Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Sunroof leak repair

Sunroof leak repair — DIY fix for sunroof leaks

Most sunroofs leak

But carmakers anticipate that and install gutters and drains directly under the sunroof seals so the water can drain out without damaging your vehicle. Sunroofs have at least two drains in the front corners and one or two drains in the rear.

Most common cause of sunroof leaks — clogged drain tubes

Leaves and organic matter that gets caught in the tracks will wind up clogging the sunroof drains. When that happens, water will leak into your vehicle.

Avoid this mistake when trying to clean sunroof drains

DIY’s often try to snake the sunroof drain using a coat hanger. DO NOT DO THIS! The sunroof drains are made from rubber tubing and a coat hanger will puncture the drain line, causing a worse leak. To replace the line you’ll have to drop the headliner and run a new drain line.

Sunroof leak repair technique

Most of the clogs are located right at the top of the drain tube, so it makes more sensor to VACUUM out the clog than to try and push it all the way down the front or rear pillar. Unfortunately, these drains are small and many times your household vacuum cleaner hose can’t get in deep enough to create the suction you need. So make this simple adapter using PCV parts from any hardware or home center store. Then use your vacuum cleaner to suck the debris out of the drain tubes.

If that doesn’t work, and the clog is farther down the drain, purchase a speedometer cable from any auto parts store. Insert the flexible cable into the tube and twist it as it goes down. That will break up the clog. Then you can suck the debris out with your sunroof drain tool.

Sunroof leak repair tool

To make the vacuum hose adapter you’ll need the following items:

• 1-1/4″ x 1-1/2″ male PVC trap adapter
• 1-1/2″ PVC cap
• 3/8″ MIP (threaded) x barbed adapter
• 3/8 I.D. vinyl hose
• If you plan to use a shop vacuum with a 2-1/2″ hose, purchase a 2-1/2″ x 1-1/4″ reducer.

parts for sunroof leak repair

sunroof drain cleaning tool

I used PVC primer and glue to permanently glue the cap to the trap adapter. Then I drilled a hole in the center of the cap and screwed in the 3/8″ barbed adapter. Attach the vinyl hose the barbed end of the adapter. If you’re using a shop vacuum with a 2-1/2″ hose, simply add on a reducer. Insert the vacuum hose into the trap adapter and tighten the nut. Then vacuum out the clog.

©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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