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Why Do Ford F-150 Doors Fill With Water?

Hearing a sloshing sound in F-150 doors is a common occurrence.

Luckily, vehicles from other brands also have the same issue, so this wide-scale problem is easy to solve.

F-150 doors fill with water when their drain holes are clogged. Drain holes get clogged with dirt and other residues over time, and cleaning them is the best way to release the trapped water.

You can blow compressed air into the holes for comprehensive cleaning. If you don’t have compressed air, stick a thin wire into the drain holes and poke around to loosen the debris.

Mucky water will ooze out in a few seconds.

The Importance of Car Door Maintenance

A mechanic is cleaning the car's door.

Regular maintenance of your F-150 doors is vital to prevent them from rusting. It saves you more in the long run as you won’t have to replace your components as often.

Rainwater or water washing your car can seep through your window seals and into the door. Without regular cleaning, the dirt-filled drain holes trap moisture inside.

The longer the water stays, the more it reacts with oxygen and the metal, and the more the door rusts. Moreover, rust damage is worse when your paint is peeled.

When you hear the sloshing sound, getting the water out is highly recommended before the damage becomes extensive.

Drain holes are most likely to clog in the spring and fall.

The dirt accumulation in the spring stems from the heavy rains, with rainwater entering your vehicle’s drainage channels while carrying waste.

The debris that forms during autumn is a product of trees that shed their leaves.

Remember that there still comes a time when your F-150’s metallic door components will still need replacing, but the timeline depends on you and how often you clean your drains.

How To Maintain Your F-150 Doors

Preventing your doors from rusting doesn’t just involve drain hole maintenance.

The water inside your doors enters through weather stripping, so check them regularly as part of your regular upkeep.

Regular Drain Check-Ups

Clogged drain holes are unlikely to be an issue if you already clean your truck regularly. 

However, if you can’t remember the last time you had a thorough wash, you may need a few visits to the car wash to get things clean again.

You can avoid costly or inconvenient problems by checking your drain holes often and keeping them clear of dirt.

Grab a thin wire or coat hanger to poke out any grime. Be careful not to scratch the paint – it protects your car door from rust.

Once the debris is out, hose down the holes and wipe down the rest of the door with a moist cloth. The process takes less than thirty minutes.

You should aim to do this once a year (at least) or when your drain holes are most vulnerable to dirt accumulation (i.e., in the spring or fall).

Additionally, make sure to check the drain holes after every wax.

Taking your F-150 for regular professional maintenance also helps keep it in good shape. You can also ask the detailer to look at your drain holes and advise on how to maintain them.

Another way to clear your drain holes is with regular high-pressure washes that get rid of tough stains and reach deep crevices.

Regular Stripping Washes

Accumulating grime on your weather stripping can cause wear and tear, leading to leaking door seals and water seeping into your door.

Regular cleaning is vital to prolong the lifespan of the weather stripping and reduce leaks.

To start, fill a bucket with warm water and pour a tiny amount of mild detergent like hand wash or dish soap.

Gently clean the muck off your stripping with soapy water and an absorbent cloth.

When the rubber is clean, rinse it with clean water and use a dry cloth to mop up excess moisture.

Leave your doors open and let the rubber dry.

You can condition your weather stripping to further protect it from damage. The best time to do it is after every wash, but you can also do it once a year.

You can find a silicon-based spray designed for weather stripping at your nearest auto parts store. Do not use petroleum-based products on rubber; they impact quality, causing the rubber to stretch and break.

Make sure your stripping is dry, then spray the conditioner onto a dry cloth and wipe down the rubber.

When done, leave your doors open for a couple of minutes.

With proper care of your F-150’s weather stripping, it can take years before you need to replace them.

You should also clean your door panels regularly.

Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Vacuum the panels to remove dust and loose bits.
  • Use compressed air to remove hardened dirt and trapped debris.
  • Use a steam cleaner and microfiber cloth to get rid of tough stains.
  • Polish it with a compatible conditioner (if your panel is made of leather, use a leather conditioner).
  • Wax the metal parts using a dry cloth.


Ford doors are some of the most durable on the market. However, they’re not waterproof.

A vehicle like the F-150 is designed for harsh weather and rough roads, so your doors could be around muck and dirt often.

This dirt clogs up your drain tubes and accumulates in your weather stripping, so don’t be surprised to hear a sloshing sound in your doors, indicating water is trapped inside.

The solution is simple (i.e., regular cleaning and maintenance), but it’s also easy to ignore since doors aren’t the most sensitive parts of a car.

Still, lengthening the life of your truck means maintaining every single part, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

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