll see a flatish plastic or metal sill that might say "Subaru" or "Outback" on it. That sill is considered outside the car. So it would be normal to see water on that sill when it's wet out.

The weatherstripping gasket -- the one your dealer replaced, is there to keep water from getting past that sill and inside the car itself. So, if you're seeing water on the carpet -- that is, on the passenger side of the sill -- then you have a problem.

The fact that the dealer replaced all the gaskets suggests that maybe they agree that water is getting into your car. Or perhaps they took your word for it that you were seeing water "inside your car" and took the normal steps they would take when a door is letting water in.

If you're not sure, here's what I suggest. Buy a box of cookies and go to a car wash. Then drive straight to the dealership. Ask a mechanic to look at the car with you. Open the door, show him where you see water, and ask if that's outside the door gasket or inside the door gasket.

If it's just the sill, then give him the cookies as a peace offering, and thank him for helping you. But if the water is actually inside the car and getting the carpet wet, then they're going to have to figure out how it's leaking and fix it for you under warranty. And you are well within your rights to complain until they do.

Good luck, Vivian.


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