Accessing Rear Sunroof Drains in 2011+ VW Touareg (platform 7P5) - Club Touareg Forums
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Touareg: 2011 V6 TDI
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Accessing Rear Sunroof Drains in 2011+ VW Touareg (platform 7P5)

The service manual for VW Touareg indicates to get at the rear sunroof drains for cleaning you must remove the wheel housing liner. In the 7P5 platform vehicles, this means jacking up the vehicle, removing the wheel, removing the mud flap (if installed), removing the wheel cover (fender trim is what this really is) and then removing the wheel housing liner. (See Repair Group 60, 1.20.2 and Repair Group 66, 1.2.2.). When you take out the wheel cover, you must destroy the clips that are holding it in. There are seven of those, VW part number 3C0 853 585. In that process you will also probably destroy the grommets holding those in, which are VW part number 3C0 853 586. (Pictures of these components attached)

This method is time consuming, and also requires the replacement of parts. If replacing all seven clips and grommets, it could cost over $40. At the time of this writing (May 2019), at the local VW dealer the clips cost $2.34 each, and the grommets are $3.95 each. I went this route, then looked at how this could be done better.


WARNING: You will be working near the exhaust. Ensure the vehicle is cool and test the temperature of the exhaust pipe before you are burned or otherwise injured.

WARNING: Ensure parking brake is set and chalks are used (as necessary) to ensure vehicle doesn't move while you are underneath it.

WARNING: Ensure others know you are working under the vehicle. Do not allow anyone to think it is safe to get in or drive vehicle if you are working underneath it.

WARNING: If vehicle is lifted to get better clearance, ensure proper supports are used. DO NOT get under a vehicle with only a jack supporting it.

CAUTION: Wear safety glasses. Dirt may fall and get into your eye (you will be looking up).

This example is for working on the left rear sunroof drain. Right rear similar.

From underneath the left side, locate the sunroof drain to the rear of the wheel well housing liner. VW recommends using VAS6620, drain snake, but I use weed eater line. (Picture attached with drain circled in red)

That is it. No removing of anything. No replacement of parts. How easy is that?

The reason to look at the drains

When a sunroof drain fails, you are likely to end up with water inside your passenger or cargo compartment. With the Touarage 7P, for a rear drain failure it ends up in the cargo hold, going down the D pillar. (Example attached) Cleaning may help keep this from happening, but for me it will require dropping the headliner to fix the underlying problem.
Attached Thumbnails
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2011 Touareg TDI Executive - 138k miles, 2014 Passat TDI SEL - 88k miles (daily driver)
Previous - 11 other VWs, from A1, A2, G1, B4, B5, A5, A6, NMS platforms. I've owned a few Chevy HDs as well.
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