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Water leak into footwell - dodgy seal info and DIY repair guide (Image links dead)

gorski

Active Member
Dec 2, 2017
1
0
Hi it's my first post so i would like to say hallo :)
two days ago i have found a water on gum rug from the driver side, i have checked under it and everything was wet, few days back we had a lot of snowfalls. i did a picture and this is how the seal is looks like :
image link : httx://imgie.pl/images/2017/12/02/woda3f131.jpg (im now allowed to put any links so please just replace httx to http)
i have no place and time to experiment form where the water comes from so i would like to know if anyone could give me the answer if this picture confirms it comes from the door panel - in other words typical issue with leaking doors :)?
sry for bad ENG :)
my car leon 1p
 
Last edited:

patmore

Active Member
Oct 30, 2017
3
0
fixed mine - water in foot wells.

Well, I looked at all the suggestions and as I had checked door seals - all fine - and had checked sunroof - water ran out one side but not the passengers. I had poked a length of electrical cable down and poured water in the sunroof gully. i saw that the water ran out under the car and thought it was ok. After checking air filter housing and doors, I went back to the sunroof as I saw that someone said about getting the tube back onto the grommet inside the door openings. I went back to the sun panel and now realised that the water was actually flowing out of the underside of the car and not out of the grommets in the inside of the door openings. I had inadvertently cleared a blockage in the passengers side and now had wet carpets in both front sides. i pulled the grommets out of the door openings as i realised that the water was not coming out of them at all.
I removed the grommets and threaded the electrical cable down the sun roof holes, and managed to get some small pliers in to catch hold of the electrical cable and pull through the grommet openings (difficult as only small space to work in). I then threaded the electrical cables through the grommet and carefully pulled them back into place so that the inner tube pulled onto the grommet. I made sure the grommet was back in and checked by putting water down the sun roof gully. It worked like magic and water came out of the grommets instead of pouring into the car behind the carpet and into the foot wells. So it was the sun roof tubes not being attached to the grommet inside the car. Then I had to get the carpets lifted enough to shove towels and newspapers in to dry out under the carpets. They were full of water so i used a broom to prop the carpets up and left the doors open to dry out during the day and closed the doors at night. Kept replacing the newspaper and towels and after about 4 days was all nicely dry.
i have had dry carpets ever since.
 

Muttley

Catch that diesel!
Mar 17, 2006
4,987
29
North Kent
Son bought himself an 03 LCR. When he went to view it "It had just been valeted, so the carpets were wet". You can see where this is going.
Sure enough, it's been raining a lot recently, and evidence of water pooling in the footwells is found. So, "do you still have that door seal stuff, Dad?" Yep. "Can you help me do it". Oh, all right then.

This is where it gets interesting. On getting down to the sealed joint, I can see it's not the old closed-cell foam, but something different, grey and sticky. I can also see it's badly applied, hanging in a loop from the bottom of the door card and not sealing there at all.

Undo all the bolts except the top three, which you just loosen, then pull the door card away. What I find is material that looks similar to the butyl cord, but thinner and less sticky (but still flexible, non-setting). The door card itself is also different, has a narrower channel in which the seal should fit.

Looks like the driver's door was sealed by the apprentice on a Friday afternoon, and the seal was faulty from new. There was evidence of silicone sealer around the leak - this never works for long. I pulled off the original seal up to just below the top of the panel, and applied butyl tape in a single run. Has worked ok, but we will not know for sure for a few weeks yet.

What I found interesting is that the door itself had been redesigned, for sealing with a production-line version of the butyl tape, probably applied from a pressure gun. Given the number of Mk.IV Golf-derived doors out there, I guess it made sense to VAG. But I'm surprised that the assembly fault on this particular car was not discovered and fixed under warranty - unless it was them that applied the mastic.
 

Suz

Active Member
Feb 15, 2017
6
0
Dorset
Still wet!!!

Okay so I've had what I would call puddles now in my rear footwells and now the drivers footwell too. I followed the guide to repair the inner door seals and that was successful but hasn't stopped the water getting in.
I can't see any signs of where the water may be coming from. Is there any way it could be coming from underneath? I thought I'd ask before I remove everything and take up the carpet to check.
I think I'm going to re do the seal that goes all around the door frame as well just in case.
Has anyone else had the same? I'm stumped because there really is no sign of how the water is getting in!
 

redballs

Active Member
Dec 5, 2018
6
2
this might help Anyone who has puddles in their footwells, VAG
i have a 2005 Leon Fr150 Diesel. about 2 months ago i changed the front door speakers for pioneer components. see where this is going...!!!
my dad went to put in some screen wash in for me. looking for the bonnet pull, he realized i had a 'water feature'!! front and rear drivers side floormats were soaked to the touch. oh dear! time to rip out the whole interior!
i put the problem down to a a small tear in the rubber along the driver sill. it was replaced, and it done nothing! the leaks persisted, and i had to sponge out a minimum of a litre of water per day. i live in ireland, and its Nov/Dec, so weather is very crap!
i started looking on the net for VAG footwells full of water and i was Very surprised! lots of people experiencing similar problems.
i read a lot of posts, and watched a lot of vids. i found a post from a guy with a Passat. the rear door speakers were replaced under warranty, and his car began taking on water in both rear footwells. the rear door skin seals had failed, and this was the the cause of his leak. he stated they had been replaced by an apprentice, and he failed to notice the issue he was creating, same as myself with my front speakers
So, my problem... in changing my front door speakers, i had to remove the old ones. as we know, they are riveted in place. i opted to drill off the rivets with an 8mm bit. in pressing against, and causing vibration in that lower corner of the door skin, i inadvertently destroyed the seal, and failed to realize. the car is nearly 15 years old, and also its components. had i not touched the speakers all would be fine, but alas, here i am, with with what i hope to be an answer for some peoples problem.
i have just finished gutter sealing both front doors, and the weather is terrible for the next few days!
anyone with soaked floors, please remove you door panels, and press against the bottom corners of the skin to see if it leaks or if its moist.
if you have aftermarket speakers installed, or if an alarm installer had the door card off, or a window tinter, anything like that. this might help
thanks to everyone who posted. had it not been for all you good people, i would be lost. my car would be at a dealer and i would be charged a fortune because they are brain dead idiots!
the good news... this fix cost me 10euro for the sealant! and also, while i have the entire interior removed, i can wire the car for some proper sound!!
 
Jul 6, 2019
1
0
a little bump in this thread, Im not able to see the pictures embedded in the first post. is it by any change someone who still gots them and can upload them again?
 

Boardy

Active Member
Sep 29, 2019
23
2
South wales
Right thats it, :censored:
the dealer told me they would have to modify existing seals by cutting them down to let the water out!
Thanks Andy for the guide A1, :clap: i'm off to get the stuff i need and i'm going to do it myself. :runaway:
If it is wet just in the passengers footwell then the leak could be due to a poorly fitted pollen filter or cover.


Pollen filter cover – to remove : unscrew and pull out plastic clips with screw heads (circled red) then pull up rubber seal from end, marked with yellow arrow.

Pull cover outwards. Check pollen filter below is properly seated and clipped in. Remove leaves and dirt and check drain hole in corner next to pollen filter is clear.

Check condition of cover, repair any cracks, rips or holes with waterproof gaffer tape. Make sure cover is properly refitted so that the pollen filter is protected from water. Push rubber seal back into place.


However the majority of leaks are through a foam seal around the ancillaries carrier – this is the removable internal metal panel on the door that the speaker and window regulator are attached to.

I used silicone sealant to seal the panel and this solved the leaking problem on my Toledo.
I have done this job myself (and took some photos) after reading information from the forum (thanks for all the info) and elsewhere on the internet, hopefully this brings everything together.

Read all of this guide and :
Door dismantling instructions/Window repair - VWvortex
before removing anything, so that the attachment of the window and door lock to the panel is understood and not damaged.

The internal plastic door panel has to be removed to get access to it.
The internal door handle has a clip on cover, lever this carefully to remove it.


Door handle cover unclipped. Showing door fixing bolts, circled red

Remove the two bolts in the handle – large cross-point (philips) heads.
There are also some screws at the lower edge of the front door plastic panels
– torx T20 head.


Pull the plastic panel from the bottom, it just held by clips now.
Lift panel so the top clears door lock knob and plastic bracket below window.
Carefully pull out – there are several wires attached.
Unplug all connectors (squeeze clips at side of connector and pull to unplug) – for alarm LED (drivers side), small speaker, door light, electric windows switch.
Unclip cable to door latch lever.


This black painted panel is removable and is the ancillaries carrier panel.
The leaky seal is on rear of panel (yellow line shows position).



Rear of panel showing deteriorated foam seal (which ripped when removed) and water marks. Part of the speaker is also shown.

The speaker is riveted to the panel and also has a foam seal around it (on front side of panel).
If a different speaker is fitted it is important to seal it well. And also to leave the plastic surround which can be seen protruding on the photo. This plastic surround deflects the water running down the panel and stops it running onto the speaker cone.


View of inside of door, looking downwards. Drain holes are circled in red.


Seal around outer edge of door. Viewed from underneath door facing up.
Arrow shows one of the oval drain holes in the door and corresponding drain hole in seal.
Outer lip of seal has to be pulled back to see the drain holes.


The drain holes can be blocked by too much wax which is used to prevent rusting inside the door.
Can be checked and cleaned without removing anything : pull the rubber seal to expose the holes and wipe with a damp cloth to remove dirt, and poke a cotton bud up the drain holes (there are 3 oval shaped ones) to clear them.


Cross sectional diagram of door and seals. Water runs down the insides of the door, this is normal in any car since it is impossible to get a perfect seal with a moving window.

The water runs out of the drain holes in the bottom of the door and through the holes in the seal to outside (blue line at left of diagram). Water can build up inside the door if all 3 of the drain holes are blocked with wax or dirt.

The problem is with the foam seal (coloured red on diagram) on the ancillaries carrier, the foam is porous and deteriorates over time, water leaks through this (blue line at right of diagram) and can get onto the carpet in the footwell.

Properly sealing around the foam seal with silicone sealant will stop the water leaking through it, and this water should then also exit via the drain holes.
This will fix the leaking problem in most cases, but water can also leak through holes in the panel. The clips holding the wiring to the panel are fitted through holes – the clips have a foam backing. The speaker seal may also leak or the foam seals for the window motor.

I completely removed the panel to replace broken window clips.
But it is a lot of hassle to remove the ancillaries carrier panel completely since the door lock and window are attached to it.
Check out this guide if you want to :
Door dismantling instructions/Window repair - VWvortex

Could seal around edge of panel whilst in place with silicone sealant, but a better job will be done if silicone sealant is put between the panel and the door where the foam seal is.
Remove all the bolts around the edge of the panel except the ones at the top edge, 10mm socket/spanner needed. Pull the panel carefully outwards at the bottom (might be stuck due to old seal).
Clean around the edge of the panel and old seal with a damp cloth or preferably isopropyl alcohol.

Pull the panel just enough to insert the nozzle of the sealant gun so that the panel does not bend and the window and lock are not damaged.

Use plenty of sealant so that it flows to fills all the gaps when the panel is bolted back in place. Need to completely seal the lower edge of the panel and about half way up the sides.

It is a good idea to put some silicone sealant on the holes before replacing the bolts so that they are well sealed.

There are several different types of silicone sealant. Obviously it is not important what colour it is as it will be hidden. A weatherproof type suitable for outdoor use needs to be used.
There are acetic and neutral cure types, the acetic cure dries quicker but has a strong vinegar smell for a few days which is unpleasant inside the car. I chose a low modulus, neutral cure type since it is more flexible, does not smell during curing and sticks better to porous materials (the foam seal).

The type I used was EverBuild Premium+ 450 Builders Silicone from Machine Mart, cost £2.69
Machine Mart - Silicone Sealant

Need about ½ a tube for each door, and an applicator gun.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Word document version of guide
Hi Andy new to the site got the exact same problem with my 55 plate seat Leon cupra r, woke up after a night of heavy rainfall to find my car full of water. Reading your great guide going to do mine myself next weekend but for some reason I can’t see the images. Just wondering if you could send the images to my email address if possible ? My email address is [email protected]

Also after fixing the problem in hand have you took the floor carpet up to see if there is any re acurance of the issue those foam carpets take so long to dry out
Regards boardy
 
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Reactions: leoni

Boardy

Active Member
Sep 29, 2019
23
2
South wales
Handy tip - use nappies to dry out your carpets. Stretch them out and weigh them down and they will suck up an amazing amount of water. Mine from a swamp to dry overnight. 6+ is the biggest size and highest absorbency. Each of these probably removed half a litre of water
Thankyou for your reply will be using my daughters nappies to mop up the water
 

allenkyle07

Active Member
Dec 25, 2017
13
2
braintree,essex
If it is wet just in the passengers footwell then the leak could be due to a poorly fitted pollen filter or cover.


Pollen filter cover – to remove : unscrew and pull out plastic clips with screw heads (circled red) then pull up rubber seal from end, marked with yellow arrow.

Pull cover outwards. Check pollen filter below is properly seated and clipped in. Remove leaves and dirt and check drain hole in corner next to pollen filter is clear.

Check condition of cover, repair any cracks, rips or holes with waterproof gaffer tape. Make sure cover is properly refitted so that the pollen filter is protected from water. Push rubber seal back into place.


However the majority of leaks are through a foam seal around the ancillaries carrier – this is the removable internal metal panel on the door that the speaker and window regulator are attached to.

I used silicone sealant to seal the panel and this solved the leaking problem on my Toledo.
I have done this job myself (and took some photos) after reading information from the forum (thanks for all the info) and elsewhere on the internet, hopefully this brings everything together.

Read all of this guide and :
Door dismantling instructions/Window repair - VWvortex
before removing anything, so that the attachment of the window and door lock to the panel is understood and not damaged.

The internal plastic door panel has to be removed to get access to it.
The internal door handle has a clip on cover, lever this carefully to remove it.


Door handle cover unclipped. Showing door fixing bolts, circled red

Remove the two bolts in the handle – large cross-point (philips) heads.
There are also some screws at the lower edge of the front door plastic panels
– torx T20 head.


Pull the plastic panel from the bottom, it just held by clips now.
Lift panel so the top clears door lock knob and plastic bracket below window.
Carefully pull out – there are several wires attached.
Unplug all connectors (squeeze clips at side of connector and pull to unplug) – for alarm LED (drivers side), small speaker, door light, electric windows switch.
Unclip cable to door latch lever.


This black painted panel is removable and is the ancillaries carrier panel.
The leaky seal is on rear of panel (yellow line shows position).



Rear of panel showing deteriorated foam seal (which ripped when removed) and water marks. Part of the speaker is also shown.

The speaker is riveted to the panel and also has a foam seal around it (on front side of panel).
If a different speaker is fitted it is important to seal it well. And also to leave the plastic surround which can be seen protruding on the photo. This plastic surround deflects the water running down the panel and stops it running onto the speaker cone.


View of inside of door, looking downwards. Drain holes are circled in red.


Seal around outer edge of door. Viewed from underneath door facing up.
Arrow shows one of the oval drain holes in the door and corresponding drain hole in seal.
Outer lip of seal has to be pulled back to see the drain holes.


The drain holes can be blocked by too much wax which is used to prevent rusting inside the door.
Can be checked and cleaned without removing anything : pull the rubber seal to expose the holes and wipe with a damp cloth to remove dirt, and poke a cotton bud up the drain holes (there are 3 oval shaped ones) to clear them.


Cross sectional diagram of door and seals. Water runs down the insides of the door, this is normal in any car since it is impossible to get a perfect seal with a moving window.

The water runs out of the drain holes in the bottom of the door and through the holes in the seal to outside (blue line at left of diagram). Water can build up inside the door if all 3 of the drain holes are blocked with wax or dirt.

The problem is with the foam seal (coloured red on diagram) on the ancillaries carrier, the foam is porous and deteriorates over time, water leaks through this (blue line at right of diagram) and can get onto the carpet in the footwell.

Properly sealing around the foam seal with silicone sealant will stop the water leaking through it, and this water should then also exit via the drain holes.
This will fix the leaking problem in most cases, but water can also leak through holes in the panel. The clips holding the wiring to the panel are fitted through holes – the clips have a foam backing. The speaker seal may also leak or the foam seals for the window motor.

I completely removed the panel to replace broken window clips.
But it is a lot of hassle to remove the ancillaries carrier panel completely since the door lock and window are attached to it.
Check out this guide if you want to :
Door dismantling instructions/Window repair - VWvortex

Could seal around edge of panel whilst in place with silicone sealant, but a better job will be done if silicone sealant is put between the panel and the door where the foam seal is.
Remove all the bolts around the edge of the panel except the ones at the top edge, 10mm socket/spanner needed. Pull the panel carefully outwards at the bottom (might be stuck due to old seal).
Clean around the edge of the panel and old seal with a damp cloth or preferably isopropyl alcohol.

Pull the panel just enough to insert the nozzle of the sealant gun so that the panel does not bend and the window and lock are not damaged.

Use plenty of sealant so that it flows to fills all the gaps when the panel is bolted back in place. Need to completely seal the lower edge of the panel and about half way up the sides.

It is a good idea to put some silicone sealant on the holes before replacing the bolts so that they are well sealed.

There are several different types of silicone sealant. Obviously it is not important what colour it is as it will be hidden. A weatherproof type suitable for outdoor use needs to be used.
There are acetic and neutral cure types, the acetic cure dries quicker but has a strong vinegar smell for a few days which is unpleasant inside the car. I chose a low modulus, neutral cure type since it is more flexible, does not smell during curing and sticks better to porous materials (the foam seal).

The type I used was EverBuild Premium+ 450 Builders Silicone from Machine Mart, cost £2.69
Machine Mart - Silicone Sealant

Need about ½ a tube for each door, and an applicator gun.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Word document version of guide
great guide
 
Oct 17, 2019
5
0
The only thing that pops into mind is the rear underseat vent but I don't recall anyone having this so not sure.

Any ideas are more than welcome.
Same problem here and started today to dismount and understand what's going on but everything around is dry !!! tomorrow I will try to follow the rear underseat vent... lol
 

LEE69

Stage 2 Revo'd
Dec 10, 2004
21,260
69
C\UK\Devon\Torquay
Pollen filter needs resealing if the carpets are wet. Also the rear hinge for the boot leaks on them too. Also more recently the heater matrix has started to fail but that leaves a film on the windscreen due to the coolant.
 
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Reactions: louweb
Apr 7, 2020
5
0
hi,

left-hand side rear loads of water and some at front
I just picked up an '04 Leon last week. Had the same problem with water in the back and damp in the front After pulling up the carpet there was probably a couple of pints back there.

Just had the door card out today and there was very obviously perished seals on the carrier towards the back of the door.

As mentioned (way earlier) in this thread took the retaining bolts off the carrier except the top 2, put a fat bead of silicone on the body work then bolted the carrier back in to make a messy sandwich.

Hopefully this will sort the problem.
 
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