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Leaking roof seal

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be1t0n

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Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what might be causing this before I book it in at VW again.

A while back I had them look at a leak in the roof which they said was caused by a damaged drainage pipe. The issue hasn't gone away.

Water appears to be getting through the roof seal somewhere and soaking the outside of the canvas, and eventually getting through to the upstairs mattress. The roof has never been open in the rain but had water pouring off it this morning after the rain last night.

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Jabberwocky

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That looks like a lot of water getting in there! You say the roof has never been up in the rain. I assume then you have had your Cali from new. The very front roof seal looks to me as it has been "leaking" in a number of places. If so this will allow fine dirt to get into the waterways and possibly block the front "A" post drain/s. Have you checked them?
If I may ask......has anyone washed your Cali roof up with a hose? (Sorry!! I had to ask) also, been through a car wash?
 
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be1t0n

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Had it from new. Only around 1100 miles on it. Never been through a car wash and it hasn’t been washed with the roof up.

it only appears to be getting through on the passenger side as the canvas on the drivers side in totally dry.
 
MartG

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I know you've got a bungee but there's no possibility of any fabric being caught in the seal from last opened?
Roof fully closed down at passenger side?
It looks very like the seal has been breached with a lot of water.
 
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be1t0n

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I know you've got a bungee but there's no possibility of any fabric being caught in the seal from last opened?
Roof fully closed down at passenger side?
It looks very like the seal has been breached with a lot of water.
I don't think so. I always check it if it's been up to make sure. There was a bit of a leak last year that VW looked at and supposedly fixed but this looks to be the same thing.
 
Jabberwocky

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1: The very front roof seal. It should not let in this much water. Is it sealing with the roof cap? If not get VW to fix it - Warranty issue.
2: Are your "A" post/pillar drains working? If not water levels can build up and breach the height of the canvas/body seal. If blocked they need clearing. DIY or dealer action required (not a warranty issue I'm afraid).
Let us know how you get on.
 
hotel california

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Chances are that the roof was not closed fully on one side and you have been driving or sitting in the rain and water got in that way.
 
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be1t0n

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This has been an ongoing problem. VW have already had it in to look at so if the roof isn't closed fully then it's a manufacturing issue.

The roof looks to be sealing (but obviously isn't) and the bungee is doing it's job and no fabric is getting caught.
Following the huge downpour we had this afternoon I went out to have a look at what state it was in and, although drier than yesterday (which I would expect as it only had 1 day to fill with water), it was leaking again. Same entry point. It appears to be coming through the canvas at the point where it joins the roof just above the strengthening strip (pic below). You can see a droplet on the inside as well as smaller droplets o the metal. The question is "how is this point getting so wet"?

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MartG

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Is the headlining, above the upper bed wet? Just wondering if there is some way water is getting in from the roof rail... Odd that there is drops on top of the canvas, which would be top-most when folded in roof down position.
May be worth checking with roof open and a hose... or laying a sheet of polythene over the folded canvas as the roof closes to try and eliminate the ingress from outside the bellows, then checking the sheet after rain..
 
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be1t0n

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Is the headlining, above the upper bed wet? Just wondering if there is some way water is getting in from the roof rail... Odd that there is drops on top of the canvas, which would be top-most when folded in roof down position.
May be worth checking with roof open and a hose... or laying a sheet of polythene over the folded canvas as the roof closes to try and eliminate the ingress from outside the bellows, then checking the sheet after rain..
The headlining has been getting slightly wet. Over Christmas I found. patch in the corner over the passenger seat that was soaked through.
 
MartG

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The headlining has been getting slightly wet. Over Christmas I found. patch in the corner over the passenger seat that was soaked through.
Do you mean the roof headlining, which would be above the folded bellows or the cab headlining? I'm suspicious if it's the roof as the water would have to 'travel' through and up the bellows material to reach the roof lining. Not impossible with wicking effect, but would seem to imply a leak from the roof top area, or water ingress through the top rubber seal of the bellows, which would be high up under the roof 'eaves'...
 
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be1t0n

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Do you mean the roof headlining, which would be above the folded bellows or the cab headlining? I'm suspicious if it's the roof as the water would have to 'travel' through and up the bellows material to reach the roof lining.
The roof.

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westfalia

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I know you've got a bungee
That was my initial thought,
could it be that the roof drains are blocked and the canvas
is sucking the moisture up.

A wild guess i know but stranger things have happened.
 
MartG

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It's odd that this happens with the roof down though, I can understand if the drains were blocked with roof up or a leaking roof seal, but that's a lot of water... It can only get in there through the rubber seals or roof rail?
 
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be1t0n

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That was my initial thought,
could it be that the roof drains are blocked and the canvas
is sucking the moisture up.

A wild guess i know but stranger things have happened.
Drains aren't blocked. I checked them tonight and water drains straight through.
 
MartG

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When you pop the roof open, does the outside of the bellows at that corner seem wet (wetter than the inside)?
I'm just trying to suss if you think the leak is external or internal to the bellows...

edit - maybe forget that - I see from your first pic how wet it is...

There's a lot of stitching there, and at the reinforced section, which doesn't offer much waterproofness, which may cause the water to wick in...
It has to be the rubber seals....

Is that corner a low point when you're parked up?
 
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MartG

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A trick is to raise the roof an inch or so and place some 1x6 inch wide strips of paper into the seal, lower the roof, and try and remove the strips. It should be obvious by looking at the seal though with that amount...

I'd be tempted to dry the channel and apply some temporary tape across the roof seal and hose it carefully for a while or check after more rain, for more ingress...
 
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be1t0n

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Will give this a go. Have booked in with VW at the end of the month to get it sorted anyway.
 
Perfectos

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It must be an absolute pain, with an issue like this.
As the risk of stating the obvious

Have you checked the recessed roof Chanels to see if :

A) the plastic end cap are seated correctly
B) all the fixings (rivets) are present and correct (in the channel)

With the roof up are all the fixings in the body panel ( especially at the front sides of the roof where the roof seal meets the fixed bodywork) correctly sealed with factory mastic type material ? Should be a thin white film over all fixed parts.

Agree with the paper pinch method for checking the seal,
The seal(s) should grip the paper otherwise it is not sealing fully.

The front lower seal looks like it’s being depressed.(compressed)

The front mesh window like like it quite wet ?

Is the top seal seated properly on the front leading edge of the roof?

I recently had a roof seal replaced, the dealer fitted under warranty, however they did not fit the inner skirt part of the seal correctly to the front curved profiles ( both sides near the edge of the roof) if water had passed through the top (upper) part of the seal where it grips the roof panel, it would have been able to get inside the roof area, a little tweaking of the rubber seal curves sorted it, although it would have to be fairly severe IMO to let a volume of water pass.

Is the canvas skirt seated properly at the bottom and top plastic seal that attaches the canvas to the roof panel and fixed part of the van, I have seen these pull out ?

Do you park on a relatively level surface ? Ie do you park on a slope nose down ?

You mention that the dealer “repaired” a damaged roof drain ? Did they take out the headlining to replace the entire tube ? What did the repair entail ?

The fact that the water appears be above the headlining in the raised roof section would probably discount an issue with the drain tubes themselves (which if faulty would allow water water to back up in the channels and overflow into the cab headlining area, therefore I would suggest checking everything above that level or backwards from that point to ensure everything is sealed, over the entire roof length.

Can you remove the comfort light in the elevating head lining (seen in photo 5 of your first post) and see if there is evidence of water / moisture in the void / on the back of the lamp/ wires etc.

Is the elevated roof lining damp at the back after the roof has been raised for a period of time ?

all of the above sounds obvious I know, but just trying to prompt lateral thinking to discount certain things and identify possible areas where the issue may be occurring.

More questions that Answers, but I hope it give you a few additional thing to check and discount.

May be worth asking @VW Guru for his thoughts ( top man and VW Cali master Tech)
 
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