Many people complain about the rear window leak on their Ford F150 truck during rain. This happens due to design flaws or defects in its construction.
Ford F150 models from 1997-2014 have a defect of water leakage from the rear window. This is caused by a damaged or low-quality seal and third brake light. Despite frequent complaints, Ford has not declared it as a recall yet. You can fix it by replacing the foam gasket on the brake light assembly and rubber packing of the rear window. It will cost around $100-$250 for labor and parts, depending on the reason for leakage.
The water leak is so extensive, causing water streams that create a mess inside the truck. It can damage the seats and other accessories in the cabin.
What years did the Ford F150 have a window leak problem?
The rear window glass leak problem on F150 pickup trucks started from the 1997 model. The primary reason was poor quality design.
It has cut off the material to hold the glass, not adequately designed, to provide waterproof sealing. In later models, Ford changed the window design with a new type of construction.
It uses a Butyl adhesive seal to prevent water from entering the truck. However, it also has a few issues, which persisted until 2014.
Moreover, you will still find such units in the market as replacement options. Earlier models had the same problem in both sliding and stationary window designs. Later models after 2003 had issues due to damage to Butyl tape or third brake light gasket.
Is Ford F150 rear window leak a recall issue?
Despite several complaints and water leak issues reported, Ford has not issued any recall for rear window units.
They claim that it is not a safety-related issue; therefore, it is not a recall. However, if you visit any Ford authorized dealer or workshop, they will take it as a routine issue, and you have to pay for the necessary repair charges and replacement costs.
Ford designers came up with new and improved window designs using different styling types and builts after 1998. Even though it is a design defect, you have to pay for the new window unit in case of replacement.
Reason for Ford F150 rear window leak
Here are the main reasons for the rear window water leak problem on the Ford F150 truck.
Brake Light Gasket Failure
3rd brake light has a position on the top rear side of the F150 roof. It has a foam gasket around the assembly to prevent water leakage.
However, due to wear and tear and heat, it de-shapes and twists over time, creating gaps for water to enter.
In addition, water entering through brake lights has exit points between the rear glass window pinch-weld and spot weld points on its surface. Therefore, it seems to be leaking backglass instead of the brake light.
Butyl Seal Failure
It is the most common reason for water leakage on trucks. Butyl tape prevents the leak between the back glass and its holding pinch-weld on the vehicle body.
Butyl is an adhesive material that maintains its bond despite any breakage or cracks. However, if it deforms or becomes loose due to wear and tear, you have to replace it.
How to fix the F150 rear window leak problem?
A simple fix for the window leakage problem on the F150 is to replace the foam gasket on the brake light or Butyl tape.
Replacing the foam gasket is an easy process. First, remove the third brake light assembly. Next, remove the damaged gasket and clean the space by gently rubbing it.
Next, apply the double-sided foam tape on the entire edge of the brake light body. Finally, remove the extra tape corners beyond the borders.
Refix the light unit, and it completes the procedure. Do not apply glue or silicone to seal the brake lights assembly permanently. It will create problems and damage to the paint in the future while you require replacing any lamp.
To replace the Butyl seal, you need to remove the entire rear glass. For that, first, remove the plastic trim alignment bolts.
Next, remove the unit and clean its edges to remove any remnants of the old seal. Finally, apply the new seal or Butyl tape and refix the windows. Avoid tightening the fixing bolts too much as it can warp the seal. If that is the case, you can soften it with the help of a heat gun.
How to do a water leak test after repairing rear windows?
After doing the necessary repairs, it is safe to perform a leak test before fixing everything back to ensure waterproofing. To check any leaks:
- Make a solution of soap and water.
- Spray it on the window edges.
- Blow compressed air on the window edges. You will observe bubbles appear at any leakage spot.
In case of any leaks, you will need to refix the seal or find the root cause of the leakage problem.
What is the cost of fixing the F150 rear window leak?
The cost of fixing the rear window water leak issue on the F150 depends on the leading cause of the problem.
Its cost is minimal as you need to buy the sealing kit only that will cost around $20-$30. However, labor costs will be higher if you replace the Butyl seal. The total cost involved can vary from $100-$250.
What are the consequences of the rear window leak on the Ford F150?
Water leakage from the rear window adversely affects the truck’s interior. In addition, it will make the rear seats wet, causing the development of molds and stains on upholstery.
You will also observe nasty stains on the headliner and a foul smell due to dampness. Moreover, if water reaches the floor, it will damage the carpet and cause rusting to the floor.
There are also chances of electrical problems if water comes in contact with an electric circuit in the vicinity.
Is there any possibility to declare the rear window leak a recall by Ford?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps records of all recalls related to a particular vehicle model.
There is no record of the rear window problem on the F150 still on its website. However, with frequent complaints and if somebody gets injured due to the problem, it will become a safety issue.
In such scenarios, Ford can declare it a recall from the perspective of customer care and to ensure their satisfaction.
Suppose this leakage results from any design or manufacturing defect; in that case, truck owners can file a combined class action to get repair costs and compensation for other damages to the truck due to water.
Then, hopefully, things will change regarding the recall status of the problem, and customers will get replacement or repair services from Ford free of cost.