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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve just had to deal with the pesky water issue in the front passenger footwell (RHD car - 2004 / T1). The carpet itself was bone dry but the under-foam was wet so with this problem hidden away underneath, potentially for a while, it is worth periodically slipping a hand under the carpet to check that all is well. We all know how important it is to keep water away from those very expensive electrical components under the seat. You can lift / pull back the carpet enough to do this quick check without having to unbolt and raise the seat or take off any tunnel trim etc. - with the ignition off, just unclip the two plastic covers at the front base corners of the seat plinth and pull out the small flaps of carpet from under the front of the seat plinth and then from the edge near the door sill. You can then lift the carpet just enough to slide your arm underneath to feel around all of the lowest areas of the foam (particularly the deeper knobbly bits that go in the floor grooves and spaces between the cable conduit casings) where water is most likely to collect. The carpet is easy to tuck away again afterwards.

To try and find where my leak was coming from, I did all the checks advised by the bounty of helpful posts on this forum - sunroof drains, plenum / wheel arch outlets, under sill outlets - all clear and draining freely. Roof rail tram line bolts tight, windscreen seating sealant secure and sound (sprayed soapy water on the outside edges, compressed air on the inside edges and looked for bubbles). Then, I removed the trim under the glove box and moved on to the AC condensation tube:
Automotive tire Automotive exterior Bumper Motor vehicle Automotive design


Popped the tube off the reservoir and gently inserted a long tooth brush into the tube - clear and clean too. In fact, no resistance felt at the far end of the tube at all (more on that below). Cabin / pollen filter also dry. Took a look under the car on a warm sunny day with the AC on and there was some nice clear water dripping down. Puzzling then.

Removed the drain tube from the bulkhead and pulled back the carpet and the grey-lined foam around the tube area to expose the tube hole in the bulkhead / firewall:
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wheel Alloy wheel Rim


Re-inserted the drain tube into the bare bulkhead and re-attached it to the reservoir, turned on the engine and AC, grabbed a bright torch, watched and waited.

After a short while, water started to drip down every few seconds onto the foam below from behind the steel plate insert panel lip at its lowest point, directly beneath where the drain tube goes through it.

Moving a small flat head driver gently around the flange edge of the steel insert plate where it overlaps the bulkhead metal (there is a 2mm gap), some very old knackered silicone sealant fell out. That’s one fix for me to do then. Also when I pulled the drain tube out to examine it, it looks like someone in a previous life has removed / crudely cut off the flap valve section from the end of the tube (so no resistance for my toothbrush). Maybe they had a flap valve blockage and decided that this was the way to solve it?! If you have a pre-owned Touareg or Cayenne, it is maybe worth checking to see if the same bodge amputation has been done to yours:

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Here’s a pic of part 7P0820119 (complete with flap valve) for comparison:
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I'm thinking that especially with the valve missing, water just flows down the outer face of the flange instead and because the back of the flange is in contact with it, onto and down the engine side of the steel insert plate, then through the seal-failed plate / bulkhead overlap and into the cabin. I’ll order a new tube, but in the meantime, I’ve used some 10mm auto hose to push snugly inside the drain tube making a short extension to take the water outflow further away from the flange and bulkhead so that it just drips into free space. I chamfered the inner edge of the hose a little with a craft knife to improve the flow inside the tube and stop debris collecting at the join / step point inside.
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I’ve popped some fresh automotive sealant around the inside lip of the steel bulkhead insert and left it to cure. Never ask me to silicone your bathroom, you will be disappointed. Untidy and ham-fisted but effective.
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With the temporary 10mm hose inside the end of it, the drain tube is a little wider but will still just fit back through the hole. Squeeze the flange edge a little at a time and just work around it carefully pushing it through bit by bit until it is all inside the bulkhead. To check the Heath Robinson extension would work under load, I re-fitted the drain tube in the bulkhead hole and flushed it through with a water jug, plastic funnel and some 8mm hose (inserted well into the tube as it is a bit loose) as it is difficult to pour water directly into the drain tube from inside the car without getting yourself and the car wet. The water obediently gushed out beneath the vehicle:
Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Wheel Motor vehicle


With the AC on, no more drips from the re-sealed insert plate and much more water is now dribbling nicely out from under the vehicle, rather than being shared between outside and inside.

Another thing to check, either if you have a leak and can’t find another cause, or when you are moving the foam and carpet around near the tube for any reason: the smaller flange on the tube that is supposed to sit on the engine side of the bulkhead can quite easily pull back through the hole without you realising and just rest between the grey-lined foam and the inside of the bulkhead and then soak the foam - it is hidden by the foam and carpet of course, so when re-fitting it or doing anything else near it, is worth slipping your finger carefully (the bulkhead hole edges are sharp!) up behind the upper grey-lined foam flap and feel-checking that the hose and flange is properly seated all the way through the bulkhead hole. The pull flap on the reservoir end of the drain hose should completely fill the little same-shape housing it sits in, or be slightly proud of it.

With a combination of wet and dry vacuum, 2kW blower heater, desiccant dehumidifier and even some sanitary pads (they are great for stuffing into the little channels and grooves in the floor and between the cable conduits where the lowest knobs / ribs of foam sit), it took a few days to dry everything out properly. That thick sound-deadening under-foam is wickedly efficient at holding water and even when you feel the surface of it as being bone dry, the chances are that there is still some water lurking in there and if you just put the foam back down it won't evaporate and will keep finding its way to the lowest points in the foam. Prop the foam up away from the floor for as long as you can to let air circulate and just ask the generous donator of the sanitary pads to enjoy the ride in the back seat for a few trips. I also found five or six smooth topped plastic caps from laundry liquid bottles great for sliding around under the foam to different positions without damaging the foam and for keeping it propped up while drying out:
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I hope that this helps one or two others who have been struggling to find the source of their wet under-foam and/or carpet in the glovebox-side front footwell after they've already explored all the usual causes that have been identified on here before.

Bone dry and back on the road where it belongs :)
Wheel Tire Sky Vehicle Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi TommiT, I've dropped you a PM (y)
 

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When ever I read a post like Hooty's I wonder what genious figured how many ways to screw up a car. There are hundreds of cars produced by different makers that never have water problems,most way cheaper than a Touareg. I have driven cars for 60yrs though tons of different cars and only had 2 leak,both VWs. My cars junkers when I was in school.
I also wonder if Porsche Cayenne have these leaking issues since they are made in the same factory. Does anyone know?
 

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So you're blaming VAG for some butcher having hacked the component and thus causing the problem?
I'm sure it would've become a problem on a Porsche badge if butchered in a similar manner!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re TommiT’s question about the ABT connection, I’ve popped some more info & specs for the car on the modding forum rather than on here. Here’s the link for anyone who wants to know more:

 
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