Clogged drains in the Passat

VWvortex Forums: Squishy/Liquid sound when I put on the brakes, white smoke, CEL – Hurray!

returned from Brookline VW. Sure enough, they neglected to check the
squishy brake sound so I had to wait while they did. Turns out the
plenum drains are clogged and the brake booster is under water and will
need to be replaced at $900 plus the master cyclinder may also need to
be replaced which would add $300. And because clogged drains are
considered normal wear and tear, none of this is covered under the

The service rep said he recommends clearing the drains twice a year. And our conversation went something like this:
Me: I never had a car that I had to do that for. Is this a common problem, the clogged drains?
VW: Yes
Me: How would I know to clear the drains twice a year? I didn't see anything in the manual about that.
VW: No, it's not in the manual. It's just something we recommend.
Well I've been bringing the car in to you regularly for various things
(some of which is detailed here: ) plus for the regular
periodic maintenance, like the 30,000 a couple weeks ago. Have the
drains ever been checked or cleared?
VW: No, we don't do that unless you ask us to.

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