Ask anybody who is familiar with the words “rust repair” what the one thing you want to avoid is. Go ahead, ask. Ask any Mopar fan, or anyone who lives in the snow belt areas. You want to avoid salt, and you want to avoid prolonged exposure to moisture that sits, encouraging oxidation of metal. Leaving a car in the rain isn’t going to kill it. Leaving a car underneath an evergreen tree that sheds needles like my cats shed fur in the rain for thirty years will kill it…it’s why I no longer own a 1973 Chevelle. And ask anybody who was associated with the fiasco that was the “Miss Belvedere” 1957 Plymouth time-capsule from Tulsa what a ton of standing water can do for sheet metal. Here’s a hint, folks: fifty years submerged in a cement holding tank turned an already rust-prone Plymouth into a car with the tensile strength of spring roll wrap. Lots of sitting water plus sheetmetal is never a good thing.
Apparently, the first-generation VW Group large SUVs (the Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, and Audi Q7) have a really neat feature that some owners are learning about: the ability to retain water like a dehydrated camel. Vehicle owners are hearing the sounds of small fish tanks sloshing around within the rocker sills and cowl drains. The cowl drain plugs up with debris and fills like a swimming pool, and as for the sills…well, you might even see a bump in fuel mileage once you drain some five-odd gallons of water out. It’s not that it’s uncommon…any car with plugged drain points can take on water…but the sheer volume that comes out of this rig should show you what it’s all about. Remember, this is one sill…there’s still the other side, plus both sides of the cowl drain to take care of on one of these SUVs!