How To: Keep Your Sunroof Drains Flowing Well
July 31, 2007 – 8:30 am by Dan Volkens
Filed under Car Care, Featured, How-Tos, Rants
Not keeping your sunroof drains flowing will result in a wet, stinky interior and a hefty repair bill.
Checking and clearing your sunroof drains is a really easy How To. Anybody with a sunroof SHOULD do this on a regular basis. I recommend checking your sunroof drains each time you either wash your car or clean the interior.
It cost me $119
and some change to have the drains cleared and the carpet in my passenger side footwell cleaned up. Now, I know that one can clear a clogged drain by running a flexible rod or something similar down through the drain. Personally I didn’t want to deal with it. And making a mistake, like puncturing the drain line or accidentally disconnecting it, entails tearing apart the interior to fix. On the bright side, I had them do the brake light switch recall while I was there.
Step 1: Locate Drains
Locate the drain holes and the nipples. (hehe) There are a total of four drains, two front, two rear. The front drains empty out inside of each front door jam as you can see in the photo below. The rear drains empty out inside of the rear bumper (on most MkIV models). To check the rears, you will need to reach up inside of the extreme lefthand and righthand sides of the bumper and feel your way around.
Step 2: Check Drains for Cloggage
You can clear most of the gunk and garbage out of each drain by squeezing, twisting, and performing any other questionable action on each drain nipple. I would not recommend biting it because as you squeeze it, dust, debris and/or water (if it was slightly clogged) will fall out of the drain. (Man, this How To is going downhill fast lol)
Step 3: Test Drainage Ability
Once you have sufficiently cleared each drain, grab a small glass of water (only a small amount of water is needed, like a 1/4 cup) and slowly… sloooowwwlllyy… pour the water down each drain to see if it flows freely out of the nipples.
Step 4: Do Your Happy Dance
If the drains worked in testing, you should be good to go. Doing this on a regular basis should help avoid any interior water leakage. If the front drains are clogged, typically they leak down the bottom sides of the dash and onto the footwells. If the rears clog, you’ll see water damage all over your C pillars and roof. Thankfully, the fronts clog more often than not.
If this is the first time you’re doing this, and your ride isn’t relatively new, I would recommend doing this How To and having it checked out at your local dealer or shop. The peace of mind is worth it.