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Tesla Safe in What Depth of Water

shinytop

Member
Nov 27, 2018
383
645
Pensacola
So watching the coverage of the flooding in and around Houston makes me wonder how much water is safe for a Tesla.

How deep would standing water be for a Tesla to safely cross? I know not to drive into water whose depth is not known.

If car parked how deep would water be before a Tesla's electrical system is damaged?

If a known high water event was predicted an owner could set suspension to highest but that only save inches.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,616
Canyon Lake,CA
Imagine anything deeper than 1' would not be advised.

It is not just the depth, but also your speed through it, the speed of the water, where the water is splashed etc.

Mixing high voltage with water is never going to be a good idea.

If fording deeper water, put your air suspension in the highest setting and inch your way through.

Even if you do not get stalled by the high water, you may incure water intrusion damage that could show up later.

There have been flood damaged Tesla offered up by auction houses. Do not bring very much $$.

Don't believe Tesla advises driving through any depth of water.
 

jb007gd

Member
Feb 28, 2017
36
30
Cleveland
So watching the coverage of the flooding in and around Houston makes me wonder how much water is safe for a Tesla.

How deep would standing water be for a Tesla to safely cross? I know not to drive into water whose depth is not known.

If car parked how deep would water be before a Tesla's electrical system is damaged?

If a known high water event was predicted an owner could set suspension to highest but that only save inches.
Paging Rich Rebuilds!
 
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Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,087
Delaware
Below the middle of the axles should be fine, assuming there's nothing bad in the water and the water isn't flowing.

The car may be fine beyond that, but then you're depending on the seals on the breathers on the battery pack and motors to keep water out, which sometimes works out okay (and sometimes doesn't.) Right after that you hit the bottoms of the doors and are now counting on the door sealing to protect you as well.

The next threshold is probably where it starts breathing water into the HVAC when the top of the nosecone goes under. I don't think there's any way to stop the water from flooding the HEPA filter, likely mechanically separating it.
 

dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,883
10,053
Knoxville, Tennessee
The real question is how are those cars doing a day or two after. I can't imagine the battery pack getting soaked is a good thing.

The outside of the pack is sealed. The only way water can get in the pack is from inside the vehicle (between or under a seat there is an access panel). So long as you don't let the car fill with water the pack is fine.

If you set the suspension to high or very high before going in and you can see the bottom so you know there are no hazards like a manhole/sinkhole then the car itself isn't going to care if you keep the water outside the car.

On dry pavement, Pop your suspension to high and open all your doors and measure from the lowest part of a door sill to the ground. That's the max height you'd want for standing / clear water. Something like 7 or 8 inches I'm guessing.

But moving water or dirty water you want much lower water. Anything more that a 2 or 3 inches of moving water isn't safe. No reason to chance it. Same goes for opaque water, if you can't see through it and it's more than a couple of inches deep just back out and go another way.
 
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GalaxySurfer

Life, The Universe and Everything.
Oct 10, 2018
229
135
Oregon
Tesla doesnt recommend driving thru more than 2 feet of water in an X (that seems like alot) that being said, they also say the battery will be completely safe, but submerging your drive units is not good as they arent protected like your battery is. Chances are you will lose some back bumper clips as well. (This is driving thru water, NOT letting your car sit submerged)
 
Imagine anything deeper than 1' would not be advised.
Mixing high voltage with water is never going to be a good idea.
Even if you do not get stalled by the high water, you may incur water intrusion damage that could show up later.
There have been flood damaged Tesla offered up by auction houses. Do not bring very much $$.
Twaddle. Do you seriously imagine the HV is accessible by standing (or even jetted) water? The flood damaged Teslas you refer to were in several ***FEET*** of water.
8 inches would be fine and realistically probably significantly more. In fact there is more danger of you floating away than damaging the car from water ingress to the electrics, especially in moving water - tho even here you would fair much better in a Model S than in an equivalent ICEV due to its significantly higher weight.
I'd limit it to the tops of the door cills, personally (10" in my standard S 60)... and TAKE IT EASY. Creating a significant bow wave would not be advisable.
 
Conventional automobiles are for driving on dry land. Boats for for navigating standing or running water. What you can't see below the surface of the water from the driver's seat in your car can get you and your car into big trouble. Turn around, don't drown.
*Obviously* you should check the road surface is suitable before entering water (and that goes for any structure the road surface depends on). If you do not *know* it is sound before committing yourself (eg by watching someone else go first!) then you are an imbecile.
 
For the record I asked a very specific question. I am not an imbecile ....
(to be clear... @ Shinytop) - I thought it was pretty clear I was responding to RedXonwer and not your original post. I was not in any way implying you are in imbecile (assuming you thought I was) and apologise if that was how it came across.
 
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