Volkswagen Passat Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 Passat GLX and I can't find anything on getting to the drain tubes on this particular model. I've found lots, i mean LOTS, on VW jetta, but not the Passat. I feel the difference is that I have the side airbags and the odd trim piece just above and down the front side of the door. I'm getting a lot of water running down the drivers side front column when it rains. the only thing I can figure is that their is a connection loose or apart. I kind of figure that anything dealing with or around the airbags, I'm going to need to unhook the battery, I just don't know what I am going to be getting into with messing with the airbags.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,419 Posts
In the four corners of the roof there are these hoses that hook up to the sunroof frame assembly. After years of hot weather the plastic connection and glue become brittle and start to leak. Common problem known to Passat owners, known as Water Ingress.
The two front hoses exit right above the the top hinges in the front door.
The two rear hoses exit inside the rear fender wells but are protected by the fender well plastic inserts.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the photo.... is the headliner primarily held on with clips, once I undo the screws for the sun visor and handles??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,419 Posts
There are many issues that cause Water Ingress.
Keeping a car park under a tree is probably the worst thing that can be done. The debris from the tree gets in past the felt seal on the sunroof. That seal is not water tight by the way.
The debris fills up inside the hose caused by the nipples being stuck shut. These are the one that exit right above the top front door hinges.
Once the hoses fill up the water runs into the track in the sunroof assembly and then runs over the edge and then runs any where the water wants depending on how the car is parked, either on hill or level surface.
Depending how bad the water leak is, it might be best to remove the headliner and remove the sunroof to clean everything out. And then upon re-assembly, clean out the drain tubes - hoses, cut off the nipples in the door jamb area and reattach the hoses with small hose clamps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,419 Posts
The headliner is not a fun thing to remove. All of the handles and both sun visors need to be removed. The overhead console light assembly needs removal. And finally the two over head lights in the back seat area need to be popped out and disconnect.
Then the head liner needs to get pushed forward towards the windshield to unhook it from the back window that has a clip to keep the back and from sagging down.
Getting the head liner out of the car is easiest by removing one of the front seats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
You don't need to mess with the airbags so no battery disconnecting. No clips on the headliner it is just tucked in at the sides but be careful with the trim pieces at the front you may need to pull them up and off. (plastic retainers break easily)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,419 Posts
As much work as it is, I would suggest you try to get the head liner and inspect your overhead side airbags to make they are still in a functional state.
My wifes first car had bad airbags from all the water ingress. I fortunately had a parts car that I swapped the airbags out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
I would 1st cut the ends off the 2 nipples in the front doors to open the ends up. They are black rubber and look like a birds beak. See if that corrects your issue before removing the headliner as AndreasPassat mentioned. Those ends get debris in them and eventually seal themselves closed.

After doing that you can carefully pour water into the sunroof hole drains to see if waster is coming out the ends. You can also use a long piece of string trimmer line to clean the tubes both front and read. Work gently when fishing the line in the tubes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I haven't cut the nipple off completely, just added an extra slit in it. I've tried running a piece of coated electrical wire and it seems to not come out the nipple, it almost sounds like it is down inside the body. my leak seems to be up at the top of the A pillar, that's why I'm thing the connection at the drain, but maybe it has come disconnected at the nipple also?? I'll have to cut that off completely and see what I can figure out

thanks everyone for the help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
It is a bit hard but you could fish the wire from the other end (nipple end). How far are you able to get the wire in> If there is an obstruction in the line it will back up as AndreasPassat mentioned in #4 post.

Someone correct me if I am wrong bit I think there are only 2 plastic connectors. 1 at the top and one near the door hinge. I would guess if one of them has broke one wouldn't be able to fish a nine past the break.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,419 Posts
Someone correct me if I am wrong bit I think there are only 2 plastic connectors. 1 at the top and one near the door hinge.
Correct. There is one connection at the sunroof and at the nipple end, the hose is one continuous piece through the body of the car.

Tmark, The hoses go through the pillars of the car and down into the door jam area, which is inside the car, that's why it sounds like that.
I wish I could find all of my pictures. I just put my headliner back in from repairing everything you're talking about here. I for the life of me can't find those pictures right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Correct. There is one connection at the sunroof and at the nipple end, the hose is one continuous piece through the body of the car.

Tmark, The hoses go through the pillars of the car and down into the door jam area, which is inside the car, that's why it sounds like that.
I wish I could find all of my pictures. I just put my headliner back in from repairing everything you're talking about here. I for the life of me can't find those pictures right now.
I know all about this particular infamous Passat flood source - the drain nipples should be called DAM(N) nipples. Take it from me, cut off most of the end, not just a little. It only takes a small amount of gunk to migrate down your drain lines, over time, to cause problems even with lightly clipped ends. The dam doesn't actually require the nipple to be completely blocked - it's as much about flow rate. As in my nightmare case, the rain was coming down so fast, the reduced drain rate (even after slightly clipped), it filled right up the hoses, and given the position of the car, flooded out and over the sunroof channels. When you add close-to-freezing temps, you can also be asking for trouble. My floor had 3 inches of water. Weeks of he11, pulling the seats, ripping the carpet out, trying to separate the extremely thick padding to dry it before mold set in. Busted the gas pedal pulling the carpet too. What a damn headache.

If you can park your car angled towards the drain hose you're trying to test, after fully clipping the associated nipple, you could put one cup of water at the drain outlet, and pour a known quantity of water down that sunroof corner only. Might give you an idea if it's all being drained, or if some is finding it's way out of a break in the line. They have those flexible part grabbers and pipe cleaners that would also help you try to clear out the lines - maybe some compressed air would work too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,213 Posts
couple things, one is besides the rubber/plastic deteriorating over time, many times ,someone not knowing pushes a heavy wire down forcing the flotsam and jetsam to lodge/wedge at tube entrance forcing it off the connection, the other is if you use air pressure be careful because if the crap plugs the tube (downstream) it will blow the tube off the connection.....VW really has engineering difficulties in regards to drainage concepts.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
couple things, one is besides the rubber/plastic deteriorating over time, many times ,someone not knowing pushes a heavy wire down forcing the flotsam and jetsam to lodge/wedge at tube entrance forcing it off the connection, the other is if you use air pressure be careful because if the crap plugs the tube (downstream) it will blow the tube off the connection.....VW really has engineering difficulties in regards to drainage concepts.......
You'd think it didn't rain in Germany based on all the water ingress sources. A bilge pump should come stock with the car ... maybe install it right next to the CCM!! :crazy:
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top