How To Fix A Leaking Sunroof In Your Car in A Quick & Easy Way

We think few things are worse than getting into a car with a wet interior after a heavy rain or storm when your sunroof leaks. You can make sure it never happens again with some simple procedures that work on any make or model. Let’s follow the steps below to know how to fix a leaking sunroof in your car.

Sunroof – Is It Really Necessary For Your Car?

The concept of the sunroof, described as a temporary, movable roof over the top of a car, became known in the late 1920s and early 1930s and has evolved into many designs over time to the present. This part is designed with many different designs and sizes, suitable for each vehicle model and needs such as pop-up sunroofs, top-mount sliding sunroofs, spoiler sunroofs, and inbuilt sunroofs.

The purpose of creating a sunroof is said to be practical when it helps to reduce wind noise more than opening the side windows and makes it easier for users to get fresh air into the car as well as feel more stylish than opening the side windows. Since its development, this design has been highly appreciated by drivers because it offers a much better experience than a sedan. Up to now, the sunroof has had many new upgrades, performing the following important roles:

how much does it cost to fix a sunroof
How much does it cost to fix a sunroof (Photo:

Release pollutant air in the car

Sunroofs are made which are based on the principle of convection (hot air above, cold air below). When using a car, body heat and hot air will make the interior space very secretive and uncomfortable. At this time, opening the sunroof will release hot air and polluted air in your car, giving in natural air from the outside, making comfort and ventilation.

Useful exit

This is the main feature and also the outstanding advantage of a sunroof. In emergency situations such as the car falling into the water, or having an accident but the driver cannot get out of the cabin by the side door, the sunroof is an important exit. It helps the drivers to handle it themselves without spending too much time and effort.

Reduce the temperature in the car

Hot weather will cause the temperature in the car to increase, the heat will accumulate on the ceiling of the car, causing a feeling of discomfort. Moreover, it also takes a while for the air conditioner to turn on and cool down. With a sunroof, drivers only need to open the door, the heat will quickly escape to the outside. Therefore, the installation of a sunroof helps to make the space inside the cabin more airy and comfortable.

There is no denying the advantages of the sunroof in terms of aesthetics as well as convenience for users. Many car manufacturers put sunroof equipment on the list of options applied to expensive versions, as a way to increase value, but in reality, there are annoyances that car owners do not anticipate. Besides some disadvantages such as increased maintenance costs, causing danger if careless during use, and reduced aerodynamics of the engine, a leaky sunroof is also a big problem that many drivers concern about it.

>> Related post: Moonroof vs Sunroof – What’s the Difference?

Symptoms Of A Leaky Sunroof That You Should Know

Sunroofs are a great add-on option for a lot of vehicles, but they can cause unwanted issues like moisture leaks inside your car, which can cause mold, mildew, and other problems. It will be a good idea if you can notice the signs of the leaky sunroof to have the timely methods. If cracks or leaks in the sunroof are serious, you can easily notice the water leak phenomenon. But a minor crack, you need to inspect thoroughly to detect the problem:

  • If you detect a lot of steam that condenses inside your car, it could be a sign of a leaky sunroof. Condensation occurs when humidity is much higher than normal. Due to high humidity, at that time you will smell an odd odor like musty in your cabin. 
  • Cracks on the sunroof: this is a sign that you can easily observe visually. Even though the sunroof is made of tempered glass, it can still be damaged because it is not shatterproof glass. Cracks can happen from falling objects or debris while driving. You will need to consult a professional to repair or replace the glass. 
  • Besides, there are other signs like mold spores on carpets and chairs or water stains on seats or carpets.
clogged sunroof drain
Over time, dirt and debris can be accumulated and make the drainage clogged. (Photo:

How To Fix A Leaking Sunroof In Your Car?

Before going to learn about the methods to handle the leaky sunroof, we will need to know what is the culprit of this problem:

What are the reasons for the leaking sunroof?

There are some common causes that you can’t ignore:

A clogged sunroof drain: The drainage system in the sunroof uses holes and channels to move accumulated water. Water is directed to tubes that carry it to the bottom of the vehicle, where it is eventually released. Over time, dirt and debris can be accumulated and make the drainage clogged. When the drainage system will not work properly and your sunroof may leak.

Damaged seals: The sunroof opens and closes on a predetermined path and it requires to be completely sealed to prevent water from penetrating the cabin. If cracks develop in the seal or rail, at this time, the rain will easily enter your car.

Debris accumulation: Another reason which can make the sunroof leak is when the dirt or debris gathers in the seal, this will make the sunroof stuck and can’t fully close. 

How to seal a sunroof in your car?

Auto experts said that due to the weather conditions in some countries, sometimes, installing a sunroof can give a lot of trouble for drivers if it leaks. In particular, fixing the above problem will become expensive if you do not know how. If you are not confident when making a repair process by yourself, you can consult the professionals or take your car to a trusted mechanic, who will help you to fix this error while a faulty seal could be the problem of your leaky sunroof:

Clean the drain/track with a soft towel

How to clean sunroof drains? When there is a leak or moisture on the roof, the first thing to do is to park the car in a dry place and check the drain line on the sunroof. Using the wet cloth to thoroughly clean the sunroof track of debris that could eventually find its way into the drain. You should also wipe down the seals to make sure there isn’t anything stuck in them that could create an opening when the sunroof is closed. 

Clean water pipes with compressed air or metal wire

In this method, you need to locate your sunroof drains. Depending on your particular vehicle, there could be four of them and they’d be located in the corners of the sunroof opening. They lead to tubes that carry liquid through the windshield frame to the bottom of your vehicle. Pour a small amount of water into the drains and look underneath your car to see If it’s draining. If there’s no puddle on the ground, you have a clogged drain. To clean your drain, use compressed air or metal wire to dislodge any debris that could be clogging the tube. Most of the debris would be toward the top opening of the tube. 

When using metal wire, you should use a small, thin piece of metal wire to thread it inside the tube. Next, rotate the piece of string in two different directions while pushing inward. Note that the ends of the wire should not be used to avoid damage to this plumbing system.

Repair or replace cracked rubber seal

Regularly observe to detect cracks or warping along the rubber mattress. In fact, over time, the seals will be aging and crack due to frequent exposure to the sun and rain. Look for places where seals are waterlogged or moldy to promptly replace or fix them. The way to deal with this situation is to spread a thick layer of liquid electrical tape over the seal to cover all the cracks. Then, waiting for the liquid to dry and form a protective layer against water, press the tape firmly onto the rubber mattress and let it dry completely.

After applying the above methods, close the sunroof and try flushing to check. If water is still leaking inside, try again. If the sunroof still cannot be fixed, it is best to take the car to a reputable repair center for timely inspection and handling. Ideally, the sunroof should be cleaned regularly to avoid sitting in the car and still having to get water in when it rains. It can be very expensive to repair the sunroof leak. How much does it cost to fix a sunroof? You can have to pay from $250 to $750 or even more to replace a sunroof including parts and labor costs. 

>> Read more: How Fast Does Rust Spread On A Car?

Final Thoughts: How To Fix A Leaking Sunroof In Your Car?

Drivers should not be subjective with the situation of seepage or leakage in the car cabin. Because if left for a long time, it can affect the electrical system and operation of the vehicle. The cost to fix when the car is heavily soaked can be very large. To avoid paying this cost, you can protect your sunroof by taking care of and cleaning this part regularly. When your sunroof has signs like seizing, leaking, or having some strange noise. You should get it checked by a trusted mechanic. Don’t delay this problem, as it could lead to more costly repairs. In particular, leaks can wreak havoc on your car, causing moisture and mold buildup.