Touareg: 2016 V6 TDI
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: United States
Second Vehicle: Can't afford one
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
I think this is a design issue. I've been able to replicate how the water enters the air filter box, by pouring water along the rain channel on top of the passenger side headlight. The water runs down between the grill and the headlight then drips/pours right into the main air intake opening. As stated in an earlier post, there are two drains in case this happens; one in the air box and the other at the lowest portion of the gooseneck tube. In my case, the lower gooseneck drain does not allow enough water to escape. The water level in the gooseneck becomes high enough that it seeps into the air filter box. I normally take my vehicle through a touch less high pressure car wash every other week. I truly believe this is how my air filter is getting wet.
I took the saturated air filter to the dealer to show them this issue. They stated that they have never seen anything like this. They know how fastidious I am and how I treat my vehicles, so there were no questions or implications of me driving it in high water or abusing the vehicle. The dealer had no suggestions how to correct this situation, but recommended that I contact VW customer care. I then contacted VW customer care to see if they have any recommendations as to how to correct this problem. They said I needed to talk with the dealer. I feel like I'm on my own with this.
I don't want to leave it as is, because I'm only asking for problems later. I don't like the deflector contraption used in China that has been posted in this thread. Seems light a half-baked solution to me. IMO, I think there are two things to do that would minimize this issue. First, the drain at the bottom of the gooseneck takes minutes to drain the water out from the gooseneck. If you pop off the drain nipple, it will drain everything out in seconds. Night and day difference. The negative is you will not be able to plunge your vehicle through those super deep puddles. This is not an issue for me. Second, if you could redirect the water running between the headlight and the grill so it doesn’t even drain into the air intake tube. I have a couple ideas on how I would do this, but they would need to be tested first.
So, I'd just like to thank you guys again for pointing this out as I would not have checked on this until the air filter needed to be replaced (60k miles). If your vehicle sits outside in super heavy down pours or you take your car through high pressure car washes, this may happen to you. I don't think this issue is as likely when the vehicle is moving, as the air would direct the water elsewhere. I would highly recommend that you check your air filters and see if you have this issue. $25 on a new VW OEM filter, probably saved me a ton of heart ache! In the future I will be checking my air filter much more often.