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Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo
Published by GrahamL
02-07-2010
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Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

FIAT Grande Punto


Water leak, Rust at Brake Servo : Details + fix


I've seen this issue mentioned by a few people and have just discovered that my own 3 year old GP, which I bought around a month ago, was also affected.

The problem is that the seal on the hatch in front of the wiper motor has failed, so when water runs into the drain channel and down the drain holes below the windscreen, instead of running into the proper internal drain hole as intended it can flow out of the gap at the lower edge of the hatch and out onto the bulkhead. From there the water soaks into the covering of the hatch and continues down the bulkhead onto and around the brake master cylinder where it finally lies in a channel just below the master cylinder, where the vacuum hose enters the brake servo.

If not fixed, this area will eventually rust through completely, allowing water to run right into the driver's footwell and soaking the carpet.

Now for some pics highlighting the problem areas.

Here you can see the drain channel, the hatch is angled so that water entering the drain holes runs directly down the rear of the hatch:

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Check this cover for staining, caused by water leaking from the lower edge of the hatch seal:

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You'll need to unscrew a plastic washer from just below the master cylinder on the left side, to pull back the covering and inspect the bulkhead/plate for signs of rust.

The water lies in this channel and will eventually completely rust through the plate attached to the front of the brake servo, allowing water to flow into the driver's footwell area:

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With the covering pulled back you can see the hatch clearly:

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To remove and check the seal on the hatch we need to firstly remove the plastic panel below the wipers (scuttle panel). To do this remove both wiper arms (secured by 13mm nuts) and the 3 fixing screws, then pull off the rubber seal along the lower edge of the panel and the clips securing the 2 seals at each side where it seals against the bonnet.

The scuttle panel should now lift away and you can pull the hatch forward to inspect the seal.

As shown below, mine had completely failed and was cracked/hardened, allowing water to flow out of the gap and down the outside of the bulkhead towards the brake master cylinder.

You can also see the proper drain hole here (above the right arrow), where the water should drain:

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The original seal looks like some kind of spray on foam, which was obviously totally inadequate for the job, so I removed what was left of it and sealed around all 3 sides with Sikaflex 221, as shown here:

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With that done, the water from the windscreen area now flows properly over the inside of the hatch and down the drain hole as intended, however I noticed that a little water was still able to drip from the rubber drain channel onto the brake servo vacuum hose and run down towards the point where the hose enters the brake servo.

This may not cause any problem but since I already had rust in that area I wanted to keep it as dry as possible, so I found that by rotating the rubber drain 180 degrees (so that the cut section is facing the front of the car rather than the back) the water drips completely clear of all the brake hoses.

This pic shows the rubber drain rotated 180 degrees:

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You'll have to check on your own car if it's necessary to also rotate the rubber drain piece, the water may already clear the brake servo vacuum hose OK, so only rotate this if necessary and then check that it's not dripping onto the alternator instead.

The final pic is the schematic of the brake servo (1) and master cylinder (2), showing that there's a gasket and plate (6) between the brake servo and the bulkhead, so at least this rust doesn't seem to be directly affecting the brake servo itself.

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Thanks PuntoR60SX, x Alex x, mickbr71, custard, Andy Monty thanked for this post
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Old 02-04-2011   #1
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

i have the same problem, just bought my Grande punto sporting 1.9jtd and after washing it yesterday i went to vac it out and discovered a soggy carpet and water behind the drivers seat in the recess where the left hand mounting (looking from the rear seat) of the drivers seat bolts to the floor, still not discovered where it came from.
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Old 04-04-2011   #2
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

As a follow up here's a pic of how I sealed over the rusted area and filled the channel where the water was gathering, using the same silicon sealer (sikaflex 221).

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This was done about 8 months ago and there seems to be no further deterioration of the rusted plate.
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Old 05-04-2011   #3
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

thanks for this GrahamL a very good clear informative guide having seen this i went and checked mine and guess what
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fortunately it was only surface rust and the metal was still sound


so i set to work one thing i did find the two top retaining clips are hard to undo and i ended up snapping one of the pegs (more on that later)


found the best way was to press against the pin with a pozzi driver to hold it back then pull the clip off with a flat driver slid in behind a bit of spray oil on the pin wouldn't be a bad idea either to help it slip off

the vac pipe and outlet pipe off the servo get in the way too and rather than mess about and struggle I took the executive decision to break out the best kitchen scissors and make two neat cuts to enable the soundproofing to be bent out of the way.... (this also makes any subsequent checks much easier (or so i keep telling myself )



anyhow thats enough musing over what i have done already

broken one clip and cut the soundproofing

i then got a brass spark plug cleaning wire brush and removed all the loose rust and cleaned it back

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im fortunate to have an air line so i blew the channel clean and dry then rinsed with flash degreaser (brake cleaner will work fine) and allowed to dry

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longer standing members will know about my Bilt Hamber fettish

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i applied 2 coats of Hydrate 80 rust converter and left to dry fully (read the instructions that come with it)

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then overcoated that with Bilt hamber Dynax UB (under body wax which is more resistant than the original Dynax)



then left to dry before refitting the trim


i broke one of the top clips so to repair
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i drilled a pilot hole were the peg was
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and used a small self tapping screw
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and the finished repair
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Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Massive gash
Quote Originally Posted by EmmaM88 View Post
Just a little touch up

Last edited by Andy Monty; 05-04-2011 at 22:24.
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Old 06-04-2011   #4
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Nice work!

Where did you get the materials you used Andy?
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Old 06-04-2011   #5
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

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What Goes Up Must Come Down.....

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Massive gash
Quote Originally Posted by EmmaM88 View Post
Just a little touch up
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Old 07-04-2011   #6
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Nice work Andy.

Guys this is so sad... I fear a whole resurrection of "rusty Fiat" jokes
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Old 19-04-2011   #7
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Anyone else have trouble getting the wipers off? Mine seem to have rusted in place..

I've stuck some 3-in-1 on them and hope to remove them tomorrow if they losen up...
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Old 19-04-2011   #8
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Quote Originally Posted by Moose_UK View Post
Anyone else have trouble getting the wipers off? Mine seem to have rusted in place..

I've stuck some 3-in-1 on them and hope to remove them tomorrow if they losen up...


you need a puller

take care as they can shear with too much force they are cast


you ideally want a small gear puller see top few pics here

http://www.fiatforum.com/grande-punt...placement.html
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What Goes Up Must Come Down.....

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Massive gash
Quote Originally Posted by EmmaM88 View Post
Just a little touch up
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Old 12-05-2011   #9
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Hi All I also seem to have this problem where there is perforation around the Brake Servo unit, doesnt Fiat offer a 6 year body warranty against Corrosion? Also would the Authorized Fiat dealers have the Manufacturer's update on how to deal with thsi problem by now or are we better off just fixing it by ourselves as per the procedure on the Sticky?
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Old 11-08-2011   #10
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Hi i was having the same problem ,spoke to fiat they knew about the problem and they adviced me to buy the drain pipe that is on the passenger side as it is longer ,so far my car is dry
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Old 06-01-2012   #11
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

What happens if it's already rusted through and water is coming in? These all seem to be prevention rather than cure? I need cure ;-/
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Old 19-01-2012   #12
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Thanks.....
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Old 27-06-2012   #13
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

Bless ya.. How on earth you found this, got such clear pictures and most importantly got you hands in such a tight space is beyond me and much appreciated.. Had the same prob made worse by the fact that my car is parked backwards down a severe slope so rear footwell has been a part time pool.

I've put some silicone in the channel and hope that its dine the job..
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Old 21-11-2012   #14
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Re: Fix for water in footwell/Rust at brake servo

best ''do it yourself '' ever concerning the built flaws of the car. is any one in fiat listening and watching? this is how its done.
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