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Hatch is leaking water - Hopefully fixed

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
I am getting water ingress from somewhere in the hatch again. Last time I found that my tail lights were not tightened down from the factory.
So i am starting a journal thread to show my steps to find the leak in case someone needs to reference this for similar problems.
 

robo_remy

New member
Location
Oregon, USA
Car(s)
2017 GTI
Thank you! I'm getting some water ingress on the right side of the hatch about once out of every 8 times it rains, drains out thru one of the access panels when the hatch is opened. I'll check the tail light, and I am curious what you discover as well.
 

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
Dry weather here and life got in the way today. I have to take off the trim tomorrow and try and find the leak then.
 

dequardo

Drag Racing Champion
Location
America’s Dairyland
Car(s)
2021GLI Autobahn DSG
Before you take all the trim panels off check the camera hose drain tube to see if it’s become unseated. A very common problem.
 
Yep as above, the drain tube is rubbish I upgraded mine with decent tubing.
 

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
ripped the trim off and will be testing the drain tube. If that passes then I will sit in the trunk with the hatch closed and have someone from the outside run water from a hose over it. Maybe I will see where the leak is occurring in real time.
CE5FA534-197F-4DAA-BFB9-04B50114C7FC.jpeg
25E10F6C-8444-4987-8D16-AF97BE60F4FC.jpeg
 

dequardo

Drag Racing Champion
Location
America’s Dairyland
Car(s)
2021GLI Autobahn DSG
The drain tube (lower end) can be diagnosed without any trim removal. Yours looks intact. It’s always possible for an issue at the top end but that’s pretty rare. Good luck!
 

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
The drain tube is functioning as it should. I poured water under the symbol and it immediately drains out from the nipple to the bottom of the hatch.
 

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
Figured it out. It is the foam seal that surrounds the inner tail light. I reseated it and will monitor if water gets in again. If water does get i’ll have to get a new foam seal or make my own with a thicker material.
AB7669D0-5612-40B4-8965-FCAFEFC03A0A.jpeg
66BBE2A9-D735-4DB1-96EB-C0175C2183C3.jpeg


What is curious are the two different lines. I thought I tightened up the tail light, but maybe I did take it out 30k miles ago.
 

Daks

Autocross Champion
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI PP
Where were you leaking? After a heavy rainfall I'll get water pouring down from what looks to be around the left tail light.
 

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
In the pic above where I am holding the tail light, I believe it is the corner right above my thumb, not the corner below my thumb. Or it could be the bend right above the left screw in the middle. One of those two areas.
 

amsr

Ready to race!
Location
Michigan
Check the pressure vents behind the bumper. The seal on the drivers side one failed on mine and I ended up with water in the spare wheel well and under the back seat.
 

Gray_Panther

Go Kart Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
GTi
Check the pressure vents behind the bumper. The seal on the drivers side one failed on mine and I ended up with water in the spare wheel well and under the back seat.
Are you able to provide a picture? This is the first time I am hearing of pressure vents, but it sounds like I should look into it and verify they seal properly. Would hate to get water in that area as well!
 

KyACRASH

Autocross Newbie
Location
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI 6MT, 04 R32
Are you able to provide a picture? This is the first time I am hearing of pressure vents, but it sounds like I should look into it and verify they seal properly. Would hate to get water in that area as well!
I had a bad leak from failed pressure vents. Hatch floor was filled with water and it got so bad it travelled down to the passenger seat floor as well. If you have any water leak make sure and investigate thoroughly because it can lead to a bad mold situation.

This thread documents it pretty well, and here are some pics from my experience.

https://www.golfmk7.com/forums/index.php?threads/water-leak-in-boot.361205/
 

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amsr

Ready to race!
Location
Michigan
Yeah that. Mine didn’t make it to the floorboards but it got under the backseat and caused mold on the seat cushion. The body shop had to fix the vent and replace the trunk carpet and all items in the trunk as well as the back seat bench. It was a total pain. My insurance paid for it, but it would have been like $2k out of pocket due to all of the damage. I noticed the issue when I went to check the spare in august and I had a bad allergic reaction opening the spare compartment. Turns out there was mold on the carpet under the spare.

You’ve never heard of these pressure vents because they don’t usually fail. I guess it’s possible if it was in a collision. But even then, cars are rear ended all day long and my body shop said they’ve never seen this issue due to minor bumper repairs. I think it’s just a bad design. The water runs down the back quarter panel and gets routed over the tail lights and then over these vents before draining out of the car. If the gasket isn’t 100% it leaks into the trunk behind the carpet and ends up under your spare tire and subwoofer. Then when you drive the car it can slosh forward under the back seat.
 
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