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Greetings, I have a NBC 2005 and a mysterious "soapy" wetness keeps appearing only on the floor board directly behind the driver's seat. This is the only spot on the floor that's wet. I've tested for leaks using a "wand" at the car wash. It hasn't rained in 5 days and I dried it all up last Tuesday. I checked under the rear seat for water bottles or whatever. I checked the spare tire well for water, nothing. Today, Friday, it's wet again. I'm stumped and welcome your insight! :mad::confused:
 

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Greetings, I have a NBC 2005 and a mysterious "soapy" wetness keeps appearing only on the floor board directly behind the driver's seat. This is the only spot on the floor that's wet. I've tested for leaks using a "wand" at the car wash. It hasn't rained in 5 days and I dried it all up last Tuesday. I checked under the rear seat for water bottles or whatever. I checked the spare tire well for water, nothing. Today, Friday, it's wet again. I'm stumped and welcome your insight! :mad::confused:
Have you removed the dash pieces to check the cabin filter area or under plastic below the wipers yet?


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Discussion Starter #3
Have you removed the dash pieces to check the cabin filter area or under plastic below the wipers yet?


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If it were coming from there, wouldn't there be wetness on the front floor carpets? I'm not feeling any wetness nor dampness whatsoever on either front floor boards, nor on the opposite side rear floor board. I mean I could tear all that out, but shouldn't there be a detectable level of moisture on the front floor board carpeting if that were the source? Tomorrow morning I'll give it a shot--will I need any special tools?
 

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Do you have any fogging up of your rear window after the car sits overnight?

Watch the video below.

Buy a cabin filter before you do this, most local parts store have them.

You need to pull BOTH halves of the front dash and take out BOTH of the plastic sealing plates.

Have a vacuum ready as you will have all sorts of trash to clean up under these sealing plates. You likely will find rodent next if the car has sat at all.

To fully clean this area up you need to get a windshield wiper puller and remove the wipers and front plastic cowling as well and clean out under this area. There is also a square rubber plug (about 2" square) under the hood on the passenger side next to the wiring harness which you can pull out and get more trash out from the cowl area.

What you need to understand is the way the carpet and floor board is you can likely have water congregate in the rear floor. For some reason I have found the drivers side to leak water more than the passenger side when the cowl area get plugged up. I also think there could be trash that gets down behind the front wheel and dead pedal area that can leak inside the car, but I have not been able to confirm this yet.

The carpet backing is a thick felt or jute that can hold a lot of moisture as well.

Cabin air filter replacement- Volkswagen Beetle - YouTube
 

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If it were coming from there, wouldn't there be wetness on the front floor carpets? I'm not feeling any wetness nor dampness whatsoever on either front floor boards, nor on the opposite side rear floor board. I mean I could tear all that out, but shouldn't there be a detectable level of moisture on the front floor board carpeting if that were the source? Tomorrow morning I'll give it a shot--will I need any special tools?
Nope, I was just reading about someone having the same issue on his 2003 Convertible and he had water build up behind the drivers seat (it wasn't soapy) and the VW experts told him to take the wiper arms off and then remove the wiper cowl. They also told him to remove the wiper motor in order to get full access to the drain. If it clogs water can pool there and find it's way along the floorboards and exit where it finds an exit which in his and perhaps your case was behind the drivers seat.
You will need a 13mm and 10mm socket wrench to get access. I would also check out the cabin filter under your top dash - passenger side. The seal there could be compromised. If nothing else it more than likely needs to be replaced anyway.
Good Luck with your search.
 

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Not really, today I caught a faint whiff of moldiness and that's what prompted me to feel under the rubber mat (again) to discover the wetness had returned. :mad::mad::mad:
I would remove that rubber mat from behind the seats until you find your issue. The mat traps the moisture and just makes it worse.
 

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If it were coming from there, wouldn't there be wetness on the front floor carpets? I'm not feeling any wetness nor dampness whatsoever on either front floor boards, nor on the opposite side rear floor board. I mean I could tear all that out, but shouldn't there be a detectable level of moisture on the front floor board carpeting if that were the source? Tomorrow morning I'll give it a shot--will I need any special tools?
There are air vents under the front seats, that makes it the lowest point of the interior vent/heating system, that's why it drains there


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Discussion Starter #10
I would remove that rubber mat from behind the seats until you find your issue. The mat traps the moisture and just makes it worse.
Indeed! My thoughts exactly, so I'd take it out and lay it on the ground upside down every time I parked her, plus if it wasn't raining, I'd leave the door open and position her so the sun would hit the carpet to help kill the microbes that cause bad smells.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this water could be seeping somehow down a narrow (very narrow) groove in her metal floor and "pooling" at the lowest point, which is behind the driver's seat? If it's the drains clogged, it would make sense because the wetness returned a short spell after I'd ran the wand over her at the car wash, which would have put more water down into her--what's it called--her cowl?

I'm going to the store this morning to buy the parts to take her windshield wipers and cover off to dig down in there and see what I find. I'll look into getting into her dash as well as for the cabin filter. I bet this is going to be gross. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Do you have any fogging up of your rear window after the car sits overnight?

Watch the video below.

Buy a cabin filter before you do this, most local parts store have them.

You need to pull BOTH halves of the front dash and take out BOTH of the plastic sealing plates.

Have a vacuum ready as you will have all sorts of trash to clean up under these sealing plates. You likely will find rodent next if the car has sat at all.

To fully clean this area up you need to get a windshield wiper puller and remove the wipers and front plastic cowling as well and clean out under this area. There is also a square rubber plug (about 2" square) under the hood on the passenger side next to the wiring harness which you can pull out and get more trash out from the cowl area.

What you need to understand is the way the carpet and floor board is you can likely have water congregate in the rear floor. For some reason I have found the drivers side to leak water more than the passenger side when the cowl area get plugged up. I also think there could be trash that gets down behind the front wheel and dead pedal area that can leak inside the car, but I have not been able to confirm this yet.

The carpet backing is a thick felt or jute that can hold a lot of moisture as well.

Cabin air filter replacement- Volkswagen Beetle - YouTube
No condensation on the rear window after parking. I believe this is because I've been keeping on top of soaking up the moisture and keeping her door open, sun on carpet, to fight the moisture build up. If I'd neglected to do any of these things I would expect to have the window fogging up for sure as that would make sense, good thinking!

I hope I don't find a rodent. I'm likely to barf.

Thanks for all the tips, and I'll watch the vid! My wallet hurts already.
 

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ugh.. just typed up this long post explaining how it's your sunroof drains but now that I see you have a convertible I don't know.

I would inspect the rear drains for the roof to make sure they are clear of debris and also the drains inside the dash for the A/C. Other than that we are looking at faults with the roof itself which I don't think it is since you have no visible leaks when water testing.
 

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ugh.. just typed up this long post explaining how it's your sunroof drains but now that I see you have a convertible I don't know.

I would inspect the rear drains for the roof to make sure they are clear of debris and also the drains inside the dash for the A/C. Other than that we are looking at faults with the roof itself which I don't think it is since you have no visible leaks when water testing.
Only one problem with your theory. She has a convertible and no sun roof :p
 

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Indeed! My thoughts exactly, so I'd take it out and lay it on the ground upside down every time I parked her, plus if it wasn't raining, I'd leave the door open and position her so the sun would hit the carpet to help kill the microbes that cause bad smells.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this water could be seeping somehow down a narrow (very narrow) groove in her metal floor and "pooling" at the lowest point, which is behind the driver's seat? If it's the drains clogged, it would make sense because the wetness returned a short spell after I'd ran the wand over her at the car wash, which would have put more water down into her--what's it called--her cowl?

I'm going to the store this morning to buy the parts to take her windshield wipers and cover off to dig down in there and see what I find. I'll look into getting into her dash as well as for the cabin filter. I bet this is going to be gross. :(
Here is a link that shows you how to remove the wiper arms and the plastic window cowl. No Wiper arm puller is really necessary. I think people are making too much of a big deal about getting the wiper arms off. Just use a bit of Deep Creep or other lubricant/Liquid wrench. Then just wiggle the wiper arm and push down before you try and lift up. That way it loosens up a bit and should come off fairly easily. I had mine off a few times to clean underneath and to sand and paint my old rusted wiper arms.

VWVortex.com - DIY - Removing the windshield cowl and fixing noisy / squeaky wipers on a MKIV car
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ugh.. just typed up this long post explaining how it's your sunroof drains but now that I see you have a convertible I don't know.

I would inspect the rear drains for the roof to make sure they are clear of debris and also the drains inside the dash for the A/C. Other than that we are looking at faults with the roof itself which I don't think it is since you have no visible leaks when water testing.
Yes, she is a convertible--There are drains for the roof and drains inside the dash for the A/C?? Holy cow. OMG if there isn't any video on You Tube for these I'm doomed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here is a link that shows you how to remove the wiper arms and the plastic window cowl. No Wiper arm puller is really necessary. I think people are making too much of a big deal about getting the wiper arms off. Just use a bit of Deep Creep or other lubricant/Liquid wrench. Then just wiggle the wiper arm and push down before you try and lift up. That way it loosens up a bit and should come off fairly easily. I had mine off a few times to clean underneath and to sand and paint my old rusted wiper arms.

VWVortex.com - DIY - Removing the windshield cowl and fixing noisy / squeaky wipers on a MKIV car
Thanks so much Tom. I'll get some lubricant too--All I have now is WD-40 and I don't dare spray that on her.

After I get finished tearing her apart and putting her back together, I am going to have a double martini--with two olives--and toast to becoming an official "tinkerer."
 

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Thanks so much Tom. I'll get some lubricant too--All I have now is WD-40 and I don't dare spray that on her.

After I get finished tearing her apart and putting her back together, I am going to have a double martini--with two olives--and toast to becoming an official "tinkerer."
WD 40 should be fine. Not as powerful as Seafoams Deep Creep but should do in a pinch.

Too bad I am not closer I would be happy to lend you a hand especially in holding that Double Martini for you :D
 

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No Wiper arm puller is really necessary. I think people are making too much of a big deal about getting the wiper arms off.
Absolutely NOT. Maybe they changed the way the wipers connect on the newer models, but I can absolutely confirm there was NO way my wiper arms were coming off without a arm puller. Soaked with something or not. I have actually removed the arms many times on my car and because of the tapered spline I need to use the puller each time. I was trying to be lazy at one point after the arms were removed and I tried to get them off without the puller, would not move at all.

So I think the appropriate response would be if you cannot easily remove your wiper arms by hand, even after soaking them with something, you should use a wiper arm puller as to not damage anything.

The pullers are only around $10. If you cannot wiggle the wipers off, you WILL need a puller. Do no risk damage to your plastic cowling or your windshield.

I even tried a block of wood and a prybar, there was no way my wiper arms were coming off. I then decided it was not worth damaging anything so I purchased a puller like this from my local Advance Auto Parts - OTC 4676 Windshield Wiper Puller : Amazon.com : Automotive

Another suggestion it to take some tape and make the parked position of the wiper arms on the windshield as this will save you some time. Also be careful not to mix up what arm goes on what side, very easy to do if you do not pay attention.

You probably still have the orignal cabin air filter in your car, you will likely find that rodents may have been up under the plastic access covers under the dashboard, you will see the fiber insulation chewed and balled up if this is the cars. You will likely find enough mulch to cover a small garden plot as well depending on what area of the country the car has been located in, where it has been parked and if anyone has actually ever cleaned out the cowl area.

I can say I am an expert cowl cleaner now as it took 3 attempts to really get EVERYTHING out of my cowl and channels around the ECU & ABS modules.
 
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