Roof leak – drain holes blocked?

Tuesday 11th June 2019

I got in the car to move it earlier this morning and it started as normal, drove as normal BUT flagged a warning message that Auto Stop/Start was disabled and also the park assist back & front failed to work at all….

I went to an appointment 10 miles away with the auto start/stop warning still there and no other issues.

When I left the appointment 2 hours or so later and turned on the car it again gave me the same error….park assist not working and auto stop/start error…

More worryingly a half mile down the road the binnacle lights flashed all lights then went out completely, as did the PCM screen, the car continued to drive but also the lights (all exterior) were out too.

I came home the 10 miles on the M1 and just before getting on it the lights came back on and again all other aspects of the car were fine.

Pulling up on the driveway I stop/started the car to try to replicate the problem (see video below)

In essence the car runs but there is a weird two tone horn sound when the ignition is switched on, the auto stop/start fails, as does the park assist….

I’m aware dampness in the seat area can cause problems with the electrics (ECU under passenger side?) and sure enough the carpet under the passenger seat is damp…

I’m guessing water has got in and caused the problems??

Now the killer question WTF do I do to sort it out!?

Do I need to dry the area and how do I do so (does the seat have to come out?)

and why the weird beep sound, whats that about?


Tuesday 11th June 2019 cont/d

…still not had any follow up from my August email to Silverstone OPC….they’re not going to do anything for me on this….probably claim ‘outside force’ as is their favourite

Thursday 13th June 2019

RPM cant book it in for close to 2 weeks (and my guess is it’ll be with them for a week plus too)….it’s still sat on the driveway…I had to use the Cayenne last night as I can’t rely on the 981….if the weather was far better I’d sit it on the drive with roof down to dry it out….but its still raining so not sure what to do 🙁

Friday 14th June 2019

So I just spent about an hour on the car…

I couldn’t get the car roof into service mode (I cant get the rear window past the rubber seal near the rear boot!?)

…see the pictures below, basically the rear of the roof (blue arrow) won’t push past the front edge of the boot surround/seal (yellow arrow).

I can’t figure out which hole is the drain tubes…..although prodding around with my cleaner tool resulted in a shed load more water draining from the bottom of the car…the area marked with the blue arrow seemed to be the place but I couldn’t see an entry hole and vision was definitely impeded by not being able to get the roof in service mode I think.

I assume the output hole under the car is covered by the plastic car undertray (which I’m not up to taking off).

The video below is after I moved the car and before I inserted the tube in the drain hole (or rather what I think is the drain hole!). The car is on a very slight slope.

Having inserted my tool the full 1 metre or so into the abyss I pulled it out and it was wet and slightly dirty and the same thing happened again i.e. water draining from the rear undertray.

…having done all that I looked at the area where the ECU is under the passenger seat…now the day before yesterday it was damp but not overly drenched…holy cow there was water enough I could have rinsed my feet in it (about 2-3 inches)…

So I went about using a tea towel to try to soak it up, wringing it out then repeating…the amount of water was immense and I didnt seem to be making a dent in it (I think the car is now on a slight slope so as I drained some it ran to the lowest point again (where I’m draining it from)…

Her indoors had a blinding idea….the Vax Machine in the shed!

Connecting it up and shoving the nozzle into the hole in the carpet by the ECU and 2 minutes later I have a full Vax…I empty it and go at it again, it gets most of the liquid out in literally 1-2 minutes (I’d spent 15 minutes with the tea towels beforehand making little dent in the water level).

I also used the Vax to suck some water out of the carpet too…

I finished up with a fresh tea towel soaking up the last bit (at least that which I can get to).

So the car is drier, the drain holes ‘may‘ be cleared (but as I can’t be sure I got the correct place, or that I pushed any debris out, there’s no guarantee).

Bottom line is I don’t have the time, the knowledge, a dry area to store the car and it’s still bloody raining so I have to book it in somewhere to sort it and potentially hire a car to ease the burden on the family vehicle!

I also need to figure a way to make sure the car doesnt take on more water and as we no longer have a garage that could be problematic!

follow up later on the 14th June 2019…

RPM told me that the way to resolve this is to clear the drain holes, remove the seat, the carpet and dry out everything (which takes time).

Once done, leak test the car by closing roof and spraying it with water.

All being well then refit everything BUT it may involve a new ECU (and more than one depending upon the options the car was specified with).

When asked how much in labour and costs for ECU etc he said they hadn’t really seen this on a 981 but have dealt with similar on 987 and 986’s….the last one was 16 1/2 hours labour and a single ECU for a total cost of £2300!

Saturday 15th June 2019

So Ive been keeping an eye on the dampness, trying to see if water is still coming into the car as a result of the continues wet weather.

I think I can safely say its not getting worse except the odd bit of dampness settling in the ECU area (its raised on a platform and wet was only minor in the pan on which the raised bit sits, not the ECU itself). I’ve used a bit of kitchen roll to soak up the minor dampness that was there.

I’ve also figured that I should do something about the damp seat belt. It’s damp as you unravel it. So I pulled it out to its full extent and wrapped it around the seat and gear stick to make sure it stays fully extended, and can dry naturally.

Picture below, this dried in about 24 hours as a result of this action 🙂

Wednesday 19th June 2019

So the weather has been drier and a little warmer (still only about 18c) BUT this gives me the opportunity to try to dry the car out a little more.

The car is booked into RPM to have drain holes checked/cleared and decide on any additional actions needed but if I can dry the car out before next Tuesday then it will save time (and money!) with that process….

So I connected up a fan heater and left the car closed and getting nice and toasty for the best part of the afternoon. I mainly work from home and sit at a desk looking out at the car so I could also keep an eye on it whilst this was happening too.

Friday 21st June 2019

continued drying with the fan heater….you can see at the rear of the seat rails there is no longer any pooled water in the carpet (which is a slight low point) which is a very good sign.

Also feeling the area under the seat where the ECU is, there is little dampness now too.

I’d noticed there was also wet under the passenger floor mat (only slight dampness I think caused by capillary action) so that was pulled out so the carpet underneath could dry too.

I also hired this puppy for use whilst the 981 is out of action!

0-60 is nippy enough, anything over 60mph feels like you are driving on the edge and the steering is plain odd…

At low speeds its ok, at higher speeds it seem overly sensitive/slightly wooly and I’m constantly over-correcting. Hertz via Costco car hire (at £130 for 8 days!)

Next week we have an eGolf on hire from the EV Centre in CMK at £85 for a whole week!