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Short description: I have a 2011 S-Line Sportback (which I own, not under warranty) and I'm having issues with water getting into the spare wheel compartment, as well as both rear boot side compartments. It's not every time it rains, it seems to be random times, sometimes a lot more than others. It seems to collect on the spare wheel but has also shorted out electrics in both side compartments. I can't seem to find where the water is coming in, despite reading many threads on various Audi boot water issues. Apologies if I have missed a thread, but I can't seem to find anything with this issue, relating to the Sportback model.

Long description (incase it helps diagnose anyone else's issues early on!): Last October (2019), I had an issue where all the centre console electrics and sound system went off. Having found it all runs on the fibre loop, it went into Audi for diagnosis. They charged £100 for pretty much a basic OBD test and said it would be a further £280 to test and clarify which part of the fibre loop/MMI system was the issue! (before any repair/parts cost!). I eventually managed to bypass the Service rep (more like sales rep!) and speak to one of the service chaps, who suspected the B&O amplifier had failed. Without paying the extra £280, I got it home and took the Amp out, to find that there was obvious signs of water damage, which appeared to have been dripping from above. I sent the amp to boserepairexperts.co.uk (who were fantastic) and they confirmed the amp was fried by water damage. They repaired (for around £250), shipped it back and after plugging it back in and changing the necessary fuse, all the electrics came back on as normal.
At that time, I could not find any sign of water in the side compartment, but they included a plastic amp cover, and I also resorted to bubblewrap over the top of the amp, to keep any further water droplets off.

After around 4-5 months of all working fine, in February, my passenger side front door speaker suddenly started farting away with a terrible burning smell, which was constant when the car was running, both with the sound system on and off. The only remedy was to take out the main fuse for the MMI system. I replaced the door speaker with a used but fully working speaker and found the previous one was clearly fried and had even melted all the plastic on the back of the speaker cone. Plugged the MMI fuse back in...and the same nosies happened again. After immediately taking the fuse back out, I shipped the amp back up to Bose Repair Experts, to be checked out as it was under 12 months warranty. They confirmed that it was again, water damage. But this time, unlike before, it was not from above, but was somehow capillary attraction, getting into the amp from underneath, despite it being on the raised plastic stand. After repairing for a second time, B.R.E. advised lifting the amp up off the stand, which is what I have now done with a few 6mm plastic washers and some slightly longer bolts, and I haven't had any further issues with this. (picture below of raised amplifier unit)

178243


Since having this issue, I've had no signs of water getting into the left-side compartment where the Amp is located. None of the foam has been wet and there has been no visual indication of water leaks.
However... I've now noticed there has been substantial water collecting underneath the boot floor, on top of the spare wheel. It does not seem to be collecting anywhere other than here, although there does look like condensation on the metal parts holding in the battery, etc. I can't for the life of me work out where or how this water is getting in to this point. I will add that the whole of the inside of the boot, bootliners, carpets etc is all bone dry.
This is an intermittent issue as if I leave the boot floor flap open, it does dry out. After heavy rain sometimes I've checked it and there has been no water, other times there has been lots of water and it's hardly rained. We have been having a lot of rain over the last 6 months or so in rainy England, which doesn't help.

Here's a couple of photos of how the water is collecting on/around the spare wheel:

178244

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It usually does not however, seem to fill the spaces next to the wheel (although this could be that it drains through this cardboard-type liner material)

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To make things worse, a couple of days ago, my airbag warning light came on as well as a "Parking Brake Malfunction" and "Start/Stop System Malfunction". I believe these are somehow linked, and I believe the Electronic Parking Brake module is located in the right-side rear compartment. There is now some TINY signs of water in this compartment (never been any signs of water this side before). So I expect it's highly likely that water has somehow now fried this EPB module.

Generally all the rubber seals around the back end of the car look okay. I've done a few tests (with my limited (but common sense) capabilities), being inside whilst someone is hosing the outside, etc and have not had any luck. It's all always bone dry. I've also done a test drive in the wet, to see if it comes from the spray/wheels and it has still been bone dry. But on another day, when not being tested, all the water will be back on the spare wheel.

I don't normally use forums, but just wondered on the rare chance that someone has had a similar problem and has a resolution any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated. There are various water leak posts, but seem to be very few for the Sportback variant.

I think my next task will be to remove all the interior trim right back and do more investigating. I also have not really investigated to see if it's getting in somewhere due to the rear lights / light seals.
 

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Sounds like a nightmare mate. All I can offer is that I have a 2012 coupe. I had a water issue and it was saturating the foam at both sides of the boot. It was traced to the boot seal which looked fine but the mechanic stripped out the boot and lay inside while someone hosed it. He ended up lying in it while it was driven and saw the water coming in the bottom of the seal. I was told that water can come in around the boot stops and that can blow the amp, but I never got this problem. There are also vents under the lights that apparently let air pressure release outwards. I had small grains of dirt in the foam which I thought would have been coming in these vents, but again, that was a red herring.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

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For sure you need to clean the drain holes in the boot cos yours are not allowing the water to drain away.....
 

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Short description: I have a 2011 S-Line Sportback (which I own, not under warranty) and I'm having issues with water getting into the spare wheel compartment, as well as both rear boot side compartments. It's not every time it rains, it seems to be random times, sometimes a lot more than others. It seems to collect on the spare wheel but has also shorted out electrics in both side compartments. I can't seem to find where the water is coming in, despite reading many threads on various Audi boot water issues. Apologies if I have missed a thread, but I can't seem to find anything with this issue, relating to the Sportback model.

Long description (incase it helps diagnose anyone else's issues early on!): Last October (2019), I had an issue where all the centre console electrics and sound system went off. Having found it all runs on the fibre loop, it went into Audi for diagnosis. They charged £100 for pretty much a basic OBD test and said it would be a further £280 to test and clarify which part of the fibre loop/MMI system was the issue! (before any repair/parts cost!). I eventually managed to bypass the Service rep (more like sales rep!) and speak to one of the service chaps, who suspected the B&O amplifier had failed. Without paying the extra £280, I got it home and took the Amp out, to find that there was obvious signs of water damage, which appeared to have been dripping from above. I sent the amp to boserepairexperts.co.uk (who were fantastic) and they confirmed the amp was fried by water damage. They repaired (for around £250), shipped it back and after plugging it back in and changing the necessary fuse, all the electrics came back on as normal.
At that time, I could not find any sign of water in the side compartment, but they included a plastic amp cover, and I also resorted to bubblewrap over the top of the amp, to keep any further water droplets off.

After around 4-5 months of all working fine, in February, my passenger side front door speaker suddenly started farting away with a terrible burning smell, which was constant when the car was running, both with the sound system on and off. The only remedy was to take out the main fuse for the MMI system. I replaced the door speaker with a used but fully working speaker and found the previous one was clearly fried and had even melted all the plastic on the back of the speaker cone. Plugged the MMI fuse back in...and the same nosies happened again. After immediately taking the fuse back out, I shipped the amp back up to Bose Repair Experts, to be checked out as it was under 12 months warranty. They confirmed that it was again, water damage. But this time, unlike before, it was not from above, but was somehow capillary attraction, getting into the amp from underneath, despite it being on the raised plastic stand. After repairing for a second time, B.R.E. advised lifting the amp up off the stand, which is what I have now done with a few 6mm plastic washers and some slightly longer bolts, and I haven't had any further issues with this. (picture below of raised amplifier unit)

View attachment 178243

Since having this issue, I've had no signs of water getting into the left-side compartment where the Amp is located. None of the foam has been wet and there has been no visual indication of water leaks.
However... I've now noticed there has been substantial water collecting underneath the boot floor, on top of the spare wheel. It does not seem to be collecting anywhere other than here, although there does look like condensation on the metal parts holding in the battery, etc. I can't for the life of me work out where or how this water is getting in to this point. I will add that the whole of the inside of the boot, bootliners, carpets etc is all bone dry.
This is an intermittent issue as if I leave the boot floor flap open, it does dry out. After heavy rain sometimes I've checked it and there has been no water, other times there has been lots of water and it's hardly rained. We have been having a lot of rain over the last 6 months or so in rainy England, which doesn't help.

Here's a couple of photos of how the water is collecting on/around the spare wheel:

View attachment 178244
View attachment 178246

It usually does not however, seem to fill the spaces next to the wheel (although this could be that it drains through this cardboard-type liner material)

View attachment 178247

To make things worse, a couple of days ago, my airbag warning light came on as well as a "Parking Brake Malfunction" and "Start/Stop System Malfunction". I believe these are somehow linked, and I believe the Electronic Parking Brake module is located in the right-side rear compartment. There is now some TINY signs of water in this compartment (never been any signs of water this side before). So I expect it's highly likely that water has somehow now fried this EPB module.

Generally all the rubber seals around the back end of the car look okay. I've done a few tests (with my limited (but common sense) capabilities), being inside whilst someone is hosing the outside, etc and have not had any luck. It's all always bone dry. I've also done a test drive in the wet, to see if it comes from the spray/wheels and it has still been bone dry. But on another day, when not being tested, all the water will be back on the spare wheel.

I don't normally use forums, but just wondered on the rare chance that someone has had a similar problem and has a resolution any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated. There are various water leak posts, but seem to be very few for the Sportback variant.

I think my next task will be to remove all the interior trim right back and do more investigating. I also have not really investigated to see if it's getting in somewhere due to the rear lights / light seals.
I’m having similar issues with my 14 reg A5 sportback. Have you manage to diagnose the problem with yours?
Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’m having similar issues with my 14 reg A5 sportback. Have you manage to diagnose the problem with yours?
Thank you.
So it turned out to be a few different things/causes after various diagnosing. Everything pretty much sorted now - I was intending to update this thread with all the solutions when I got round to it, so I'm happy to help.

There is lots of info about water, etc getting into the Coupe but not much at all about the back end of the Sportback models.
Let me know what of the issues you are having and I'll be happy to help or at least give some advice on things to check.
 

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So it turned out to be a few different things/causes after various diagnosing. Everything pretty much sorted now - I was intending to update this thread with all the solutions when I got round to it, so I'm happy to help.

There is lots of info about water, etc getting into the Coupe but not much at all about the back end of the Sportback models.
Let me know what of the issues you are having and I'll be happy to help or at least give some advice on things to check.
My problem currently it’s just the water collecting occasionally on the spare wheel (exactly like in the photo you posted) and on the lining of the sides of the compartment patches of mold have started to appear. It appears to be dry everywhere I looked but it really stinks. Any suggestions?
Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Apologies in advance for the long reply, just trying to be helpful as possible to anyone with similar issues! Hopefully the pictures come up okay.

Firstly - an update to the above - the Airbag warning light / parking brake malfunction / start,stop malfunction were NOT related to water in the boot. This was a failure with the Airbag Control Module (located under the centre console), which just happened to go at the same time as my other issues! When the ACM goes, the automated features (electric parking brake & auto start stop) stop working for safety reasons, as the car thinks it wouldn't be able to trigger airbags properly in an emergency. Once the airbag module was replaced (around £900 total for anyone interested) this problem was sorted.

So on to water in boot, which I've resolved by process of elimination. I've also (since writing the original post) over time had various issues with water in different locations (more below).

I would suggest drying it out as much as possible before trying each step so you can see what makes a difference.

1. It sounds obvious, but check the obvious. One of the most common ways of water entry is the boot seal. Check all round the seal to make sure it's a tight fit, there's no rips or holes (other than where air is allowed to escape), etc and also make sure it's all clean, wipe it all round with a cloth, etc.

2. Next open the boot and check the lid for any dents - this was my first issue - dents in the drivers side of the boot lid. Sometimes bag straps, etc can get caught in the boot when you close it and you won't think anything of it at the time. This sort of thing can actually easily cause minor dents where a water tight seal won't happen when the boot is closed.
See picture below - When I noticed this, I went in the boot and had someone hose the back of the car. I could even see water trickling in where these dents are! I managed to fix this in an afternoon (for about £10) with some ISOPON P38 body filler, sandpaper and some black paint I had from a previous Audi. Wasn't perfect, but 99% of the time no one sees it and it was good enough to follow the line of the boot to make a nice seal. This stopped this point of water entry and appeared to reduce the general amount of water that was collecting in the spare wheel well.
Before:
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After:
179644


3. If there's no visible dents in the boot lid and the seal all looks good, you'll want to narrow it down a bit further. I would suggest leaving a towel covering the floor of the boot, or better, open out and lay down cardboard to cover as much as you can, so after rain (or even a hose over) you should be able to see/feel if anything is damp. If anything is wet, you should be able to see more of a location. The picture below was of a cardboard box that was left in my boot, on the passenger side and made it obvious quite a bit of water was still making it's way in.
I then found that there was another TINY dent (same as my point 2 above) which I didn't spot when checking the boot lid first time round - even the slightest gap against the seal can let water in! As you will see at the bottom, water was collecting the wrong side of the boot seal, and somehow soaking it's way through the carpet as this area was all damp.
This little dent was repaired the same as above and water hasn't since collected where it is circled below, or made any of this side carpet damp.

179645


4. Not sure which models this applies for, but on my 2011 Sportback, it's a bad design where water collects just under the back window glass (pictured below) and runs off into the boot as soon as the boot is opened. This then runs down under the boot floor and into the spare wheel well.
(I'm tempted to silicone the length of the back window to fill this gap where water collects...just don't want to ruin the look of the outside!)
179646

179647

If this is the same with later models - it's definitely worth putting some towels where the red circles are above to collect any water that falls when opening the boot and seeing if this does the trick. This is probably the simplest and easiest way water can enter.

It's worth noting that during the colder nights etc, any moisture or water that makes it's way into the boot or spare wheel compartment at any time, will settle on anything cold and metal (i.e. the spare wheel like in my original post), and can also soak into the spare wheel well lining.

After doing all the above steps, I had drastically reduced the amount of water getting into the boot and it was no longer settling on the spare wheel like in the photos in the original post. However there was still a little bit, just really collecting on the left hand side next to the subwoofer.

179648


Unfortunately there was also still a small amount of water getting to my amplifier (located in the left-hand side compartment) which has recently tripped out again and was off for repair a second time. This has given me some time to find this leak too, which I now seem to have fixed (next point...)

6. Again, not sure which models this applies for - at the top of the boot opening, where the hinges are, there are some plastic surrounds, one either side. On my car, these were very dirty and on the left side, was covered in grime and dirt from probably the last 10 years. This dirt was actually underneath this bit of plastic too, meaning it was not sitting exactly where it should and that water could get in behind it. This is also the first point water coming off the roof would hit.

These are the bits I'm talking about...
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After removing them (picture left - this was even after I'd wiped the worst off) I cleaned them up with warm soapy water and they came up good as new (picture right)

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Whilst they were out, I cleaned up all around where they sit too. After doing some water tests, this hole circled below was how the water was getting in to the inside of the bodywork and was then running down the inside to above the amplifier (where it was dripping on top of) and also making it's way further down to the lowest point as shown above next to the subwoofer.
I believe it was these dirty bits of plastic that were lifting the pin up, that normally sits in the hole circled below, just enough for water to come off the roof, get under the plastic and get inside.


179652


This was them all cleaned up and back in place:

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After doing this - I've had about 2 weeks of water tests and natural rain tests, both the side compartments and all parts of the wheel well have been bone dry. I've also been all the way round these bits of plastic with some Granville Black Silicone Sealant (£3.99 on Amazon) just as a precaution, although probably just keeping them clean and seated correctly would do the trick.

I hope these things above can help anyone with similar problems. Some quick tips I've learnt along the way...

1. Don't use a hose like most people suggest - take it slow and use a watering can. Also good as you can leave the boot open and work round etc. Water can get in the smallest gap/hole/crevice, so unless it is an issue that means water can actually 'flow' in that you'll be able to see, I would advise starting near the bottom of the car working your way up, and empty a whole watering can on various joints, seals or anywhere you suspect, or just consider might allow water in. Then give it a minute and see if there is any change after each lot of water, check it drains away as it should and check there are no damp patches appearing anywhere. If no change, move on to the next joint/seal, etc and empty a can over that. You get the idea. You're much more likely to find a non-obvious leak this way, rather than blasting a hose over it from all directions.

2. Take off as much trim from the inside as you can. Trim can nowadays be hard to remove and re-fit as there are so many hidden clips and screws to make it all look nice from the inside. But at a minimum, you'll probably want to just pull anything like carpet out the way.

3. Use sheets of paper (coloured best!) or cardboard to leave in places inside that you suspect of water drips, etc. If you leave this through heavy rain then check the next day, you'll be able to visually see exactly where any droplets have landed. If you use a towel, it may just feel damp but it's harder to see an exact point on a towel.

4. You'll be surprised how much difference generally keeping rubber seals and bits of plastic clean can do. Everyone washes the outside, but just going round door/boot seals, etc with a cloth can make a difference and stop the build up of dirt, etc causing any issues.

I've been asked a few times directly and on another forum about this (relating to sportback models), so thinking about doing a video talk-through on some of the things above...if I get round to this I'll post a link.
 
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