How To Unclog And Clean A Sunroof Drain? [Explained]

Is your sunroof drain clogged with debris? Are you looking for a way to unclog and clean it? To unclog and clean the sunroof drain, you can use a vacuum cleaner connected to a hose. To remove debris from the sunroof drain tube, you can also use a stiff but flexible wire. After that, spray the drain tube with a high-pressure water gun.

This is just an overview. The article explains the whole process in detail.

How To Tell If Your Sunroof Drain Is Clogged?

The sunroof drain clog results in leaking water in the car. But there can be different reasons behind leaking water from the sunroof. As a result, you should be certain whether your sunroof is clogged or not. There are some simple procedures to do it (1)

To check this, the following tools are needed.

  1. One bottle of water 
  2. A bright torch light
  3. Soft bristle brush/Vacuum cleaner

Step 1: First, you need to open your car’s sunroof. Then brush or vacuum all the visible dirt in the open drain. 

Step 2: Use the torch to look through the drain tube after cleaning the visible dirt from the open drain. There are basically four drain holes. Inspect all of them. 

Step 3: Pour some water into the drain hole and see whether the water is stuck or not. Test all four holes in this same way. If the water is stuck in the sunroof drain or it takes a long time to drain, it is clogged.

Now, let’s see how to unclog and clean a sunroof drain.

2 Methods to Unclog And Clean Sunroof Drain

There are two basic methods of unclogging and cleaning the sunroof drain. These are:

Method 1: Vacuum The Drain Tube

Unclogging and cleaning the drain tube is simple to perform at home without the help of a professional. Here are the tools you’ll need to fix it

  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 

An adapter is needed to connect the hose to the vacuum and enter it into the drainage tube. 

Step 2: Vacuum Drain Tube

Vacuum the drain tube several times with the hose. Check the drain tube by pouring some water into it and seeing if it’s still clogged. Alternatively, you can vacuum the lower drain tip near the wheel if the tube is still clogged. 

Method 2: Clean the Drain Tube with Water Gun

Follow some step-by-step instructions to unclog the sunroof drain using a high-pressure water spray gun. And to do that, the following tools are needed.

  1. Stiff but flexible wire (speedometer cable)
  2. High-pressure water spray gun
  3. Mineral spirit

Now let’s get into the procedure.

Step 1: Push Wire Through Drain Hole 

Take a stiff but flexible wire. And then push through the drain hole. Push the wire through the hole as deep as possible.

Step 2: Pour Mineral Spirits 

After pushing the wire through the drain hole several times, pour some mineral spirit into the drain hole. And wait for 30 minutes.  

Step 3: Spray Into Drain Hole With Water Gun

Spray high-pressure water through the hole after completing 30 minutes of pouring spirits mineral. And then, pour some water into the hole and see if the drain hole is unclogged or not. (2)


Use gloves before going through the procedure to keep your hand free from danger. Do not use a metal bristle brush.  And wrap the seat with poly to protect them from water.

How To Tell If Your Sunroof Drain Is Clogged Infographic

How To Clean Sunroof Drains On Audi Q7

The procedure to clean the sunroof drain on the Audi Q7 is slightly different. And this is easier than others. 

Let’s see how to clean the Audi Q7 sunroof drains (Step-by-step).

The following tools you needed to do this.

  1. A rubber glove 
  2. A torch

Step 1: The Audi Q7 has an additional feature, and that’s a filter on the drainage tube’s external side. You need to find out the tip of the drainage tube first. Drainage tube tips are located behind the splash guards on the front wheels.

Simply move the splash guard away from the drain end. Behind the splash guard, you’ll find a rubber hook that you can locate with a torch light. 

Step 2: Pull the hook to remove the drain filter. Audi Q7 drainage tubes can clog due to debris deposited at the bottom of the filter. Most likely, the drain will be unclogged after removing the filter.

Step 3: Finally, clean the filter. For cleaning the filter, all you need is a soft bristle brush. Following that, make sure the filter is properly washed. Then place it back as it was. 

If only filter cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, you must manually clean the drain tube. To do that, follow the process mentioned above. That’ll help you to get rid of this issue completely.


The Audi Q7 has an additional feature- a drain filter near the front wheel. Occasionally, scrap can clog that filter, so removing it can clear the drain.

How to Prevent Sunroof Drain Clogging? (Maintenance Guide)

You can protect your sunroof drain lines from getting clogged by taking some effective measures. Let’s see what these measures are.

  1. Always try to park your car under the shade.
  2. Use car covers when you keep your car idle for a long time. It’ll protect your car from external dirt and debris
  3. Wash your car regularly 
  4. Inspect the drain lines regularly and spray through the drain hole. 

Sunroof leaks can be prevented if the sunroof is maintained properly. Moreover, it will make the sunroof last longer.


Where Are The Sunroof Drain Holes?

The sunroof drain holes are at the four corners of the roof. Basically, there are four drain holes in a car’s sunroof to drain the water out. And they’re located at the four different corners of the sunroof. It prevents water from leaking into the car.

How Long Do Sunroofs Last?

The sunroof even lasts for the lifetime of the car. But it depends on your maintenance. If you maintain it properly, then it’ll last as long as your car lasts. But lack of maintenance can cause damage in very few days. The first condition of proper maintenance is to clean the sunroof regularly.

Does Car Insurance Cover Sunroof Leaks?

Unfortunately not, car insurance doesn’t cover sunroof leaks. Car insurance only covers the damages that are caused by accidents or tragedies. Therefore, if your sunroof leak is caused by an accident or bad weather, you may be able to claim damages. Damages cannot be claimed if the leak was caused by wear and tear.


Well, this concludes how to unclog and clean a sunroof drain. With these instructions, hopefully, you’ll be able to unclog your car’s sunroof drain.

Follow the preventive measures so that issues like these won’t happen with your car. It’s so easy to do. This will also cut the cost of replacements and fixes. 

You can let us know how effective this article was for you.

Best Wishes!

Written By

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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.

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.