2015 Touareg V6 TDI Element - unwanted water injection
I can confirm this is a problem with my car – 2015 V6 TDI Element. A city car that hasn’t seen bush or water crossings. The cause is definitely rain and not water crossings.
1st incident (11,000km odometer):
My wife was driving the car after heavy rain and it started to perform badly and stalled about 11 months ago. The dealer found the airbox full of water, completely wet filter and the number 3 rod was bent. They claimed we must have driven through deep water so our problem. The engine rebuild was covered under insurance and cost around AUD$16k. We were out of pocket $1k for the excess and without a car for a month. The dealer convinced us we must have driven through a puddle and insurance required a story so…
2nd incident (13,000km):
The second time after rain a few months later my wife told me the car was running a bit crap again so I looked in the airbox myself and saw there was about an inch of water in there. Towed to the dealer. They had the car for two weeks and couldn’t find anything wrong, however the intake pipe leading to the airbox had water. Their explanation was the engine rebuilder mustn’t have emptied that pipe after pulling the engine…
3rd time – present day (17,000km):
About 8 months on from the first incident and a few days ago, again we had heavy rain. We were 3 hours from home and 80km from a dealer (it was the weekend anyway so the service dept was closed). The car shuddered ever so slightly on deceleration with wife and toddlers in the car. Again I checked the airbox and it had about 2 inches of water in it. We were about 5kms from the nearest town so I disconnected the airbox and drove without a filter back to our accommodation. Picked up a $30 pod filter from Autobarn and that got us home.
Obviously the airbox isn’t draining well but water shouldn’t be getting in in the first place. Also any water in the intake pipe just sits there – no drain in that pipe, or at least it doesn’t work or maybe is clogged.
Over the last few days the airbox and pipe had dried up but last night we had heaps of rain. Just sitting in the driveway, the intake pipe was full of water this morning and the airbox had a little water in it. Photos on Facey if you can find it, try a search for “Touareg water airbox”
I posted a vid on facebook and others have had the same issue, especially China. Apparently the water runs down the top of the headlight into the vertical intake pipe. If you do a search on Facey you’ll see the video and a few pics. In China they (not sure if the customers or VW) are making little brackets to divert water away from the pipe…
The car is going to the dealer on Monday so we’ll see what they say.
Needless to say I’m not happy having a rebuilt engine in my car due to what looks like a design or manufacturing problem leading to water ingestion while standing still.
All I can suggest to others with 2011+ T’s is that if you’ve had heavy rain please check your airbox for water or you might find yourself with a boat anchor and a pretty disinterested dealer.