How Much Does a Sunroof Leak Repair Cost?

The technological advance in the automotive field has brought with it a multitude of inventions that are more and more interesting, with the aim of increasing the pleasure of driving and the comfort factor in vehicles, one of which is the sunroof on passenger cars.

This became a trend at the end of the 1980s, in addition to the feeling of freedom offered to drivers, fulfilling the essential role of an alternative to air conditioning, which at that time was not very often found in cars.

Our article today aims to provide you with some general information about the sunroof leaking problems and repair expenses.

How much does it cost to repair a leaking sunroof?

The average cost of repairing a leaking sunroof is anywhere between $150 and $600, depending on the type of repair, the type of car, and the mechanic helping you. You shouldn’t spend more than a few hundred dollars for fixing a leaking sunroof at a leadership or a small independent shop.

Though, if you own a cheap vehicle, several hundred dollars may be too much for you. So, you should try to follow the steps we give below to repair on your own a leaking sunroof.

In some cases, the sunroof sealing might be broken and this means that you will have to remove the entire sunroof and install a new sealing. In this situation, you will have to pay more than $520 for the repair costs.

How is your car sunroof assembled?

Usually, a sunroof comes in one connected piece and includes important parts such as a motor, glass, track, and housing. Also, the sunroof comes with a rubber edge that will be connected to the body of the car. You may be surprised, but this is not 100% waterproof, meaning that this is not the ideal seal to avoid rainwater from getting inside your car’s interior.

The water does not just sit on the top of the sunroof when it rains. Actually, it goes around the gutters that surround the sunroof and is collected inside small tubes which drain the water outside of the vehicle through its body. Typically, these tubes are made of plastic and prevent the water from getting inside the car.

Is your sunroof leaking? Common sunroof problems

When you open the sunroof of the car you notice that it works with the help of sliding metal rails and incorporates water drains, movable hinges, and outer and inner seals.

It is essential to clean this mechanism in its entirety, lubricate the metal rails and caddies and treat the internal caddies with special solutions. If you ignore this aspect, water will easily find its way inside the car. In addition, the leaves that we find in abundance on the hood of the car in autumn can clog the drains and cause water to back up inside.

Do all sunroofs eventually leak?

There is a popular myth that all sunroofs will eventually leak, but this is not true in the case of high-quality premium ones. Plus, when you buy a sunroof that has a higher cost, you will have the advantage of stronger and better seals and handles of better quality.

You might also like our articles about the cost of sunroof installation, windshield wiper motor replacement, or convertible top replacement for your car.

In order to avoid situations where the sunroof leaks, you should invest in a high-quality sunroof. Your vehicle’s interior may get seriously damaged due to a leak, leading to high sunroof repair costs otherwise. 

How to repair a leaking sunroof? DIY leaking sunroof fix

A leaking sunroof is not a really complicated problem, and most people can solve it on their own, depending on the cause of the problem. However, you have to do a drain cleanup at least once per year, regardless of whether your car’s drain is clogged or not. In order to do it, you will have to disconnect the sunroof first and clean it outside the car. You should follow the next steps to perform this:

Step 1 – prepare all the needed material

Usually, you need materials such as swaps, safety goggles, shop towels, gloves, and compressed air for cleaning a sunroof and repairing it.

Firstly, you will have to inspect and fix the sunroof track. See if there are any damages and cracks around the track. Pay attention not to let any debris or contaminants get to the drains while wiping the sunroof track.

Step 2 – clean the drainage system

After you cleaned the track, you should inspect and repair any issue with the drainage system. There are up to four drainages, one at each corner of the sunroof. You can use a small wire to clean up the drain system. Also, you can use air blasters for cleaning up the drain.

Step 3 – test the drainage system

You have to perform a fast test to see if the problem is solved when you try to unclog the drainage system. To do so, you can pour some water and see if this gets to the bottom of the car and reach the ground or not. If there are no puddles of water under your vehicle, you have to follow the next steps to clean the debris.

Step 4 – dislodge the debris within the drain

Depending on how severely the drainage system is clogged, some dirt will not get out only by using a small wire. So, you will have to use a cotton swab to solve this problem. As this lodge gets stuck first, usually, you will find it at the top portion of the drain.

Step 5 – wash the drainage with water

Finally, after you cleaned all the debris and sludge, you will have to pour some water again and see if it gets out of the drain from the lower part of the car.

How to maintain a sunroof?

Sunroof Drain CheckRegardless of whether your vehicle is equipped with a manual or electric sunroof, it must be remembered that its correct maintenance will save you serious time and money. In general, the vehicle manual indicates the need for a revision at approximately 50 or 60 thousand kilometers, but the sunroof doesn’t always meet these standard figures, requiring a thorough check at shorter intervals.

When we refer to the maintenance of the sunroof, we are talking, in fact, about checking the rails made of metal material that slide, as well as the channels through which the water drains. Of course, it is also recommended to maintain the seal from the outside/inside.

It is also necessary to regularly lubricate the rails and seals, as well as to apply specific treatment with the help of dedicated substances.

It is worth having a sunroof?

Yes, if the vehicle you own is equipped with a sunroof, you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • a much airier vehicle;
  • a much more beautiful view, increased visibility, and an impression of extra space;
  • illuminated car;
  • the pleasant feeling of freedom.

Final words

The most common “pain” of all car sunroofs (even the most expensive ones) – over time, is that they begin to leak. The main reason is the wear of the seals. If this starts to happen, you should immediately contact a car service so that the craftsmen can replace the rubber elements. Ignoring leaks (using silicone to keep water from dripping) will definitely damage the lift mechanism.


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