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Is Your Sunroof Leaking? Diagnostics and Repairs

Is Your Sunroof Leaking? Diagnostics and Repairs

If you're wondering, “is your sunroof leaking?” The problem is most likely related to a clogged sunroof drain that can be fixed using a simple small wire. However, if the wire did not help, you might want to consult your mechanics to perform a thorough cleanup and get rid of the debris clogging the drain.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Sunroofs add a sleek and luxury layer to your vehicle, and many people prefer to drive cars with sunroofs. However, this luxury layer comes with drawbacks, especially when it rains and you realize your interior is soaked with stormwater.

The good news is that when a sunroof leaks, it doesn't mean an expensive repair because there is plenty of available online DIYs that helps you fix the sunroof leak without any problem and without needing a professional mechanic.

This article walks you through how to diagnose a leaking sunroof and provides you with a simple step-by-step procedure to fix the leak without needing a professional.

Is it worth having a sunroof?

Absolutely! Sunroofs are a great addition to most vehicles. It gives you a feeling of freedom because you'll have a portion of your air open to the atmosphere showing you the beautiful sky. Also, many drivers who don't prefer to stay in closed areas for a long time enjoy having a small opening on the vehicle's roof. Driving a car with a sunroof becomes a great experience, especially if you drive in areas with beautiful summer weather.

How is your car sunroof assembled?

Before we dive into the details about “is your sunroof leaking?” And how to repair it, you must understand how the sunroof is assembled and connected to your vehicles in the first place.

Typically, your vehicle sunroof comes in one connected piece and consists of important components: glass, housing, track, and motor. The sunroof also contains a rubber edge that gets it connected to the body of their vehicle. Surprisingly, many drivers don't know that this is not 100% waterproof, which means it is not a perfect seal to prevent stormwater from getting inside your vehicle's interior.

When it rains, water doesn't simply sit on top of the sunroof. Instead, it goes around gutters surrounding the sunroofs and gets collected inside small tubes that drain the water outside of the car through the vehicle's body. These tubes are typically made of small plastic and allow water not to sleep through the vehicle's body and go outside to the ground.

Is your sunroof leaking?

Sunroof leaks are not a complicated issue because when the sunroof allows water to seep inside the car, the problem is most likely related to a bad or clogged drain. Therefore, whenever You notice signs of water seeping inside your vehicle, perform a quick visual inspection of the sunroof.

Within the visual inspection, you need to open the sunroof all the way and look at the different corners. In each corner, you'll find a small hole about the size of a pencil. In most scenarios, the front drain gets clogged first and causes most sunroof leaks. However, it doesn't hurt to inspect the rear drain to confirm that it doesn't have any problem.

You can also perform a quick test of the drain rather than relying on your visual inspection if you're not comfortable telling whether the drain has a problem or not visually. To do so, use a small amount of water and allow it to run through the vehicle’s sunroof gutter. Then, monitor where the water is going, and if you notice that water doesn't get to the ground, it indicates a problem with one of the drains.
How to fix a leaking sunroof? DIY leaking sunroof fix

The good news is that leaking sunroofs are not a complicated problem, which means that you can rely on one of the simple DIYs to get the problem resolved. Their solution depends heavily on the root of the problem.

Whether your vehicle's drain is clogged or not, you must perform a drain cleanup at least once every year. Of course, you might want to do it more frequently if you live in areas with many rain events, and there's a very high chance for debris and contaminants to get inside the drain and clog it.

If you are comfortable enough and would like to perform a thorough cleanup of your vehicle's sunroof, you might want to disconnect first and performed the cleanup on the part outside the vehicle. To do so, follow these simple steps:

1.    Prepare all necessary material

Before you start cleaning and fixing the sunroof leak, you must put together all necessary material so you don't get stuck and make the process longer than it should. In general, to fix sunroof leaks, you'll need safety goggles, gloves, shop towels, compressed air, and some swaps.

Fix the sunroof track

The first step in repairing sunroof leaks is to inspect and fix the sunroof track. Therefore, look at the sunroof track and monitor for any signs of cracks or damages around the track. You might want to use a small shop towel to clean up the track so you can get a better idea about any hidden cracks or damages.

As you're wiping the sunroof track, you mustn't leave any contaminants or debris get to the drains because if you don't have a problem with that, you can cause the issue. In other words, as you clean up the tracks, try taking the debris out without allowing it to reach the small corners around the sunroof.

2.    Clean the drainage system

Once taking care of the track and ensuring it's cleaned up, the next step is to perform an inspection and fix any problem with the drainage system. As we indicated earlier, most sunroof leaks happened due to a problem with a clogged drain. In any car, you might find up to four drainages, one at each corner.

To clean up the drain, you can use a small wire to take out the dirt and debris from the drain upwards. Keep in mind that pushing the dirt inside the drain makes it very complicated. It might require immediate assistant from your mechanic to resolve the issue because it can get clogged and worsen the problem.

Some people might rely on using air blasters to clean up the drain. However, that's not a good idea because every ore and water blaster might cause the drain to get detached from the vehicle's body, complicating the problem. When that happens, your only solution is to consult a mechanic and have him reconnect the drain to your vehicle's body. But, of course, this requires a labor-intensive job, which means that you have to pay a lot on labor costs and sometimes for certain parts if you break anything.

Therefore, when you try to fix a leaking sunroof, you must evaluate the situation and see whether you can clean up the drain using a small wire or not. Otherwise, you must leave it to professionals to get the job done.

3.    Test the drainage system

Once you try unclogging the drainage system, you must perform a quick test to detect that the issue is resolved or not. As we indicated earlier, you can pour a small amount of water and monitor if it's getting to the bottom of the vehicle and reach the ground or not.

If you still don't see puddles of water underneath your car, you must go through the following steps to help dislodge the debris because it might get stuck.

4.    Dislodge the debris within the drain

Depending on the severity of the clogging, some dirt won't get out by simply using a small wire. Therefore, you might want to use a small cotton swab to dislodge some of the debris. Typically, you'll find this lodge at the top portion of the drain since it gets stuck first.

5.    Wash the drainage with water

Once you're done cleaning all the sludge and the debris, the next step would be to pour some water with a small water bottle and monitor if it gets out of the drain from the lower portion of the vehicle.

 

How much does it cost to fix a leaking sunroof?

If you decide to get your sunroof fixed at a small independent shop or leadership, you might want to consider the price costs. The good news is that fixing the leaks should not cost you more than a couple hundred dollars.

It is important to note that it might be worth learning how to clean the sunroof drain by yourself, so you say that I'm writing costs. However, sometimes a couple of hundred dollars are a little bit too much if you own a not very expensive vehicle. Therefore, give it a try and follow the steps we mentioned in the sunroof leaking DIY previously and see if you can resolve the issue before heading to the mechanic.

Keep in mind that there are some situations where the sunroof sealing might be broken, which means that you need to remove the entire sunroof and install a new sealing. And that happens, repair costs can jump quickly up to $500.

Is your sunroof leaking: Do all sunroofs eventually leak?

No, that is not correct. There is a common misconception that all sunroofs will eventually leak, but that's not the case if you decide to go with a high-quality premium sunroof. In addition, when you purchase a more expensive sunroof, you enjoy the benefits of better and stronger seals along with good quality handles hardware.

That's why it is important to save yourself a lot of headaches to go with a much better sunroof to avoid situations where water gets inside your vehicle. There are some instances where the sunroof leak might be major, causing significant damages to your vehicle's interior. Therefore, it's not worth saving a small amount of money by going with a cheaper sunroof without thinking ahead about what could happen if the sunroof started leaking inside the car.

Is your sunroof leaking: Conclusion

Many people enjoy riding a vehicle with a beautiful sunroof. However, when you get in situations where the central starts leaking, your driving experience gets very challenging. Therefore, if you own a vehicle with a sunroof, it is important to familiarize yourself with why your sunroof is leaking?

This article walkthrough through some simple DIY's that you can try at home to fix a leaking sunroof. In most scenarios, your central might be leaking due to a problem with either a clogged drain or a broken seal. If it's just a clogged drain, you can unclog it yourself using a simple wire. However, if it has to do with a broken seal, you might want to get to the mechanic, where they change the entire sealing around your sunroof.

Keep in mind that some complicated repairs to your sunroof might require a good amount of money. Therefore, you must evaluate the situation and see if it's worth the money or not. In other words, if you notice that repair costs are getting close to your vehicle's value because you have other problems in your car, it might not be worth the time and effort to get it to work. Instead, automotive experts recommend that you sell this car and use the money towards a better vehicle without problems.

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