How to Fix Leaking Sunroof? 3 Methods!

In order to fix a leaking sunroof, seal the gasket with seal tape if the gasket is broken. If the gasket is fine, it might be clogged in the sunroof drainage tube. Unclog the sunroof drainage tube with a compressed water gun or stiff wire.

Keep reading for a detailed explanation

Fixing a Leaking Sunroof: Quick Overview

Before moving into the elaborated solution, let’s have a look at the table for a quick overview.

Reason Solution
Scrap clogged in the sunroof drainage system.Clear sunroof drainage with a vacuum cleaner or a stiff and flexible wire
Broken sunroof gasket1. Replace the gasket
2. Use seal tape to cover the leaking border
Crack in the sunroof glass 1. Replace sunroof glass
2. Cover the crack with transparent tape/fluid (temporary solution)

These are the reasons for leaking sunroof and their fixes

3 Reasons and Methods to Fix Leaking Sunroof

There are mainly three reasons why sunroof leakage can happen. We’ve discussed all three reasons and solutions below. 

Reason 1: Scrap Clogged in the Sunroof Drainage System

Sunroof Drainage System

Typically, a sunroof contains four to eight separate drain tubes. When dirt clogs up the tubes, rainwater cannot drain out. That finally leaks water into your car. 

Diagnosis: Thoroughly Check The Drainage Tube.

To find out if the drainage tube is clogged or not, you just need to open the sunroof and then pour a bottle of water into the drainage tube. Check the side of the wheel to see if the water drains out. The sunroof drainage tube is clogged if the water doesn’t drain out.

Fix 1: Vacuum the Drain Tube

You don’t need to be an expert to unclog the sunroof’s drain pipe. It’s easier than you might think. It’s also the same procedure for a panoramic sunroof. For the fix, you will need the following tools

  1. A vacuum 
  2. An adjusted hose according to the circumference of the drain tube,
  3. A hose adapter

Step 1: Connect the hose with the vacuum with an adapter to enter it into the drainage tube hole. 

Step 2: Enter the hose into the drain tube and vacuum it several times. And then, pour some water into the drain tube and see if it’s still clogged or not. If you see still clogging, vacuum the tube’s lower drain tip, which is located near the wheel.

Fix 2: Clear Sunroof With A Stiff And Flexible Wire

This is even easier to unclog the sunroof drainage tube with a stiff but flexible wire. To do it, the following tools are needed.   

  1. A stiff and
  2. flexible cable (Speedometer cable)

Step 1: Bend the wire tip like a hook so that it can pull out the debris.

Step 2: Then, enter the wire into the tube and pull out all the clogged scrap with the cable.

Reason 2: Broken Sunroof Gasket

A broken sunroof gasket is one of the most common causes of a leaking sunroof. For this reason, water can leak through the border of the sunroof.

Let’s see how to find out the sunroof’s broken seal. 

Diagnosis: Check The Sunroof Gasket

In most cases, a sunroof gasket breaks due to an accidental hit or aging. As a result, the broken spot becomes visible. You just need to open the sunroof and inspect the sunroof gasket.

And then, carefully inspect the sunroof border and find the broken spot. 

Fix 1: Replace the Gasket

The best solution for the broken/blown gasket is to replace the broken gasket. All other solutions won’t last long. To replace the gasket, it would take $10-$133, depending on your sunroof type and size. 

However, if you want a temporary DIY solution, we have one here. It’s highly effective to prevent leakage.

Fix 2: Use Flex Seal Tape to Cover the Broken Border

It’s possible to fix the broken sunroof seal at home. The following tools are needed to fix this issue.

  1. Waterproof patch & seal tape (It’ll cost around $23 for a 4″ x 8’ unit).
  2. A measuring tape
  3. A blade

Step 1: Take the measurement of the entire side of the broken seal.

Step 2: Cut the tape according to the measurement. 

Step 3: Stick the tape on the broken seal. And now you’re done with fixing the sunroof leakage.

Reason 3: Crack on The Sunroof Glass 

The cracked sunroof glass can be another reason behind water leaking from the sunroof. Even the invisible crack can leak water into the car. 

And this type of crack is caused when anything hits the sunroof glass. 

Diagnosis: Inspect The Glass

To find out the sunroof glass’s crack, you must observe the glass very closely. Park your car under a shade where the sun doesn’t reflect. Make sure enough light is available for inspection.

Then inspect all across the glass by putting your fingertip on the glass. 

Fix 1: Replace the Sunroof Glass

Replacement of the cracked sunroof glass is the best solution. Alternative solutions won’t work for long. The glass on the roof is primarily tempered glass. A replacement would cost between $400 and $3000+, depending on the size and type of your sunroof. 

However, we have a temporary DIY solution if you are looking for one. Leakage can be prevented very effectively with this method.

Fix 2: Cover The Crack With Transparent Tape/ Glass-Repairing Fluid

An invisible crack or any type of minor crack is repairable. You can repair the sunroof either with transparent tape or glass-repairing fluid.

We recommend glass repairing fluid for its durability and effectiveness. The following tools are needed to fix the sunroof glass. (1)

  1. Window-weld super fast urethane black cartridge (It’ll cost around $25-30)
  2. A sharp blade
  3. Stiff transparent poly

Step 1: Apply the fluid all over the cracking line. Make sure it doesn’t overflow.

Step 2: Cover the crack with some transparent stiff poly. And wait till it gets dry. It’ll take approximately 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Remove the poly with a blade. Do it softly and carefully. And now you’re done with fixing the sunroof glass. 

If the crack is unrepairable or major. Then you’ll need to replace the glass. Depending on the sunroof type and car model, it’ll cost around $400 to $3,000. 

Summary

These are the easiest way to fix your sunroof. So, first, identify the reason behind the leakage. And apply the appropriate method.

How To Prevent Sunroof Leaking?

You can keep your sunroof in good condition for a long time by properly maintaining it. In order to increase longevity, you can take the following steps. (2)

  1. Clean the sunroof drainage tube regularly
  2. Make sure the gasket is not blown
  3. Make sure you park your car safely where stones or other elements cannot fall on it. Make sure it is under a shade if you can.

Sunroof FAQs: Our Answers to Common Questions

What Are The Disadvantages of A Sunroof In Cars?

Fuel efficiency is reduced by the sunroof because it adds weight to the vehicle. Because of the added weight, your vehicle consumes more fuel. It also reduces the room in the car. And most importantly, there is always a chance of leakage. It’ll increase car maintenance costs.

What Causes A Sunroof to Stop Working?

Motor damage causes the sunroof to stop working. It can’t slide in and out automatically for motor damage. Cable damage is another reason why a sunroof can stop working. The sunroof cable is one of the main components to control the sunroof automatically. Other broken sunroof components can also cause the sunroof to stop working. 

How Do I Permanently Seal A Sunroof?

Sunroofs can be sealed permanently with silicone rubber from a tube. Apply clear rubber silicone from a tube along the entire sunroof edge. With your finger, rub the silicone into the gap all around after applying it along the entire edge.

Conclusion

Well, hopefully, now you know how to fix leaking sunroof. The fixes that we’ve discussed throughout the article are easy to apply. 

It may be necessary to contact the manufacturer or local technician for service if you don’t get a remedy through these methods. (3)

If you were successful with a particular method, you could let us know.

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Gary Wright

Hi, I'm Gary Wright, an automotive industry specialist. I'm an installation, repair, and maintenance specialist of automotive sunroofs, moonroofs, and panoramic sunroofs/moonroofs.