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2017 R Line V8
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a very close call last week.
During all the rain last week our Touareg hesitated slightly then the engine light came on. Car ran ok the rest of the way home.
Hooked up the Ross Tech cable and it had reported 3 fault codes for the mass air flow sensor.
Contacted local VW dealer as its still under warranty, sorry sir cannot get you in to look at it until two weeks after easter !
Decided to clear the codes and do a short drive to see if they came back.
Car ran flawlessly and no new codes reported.
We live in our caravan so car sat outside in the rain for the next two days.
Wife drove it to visit our daughter and it coughed and spluttered as she got close to her destination but no engine light this time.
Called VW roadside assist and had it towed to the dealer.
First call from the dealer was asking if I had driven through any water crossings.
Left side air box had water in it and the air filter was sopping wet.
There are two one way drain valves, one inside the air box and one in the air intake, both were blocked with dirt !
Cleaned out and air filter replaced but was not covered by warranty as it was caused by an outside influence ie. dust.
Dealer advised that had water been sucked into the engine and destroyed it that VW would not cover it under warranty.
Found a old discussion on the US forum apparently it is a common problem with the 7P with many horror stories of hydro locked engines.
The water runs down the mudguard channel across the headlight and straight into the air intake clearly a design fault.
Air filter change interval is 45K so plenty of time for dust to build up and solidify blocking the drain valves.

I don't remember reading about this problem in any of the buyers guides or issues to be aware of for the 7P.

If you own a 7P I suggest you check your drain valves on a regular basis especially if the car has been driven in dusty conditions.

Kym
 

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2017 (MY2018) V6 TDI - Deep Black Pearlescent
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299 Posts
Kym, thank you for the advice, now just got to find the drain points 馃榾
Although I think the most water my Touareg has ever seen is a hand car wash 馃槀
 

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2017 R Line V8
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grant, sadly it wouldn't take much to block the drains, a bit of dust in the intake then a light rain to wet the dust which dries hard blocking the drains.
Once blocked the water would build up each time the car sits in the rain.
From the thread I read on the US section of Club Touareg forum and the photos posted there.
Remove the air filter cover and air filter to locate one of the drains in the bottom of the air box.
Other one is in the lowest part of the air intake.
I haven't had a look for them yet as the dealer cleaned both sides.
Sometime in the near future I plan to remove the grille and try to manufacture a sheild to prevent the water running straight into the intake.
Something VW should have done long ago.
 

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2016 Touareg Lux TDI, 2019 Passsat R-line
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This is a known issue here on the forums. One drain is in the airbox itself, the other is in a low point in the intake tube between the airbox and front bumper.
Flush the drains at least once a year with1-2 gallons (4-8 liters) hot water and bleach. This is actually a maintenance item which is frequently overlooked. If the bottom of your air filter is moist or soggy, replace it and flush the drains. Once or twice a year should take care of it.
 

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Its been well documented in various threads. Well done for raising the issue again as new members may not know and there is a definate risk of major engine damage if not addressed.

Part of VW fix was to remove the rubber nipple on water outlet which makes it less likely to block up. As mentioned keep the water outlet in the lower part of the airbox clear.

Part of the problem is water runs off the headlight and into the air inlet. There was an official VW mod but despite trying I couldnt find a part number for it.

Search for 7P water in airfilter fix if you want to see what others have done to fix it.

 

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2017 R Line V8
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Part of VW fix was to remove the rubber nipple on water outlet which makes it less likely to block up. As mentioned keep the water outlet in the lower part of the airbox clear.

Part of the problem is water runs off the headlight and into the air inlet. There was an official VW mod but despite trying I couldnt find a part number for it.

Search for 7P water in airfilter fix if you want to see what others have done to fix it.

Thanks removing the one way valve may help it drain quicker but doesn't address the problem of water entering the intake.

A couple of those mods look like they would work ok.
I will work on modifying our Touareg in the near future.
 

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howdy Kym,
yep, a known, reported issue....if you search you'll find the various mods to fix it.
interesting that vw wouldnt cover it....i would think the insurance would at least.....
 

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2017 R Line V8
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Singh
I didn't find any info about it when researching before I purchased the Touareg.
Would not have stopped me buying one but at least I would have been aware of the issue and checked it regularly.
Only found all the discussions after it happened and searched for "wet air filter"
Dealer also mentioned that insurance should cover the engine if it had hydro locked.
I didn't believe comprehensive insurance would cover this type of event.
Will obviously check the drains on a regular basis now and perform a mod to prevent water running straight into the intake.
 

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2013 V8 R-Line
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Wow, something for me to check then when I get a chance. The only spluttering that mine has suffered lately was due to a bloody 50c part (some sort of w clip or c clip) that held the turbo wastegate rod actuator on. The clips had either fallen off or perished, and the rod so happen to fall onto the underbody protection. This only happened on a Friday afternoon and then the car sat over the weekend before it actually went in for a service where the guys found the rod, and hence the stuttering/hesitation when under moderate acceleration. The wastegate was either overboosting or underboosting. Anyway, the service guys were trying to find replacement clips for me. It is a known issue with the V10's but not the V8's and the clips for the V10's dont fit. Anyway, I was driving around for three weeks driving it with light throttle applications while they tried to source a solution. In the end, they just had my car for a few hours on Monday, and whipped up a solution whereby they used some C clips and bent part over so it wouldn't come off, and my car is back to full power. If that rod had been lost, I would have been up for a whole new turbo assembly on one side which would have been a few thousand dollars. I was lucky. So for those few of us with the V8tdi, have your service guys check the wastegate rod actuator clips to make sure they are still present. It sounds like a pretty stupid thing to have happen, but it did, and I am lucky. I now will check the intakes for the drain holes, and also about this apparent water entry off the headlights. Haven't heard about that before. Happy driving all.
 

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First I have heard of the clip issue but thanks for sharing.
 

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2016 Touareg Lux TDI, 2019 Passsat R-line
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For all those recommending modding the intake... be advised it is part of the emissions system. Modifications may affect your warranty.
As mentioned, removing the one-way valves should be done only to drain and clean- not as a permanent fix. In my experience, that's not even necessary. A gallon (~4 liters) or two of HOT tap water with a capful or two of bleach will open them right up. This is a regular maintenance item. Do this and no mods or tearing apart or replacements are necessary. In my experience, hot soapy water does not work well. Run a gallon in, let it drain out for a couple minutes, run a bar towel through. If the bar towel comes back soaked, repeat. It usually takes at least 2 for me, and I do it twice a year. Resolved it for me.
The intake pipe and box are designed with water incursion in mind, hence the one-way valves. Clean the intake pipe from the bumper to the box as mentioned in the manual and it's all good.
 

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Removing the rubber nipple is what VW do as part of the fix. There was a TSB about or so I believe.
 

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2017 (MY2018) V6 TDI - Deep Black Pearlescent
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299 Posts
How do you get to the air intake, do I need to remove the grille (twice a year?) Surely not
 

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2016 Touareg Lux TDI, 2019 Passsat R-line
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How do you get to the air intake, do I need to remove the grille (twice a year?) Surely not
I remove the front grille- easy enough by removing a couple Torx (T25?) at the top and pulling out of slots. You're sure you're going to break the grille and it suddenly pops loose. The Torx on top and the tabs at the bottom are the only fasteners. It comes off in about 2 minutes once you've done it once.
You could also use a funnel or do it from the airbox end.
 

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How do you get to the air intake, do I need to remove the grille (twice a year?) Surely not
Taking the grill off is easy enough 4 bolts and pull the clips but not really necessary.

The main drain is is the bottom of the air filter box accesed the same way as the air filter.

The small drain can be reached by putting your hand down by the underside air intake pipe and feel for the rubber nipple. Remove it& clean.

I removed mine and left the hole so less likely to get blocked. This afaik was what VW did as part of the TSB fix.
 

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2017 (MY2018) V6 TDI - Deep Black Pearlescent
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Thanks...
The last (only) time I have taken the grill out of a car I used speed and the back of another car to achieve the task ( a very long time ago)
Welcome to the wonderful world of VW .
(are the torx or triple square bolts)

think I will be looking seriously at an option to avoid doing this more than once.
 

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Thanks...
The last (only) time I have taken the grill out of a car I used speed and the back of another car to achieve the task ( a very long time ago)
Welcome to the wonderful world of VW .
(are the torx or triple square bolts)

think I will be looking seriously at an option to avoid doing this more than once.
The grill bolts are torx.
 

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So I decided to investigate mine this morning to see if I had the Achilles heel of a design flaw in the intake. What a crap design--with the amount of space in the bonnet area they could have done better on the CRCA V6tdi. My air filter box was dry but did show signs of a little water--lots of mud and sand in the bottom. I pulled the filter and poured water in the intake till I could see it pouring out of the drains so they're both working thankfully. Cleaned it, compressor blasted it dry and pulled the grill. Whilst pouring a bit of water on the headlight the water ran around and straight into the air intake.
I have some 3mm acetal white plastic sheeting so cut out a deflector that bolts onto the cross member bolt. I love the look of the VW China fix, it looks more professional. However, behind the grill, its hidden so mine should do.
It extends about 30mm past the intake so cannot get sucked back, Might draught one in aluminium.

243624
243625
 

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Looks like a good fix for water coming from above, well done.
The original design looks like a hungry scoop waiting for a load of Somethingwater, garden hose, high pressure car wash, bow wave when traversing water over road. Why on earth would they build that facing upwards 馃槦

Note to self, never direct water towards the grille of a Touareg.
 

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2017 (MY2018) V6 TDI - Deep Black Pearlescent
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Tried to remove grille and failed dismally, but didn't break anything.
watched a few YouTube videos on how the grille just pops forward at the bottom with a firm tug.
(I didn't find one for a 2017/18 Touareg, but found Amarok and Tiguan videos which seem similar)
I have the VW manual that suggests...
鈥 Unscrew bolts -4-.​
鈥 Release locking hooks -3- on left and right of bumper cover -2-.
鈥 Pull radiator grille -1- forwards out of bumper cover -arrows-.​
243636
I can only get 2 or 3 fingers into any available hole in the grill to grip and pull, and it does not want to budge, seems like it is fixed to the bumper.
I spent time working at it, referred back to the manual, tried poking about in the apertures of the grille looking for a release clip of some sort, no luck.
tried as much brute force as i dare on a component that I know is way too expensive to break it didn't even give a hint that there was any movement independent to the bumper..

Conclusions:
a: I must have fat fingers.
b: the Dollar signs were blinding my judgement.
c: I have missed an important step... (4 screws, pull forward)
d: NEVER found the locking hooks mentioned by VW manual
e: seriously need help and encouragement

On the bright side I was able to see into the filter box a bit, and the filter seems in good condition so far.
 
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