Sunday, May 16, 2010

Skoda water ingress problem

With some of the interior lights, puddle lights and boot light not functioning it would appear that my Skoda is suffering from the poor pollen filter arrangement design by VAG.

At least we know it can be sorted.

The carpets on my car are dry on the top but below you can feel dampness. First start by moving the seat forward as far as it will go.

Remove the screw cap covers from the runner trims.

And the one on the other side. Put the items away safe.

Remove the torqx screws. Put the items somewhere safe

Lift and pull the covers backwards. They are simply clipped in place at the front.

Out it comes.

Do the same with the one on the opposite side.

Now move the seat backwards as far as it will go.

Lots of room at the front.

Here is the bracket holding the seat in place.

Undo the two nuts on either side at the bottom of the bracket.

Remove the two bottom nuts only.

Now to free the slider from the bracket

Put a flat blade screw driver as above and push the clips out. they are tight but we pop out eventually.

It is possible to remove the seat BUT DO NOT DO THAT YET.


I removed the windscreen wipers. Open the covers, use plenty of WD40 on the nut and spindle. Remove the nut. To get the wiper arm off you must pull the arm up perpendicular (ie no side movement) They will be stuck down well usually.

Now you just have the spindles. Remove the two clips holding the plastic windscreen cover down. This cover is not to be removed though - it breaks easily. We just want it to flex enough to get the battery out later.

Take the earth off.


Take the positive off.

lift off the wiring harness. There are about 4 clips to undo.

Undo the bracket on the batteries left hand side.

Long reach bar needed.

Right its time to remove the battery. I recommend two tall people to do this task. This battery is very very heavy and fitted tightly into the compartment. It will look like there isn't enough space to get it out. It will come out though, but the plastic window cover will require to bend / flex a little - be careful not to break it.

Unscrew the battery plate and now you can see the bottom of the chamber and some drainage holes.

It's nice and clean and someone has obviously already been in here and removed the rubbers from the drainage holes.

Time to remove the pollen filter. Take the clip off the front and remove the paper filter.

There are three nuts to take off. One on the left. One on the right bottom and a sod of one to get to at the right back. (as pictured). This will take a while to unscrew bit by bit. I hope you have thin long fingers.

Top right one removed, bottom left to do.

Both undone. Now one of the problems with the leaking pollen filter is all this grunge which helps the water seep in through the gasket and keeps the dampness around the filter housing and prevent correct drainage of any water.

With the nuts off now comes another tricky bit. Getting the pollen filter housing out of its position. Running along the top of it is a drainage bracket / support. This can be removed to add removal. The bracket will roll forward out of its securing clip.

Here's a photo I have stolen showing the pollen filter housing.

Here is a photo of it being sealed using some sealant. On mine was a crappy foam gasket. I changed this with the flat panel one from the skoda dealer only 4 quid and added additional sealant. Sorry no photo of this.

But before you do replace the gasket of seal it you are wasting your time unless you clean the area up properly.

So get cleaning.



We can see the paint all round.

Let it all dry off.

Looking into it at the blower.

Once happy it is spik and span refit the housing allowing plenty of time to get the top right nut back on.

In place and done. And so now to the inside of the car.

The electrical system should have discharged by now. But press the brake pedal 4 times just to check. Then remove the wiring plugs from under the seat. Slide the seat backwards and remove the seat through the front door - again easier with two people.

Remove the glove box by unscrew lots of torqx screws. the glove box will simply pull out then reviling the blower. Carpet underlay is all wet. Oh great!

Remove the side panel trim to revile the wiring plugs. And then remove the side trim so that the carpet can be half lifted.

The water rides down here. Time to lift the carpet out. Remove the side

Well I was shocked about how wet it was down here. Support the carpet with plastic bottles.

Christ look at pour out of the underlay.

The wiring Lome sitting in a puddle of water. Bound with the soak it up wiring harness material. So the wiring harness gets wet stays wet.

Well someone has already been here and I'm guessing they got rid of the rubber drain bungs under the battery but didn't repaire the pollen filter gasket problem!

I decide to add some drainage holes where the water collects deepest. One by the control box.

See the car empty.

At least if it leaks in again the control box will not fill and kill the components. Of course if I go through a ford the water may well come in. If you do drill a hole keep it small and treat the metal so that it will not corrode.

Got a water collection problem in the back as well.

But not for long. A hole here now too.

Bye bye water.

So let get unwrapping the wiring from all this tape.

The original material tape is really wet and pulls the water into it.

The wiring harness running to the back off the car.

I look in the control box compartment. I am lucky there is no ingress of water into here.

I use a wet vac to suck up more water (which just keeps using out of the 3" thick carpet underlay.

Lets undo some of this tape.

ah the nodes. (or wire joints to me and you)

I take off a plastic cover and look a corroded copper wire.

If you look at a wiring diagram for the VW passat's it will give you an idea of the interior lights wiring,

The red and blue wires are all connected together at one point that is causing my problem.

This connection is near the rear passengers seat.

Here are a lot of connection points.

And guess what. Someone has already been here. And it looks like they have done a good crimping job.

This is worrying. Anyway there only one thing to do and that is go aviation style wiring loom joint. To you and me that means soldering. I understand that each light is turned on via a digital signal . If the joints are iffy, the 12volt supply may get to the bulb but the digital signal doesn't, hence the light does not come on.

Solder the wires in pairs. If you find any of the wires do not want to solder together then they are most likely corroded. Not good. The copper should be shiny, if not cut the wire back until you find some that is! Here in the photo you can see a large orange wire. This is a replacement wire as I has lots of trouble soldering one wire in particular. it was knackered for quiet a distance and I had to cut it back a long way.

Then bunch the wires up and wrap a single thread of copper wire around them. Then solder the bunch of wires together.

It doesn't look pretty but should do the job.

Make sure the cover is cover with shrink wrap or similar. We don't won't it shorting out on the car body.

Give it some heat to shrink it tightly.

Nicely done.

I I did a couple more joints in the front. Then I got rid of most the original cable wrap. I split the cables into separate bunches and used plastic spiral wrap and insulation tape.

Tidying up the cables and putting the joints up high,

Dry your carpet. If you use an electric heater like this DO NOT LEAVE IT UNATTENDED. It will take hours to dry the underlay out by the way!

Cables tidied, control box in place and underlay dryish.

Putting the trim back but with the nodes as high as possible.

Slide the seat back in place. And put the plugs back in

They are all colour coded.

Put the chair in position. Get the lugs located. Do the front bolts up. Put all trim and glove box back in place.

The battery can now be put back in the car and connected. With the battery back in the car prey and hey your interior lights should all work like mine did.

Good to see.

They all work ;)

I have seen an Audi that was full of water on the drivers side. The water was getting in the bonnet puller cable grommet which had come out of place! so best to check.


  1. Thanks a lot for such a well explained and a detailed layout, it was very helpful, I am cured....a very lousy manufacturing job by SKODA....VSG - from N.Delhi - India.

  2. Thank you very much man!I have water in my Passat about 2 years ago and nobody couldn't tell me the source of the problem!Tomorrow if the weather is good,I will remove this problem!I am glad that I found this blog!:D Greetings from Romania!!Best regards,Razvan! sorry for my english

  3. I am glad to help. This is a problem on VAG designed cars and from what I read includes Audi, VW, Skoda and Seats. Lets hope their newer cars are better.

    I got my infomration to do the job from should you want further information.

  4. Great photos thanks for taking the time to put this up. I pulled my carpet up today to find it soaking wet still after my mechanic sealed round the edge of the pollen filter. I'm now wondering if he didn't clean it up as well as you!

  5. A very helpful page. I have just done the under bonnet part of this job. The only thing I did differently was to remove the trim that clips onto the bottom of the screen. This gave much easier access to both the battery and the filter housing. It comes out by pulling it away from the windscreen. Take the clips off and start at one end. Putting it back is straightforward. Just take your time and don't over do it, I am sure it is easy to damage! I managed on my own OK though. I hope that helps.

    Simon, UK



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