Car Problem Reports

Volkswagen Passat Rainwater May Accumulate in Plenum Tray Due to Clogged Drains

Volkswagen Passat Problem
32 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Average Mileage: 104,522 mi (35,000 mi - 190,888 mi)


Clogged drains can allow rainwater to accumulate in the plenum tray (at the base of the windshield). The water may leak into the vehicle's interior, brake booster, or electrical components, which can lead to major problems. Our technicians recommend keeping the tray clear of leaves, pine needles, and other debris.

  •  Rookie

    Everyone wanted me to repair the heating system because of a wet carpet. These forums really help. It was clogged leaves. This car is killing me! Someone buy it off me!

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  • Visitor, , 103,650 mi

    Water enetering the interior- water on the floor, during the winter I have to scrape the interior as well as the exterior of ice/frost--
    My dealer checked it out, $300.00 an found drains OK but indiated further diagnostic's would still be on my dime. A 2003 model and VW has lost the SIMPLE knowledge of how to keep the interior of the vehice dry when it rains! I have heard this is quite a common problem in numerous VW products during thew early 2000's
    I guess its cheaper for them to ignore the problem rather than a recall, there's always anther sucker down the road. A so called class action suite tuned out to be awaste of time when up against a big corp. such as VW

    A VW no more for me, or my friends

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  •  Rookie

    Water leaking into interior, front passenger side.

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  • Visitor, , 90,000 mi

    Large amounts of water on drivers side floor.

    Cleaned out drain in driver door hinge, no longer seems to be a problem.

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  • Visitor, , 120,000 mi

    Same problem, only my mechanic didnt find it and water got into engine - completely ruined engine. 3800$ repair bill minimum.

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  • Visitor, , 110,300 mi

    Just bought a 2004 VW Passat Wagon, to my dismay I found the inside soaked after rain. The car started having problems when I shift. I got it to shift one more time to park position then it wouldn't shift at all. The mechanic scanned it, the code said transmission computer, he pulled it up the whole box that "protects" the TCM was full of water the tcm was full of water. I just sat there & cried this is ridiculous!! I bought this vehicle cause my Chevy Blazer was totaled in a collection, I really miss my Blazer I had none of these problems! Now I don't even know how or where the water came from & I don't have a lot if money to fix it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Heartbroken in Brooklyn.

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  •  Rookie

    I bought my Passat Wagon used from Hilltop Motors in July 2010. I noticed occasional water on the passenger side but didn't know where it was coming from, it was intermittent and didn't seem serious. Since there were so many ongoing issues with the car I didn't get this addressed. Recently it became much worse and before I got it into the shop it flooded during heavy rains on the passenger side doing damage to my electrical or computer system. My car has been in the shop all week while they try to dry it out and see if they can repair it. Its not looking good.

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  • Visitor, , 35,000 mi

    I clean the plenum tray and surrounding area monthly with my leaf blower.

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  • Visitor, , 55,000 mi

    water leaked into the passenger part of the front seat. this was due to the gaskets around the smog filter behind the glove box. I complained to the factory and they fixed it under warranty even though the warranty had expired. There is a trnasmission control module under the passenger seat. The water seeped into it causing the car to lock into second gear. estimated cost of repair was 1000 dollars. The factory fixed it
    it for which I was thankful.

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  • Visitor, , 118,000 mi

    Had water pool in the driver side corner and leak into the floor, shorted out the starter relay and ignition.

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