Rain getting into car with slightly cracked-open window for 2 months (possible)

Could use some advice:

So I am going to be out of the country for 2 months but before I left, my SmartCar had a rear window that could not be fully closed no matter what; issues with the latch/lock. There is a noticeable gap in there which is large enough to let rain come in. And I’m already gone; couldn’t fix the issue in time before having to go catch the airplane. Currently, uh…7,000+ miles away from the car.

I’ve considered asking a friend to tape over the running gap with waterproof tape or maybe mailing the keys to her and asking her to drive it to her garage or something. Worst comes worst, if moisture does get into the car and the mold and mildew grows for two months, do I have to have the interior sanitized and the carpet ripped out and replaced? It’s complicated by the fact that the it’s above where the engine and fuel tank are located, too.

Getting your friend to tape it for your peace of mind sounds best, but I really don’t think you’d have a major problem. I had a large container of Blue Mountain in the trunk and the entire contents leaked out and soaked the rug in the trunk. It dried out and seems fine.

Seconding “just ask her to tape it.” That silver, chrome-appearance Duck brand waterproofing tape with the blue tape backing will do the job just fine.

But it would probably be fine in terms of no huge catastrophes. I’ve had a lot of convertibles over the years, and when I lived in rainy climates, they got frequently rained in (what can I say? I’m easily distracted. And lazy.)

I only ran into a serious problem once, and that was poor design on BMW’s part (putting a crucial computer directly under a part of the center console where any amount of rain can drip right down on it).

And those convertibles were letting in a lot more rain than a cracked window. On the flip side, it also let a lot more sun and wind in to dry things out afterwards.

So I might worry more if you were in a relatively wet climate, because it may not have time to dry out through whatever wind passes through the crack in between rainings, which may cultivate mildew. But in terms of serious problems, I don’t think there’s a big risk.

Why did you take the keys with you? :confused:


When in a hurry to catch an airplane, pretty much everything is “I’ll solve everything non-airplane-related later” mode.

One thing about using tape is that the adhesive will bond to the metal and plastic in a way you might not be able to get off. It’ll bond to glass as well, but you can use a razor to get it off of there.

What might work better is some weather stripping. They sell strips of it at the store to be shoved in cracks in your house. She could wedge it in the crack to keep the rain out. Be sure to use the strips that are rubber or vinyl rather than plain foam. Plain foam would act as a sponge.

How rainy is your area? If it doesn’t rain too much, it might not be a big deal.

I’ve owned a number of Jeep Wrangler convertibles and at some point I left the top down in every single one during a rainstorm. The drive home was uncomfortable, but the interior eventually dried out.

No tape! Have your friend install a vent visor, not the tape on adhesive kind (they suck; I know!) but the kind that press fits into the window’s upper seam (much better; I know!). Easily installable from the outside, but can be a little tricky.

“Vent Visors” are sometimes called In-Window Channel Rain Guards. If you buy them, see if your friend can install it without the key. It’d be a little trickier but I think it’s doable. If not then you can send the key, they’d roll the window down, press it in, and then roll up the window.

I think this solves the problem nicely. Good luck!

I’ve been meaning to get some for my car. Thanks for the reminder.

Here’s a maybe-silly-but-I-think-it-would-work idea:
Saran Wrap.
You know, the plastic film stuff in your kitchen drawer, that you use to cover the salad bowl in the refrigerator.
It clings to everything! (And won’t leave marks)
Ask your friend to put a strip of Saran Wrap over the gap in the window, and then cover it with maybe 5 more layers so it will be strong enough to hold up outdoors.

Shove a bunch of shopping bags in the crack. Cheap, easy, quick.

I used to have a convertible and was in a college parking lot and figured I would take a nap because I had 45 mins until class. Well I woke up literally about 3 hours later to a thunderstorm and pouring rain, and a random cat that had just been sitting in my passenger sleep apparently hissed and jumped out of the car and ran off into a sewer.

I have a twin-cab ute that gets water slooshing down to the passenger seat every now and again. It doesn’t seem to be connected to a ‘rain event’ and I have no idea where the water is coming from!



Don’t use tape - bad idea. Have her go to Walmart and pick up a cheap tarp.

No tape. A possible fix might be to just get a length or two of that foam pipe insulation that is used to keep water pipes from freezing. It already has a slit in it that should fit over the window and fill the gap. Without being there you will have to rely upon the judgement of your friend, but this might be an easy option, it comes in several sizes.

I like the tarp idea since it will keep other stuff like sap, leaves, and bird poo off the car. And since it’s a Smart Car, the friend can just lift up each corner of the vehicle to secure the tarp under the tires :wink:

Maybe: It rains, water collects in a hidden area, and sometimes (perhaps days or weeks later) that hidden area is sufficiently tilted or disturbed that some of the collected water runs out?

Or pick up the car and attach the tarp by wrapping elastic bands around the whole thing. For that, though, they’d need to have both hands free. :wink: