How to Fix a Leaky Sunroof

Written by ehow cars editor
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Owners of vehicles with power sliding sunroofs occasionally run into an annoying problem: water leaks. Most power sliding sunroofs have a water management system that guides water through a trough and drainage tubes to prevent water from entering the car, but after years of use they can stop working. They may become obstructed by leaves, dirt, and other debris, causing the drainage tubes to back up. Water then collects in the shallow tub surrounding the sunroof opening, spilling into the vehicle interior. These instructions can help you fix your leaky sunroof yourself.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Wet rag
  • Thin, flexible cable with non-snagging end
  • Pitcher of water

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  1. 1

    Wipe the trough around the opening of the sunroof with a wet rag. Debris can sometimes get between the trough and the seal, allowing water inside the vehicle.

  2. 2

    Locate the drainage tubes. There are usually four, one in each corner of the sunroof.

  3. 3

    Probe the first few inches of the tubes gently with the cable to check for noticeable clogs.

  4. 4

    Feed the cable through the drainage tube slowly and with very little pressure.

  5. 5

    Rotate the cable within each tube as you gently push it down.

  6. 6

    Test the drain tubes by slowly pouring a pitcher of water into each corner of the open sunroof.

  7. 7

    Check the seal around the sunroof for cracks. It may need to be replaced.

Tips and warnings

  • If the seal is cracked, you may want to contact a professional. Replacing the seal is a job that requires the whole sunroof glass to come out, which is best left to those with experience.
  • If your sunroof is still leaking after following these steps, contact a sunroof repair professional. You could have a blockage deep within the tubes that requires some disassembly of the vehicle to clear.
  • Be careful not to use too much pressure when attempting to clear debris from the drain tubes. If you're not careful, you can end up disconnecting them, causing further problems that will need to be fixed by a professional.
  • Canned air is not recommended for clearing debris from the tubes. It could either compress the blockage or burst the tubes apart deep within the pillars.

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