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Old 09-02-2018, 00:34   #1
Tom B
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IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR ALL EXEO OWNERS! Make sure your battery isn't swimming!

Sorry for the capital letters in the title but this is something you all need to check regularly!

There's lots of talk on Facebook about water ingress and electrical issues on Exeos. If left unattended, the water ingress can cause serious damage to your electrical system, potentially writing it off. The procedure to solve it is pretty simple but it does involve having tools, patience and a couple of hours spare.

The problem is in the scuttle panel/front wiper mechanism/battery area. Open your bonnet and have a look around the battery. If this area is bone dry, you're lucky but you still need to follow the instructions below. If you see water or lots of silt sitting in there, you have a problem.

There are 2 funnel shaped grommets in there that fill up with silt and eventually block up entirely. When they do, the rainwater has nowhere to go so just rises until it finds a place to escape. The ECU lives in that scuttle area on the offside (drivers side in UK) so you can only imagine what will happen if this water starts making contact with the wiring loom or gets past the seals on the ECU cover. The water then gets past the pollen filter seals and fills the nearside front footwell, and that's where the CCM lives. When that happens, the car turns psychotic!

If you've ever owned a 1997-2005 VW Passat, a 1995-2001 Audi A4 or an A6 of similar vintage there's a chance that you'll already be familiar with this one. I bought a 2003 Passat and I had to fix all of the above, as well as a load of corroded wiring connectors. The dash was coming up with a different error every time I turned the key, the locks had a mind of their own, I was denied access to the tailgate and then it wouldn't start. Please don't put this off, have a look!

To fix it, you need to remove all the trims and sealing strips around the scuttle area, move the annoying wiring loom above the battery, remove the battery (make sure you have the radio code before disconnecting!) and look for these grommets. Now here is where opinion divides. Some people say that VAG fit them for a reason and the bottom end is partially closed to stop water from the road getting in there. Other people say that if they were removed, water can exit a lot easier. I'm with the "other people" on this one, so if you agree, you can prise them up, out and into the bin. If you'd rather keep them in, get a thin & straight tool (screwdriver, 3/8 extension, round file) and push it all the way through to dislodge the blockage, pull it out and let the water drain out. Prise the grommets out, put them in a bowl of warm soapy water and only remove them from the bowl when they're totally clean. Clean out all the silt from the scuttle panel, (optional OCD step: apply some sort of waterproof grease to the electrical connector and around the ECU case, Maplin should be able to help with that) and put it all back together.

If you do want to leave the grommets in, I'd recommend making a tool with a metal coathanger that allows you to clear the gunk from the grommet under the battery without having to remove it. Some right angle bends in various places should do the trick

If my text version makes no sense, have a look at this Passat B5 guide: http://www.veedoubleu.com/passat/passat-leak/ it's not the same procedure but its very similar.

Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2018, 16:36   #2
Dicko90
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Good post! You can also clear the one under the battery with out removing it by reaching underneath the scuttle and feeling for the rubber gromet. Once located you can clear the water by poking your finger or screwdriver through the cone shaped bung which should instantly release the standing water I couldn't believe how much drained out when I first did it! I now check this every other week and so far it's never filled up once since clearing it.

Nick

Last edited by Dicko90; 10-02-2018 at 16:37.
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Old 11-02-2018, 18:49   #3
caldi
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Great advice, but if you reach under the plenum chamber just to right of centre there is a large oval bung, this can be removed without taking the battery out. I removed the oval bung on my Exeo, it leaves a hole 80mm x 40mm, I still had a flood when we had torrential rain but it was only the passenger rear side that flooded. I had a test drive in a nice 170 ST in Droitwich, it had a damp smell, a killer in my opinion, I told the Ebay seller but he just ignored me (he has very good feedback, I thought he would like to protect it but he blocked my messages), some poor buyer has problems to come!

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Old 12-02-2018, 23:19   #4
Tom B
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Thanks Dicko90 & caldi, I'm glad the battery doesn't need to be removed, that should make the process a lot less painful.

I agree with you caldi, if you smell damp you need to walk away. I went to the local auctions a couple of weeks ago and looked at a silver 143 Sport Tech ST. It had no odour but the boot area was so wet that the floorboards were bowing. It's now for sale on a few websites, I hope no-one on here buys it.
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Old Yesterday, 13:38   #5
Arctic
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Done this yesterday, I removed the battery to make sure everything was clear.

It amazed me how much water got there, as I had a problem with the TPMS light, hopefully that's the trick to sort it
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Old Yesterday, 19:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic View Post
Done this yesterday, I removed the battery to make sure everything was clear.

It amazed me how much water got there, as I had a problem with the TPMS light, hopefully that's the trick to sort it
TPMS alerts are caused by changing tyre pressures or very low battery voltage, if you have had a flood check your CCM/undercarpet wiring for water damage.
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