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Thread: Passat water leaks - wet carpets

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  1. Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    Having had two Passats and much pain will pass on my experience.
    Things to check for are:-
    1) Blocked drain holes under battery shelf
    2) Leaking pollen filter housing gasket
    3) Leaking gasket under the ECU housing box

    If wetness is on the passenger side primary suspects are 1) and 2)
    If wetness is on the drivers side primary suspects are 1) and 3)

    Any amount of dirt rotted leaves etc can cause a problem in these areas. Just because the drain holes are clear this does not mean there is no dirt problem. What happens is that dirt also accumulates around the channels to the side and back of the ECU and pollen filter housing. This causes a local build up of water before it drains away through the main holes - result is that it finds its way past the relatively poor pollen housing seal and or ECU housing seal. If you park near/under trees keep the whole of this area really clean on a regular basis.

    If the passenger side gets wet - big trouble. The Convenience Control Module (CCM) is likely to be wet. This leads to troubles with the alarm, central lcoking, windows etc. Get this properly dried out and sorted before it get worse.

    VW are aware of these problems and recognise the weakness of these seals. If 1) is clear and the problem is caused by 2) or 3) the dealer can fix the problem under warranty. There is an internal VW information note 443/06 sent to dealers in July 2006. Any car serviced after this time by a VW dealer should have been checked and if necessary the pollen housing seal replaced using new materials and the carpets and CCM checked. In the US there is a large court case aiming to sue VW for problems relating to inadequate body design, water leaks and in extreme cases brake failure on some models. In the UK there are some limited recalls as a result of the possible brake problems.(servo pipe rots through).

    Finally to fix the problems properly you need to do the following:-
    1) remove the windscreen wiper blades - can need a small pullar or two flat blade screw drives twisted from each side to create a lever effect. Once they have been removed once use some grease on the spindles to ease future removal.
    2) Pull back the bonnet seal so that the plastic cover for the battery etc can be pulled away from the slot in the windscreen cowl.
    3) Remove the two clips supporting the plastic windscreen cowl.
    4) Gently lever out the cowl from a slot in the base of the windscreen by placing a protective cloth at the bottom of the screen and gently levering the cowl away from the screen by twisting a flat blade screwdriver. Start at the drivers side.
    5) Manoeuvre the cowl from the car - you need to gently bend it a bit but be careful not to break it.
    6) Now follow your nose to gain access to drain holes, pollen housing and ECU housing as necessary. There are many articles on the web if you need further info just search Google.

    Good luck - I hope what I have found helps you - I have had to learn the hard way and still learning!!! I am sure there are other leaks through windows etc. but it is the under bonnet area that has always hurt me.

    If the car is full of water the following may help - detail relates to a 2002 Passat estate.

    I have found the following method is the easiest to get rid of the majority of the water:-

    1) park the car with the front higher than the back - the more the better!
    2) remove the rear seat by removing the plastic cover over the hinge - one screw covered by a plastic cap. Only need to do the side with water in it. Remove seat by driving out the hinge pins which are now free to move.
    3) remove one screw holding side trim to the floor under the seat.
    4) remove the small plastic caps covering the screws that hold the plastic covers for the seat runners. Remove the screws and runners.
    5) It is now possible to manoeuvre the carpets from the side trim and raise so that the floor drain holes are visible.
    6) Carefully remove one or both of the drain hole bungs and let out the water.
    7) With the carpet supported by a couple of blocks of wood it is possible to squeeze water from the foam and generally extract as much water as possible. You can reach just past the rear heating ducts.
    8) leave to dry for as long as required. Temporarily put the drain plugs back in if going out in the rain.
    9) when the carpets are as dry as you can get them replace the bungs with a smear of vaseline or waxoil or similar to ensure a good seal. Replace if they are damaged.
    10) Refit the carpet and put the trim and seats back in place. Not as good as taking everything out but at lease is easy to do without taking half the car to pieces.
    11) In my experence the drivers front seems to dry in situ reasonably OK (car parked uphill!) with no great risk to other components. The passenger side (RHD) is different as a result of the CCM becoming wet as mentioned in the first part of the post.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Invictagunner; 25-02-2010 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Update information
     
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  2. Cool Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    INVICTAGUNNER...thanx so much for that detailed explanation of 'how to'.

    Just got a tdi B3 and wanted to look at this very issue. Did so today and followed your advice.

    On the passenger side bonnet hinge there was loads of damp muddy crud but the plenum chamber under the battery appears dry as was the pollen filter and housing.

    I only got as far as removing the outer shield thingy, enough to see how to remove the wiper blades, un-do the two clips and figure out how to lever the wiring loom to one side and then slide out the remaining plastic shielding butted to the windscreen.

    Definately a job for milder weather and longer nights.

    Just one question, you refer to the ECU housing box. Is this the black unit located drivers side, in the same position as where the poolen filter is on the passenger side?

    If so I see there is 4 or 5 bolts holding it together...is there anything else that I need to know about before I remove this to clean underneath?

    Once again thanks very much mate.

    D
     
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  3. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    Not too sure about unbolting the ECU box "to clean underneath".
    If you haven't got a leak on that side I'd tend to leave it alone and not disturb the factory seal?

    PS did you mean B3? What year is the car?
    Muddy
     
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  4. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    If that's what the black box is then I have no intention of removing the ECU. My car 2005 tdi 130 estate
     
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  5. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    I suffered problems caused by a leaky pollen filter last week. VW washed their hands of the problem and said that because the car is over 5 years old, they're not making a goodwill contribution. Dealer however offered a 15% discount on parts and labour.

    Will be sending a nasty letter to VW head office tomorrow. They can whistle for me to buy another VAG car.
     
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  6. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmx5 View Post
    If that's what the black box is then I have no intention of removing the ECU. My car 2005 tdi 130 estate

    "If so I see there is 4 or 5 bolts holding it together...is there anything else that I need to know about before I remove this to clean underneath?"

    I took the above as meaning you might have a go at removing it .....
    Muddy
     
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  7. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    The seal under the ECU housing can leak as the result of dirt building up. Water then builds up on the drivers side - front and rear (the lowest) footwells. Agree with anyone who says be careful in this area - do not attempt to disturb unless you have a leak from this area. Do not disconnect any of the wiring unless you are certain you know what you are doing.

    The housing is held by three bolts - two accessible from outside the box and one only accessible by removing the 5 bolts holding the lid. It is quite safe to carefully remove the lid and then remove the remaining nut holding the housing. It is then possible to lift the housing a little without disturbing any of the wiring. This will enable any remaining gunge from the area to be removed and clean the top of the seal along with a smear of vaseline or similar.

    If this solves the problem you are lucky - if not get the car to a dealer or independent expert who can fix without taking a risk.
     
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  8. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    Many thanks information is spot on. I have an 03 1.9 TDI Passat which has suffered same ingress of water problem. Both rear passenger wells were wet! Problem area was drain holes under battery. Having removed rear seats and prised carpet up at rear , reluctant to remove front seats due to airbags and heated seats. Where exactly is the Convenience Control Unit and are there any cable runs beneath the passengers side foot well.
     
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  9. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    On a RHD car the CCM is under the passenger footwell carpet in a recess in the floorpan. It is possible to gain limited access by just raising the carpet without removing the seat. If it has remained dry no problem. If it is wet then this normally spells trouble since the wiring and terminals corrode leading to problems with the alarm, door locking etc. In this case it may be best to get it properly checked out. Most independent auto electrics experts know this problem very well and can often fix much cheaper than a VW dealer. Good luck.
     
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  10. Re: Passat water leaks - wet carpets 
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    Glad I found this thread. I have an 03 2l SE petrol. Over the last few months things have been going a tad iffy on the electrics front. Front N/S window stopped working (an horrendous grinding /screaming when I accidentally press the button so I assume summat has broken), then the rear N/S door stopped locking/unlocking on the fob, wont open every time now even when the handle is pulled inside the car (this has also happened on the O/S rear door too but only now and again, and when I lock the car sometimes the lights flash, sometimes they don't. Also it can take 2-3 presses of the fob to open all the doors (those that work) sometimes.

    Pity because I love the car. It looks classy and is a pleasure to drive, and I have had it 3 years now with not a single penny spent outside servicing. Too good to be true probably.
     
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