How to fix the leaking car sunroof

Not only leaky car sunroof is irritating, but also it can cause damage and many other problems for your vehicle. You must fix this leakage immediately in order to protect the interiors of your car. The reason behind the leakage can be many, however, the most common ones are clogged drainage tubes or deteriorated seal. You may think that fixing your leaking car sunroof will require the services of a professional, but this task is not that much complicated as it appears to be. By following the steps and instructions given below, you can fix the leak by your own:

Leaking car sunroof
Leaking car sunroof

Difficulty level: Moderate

Time required: Depends upon the skill and speed of the performer

Resources required

1. Permanent marker

2. Adhesive remover

3. Replacement sunroof seal

4. Gloves (optional)

5. Soft cloth

6. Knife or razor blade cutter

Estimate Cost: Depends upon the Availability quality and quantity of resources.


1. Make marks at the places where the seal starts

The first thing that you need to do is to mark the position of the old seal. The seal generally starts and ends around the inner and the outer edges of the corners, use a permanent marker for making marks at these positions. Marking the old seal properly is very important if you want to have a leak proof seal. This marking is of great aid while placing the new seal in the proper position, thus ensuring a tight seal.

2. Lift up on the seal to remove it

Once you have marked the end points of the seal, then you can remove the seal. Carefully remove the seal by lifting it up using your hands. Start lifting the seal from the point where two seals meet together, removing the seal this way will be much more easier and less time consuming in comparison lifting it from the middle. However, if the seal is very old then it may have deteriorated over time, in that case wearing hand gloves will be helpful.

3. Remove any remaining glue residue

Although you may have removed the seal, but still some traces of the glue left from the old seal will still be present there. You must get rid of this before applying new seal, otherwise, the old glue will not let the new seal settle properly. Take a soft cloth and apply a non-abrasive adhesive remover to it. Wipe this cloth over the surface where the seal was present. The adhesive remover on the cloth will remove any remaining glue residue. Use a soft cloth to clean the area after wiping it with adhesive remover, this will make sure that the seal adheres properly.

4. Apply the replacement sunroof seal

Now, the new seal can be applied. The new seal comes along with a protective paper covering, which has to be removed before the seal can be applied. Do not remove the entire covering, just remove 2 inches of it and then line up this part of the seal with the marks that you have created in the first step. Carefully pull the paper back and cover 2 inches at a time while working your way around the sunroof, this way the seal will align properly. Check the seal with the corner marks to make sure that it is a tight seal.

Use a razor blade cutter or a knife to cut off any excess seal. Also make sure that no spaces have been created between the ends, for creating a tight seal it is important that the seal fits tightly at the ends.

Frequently asked question

1. What may be the other reason behind leakage of a sunroof?

Ans: The most common reason behind the leakage of sunroofs is the dirt and the debris which get accumulated in the drain pipes, thus obstructing the sunroof's water management system. This type of leakage can be fixed by cleaning the drainage tubes, just follow the simple steps given below:

1. Take a flexible cable wire and insert it into the water channel. Move this wire back and forth, the clogged dirt and debris will get removed by doing so.

2. Pull the wire out of the tube and then repeat this step with the remaining tubes. This way, the debris gets removed from all the tubes.

3. Now pour some water over the sunroof to search for any traces of leakage.

Quick tips:

1. Be careful while trimming the seal, otherwise, you can scratch the car's surface accidentally.

2. For cleaning the water channels, you can use the bike brake wire.

Things to watch out for

Do not use canned air for cleaning the debris from the tubes, this can burst the tubes or can compress the blockage even further.

2. If your sunroof is still leaking even after following these steps, then you must contact professionals as other methods require the whole sunroof to be removed.

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