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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: 179 36.8%
  • Main elevating roof only

    Votes: 74 15.2%
  • Both Front panel and main roof

    Votes: 234 48.0%

  • Total voters
    487
DavidofHook

DavidofHook

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Messages
865
Location
Hampshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Mercedes are replacing roofs on the Marco Polo which are GRP. Some are on their 2nd replacement roof.
We had a GRP roof on our T4 California and it started to show signs of stress after 9 years. It started with the name on the front starting to peel off. The rest seemed ok at that point but I thought it was a message to upgrade and moved to our current T5. It did have 4 big black bolts in the centre of the roof which always struck me as a weak point.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Messages
353
Location
London
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
It was was flagged by SMG Cowfold on my 2012 beach during a service 1.5 years ago and so they put me on the waiting list but explained that it would be a long wait as only a handful of garages are authorised by VW to carry out the work; But not sure now if I want the work carried out given some of the posts on the forum. I only have a few small minor bubbles on the paint.
My van is a 2008. It bubbles a little and then some years it seems to disappear. Given it’s not actually rust I’ve decided to leave it be.
 
A

aclowes

Messages
10
My 2013 T5.1 SE is due to go go to Marshall’s in Newbury for the main roof galvanic corrosion warranty repair.
I would be interested to know if anyone has had the repair carried out at Marshall’s, any feedback would be much appreciated.
Still undecided as to whether to trust VW with the repair after reading some of the stories on here or to foot the bill and use a recommended independent.
Does anybody have any recommendations of a suitable independent?
Thanks in advance.
How did you manage to get VW to repair your roof corrosion ? They flatly refused to repair mine when the van was 6 years and 6 weeks old ."None structural parts are not covered by the 12 year corrosion warrantee" The 6 year limit was strictly applied. Or was my dealer just useless at dealing with VW?
 
SusiBus

SusiBus

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We managed to get an extra three years warranty, which l can assure you wasn't easy. At some stage there has to be a cut off point. Yes it's a shame that you were only 6 weeks over the deadline. I'm sure anyone who registered their complaint within 6 years, will have the issue addressed.
 
Azteccamper

Azteccamper

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Messages
500
Location
Swansea Valley.
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I don’t think so, in the U.K. if there is corrosion present on the edge of the elevating section, minor corrosion is dealt with at the Dealership and major at a body shop before the tape is applied. There is No Cost for any repairs required.
Apparantly all California’s from 2010 onwards are covered, in the U.K.
Sorry for dragging this up WG, but Sinclair‘s have just said that VW has refused my claim for repairing corrosion around the edge above the rubber strip (they repaired the front panel in 2017 due to corrosion).
I have written to VWCS for an explanation, but was hoping you could help by telling me where you gained the above information, if at all possible?
Thanks in advance. Pete
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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19,093
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Sorry for dragging this up WG, but Sinclair‘s have just said that VW has refused my claim for repairing corrosion around the edge above the rubber strip (they repaired the front panel in 2017 due to corrosion).
I have written to VWCS for an explanation, but was hoping you could help by telling me where you gained the above information, if at all possible?
Thanks in advance. Pete
Have you had the workshop recall and the fitting of the clear plastic tape beneath the rubber roof seal?
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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Sorry for dragging this up WG, but Sinclair‘s have just said that VW has refused my claim for repairing corrosion around the edge above the rubber strip (they repaired the front panel in 2017 due to corrosion).
I have written to VWCS for an explanation, but was hoping you could help by telling me where you gained the above information, if at all possible?
Thanks in advance. Pete

Post 4109

57D2EEE7-7A95-4EC7-B951-270F3BBEEF1D.jpeg
 
KGCali

KGCali

Retired and still young at heart!
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Messages
452
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
@Azteccamper Your VW dealer should have mentioned the elevating roof corrosion recall at your last service, they don't inform you directly. You can show your dealer this recall notice...

Screenshot_20210620-220313-029.png
 
briwy

briwy

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2,991
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Matlock & Pyrenees
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
The tape wasn't always fitted on the roof repair. Ours had a new seal without the offending metal clips in it. The new seal is stuck on. IMO the tape is yet another bodge. If the metal clips are still there then they will bite through the tape to grip the metal which is what they are there for.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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1,483
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Barcelona, Spain
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T5 Beach
The tape wasn't always fitted on the roof repair. Ours had a new seal without the offending metal clips in it. The new seal is stuck on. IMO the tape is yet another bodge. If the metal clips are still there then they will bite through the tape to grip the metal which is what they are there for.
This is the first time I have seen someone point out that gluing the new seal is a workaround for eliminating the inner steel layer who's job is to give the seal a structure that will grip the roof, and was the source of the problems. I just thought it was a way to stop us from checking for new corrosion. Very interesting.

I have never had the heart to check to see if my new seal was glued on at the roof repair in 2019, because there was nothing I could do about it if it were. But clearly no plastic tape was installed around the perimeter, just a few short strips at the front where it meets the cap. Now I will check, and if it's glued, will hope that it's because there's no internal steel strip in the seal.
 
Ozzy Pete

Ozzy Pete

Messages
226
Location
Carmarthen
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
This is the first time I have seen someone point out that gluing the new seal is a workaround for eliminating the inner steel layer who's job is to give the seal a structure that will grip the roof, and was the source of the problems. I just thought it was a way to stop us from checking for new corrosion. Very interesting.

I have never had the heart to check to see if my new seal was glued on at the roof repair in 2019, because there was nothing I could do about it if it were. But clearly no plastic tape was installed around the perimeter, just a few short strips at the front where it meets the cap. Now I will check, and if it's glued, will hope that it's because there's no internal steel strip in the seal.
When ours was done around 3 years ago we were told that they would sand the paint off down to the bare aluminium. Then they use a “Special primer” to paint over the bare Aluminium. Then they GLUE a new rubber seal on so you absolutely cannot take it off to check underneath. I suppose the idea of this “Special primer” elevates the chance of the paint top coats bubbling up again. I gave our van a really good clean all over a few days ago and paid particular attention to the area above the new rubber seal.. There was no paint bubbling above it at all. So it looks like it did the job.
 
KGCali

KGCali

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452
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Essex
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
The tape wasn't always fitted on the roof repair. Ours had a new seal without the offending metal clips in it. The new seal is stuck on. IMO the tape is yet another bodge. If the metal clips are still there then they will bite through the tape to grip the metal which is what they are there for.
I'm not sure this is correct, as far as I'm aware VW have never produced a roof seal without the metal clips inside the rubber. There were early instructions to glue the roof seal back on but these were updated and no glue was to be used, just the seal removed, paint cleaned or repaired then taped and the seal gently refitted or replaced if damaged/rusting.

See VW Guru's post ...
Post in thread 'Just announced - T6 recall for roof corrosion beneath the seal' https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/thread...-corrosion-beneath-the-seal.26856/post-324017

My 2010 T5.1 roof was done in Aug2019 by Lookers North Shields with the roof removed, resprayed, edges taped and a new rubber seal (with metal clips) fitted without glue, they did a great job.

Screenshot_20210621-192923.png

Screenshot_20210621-192936.png

Screenshot_20210621-192958.png
 
Last edited:
briwy

briwy

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I'm not sure this is correct, as far as I'm aware VW have never produced a roof seal without the metal clips inside the rubber. There were early instructions to glue the roof seal back on but these were updated and no glue was to be used, just the seal removed, paint cleaned or repaired then taped and the seal gently refitted or replaced if damaged/rusting.

See VW Guru's post ...
Post in thread 'Just announced - T6 recall for roof corrosion beneath the seal' https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/thread...-corrosion-beneath-the-seal.26856/post-324017

My 2010 T5.1 roof was done in Aug2019 by Lookers North Shields with the roof removed, resprayed, edges taped and a new rubber seal (with metal clips) fitted without glue, they did a great job.

View attachment 80414

View attachment 80415

View attachment 80416
Well that is definitely what happened to ours. I was shown the seal with no metal before they put it on.
 
SusiBus

SusiBus

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Well that is definitely what happened to ours. I was shown the seal with no metal before they put it on.
Isn't the metal band encased within the rubber on a new seal? So if made correctly, you shouldn't be able to see it. There aren't separate clips that would cut through the magic tape are there?
 
KGCali

KGCali

Retired and still young at heart!
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452
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Essex
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Isn't the metal band encased within the rubber on a new seal? So if made correctly, you shouldn't be able to see it. There aren't separate clips that would cut through the magic tape are there?
Correct the metal band is bonded inside the rubber but it may eventually wear then rust and cause aluminium galvanic corrision that's what the tape is supposed to prevent. If the rubber seal is damaged on inspection VW should repair any corroded bodywork, paint it, tape the edges and fit a new rubber seal. No separate metal clips :)
 
SusiBus

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I remember someone posted on the forum a long time ago, that they were able to inspect the new seal prior to it being fitted. The metal band was already exposed, and not encased in the rubber, and was rusty !
 
ArunAlec

ArunAlec

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West Sussex
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T5 SE 180
I remember someone posted on the forum a long time ago, that they were able to inspect the new seal prior to it being fitted. The metal band was already exposed, and not encased in the rubber, and was rusty !
I think over time the metal band will cut it’s way through the rubber then the clear tape due to the movement of the roof.
 
SusiBus

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Roof corrosion history, it's all coming back to me now.
When this was under discussion back in 2012/13. One member actually managed to find a manufacturer in the US, who made seals that had plastic tensioner insert inside instead metal, therefore negating the risk of any corrosion taking place.
Perhaps they weren't suitable for application to California roof, or perhaps no one ever got to mention it to VW. If they are suitable it would have certainly saved VW a whole shed load of money. Perhaps it's a modification to come on the T6.2.
 

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