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The mildew smell in my 02 A4 is very strong. I started looking around and found black mold growing on the side of the door panels of all 4 doors. My search ended when I looked at the bottom of the door panels, they were completely black with mold.

All four door seals in my 02 A4 are retaining water. When it rains hard enough, water collects at the bottom of each door. The water is then wicked onto the bottom of the door panels causing mildew/mold.

I removed all 4 door panels and removed the black mold with cleaner and scotch bright pads. After cleaning everything, I reinstalled the door panels thinking I had fixed the problem only to find the door seals and the bottom of the door panels still get wet after a hard rain. This would likely lead to more mold so every time it rains I open all 4 doors and let the seals air out and dry.

I have no idea what is happening - why is water getting behind the rubber door seals!? Should I apply silicone sealant between the rubber seal and the door? The door seals are in good shape and appear to be properly installed.

Help!
 

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Have you checked the drainage holes on the bottom of the doors as sometimes these can get blocked by silt and road dirt especially after a bad winter.

If these were blocked rain and moisture would build up behind the door panels and could give you the type of mould that you are getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
t-sport,
The drain holes are not clogged. I'm starting to believe the problem is somewhat normal after reading several post on the Audi group on google (http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.audi)
Found this post on alt.autos.audi:

...article in a mortoring magazine in the UK highlights the
problems encountered by one owner with her new car when it rains. She
maintains that the seats in her new car - and her children - get a drenching
every time they get out of the car. Audi's response was that with any
'gutterless' car there will be some ingress of water. Moreover, the problem
with this particular car is not uncommon with other A3's, apparently.

and another post:

***Graham <[email protected]> wrote:
>One thing I've noticed on my A3 in the UK is that if it rains
>(which is does a lot in Scotland), then on opening the
>driver's door there is a lot of surface water on the footplate
>(probably the wrong term, but I dont know what its called).
>Is this normal or should I get it looked at ? It doesn't get
>any further into the cabin as far as I can tell.


I believe it's normal. I had the same effect on mine and, after further
investigation, what seems to happen is that any water running off the
body along the rubber door seals ends up on the footplate by design. If
you look carefully, you'll notice that the bottom rubber door seal
actually seats onto the door frame just above the footplate, IYSWIM.***

I said earlier 'somewhat normal' because it appears water does collect on the footplate after a hard rain on other Audis. The problem with my A4 ('02 B6) is the water gets behind the rubber seal. The collected water then wicks or creeps onto the bottom of the door panel creating the chance for mold. I think my only option is to apply a silicone sealant between the door and the seal in the affected area.
 
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