Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop


VW California T5 ONLY Roof Corrosion - General Discussion

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

  • Front panel only

    Votes: 177 36.7%
  • Main elevating roof only

    Votes: 73 15.1%
  • Both Front panel and main roof

    Votes: 232 48.1%

  • Total voters
    482
KGCali

KGCali

Retired and still young at heart!
VIP Member
Messages
281
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Anyone ever removed the plastic cap over the front cowl to see what's going on underneath, surely the original aluminium will continue to corrode?
 
Last edited:
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,668
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Of course it is a manufacturing issue.
That is why (and because of the millions, or at least thousands of California's (all of them) suffer the same problem since 2004 or 2005) VW has finally caught up with the problem and is still trying to find a decent solution.
Let's all hope that this solution will be the end of our problems.
Although I don't see how the 2 small stripes of clear tape on the front spoiler here:
View attachment 64257
and here:
View attachment 64258
will solve this white stripe in the middle:
View attachment 64259

Excuse my ugly pictures. It's more cleaned now.
Have you got a clean picture of the exact corrosion on your roof?

I've got a bubble on mine, i've flicked the paint of it now, its about the size of a
big thumb but cut off just where it bends.
Mine is on the front panel under the roof seal.
I'll post a pic when i get it out of the barn next week.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
16,702
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Thanks. The general body shop owner down the road thinks some of it is caused by stone chip damage and suggested applying clear 3M tape to protect the capping.
The panel above the windscreen is solid, not hollow, so you won’t be drilling into it. It is not corrosion as in rusting, but Galvanic Corrosion caused by close proximity of dissimilar metals. Very common on the old Land Rovers with a steel chassis and aluminium alloy body panels.
 
TripleBee

TripleBee

Messages
2,483
Location
melkwegstelsel
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
IMG_20200128_123244.jpg
Back, right side, roof.
IMG_20200128_123354.jpg
Left, side, somewhere halfway. You see the front mechanism.
IMG_20200128_123402.jpg
A bit further to the left front.
linker bult.jpg
Left side front spoiler.
middenstuk.jpg
Middle (sorry for not cleaning it first).
rechter bult.jpg
Right front side, front spoiler.

This was in 2015, the original front spoiler.
I wished they had just resprayed this one, instead of taking it off and putting on a new one.
I didn't know they were going to put on a new one, otherwise I would have insisted in just respraying it on the van.
It's not big, but I didn't like it, and it was under warranty.
I don't have pictures of the original blistering on the roof, but it were little dots just above the rubber.
That time they also put on a complete new roof. If I knew then what I know now, I would have insisted in respraying the original roof.... :mad:
I don't blame them, I really blame VW for no decent solution for this 15 year old problem, without decent outcome.
IMGP0915.JPG
Excuse my ugly looking index finger.. :Iamsorry
 
KGCali

KGCali

Retired and still young at heart!
VIP Member
Messages
281
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
View attachment 64707
Back, right side, roof.
View attachment 64708
Left, side, somewhere halfway. You see the front mechanism.
View attachment 64709
A bit further to the left front.
View attachment 64710
Left side front spoiler.
View attachment 64711
Middle (sorry for not cleaning it first).
View attachment 64712
Right front side, front spoiler.

This was in 2015, the original front spoiler.
I wished they had just resprayed this one, instead of taking it off and putting on a new one.
I didn't know they were going to put on a new one, otherwise I would have insisted in just respraying it on the van.
It's not big, but I didn't like it, and it was under warranty.
I don't have pictures of the original blistering on the roof, but it were little dots just above the rubber.
That time they also put on a complete new roof. If I knew then what I know now, I would have insisted in respraying the original roof.... :mad:
I don't blame them, I really blame VW for no decent solution for this 15 year old problem, without decent outcome.
View attachment 64714
Excuse my ugly looking index finger.. :Iamsorry
I thought they just covered over the original cowl with a plastic one, not removed the original, especially if it's solid as @WelshGas stated above.
 
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,668
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
View attachment 64707
Back, right side, roof.
View attachment 64708
Left, side, somewhere halfway. You see the front mechanism.
View attachment 64709
A bit further to the left front.
View attachment 64710
Left side front spoiler.
View attachment 64711
Middle (sorry for not cleaning it first).
View attachment 64712
Right front side, front spoiler.

This was in 2015, the original front spoiler.
I wished they had just resprayed this one, instead of taking it off and putting on a new one.
I didn't know they were going to put on a new one, otherwise I would have insisted in just respraying it on the van.
It's not big, but I didn't like it, and it was under warranty.
I don't have pictures of the original blistering on the roof, but it were little dots just above the rubber.
That time they also put on a complete new roof. If I knew then what I know now, I would have insisted in respraying the original roof.... :mad:
I don't blame them, I really blame VW for no decent solution for this 15 year old problem, without decent outcome.
View attachment 64714
Excuse my ugly looking index finger.. :Iamsorry
I have never taken my roof seal off so who knows
what's under there.

A few glasses of milk should sort your finger nail out,
looks like a bit of calcium deficiency :D
 
Elmo3

Elmo3

VIP Member
Messages
531
Location
Wales
Vehicle
T5 Beach
The panel above the windscreen is solid, not hollow, so you won’t be drilling into it. It is not corrosion as in rusting, but Galvanic Corrosion caused by close proximity of dissimilar metals. Very common on the old Land Rovers with a steel chassis and aluminium alloy body panels.
Is it best just to do a superficial repair every few years then? Difficult light I know but you can see the blistering along the leading edge of the windscreen. The side on photo is the worst bit in the corner (you can also see what I mean about the faded roof).

D5E7A201-D5FA-433C-9001-2B180CC9E8CB.jpeg0BD42ABA-1CA3-4061-AA11-D0537C712308.jpeg
 
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,668
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Is it best just to do a superficial repair every few years then? Difficult light I know but you can see the blistering along the leading edge of the windscreen. The side on photo is the worst bit in the corner (you can also see what I mean about the faded roof).

View attachment 64715View attachment 64716
Your seal looks like its not touching the front panel.
Has the van had a roof job done already?

As for the roof fading, the sides look okay-ish from that picture,
could it be that the roof has never ever been cleaned on top?

Maybe try T-cutting and waxing a small area.
 
Elmo3

Elmo3

VIP Member
Messages
531
Location
Wales
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Your seal looks like its not touching the front panel.
Has the van had a roof job done already?

As for the roof fading, the sides look okay-ish from that picture,
could it be that the roof has never ever been cleaned on top?

Maybe try T-cutting and waxing a small area.
I’ve checked with VW and there is nothing on the system about any roof work being done (apart from a new bellows fitted a few years ago by VW). There are no leaks and we’ve have a heck of a lot of rain. Might benefit from a new seal, could be perished from all the sunshine in Spain. Might try some polish on the roof, may just lift the appearance but of course you can’t see it from ground level!
 
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,668
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
I’ve checked with VW and there is nothing on the system about any roof work being done (apart from a new bellows fitted a few years ago by VW). There are no leaks and we’ve have a heck of a lot of rain. Might benefit from a new seal, could be perished from all the sunshine in Spain. Might try some polish on the roof, may just lift the appearance but of course you can’t see it from ground level!
It could be that the roof just needs a good clean and polish, as
no-one has ever done it.
I will post a pic of my roof seal next week, I'm sure there is no gap
between the panels, but it could be shrinking.
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
708
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
View attachment 64707
Back, right side, roof.
View attachment 64708
Left, side, somewhere halfway. You see the front mechanism.
View attachment 64709
A bit further to the left front.
View attachment 64710
Left side front spoiler.
View attachment 64711
Middle (sorry for not cleaning it first).
View attachment 64712
Right front side, front spoiler.

This was in 2015, the original front spoiler.
I wished they had just resprayed this one, instead of taking it off and putting on a new one.
I didn't know they were going to put on a new one, otherwise I would have insisted in just respraying it on the van.
It's not big, but I didn't like it, and it was under warranty.
I don't have pictures of the original blistering on the roof, but it were little dots just above the rubber.
That time they also put on a complete new roof. If I knew then what I know now, I would have insisted in respraying the original roof.... :mad:
I don't blame them, I really blame VW for no decent solution for this 15 year old problem, without decent outcome.
View attachment 64714
Excuse my ugly looking index finger.. :Iamsorry
View attachment 64707
Back, right side, roof.
View attachment 64708
Left, side, somewhere halfway. You see the front mechanism.
View attachment 64709
A bit further to the left front.
View attachment 64710
Left side front spoiler.
View attachment 64711
Middle (sorry for not cleaning it first).
View attachment 64712
Right front side, front spoiler.

This was in 2015, the original front spoiler.
I wished they had just resprayed this one, instead of taking it off and putting on a new one.
I didn't know they were going to put on a new one, otherwise I would have insisted in just respraying it on the van.
It's not big, but I didn't like it, and it was under warranty.
I don't have pictures of the original blistering on the roof, but it were little dots just above the rubber.
That time they also put on a complete new roof. If I knew then what I know now, I would have insisted in respraying the original roof.... :mad:
I don't blame them, I really blame VW for no decent solution for this 15 year old problem, without decent outcome.
View attachment 64714
Excuse my ugly looking index finger.. :Iamsorry
Is it best just to do a superficial repair every few years then? Difficult light I know but you can see the blistering along the leading edge of the windscreen. The side on photo is the worst bit in the corner (you can also see what I mean about the faded roof).

View attachment 64715View attachment 64716
If that was mine I would have a go myself..Mask Everything off really well..Rub it down really well and give it a good coat of acid etch for Aluminium in a rattle can. Then rattle can top coat and lacquer..OR get a mobile repairer to call and do it for you..Shouldn’t cost that much...
 
Elmo3

Elmo3

VIP Member
Messages
531
Location
Wales
Vehicle
T5 Beach
It could be that the roof just needs a good clean and polish, as
no-one has ever done it.
I will post a pic of my roof seal next week, I'm sure there is no gap
between the panels, but it could be shrinking.
Found some Auto Glym paint renovator in the garage. Might give it a go on the roof.
 
briwy

briwy

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,877
Location
Matlock & Pyrenees
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Just to clarify. When the plastic cap is fitted most of the original alloy one is removed. A small secrion is left at the rear as the alliy cap is structural ro strengthen the roof when the hole is cut out for the elevating roof. The plastic cap then fits over the remains of the alloy one which explains why it is slightly higher than the original. The problems arise because they seem incapable of sealing the plastic cap. Hence the leaks and wind noise. I've said numerous times that IMO its best to get a decent body shop to deal with it. OK you will have to pay but your van wont leak like a sponge and have to go back four times like ours. No way would we buy another Cali because the design is still the same.
 
TripleBee

TripleBee

Messages
2,483
Location
melkwegstelsel
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
This is the repair kit, apart from the paintwork (which VW refuses to do on mine because of too old).
New rubber for the roof, roll of plastic tape for the roof edges, 2 stickers for the front spoiler.
The touch up pencil is an extra, not included in the package.
IMG_20200825_124737.jpg
 
KGCali

KGCali

Retired and still young at heart!
VIP Member
Messages
281
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
This is the repair kit, apart from the paintwork (which VW refuses to do on mine because of too old).
New rubber for the roof, roll of plastic tape for the roof edges, 2 stickers for the front spoiler.
The touch up pencil is an extra, not included in the package.
View attachment 65090
How old is your Cali? Mine is 2010 and has gone in this week to have the roof edge corrosion repainted and the repair kit fitted under the recall, I did report it last August so it's taken a while!
I'll report back on how it goes later, estimated 2-3 weeks to complete the repair.
 
hotel california

hotel california

18 'till i die....
Staff member
Moderator
Top Poster
VIP Member
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
10,415
Location
Antwerp
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
@TripleBee , when did you registred your Cali for the corrosion problem . If i recall correct it needed to be done before a certain age . Then time could go over until the actual repair but once registred within time VW repaired every roof .
What dealer was it you used , did you try a other (decent) one ?
Now VW sold you the rubber,ect you could do it yourself or look for a decent body shop. Alltough i personal would not let just any bodyshop/garage toutch my Cali (personal choice)?

VW does only sand the edges down and respay for the moment , apply tape and new seal , now you have those you can dicide yourself . You even could just leave things as they are if not that worse and deal with it over time .
There's noting structrural wrong with the roof .

What did they charged you for the seal and tape?
EDIT : i read in a other thread you did not pay for it , strange they just gave it to you ...
I think they just are trying to hold you of ...first say they don't repair it becose to old then giving you the repair kit ...strange .
 
Last edited:
TripleBee

TripleBee

Messages
2,483
Location
melkwegstelsel
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
@TripleBee , when did you registred your Cali for the corrosion problem . If i recall correct it needed to be done before a certain age . Then time could go over until the actual repair but once registred within time VW repaired every roof .
What dealer was it you used , did you try a other (decent) one ?
Now VW sold you the rubber,ect you could do it yourself or look for a decent body shop. Alltough i personal would not let just any bodyshop/garage toutch my Cali (personal choice)?

VW does only sand the edges down and respay for the moment , apply tape and new seal , now you have those you can dicide yourself . You even could just leave things as they are if not that worse and deal with it over time .
There's noting structrural wrong with the roof .

What did they charged you for the seal and tape?
EDIT : i read in a other thread you did not pay for it , strange they just gave it to you ...
I think they just are trying to hold you of ...first say they don't repair it becose to old then giving you the repair kit ...strange .
They didn't sell this to me.
VW doesn't apply the repair to vans older than 7 years. The dealer can only claim the parts to VW, but not the corrosion treatment, because my van reaches 11 years.
Any other dealer will give me the same answer.
Then I told them to give me the parts because I will do it myself.
I will first knock on vw's door (again) and try to find their answer.
My first corrosion repair was done 5 years ago, and now 5 years later it has returned, out of warranty and no coulance anymore...
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
708
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
When we had ours done we were told that originally VW would prepare the roof where it had corroded and bubbled up then respray and fit new rubber seal. However this was obviously costing them a lot of money so when ours was done we were told that they would be taking the paint off down to the metal just up to the top of the rubber seal..They then treat the metal with a preparation that VW had sent them , then actually glue a new seal in place. Which is exactly what they did..It is impossible to move it.. Regardless of whether this is the method that is used now or not that’s what happened with us 2 years ago. This was done in Sinclairs VW van centre in Gorseinon..Have have taken a close look at the area above the seal to see if anything has started to reappear but I can’t see anything..I’m not bothered if the rubber seal is loose or stuck as long as it looks ok that suits me.
 
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,668
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
This is the repair kit, apart from the paintwork (which VW refuses to do on mine because of too old).
New rubber for the roof, roll of plastic tape for the roof edges, 2 stickers for the front spoiler.
The touch up pencil is an extra, not included in the package.
View attachment 65090
Hé maat, kun je wat informatie delen?

Is that tape that you have from Tesa? Is there a number
on it - like - 51206.

I would use some on my front panel under the rubber if i can get the right one.
 
TripleBee

TripleBee

Messages
2,483
Location
melkwegstelsel
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hé maat, kun je wat informatie delen?

Is that tape that you have from Tesa? Is there a number
on it - like - 51206.

I would use some on my front panel under the rubber if i can get the right one.
Ich wähle immer noch meinen Kumpel selbst :cool:

The tape costs € 22,20 Ohne MwSt at VW, for 8 meters.

The Tesa number is 52994.

The two little pieces for the front spoiler cost €3.10 without VAT each.
But they are specially pre curved.

Please wash your hands very good before applying, because I saw a new California in a showroom once with the tape applied afterwards, and there was a magnificent black fingerprint on the glue side!
 
Top