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VW California T5 ONLY Roof Corrosion - General Discussion

Where do you have the Roof Corrosion on your VW California?

  • Front panel only

    Votes: 182 36.8%
  • Main elevating roof only

    Votes: 74 15.0%
  • Both Front panel and main roof

    Votes: 238 48.2%

  • Total voters
    494
R

Richard

Messages
52
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Re: Blistering paintwork

Just had a repair under warranty for blistering on the each side of the front panel. Repair involved respray, sealing all round base of the panel with black mastic and fitting new plastic trims to the front end of the awning rails. New trims allow water to drain freely from the roof gutters. Incidentally sealant cuts wind noise significantly.
 
Andy

Andy

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,420
Location
Milton Keynes
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Re: Blistering paintwork

richardbennett said:
Just had a repair under warranty for blistering on the each side of the front panel. Repair involved respray, sealing all round base of the panel with black mastic and fitting new plastic trims to the front end of the awning rails. New trims allow water to drain freely from the roof gutters. Incidentally sealant cuts wind noise significantly.


Great to hear from someone who has had blistering repaired. I assume you are pleased with the job ?
Do you mind telling us who did the repair ?
 
C

carljohns

Messages
7
Re: Blistering paintwork

I'm amazed at how easy going the nice people on here are about their 2 0r 3 year old vehicles corroding.
:clap

For me .... well I'm pretty p@%@ed off !! :headbang

Have a 18 month old Cali with just 6k and have the same problem on both sides.

I know VW will sort under warranty, but surely its not acceptable for a £50k Vehicle to be corroding after just over a year of light use especially a VW ??

Come on VW get it sorted for future owners !!
 
beardie

beardie

Messages
343
Re: Blistering paintwork

Custardtart said:
Aluminium sounds good - that won't corrode badly.

I'd heard the roof itself was Al but didn't think of the spoiler. Makes sense in hindsight.

I guess a repair should be pretty sound then.

True it wont rust but Al corrodes in the presence of salt. I think the front spoiler is made of Al. Mine needed attention from almost new, i.e. i dont think it was corrosion that occurred over time, rather poor painting in the factory.

That front spoiler seems a common problem.
 
Custardtart

Custardtart

Messages
497
Re: Blistering paintwork

I'll keep my fingers crossed then as I live on the coast and things tend to tarnish pretty quick in the sea air.

If it does blister I'll be very disappointed - like someone else said - it's not what you expect from any VW and especially not one in this price bracket.

Worse - what's the long term outlook - will it continue happening on a regular basis long after the warranty is expired?
 
beardie

beardie

Messages
343
Re: Blistering paintwork

Does the vw 10yr anti corrosion warranty apply as its from the inside out?
 
John

John

VIP Member
Messages
1,117
Location
West Sussex
Re: Blistering paintwork

richardbennett said:
Just had a repair under warranty for blistering on the each side of the front panel. Repair involved respray, sealing all round base of the panel with black mastic and fitting new plastic trims to the front end of the awning rails. New trims allow water to drain freely from the roof gutters. Incidentally sealant cuts wind noise significantly.

Hi Richard are you saying that the new black plastic trims are new modified versions of the original trims to allow the water to drain.

I have my Cali, at this time, in for the repair under warranty and the body shop are unaware of any modifications or bulletins. There is also the issue of the cost as they receive so little from VW to do the repair.

John
 
Andy

Andy

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,420
Location
Milton Keynes
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Re: Blistering paintwork

Does anyone know if this problem has been designed out on new models?

Nope I don't think so, at least not of may 2011 when my cali was registered.
There is a list of calis with this problem on one of the European forums, when I last looked there were a lot on the list.

beardie said:
Does the vw 10yr anti corrosion warranty apply as its from the inside out?

The pertinent part of the wording in the warranty, I believe, is that the paint must not be broken ie no chips, dents or scratches as these are obviously damage.
The blistering on the roof is probably caused by either the panel being damp when sprayed in the factory or the aluminium roof panel touching the steel body & a corrosive reaction causing the paint to bubble. So this is a manufacturing fault & covered by warranty.
 
beardie

beardie

Messages
343
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

My first Cali had a paint fault along a considerable length where the folding roof meets the front spoiler. Looked like the paint hadn't dried completely when the spoiler and roof were assembled. I think the painting of the Al spoiler appears to be poorly controlled for some reason
 
steviej

steviej

VIP Member
Messages
74
Location
Epsom Surrey
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

I’ve just had the panel above the windscreen repainted due to very slight corrosion along the upper edge, near where the front of the elevating roof closes. The work was done under warranty via SMG Cowfold, but carried out by a VW approved body shop at Tunbridge Wells called Motorcare.

I am grateful to Alex at SMG who filed the warranty claim and organised the work. I was loaned a T5 van by SMG for the week that my Cali was in for repair. The quality of the repair job is excellent.

My reason for posting this on the forum is that I spoke to Motorcare about this corrosion problem, which according to this forum is not uncommon. I asked if there was anything that they or I could do to prevent the corrosion from reoccurring. Their view was that the problem was caused by the rubber seal chaffing the paintwork and allowing moisture to get at the metal. The suggested solution, once the paint had hardened, was to fit a self-adhesive clear protection film along the length of the gutter that run across the vehicle. This is the gutter that the rubber seal closes into when the elevating roof shuts

The guy that I spoke to at Motorcare said that these clear paint protector films were often fitted to high-end cars to prevent chaffing on door shuts. Modern water based paints are to blame. I have an elderly Mercedes SL that is done in two-pack resin paint and you could take a Brillo pad to it!

I plan to fit one of these paint protector films to my Cali in the new year. Motorcare recommended a company in Essex called Armafend. http://www.armourfend.co.uk/

Has anyone else had experience of this type of product to prevent the roof panel corrosion problem? Perhaps VW should fit the protector film to new Cali’s.
 
smgcowfoldparts

smgcowfoldparts

Trade Advertiser
Messages
1,243
Location
West Sussex
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Apart from friends of mine who have had it fitted on the front of cars to stop stone chips and seeing the results, no direct contact. It is something that I will look into though and how easy it is to fit and what the end result looks like.

I'm glad you are pleased with the finish.

cheers
 
G

gatvol

Messages
495
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Mine is a Dec 2011 model and has this paint bubbling issue. I must say that I am disgusted by this type of problem on a £45k vehicle that has done 4,000 miles when I have spent less than a fortnight in it so far :headbang .

This should be a recall issue, and like all paint problems with cars, needs addressing ASAP before the issue spreads.

I am near Lincoln, is anyone able to recommend a decent dealer in the Notts, Sheff, Lincoln, ,Donny type area that has done a good job for them. I once had a main dealer do some paint on a Nissan and it was a shocking amateur night job. I will happily travel further afield as main dealers can do a lot of damage with paint guns. Independent guys have to sing for their supper as opposed to main dealers where work just walks in through the door

Thanks for notifying the forum about this problem :goodone
 
CannellWalker

CannellWalker

Messages
267
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

We had some warranty paint work done on our Golf by the Gilders group. It came back with overspray on the wheels. Needless to say our Cali won't be going to them for any warranty work.
 
J

Jenny Smith

Messages
7
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Gilders in Sheffield did ours, all under warranty. They fitted the clear plastic film to prevent it happening again. They didn't question it and did it within a week. Only problem was body shop closed roof on canvas. Only noticed a month later but to be fair they fitted a new roof straight away which was a bonus for us as we now have the three windows instead of our original one.
 
calikev

calikev

Administrator
Staff member
Admin/Founder
Messages
15,660
Location
Kettering
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Good result there jenny :thumb :thumb
 
CannellWalker

CannellWalker

Messages
267
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Confirmed what I thought. Don't fancy a new roof.
 
S

Surforswim

Guest User
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

I have a 2010 Cali which goes into Sinclair Motors Swansea next week for this problem to be sorted. I have paint bubbling on both corners of the front cowl, a spot on the leading edge of the panel about 18" in on the passenger side and several large areas of blistering on the back edge which the roof section butts up to. The body shop manager was well aware of the problem when i brought my Cali in and its being dealt with under warranty. As a precaution before delivering it i have taken Photos of my roof canvas and taped instructions for correct operation of the roof to the dash and will leave the supplement manual also hopefully to avoid any damage, you just can't assume people will be familiar with the roof operation. I intended to raise the roof before i leave the dealership not only to check the canvas but also the remedial paint job. Yes i am thoroughly pi**ed off, not with the dealership which has been very helpful but with VW's quality control.
 
viking

viking

VIP Member
Messages
137
Location
Sydenham, London
Vehicle
T5 SE 174 4Motion
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Just read all these previous posts. :shocked Didn't noticed any bubbling of paintwork on my Cali when I last got up on a pair of steps to clean the roof etc. Mine's garaged at the moment it'll be the first thing I look at when I get it out. My problem is my van's way out of warranty (08 REG). But I'm wondering if this problem is only on later vehicles. Have any of these paintwork defects occurred on 2009 and previous vehicles :?:
 
barry

barry

VIP Member
Messages
576
Location
Glasgow
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

viking said:
Just read all these previous posts. :shocked Didn't noticed any bubbling of paintwork on my Cali when I last got up on a pair of steps to clean the roof etc. Mine's garaged at the moment it'll be the first thing I look at when I get it out. My problem is my van's way out of warranty (08 REG). But I'm wondering if this problem is only on later vehicles. Have any of these paintwork defects occurred on 2009 and previous vehicles :?:

Yup, mine. 2007.
 
G

gatvol

Messages
495
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Much as I am disgusted by this issue, in the spirit of fairness I have seen it with another car and I think that I can learn from this so share my thoughts.

In my opinion the early to mid 1990s Mercs are literally the best built cars ever. I have a 94 SL 500 which has a soft top and aluminium removable hard top. All these hard tops corrode in exactly the same place as the Cali, namely where the rubber seal meets the roof at the front corners and at the rear corners where the roof is near the boot. The rear corners do not press against a seal, but some careless people will stand the roof on these rear corners whilst moving it about.

The big difference of course is that with the Merc it took many years to reveal itself - and to be fair to Mercedes, the car was first sold in 1989 when Aluminium was not widely used in mainstream car bodywork. With the Cali, it is less than one year. With the Merc you only tend to fit the hard top once a year as opposed to the Cali where a roof may hit the seal dozens of times a year.

It is not easy to paint aluminium, and i presume that the Cali roof is made of this. also modern paint is water based and does not set as well as older solvent based paint. Logically I think that this means all Cali owners should consider applying the clear plastic film or other similar protection to the metal roof where it touches the seal, as what we are seeing now will just be the tip of the iceberg. A few companies do this film which is applied to stone chip hotspots on many higher end cars like wing mirrors, wheel arches etc.

I will do so in the very near future, so any recommendations of a good protection film fitter would be appreciated. I may be naive here, but this should be a recall matter where vw foot the bill. As a community is it worth the club lobbying vw to do this as the issue with the Merc SL is extremely well known (just look at any car you see, if it has not been resprayed it will have corrosion in all 4 Corners), so it is obvious to me what will happen to every single Cali that is made.
 
D

danny13

VIP Member
Messages
186
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

So to confirm this defect effects all cali's produced from 2005/6 onwards? Does it also include the Cali Beach?
 
beardie

beardie

Messages
343
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

The bubbling paint work I had wasn't evident where the rubber seal touched the front spoiler panel, it was further forward. I am not a paint expert and it's possible that I could be wrong, but I am fairly sure that wasnt the cause. My first Cali had a paint problem in this area pretty much along the length of that panel and looked like the roof was assembled before that panel paint had completely dried.
 
V

viehoffd

Messages
7
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

i have a 2010 cali, the panel above the windscreen in blistering around the edges in a number of places. the bodyshop thought they could fix it on its first trip in. its currently in to have the roof replaced. not happy to be driving a caddy for a couple of weeks as they cannot 'find' a cali or caravelle for me to drive. the nice people at VW tell me that legally they do not have to give me a courtesy vehicle. i will have been to the dealer 8 times in the last 6 months for warranty issues, the dealer does not have a collection service ! At least they have stopped asking me to pay the insurance to take a courtesy vehicle. i love the cali but have an increasingly long list of grumbles with VW. it is taking up a lot of time, emails, chasing phone calls, trips to the dealer....

PS if your sliding door window blind does not work well then take it in to be fixed, do not try to live with it. We also had the sliding window replaced as this broke, again it was always tricky to close.
 
S

src67

VIP Member
Messages
8
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Hi All
I too had paint blistering on my 2010 facelift, it started on the main part of the panel but got worse and eventually spread all along the rubber seal seam where the roof meets the panel.
VW did it under warranty but it took two attempts as the body shop were stopped by VW as they were not sure what they were going to do. The second attempt took 4 weeks, roof off so quite a scary repair. Again the body shop were stopped by VW as this time they hadn't approved the repair but it all seems fine, great van silly fault! Anyone know why the panel is aluminium, only reason I can think of is weight?
 
D

danny13

VIP Member
Messages
186
Re: Blistering Paintwork Front Roof Pannel

Does anyone who's had the misfortune of the blistering paintwork fancy knocking up a photo highlighting where bubbling can occur. Would be useful for those of us perusing the used (and new) market!
 

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