Our Cars: Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI SE

2 August 2013: Driving in the bath

The Details

Current mileage 12,180
Claimed economy 64.2mpg
Actual economy 59.5mpg

Over the past few weeks I've mostly been using the Skoda to take me to and from various airport car parks, as much of my work takes me to far flung locations in Europe to take photographs of manufacturers up and coming models.

It seems our British summer actually is happening this year and I've been to Portugal only to find it colder there than back here in the UK. However last week came the inevitable thunderstorms and with it, very brief but heavy downpours of rain. Not a problem in any way, however after a recent trip to Germany last week, I left the car at Heathrow T5 for a day at the Business car park. On my return, I learned of some heavy downpours had occurred while I was away, not that you could notice as it had completely dried out by the time I got back to the car

So ticket ready in hand, I slowly drove to the pay point, as I pulled up to the barrier and braked, the Rapid made an incredibly loud sloshing sound, the sound my children make when being very noisy in the bath. Pulling away, from the barrier the car again made the same noise. It was like driving in a bath full of water.

On inspection back at home, I couldn't find water anywhere yet the noise continued when driving, it was two days later when my son got into the car and noticed the sound immediately, he found it was coming from the rear doors.
However it wasn't just his door but both rear doors that seemed to be absolutely full of water.

Looking under the sills, there didn't seem to be anyway of letting the water out until I gently pulled the rubber seal, only to get covered in about 2 litres of water, the same, maybe a bit more from the other door. The sound has disappeared as most of the water has gone, but it has made me quite concerned as to how water got into the doors in the first place, and not just one door but both of them.

In theory, there shouldn't be any water in the car at all, and Skoda obviously feel the same as there's no way of getting the water out, i.e. no plug at the bottom of the doors should water enter somehow. Whether this was a case of incredibly hard rain or a design fault I don't know but I suspect the latter as both the front doors are fine and dry. In any case these cars undergo all sorts of extreme weather testing before going on sale.

Fortunately the car has ceased taking on any more water and it has rained quite a bit since this incident, however it's something I'll be checking very regularly, it may just be the seal between the window and the door, but I think this is best checked by Skoda themselves, so a quick trip to the dealers is in order me thinks.

Flood

          The Skoda's doors are finally drained. Although what it's doing to the metal inside is another matter.

« Earlier: Racing Rapid     Later: Rapid goes in for some attention »

Updates
Our Rapid is leaving us after six months and while the leaky door problem remains unresolved, we still think the Rapid is an impressively practical small family car.
We've been keeping an eye on the Rapid's fuel economy over the past few weeks which has been a distraction from the leaky doors problem.
Our Rapid is back after its fix but it seems the water leak problem has returned, leaving us with a bit of a headache as to what to do next.
Our Rapid has gone off to Skoda HQ in the hope that the leaky doors problem can be solved. In the meantime, we've been looking back at how it's performed so far.
2 August 2013: Driving in the bath
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