How to Clean Sunroof Drain Plugs on a VW

Written by ed oswald
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If you are having issues with water inside the cabin of your Volkswagen and have a sunroof, chances are your sunroof drains may be clogged. Keeping these clean will prevent leaks and water damage and ensure rainwater is properly drained from the car. Anyone with a sunroof should be performing this maintenance on a regular basis.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Flexible rod (weed trimmer string is best)
  • Glass of water

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  1. 1

    Locate the position of your drains and the nipples. There will be four: two in the front and two in the rear. The drain holes will be in the four corners of the sunroof. The drain nipples will be on the front side of either door jam. The rear ones may vary from car to car but are generally located on either side of the rear bumper.

  2. 2

    Clear the debris from the nipples. This can be done by massaging them to free up debris and other gunk that may have built up.

  3. 3

    Test drainage by pouring a small amount of water into the areas where the drain holes are located. Observe the nipples and ensure water is flowing out of each one freely. Do not use too much water, as if they are clogged the water will obviously not pass through.

  4. 4

    Stop here if water is flowing freely. There is no need to clean the drains. If there is blockage, proceed to the next step.

  5. 5

    Use a flexible rod (be sure it is not sharp; it could puncture the lines) and gently prod through the holes to attempt to free the clog. Repeat Step 3 and see if there is any improvement. If not, you can attempt to dig further. If at any time you do not feel comfortable attempting to clean it, stop and consult with a registered Volkswagen technician.

Tips and warnings

  • The two front drains will empty out at the front part of each door jam. The rear drains typically will drain out on either side of the bumper.
  • Failing to keep these drains clean could result in interior water damage and a costly repair bill.

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