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Here's my experience cleaning the cowl drains. One under each wheel well. It was necessary to remove the wheel, and splash guard to gain access. Here are the tools you will need.


Jack, tire iron, lug cap remover, Torx T25 & T20, flat blade screw driver, 13/32 socket and wrench.

Also you may want to grab a beer or two.



Break lug nuts, jack car. Remove the wheel. Using the T20 remove mud flaps if you have them. There were six T20 coarse thread screws holding them on.



Next remove 12 T25 coarse thread screws holding on the splash guard.


There is one hiding underneath, don't forget it.


Remove the two 13/32" plastic nuts and the splash guard will come out with little effort.


Locate the drain plug and remove. Make sure to reach up inside and pull out all the debris. Once you've pulled out all you can by hand run the garden hose at the bottom of the windshield on the side your working on. You will see water and debris pour out the open hole.





Here is the pile I got before flushing with water.



The plug itself. I left these off when re-assembling. They are the reason the debris cannot escape and the drain plugs up, retaining water.



Took a good hour to do both sides. Glad I did it, both were retaining water and dripping for days after rain.
 

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DIY Drain relief

Nice job. I just did the pass side on mine, only because during a heavy rainstorm in Minneapolis, the darn thing filled up and flooded the front pass footwell. I guess I'll have to do the driver's side also. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is a pretty simple procedure that can save a lot of headache. Especially if the drain gets backed up. I noticed on the passenger side a bundle of wires runs just to the side of the drain inside. So if the compartment fills up with water that harness is submerged. That doesn't seem desirable.
 

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Thank you this was a great post. I have my passenger foot well fill with water and the dealer told me they would have to take remove all sorts of molding to check the sunroof drains and remove the complete cowl. I followed your post and when I removed the drain plug the water flowed out. One suggested short cut: I only had to remove the back half section of splash guard and there was enough room to get behind it to the drain plug.
 

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I can reach the driver's side - right hand side when looking from the rear - without removing anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Thanks for the walk-through. I did this a few weeks back on my Treg and was amazed at how much debris came out. I also cleaned in behind the wheel well along the side fender, it was just caked in dirt.





 

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Thank you for the detailed pics. However, I have a 2015 Touareg TDI and I can’t find the drains. I have even looked for schematics, but haven’t found anything that resembles our car.
I have disconnected the AC drain under the dash and soaked 3 big towels with all the water. I poked a big cable tie down the hose and a little water came down.
Just want to make sure I am solving the problem. Does anyone know how to access/clean the cowl drains on a 2015?
BTW, I set up a fan in the car overnight and that seemed to help dry the floor/carpet. Thanks for your help.
 

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To access cowl or plenum drains,
Remove wipers, rubber strip, plastic cowling, relay box, clean and flush with water.
Jack up front and use axle stands. remove front wheels, remove inner fender liners, clean rubber check valve grommets and flush are arounds drains.
Ensure drains from sunroof is also clear. Pour small amount of water into the open sunroof at the far corners. You should see the water drain out of 2 tubes in the plenum area.
 
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