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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed this for quite some time but because I know how difficult it can be to find where water is entering a car's cabin, I just left it alone and figured it would come to me at some point. So water has been entering my cabin, on the passenger (right) side and flooding the footwell. This happens whenever it rains.

So these are the potential culprits:

1. Sunroof - I've checked the drains (front and rear) and they seem to flow freely. There are no water stain marks on the roof lining and there is no evidence of water flowing down the A-pillar either. I did manage to get water to flow in the vicinity of the A-pillar, but I don't believe that this is a realistic test because if that was the source, water would surely stain the roof lining. And if this was the source, why does the driver's footwell get wet too?

2. Windscreen - I don't see any water running down the inside of the glass and I don't see any sign of water running down the floor board.

3. A/C condensation drain pipe - Water is dripping from the outside pipe. But I don't think this is an issue because I only notice the carpet being wet when it rains. If the A/C condensation was the culprit it would show up all the time, right?

4. Coolant - Not a chance. This is clear liquid and I'm not seeing any drop in coolant levels.

5. Windows/door seals - No sign of water dripping from the windows or door area and the door drain holes (at the bottom of the doors) are flowing freely.

At the moment I have the passenger seat unbolted and leaned back and the carpet pulled away, to try to dry the carpet and the underlying insulation. The A-pillar trim is removed so i can keep an eye on if there is any water flowing at any time. As luck would have it, there hasn't been any rain since two days ago so I haven't had a chance to check.

Any thoughts guys? Have I missed anything?
 

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Check the antenna mount - my 1st gen had leaked from there before.
 

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Get a squirt bottle like diners serve ketchup and such in . Fill with water. Open sunroof. Pour half the bottle in the front right corner and half in the front left corner. If a lake forms it isn't draining correctly, and then overflows into the roof lining and down the A pillar to the floor. Most common leak. Otherwise, direct the stream to the windshiel molding and see if it drains out the wheel wells on each side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Check the antenna mount - my 1st gen had leaked from there before.
I thought about that as well, but the antenna mount is at the rear of the roof. All the water is gathering in the front passenger footwell, so I'm leaning to that not being the problem.

Get a squirt bottle like diners serve ketchup and such in . Fill with water. Open sunroof. Pour half the bottle in the front right corner and half in the front left corner. If a lake forms it isn't draining correctly, and then overflows into the roof lining and down the A pillar to the floor. Most common leak. Otherwise, direct the stream to the windshiel molding and see if it drains out the wheel wells on each side.
Both front and rear drains are draining properly. There is also no water mark on the roof lining to suggest there is anything going on there. I also ran water across the top and bottom of the windscreen and all the water is going to the ground, from what I can see. Nothing got to the floorboard, firewall, or footwell. I

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I'm going to go back outside and try all this again, though. I'll report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay. I didn't have a condiments bottle, but I used a water bottle. It flowed a bit more volume than the condiments bottle, but it was more controlled than a hose would have been. That said, I did the test again, and there was good flow from both the front drains and rear drains (left and right). I was able to make water run from the sunroof drains to both A-pillars (and thus into the cabin). I can actually see into the A-pillars where the curtain airbag is, from the inner part of the sunroof catchment area (see photo below). This is obviously by design since I can see the same thing on both sides, left and right. But the fact that only the passenger side is being flooded says to me that something else is going on. But I just don't know what. This is frustrating beyond words, folks.

Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive mirror Bumper
 

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Don't assume it's the sunroof! The seams where the roof is mated to the pillars can be a source of water ingress. I had this issue with water collecting in the rear boot/trunk compartment where the jack is fixed. It took some time and patience to isolate the cause, as I assumed it had to be the bolts which secure the tailgate strut to the pillar. I stuck some plumbers putty around the seam/weld and believe it or not I haven't had to drain water from the recess where the jack is stored for a while now.
 

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OK, how about taping off the opening of the sunroof with something like duct tape to prevent water ingress and then flood the roof with water from a hose. If the interior still gets wet then it is not the sunroof. If it stays dry, the sunroof is the culprit, which it is 99 out of 100 times in these sort of cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE: This morning as I drove home from work I drove into some light rain. I was out within 3 minutes tops. I went into a store and when I came out I remembered to check to see if there was any water in the footwell. Sure enough there was. It wasn't a lot (the top part of the carpet wasn't even wet, just the insulation underneath). But here's the thing: There was no water anywhere near the sunroof, A-pillar, door area or the firewall. The water seems to be coming from the centre console! I put my fingers under the ducting for the rear ventilation and under there was wet, and felt like water had been gathering there for some time. So now the plot thickens. I am now suspecting either there is a hole of some kind under the center console (perhaps a plug that has come undone) or perhaps the catchment/drain for the a/c condensation water is leaking. One thing is for certain, though. I will have to remove a lot more than the carpet and the front passenger seat in order to see what's going on. Oh joy, oh bliss.
(The picture shows the area that I'm talking about, but doesn't really show the water because I wiped away most of it before I decided to take a picture for you guys. Most of the moisture is now under/behind the plastic ducting)

Tire Automotive tire Tread Hood Motor vehicle
 

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Dude, i feel your pain. I fought this with a Passat I used ti have. It ended up being a drain that was only “partially” plugged. Water would drain, but when too much water came, it would back up and it found its way out to my rear footwell (only). aRgH I had to carefully do a tiny roto-rooter from the end of a drain and got a ton of gunk.
 

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Sounds like you're being careful and investigating so you can fix the actual problem. That's the right plan, even if it's tedious. I had a leak in the hatchback of my 1st gen 6 which I thought was coming from the taillights, until I ruled them out. Then I thought it must be from the glass seal, but that was a red herring too. It turned out to be the center brake light. Spraying it with water wouldn't cause the leak until you did it for a while, since it took a while for the water to soak through the gasket. Once it soaked through, it would start leaking, but spraying it for several seconds at a time wasn't enough to get it leaking. It had to soak longer.

So be patient and keep investigating. You'll find the culprit eventually!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't forget the air intake in front of the windshield that goes into the ventilation system. Perhaps check the cabin filter area.
Sounds like you're being careful and investigating so you can fix the actual problem. That's the right plan, even if it's tedious. I had a leak in the hatchback of my 1st gen 6 which I thought was coming from the taillights, until I ruled them out. Then I thought it must be from the glass seal, but that was a red herring too. It turned out to be the center brake light. Spraying it with water wouldn't cause the leak until you did it for a while, since it took a while for the water to soak through the gasket. Once it soaked through, it would start leaking, but spraying it for several seconds at a time wasn't enough to get it leaking. It had to soak longer.

So be patient and keep investigating. You'll find the culprit eventually!
Thanks for the vote of confidence. It's kinda fun, yet simultaneously frustrating trying to find a problem. I'm past the frustrated stage (for now) and into the fun stage since I believe I'm on to something (read below).

Don't forget the air intake in front of the windshield that goes into the ventilation system. Perhaps check the cabin filter area.
The cabin air filter is dry, so I'm almost sure I've eliminated that as a possibility. But that's food for thought for future reference.

UPDATE:
Okay, I think I've isolated the problem. I believe it's actually a clogged a/c drain pipe. Yesterday, before I left home to run some errands, I checked under the carpet. It was dry dry dry. By the end of the day, after I drove under very humid and hot conditions (no rain), sure enough under the carpet was damp. I didn't have the time today, but tomorrow I'm going to launch an attack on this with my shop vac. Hopefully the vacuum from it will be sufficient to loosen the gunk. Interestingly, I do see the pipe dripping on the outside, which says to me that it is only partially clogged. I'll let you guys know.
 
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Don't forget the air intake in front of the windshield that goes into the ventilation system. Perhaps check the cabin filter area.
This happened to my old car. I had someone put a rubber around the entrance, a longer one that looks like an extended roof.

Since then, no more water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
UPDATE:
I took my shop vac to the drain pipe, but I didn't notice any water sucked up by the vac, nor do I notice any increase in the dripping once the a/c is turned on. I believe that there should be way more dripping than what I am seeing. I think I need a better vacuum, though, and I have a friend that has something a bit more appropriate. Hopefully I can get with him tomorrow and have a look at things. Stay tuned.
 
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