Whitney Russell
No Comments

How to Fix Your Car’s Leaky Sunroof

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
open car sunroof
Make sure your car’s sunroof lets in just the sun, not the rain or snow, before colder weather hits
Photo: kerinin via CC

If your vehicle’s sunroof has been leaking, it’s important to fix it before winter’s freezing temperatures and precipitation arrive. If you have the time and want to tackle this repair by yourself, here are some tips on how to repair a leaky sunroof.

Car Maintenance Made Easy: Schedule a service appointment here

There are two main causes of sunroof leaks: 1) a sunroof that doesn’t open or shut all the way and 2) a sunroof that has a clogged drain. For the first problem, we recommend taking your vehicle to a trusted dealership’s service department so they can replace the sunroof’s motor.

But if the motor is functioning smoothly, it’s most likely the second problem: the system’s drain is clogged. Here’s what you should and should not do to clear the drain so that your sunroof is watertight once again.

What you should do

Before you get started, the Family Handyman recommends gathering the following tools: a shop vacuum, vinyl hose, speedometer cable, PVC cap, PVC trap adapter, and a 3/8-inch PVC barbed adapter. Next, open your vehicle’s sunroof and locate the drain holes on the front corners.

Because the drain holes and the drain tube are so narrow, you’ll need to make a hose reducer with the PVC tools you gathered. Attach the PVC trap adapter to the end of the vacuum hose. Then connect the PVC cap to the trap adapter. Lastly, connect the 3/8-inch barbed adapter to the cap, then attach it to the vinyl hose.

Turn on the shop vacuum and gently insert the vinyl hose into one of the sunroof’s drain tubes to remove any dirt and debris. Follow suit with the sunroof’s other drain tube. If the vacuum doesn’t remove all of the grime inside the drain tube, try using the speedometer cable as a small “plumbing” snake, as Family Handyman recommends.

What you shouldn’t do

Avoid poking a metal coat hanger and shoving it down the sunroof’s drain tube in an attempt to clear it. And refrain from using a can of compressed air for this purpose. Per Taylor Auto Glass, these actions could puncture or stretch the tubing, causing further damage to the sunroof.

Check out this article for tips on keeping your newly-repaired sunroof in great shape. And find out how to tell the difference between a sunroof and moonroof so you can wow your friends with your newfound knowledge.