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Is Your Sunroof Leaking? 3 Things to Check

A car with a glass sunroof.

A sunroof can help bring sunshine into your car’s cabin and brighten up the time you spend behind the wheel. But if your sunroof has a leak, it can cause rain to enter the cabin on wet days. This can leave moisture that may eventually cause mold, which can be tough to eradicate.

Is your sunroof leaking? If so, here are three things you can do to investigate and resolve the issue.

1. Inspect the Sunroof’s Seal and Track

Your sunroof moves back and forth on a set track, and it needs to seal completely to keep water from entering the cabin. If cracks develop on the track or seal, they can create openings that allow water to enter the cabin.Sunroof leaking can cause moisture to enter your car's cabin.

And that’s not the only way the sunroof track can cause a leak. If debris accumulates on the track or gathers in the seal, it can eventually create a blockage that prevents the sunroof from fully closing. When this happens, there’s a good chance that rain will be able to enter the cabin.

To get a sense of whether there’s a problem with the sunroof track or seal, you’ll need to inspect these components carefully. It’s best to do this with the sunroof open.

Start by looking for cracks on the track and seals. If there’s a crack present, the damaged component will have to be replaced. You can have your local auto repair shop handle this task.

If you notice debris on the track or seal, you can easily take care of the issue yourself by clearing the grime and debris away using a wet cloth or small brush and a gentle cleaning solution. This will remove anything that’s preventing the sunroof from closing completely. Be careful not to tear the seal as you clean.

2. Take a Look at the Sunroof’s Drainage System

Your car’s sunroof has a drainage system that uses a series of channels and holes to divert accumulated water. This water is sent to tubes that move it to the bottom of the vehicle where it is ultimately released. Over time, the sunroof’s drains can become clogged with dirt and debris. If this happens, the drainage system won’t work as it should, and your sunroof could develop a leak.

To determine whether the drainage system on your car’s sunroof is healthy, you’ll need to inspect it. Start by locating the drains. Your car’s drainage system could contain up to four drains, and they’re typically located in the corners of the sunroof.

Next, test the drains to see if they’re clogged. To do this, pour a small amount of water into the drains. If the system is working properly, there should be a small puddle underneath the car where the water has been released. If there’s no puddle, you may have a clogged drain.

You can clear the clogged drain by using a wet/dry vacuum or compressed air to loosen and remove blockages. After doing so, pour some water into the tube to make sure the blockage has been cleared.

3. Check for Cracks in the Sunroof’s Glass

Does your car’s sunroof have a glass panel? If so, know that a crack in the glass can trigger sunroof leaking too. To avoid this, periodically inspect the glass panel for cracks. If there’s a crack, have the glass replaced at your local glass shop or auto repair facility.

A leaky sunroof can make driving in the rain a hassle, but by adhering to the above guidance, you can easily address this problem before it gets out of hand.

Check out all the sunroof products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on sunroof leaks, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.


Warren Clarke View All

I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.

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