Why Is Your Sunroof Making Strange Noises?

female customer checking sunroof for leak by Ram Auto Glass

A sunroof or moonroof is a fantastic addition to any vehicle, providing a sense of spaciousness, fresh air, and natural light while driving. However, when these features start to leak, it can be frustrating and even potentially damaging to your vehicle’s interior. In this blog post, we will explore the common causes of sunroof or moonroof leaks and guide you through the steps to address the issue effectively.

Understanding the Causes

Before we dive into the solution, it’s essential to understand the potential causes of sunroof or moonroof leaks. By pinpointing the source of the problem, you can better diagnose and resolve it.

Clogged Drain Tubes

One of the most common reasons for sunroof leaks is clogged drain tubes. These tubes are designed to funnel water away from the sunroof and down to the ground. Over time, debris like leaves and dirt can accumulate in these tubes, causing water to back up and enter your vehicle.

Damaged or Worn Seals

The rubber seals around the sunroof or moonroof can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements and UV rays. When these seals crack or lose their elasticity, water can infiltrate the interior of your vehicle.

Debris or Foreign Objects

Sometimes, foreign objects like twigs, small stones, or even insects can block the sunroof’s track or create gaps that allow water to seep in.


If your sunroof or moonroof is not properly aligned with the frame, it can lead to gaps through which water can enter.

Faulty Sunroof Assembly

In rare cases, the sunroof assembly itself may have a defect, causing leaks.

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Steps to Address a Leaking Sunroof or Moonroof

Now that you have an idea of what might be causing the leak let’s explore the steps to address the issue.

Step 1 – Inspect the Drain Tubes

Start by visually inspecting the drain tubes, which are typically located in each corner of the sunroof frame. Check for any visible clogs or debris. If you notice any blockages, gently remove them with a long, flexible wire or compressed air. Be careful not to damage the tubes during this process.

Step 2 – Clean the Drain Tubes

Even if you don’t see any visible blockages, it’s a good idea to clean the drain tubes regularly to prevent future issues. Pour a mixture of water and a mild detergent (such as dish soap) into the tubes to flush out any accumulated dirt or debris.

Step 3 – Examine the Seals

Inspect the rubber seals around the sunroof or moonroof for cracks, tears, or signs of deterioration. If you discover any damage, you may need to replace the seals. Many automotive stores offer replacement seal kits that are relatively easy to install.

Step 4 – Remove Foreign Objects

If you suspect that foreign objects are causing the leak, carefully remove them from the sunroof track and any gaps or crevices.

Step 5 – Check for Misalignment

Inspect the alignment of your sunroof or moonroof with the frame. If it appears misaligned, you might need to consult a professional to adjust it correctly. Attempting to fix this issue yourself can lead to further misalignment.

Step 6 – Consult a Professional

If you’ve tried the above steps and the leak persists, or if you suspect a fault in the sunroof assembly itself, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic or auto glass specialist. They can diagnose the problem more accurately and repair or replace the sunroof as needed.

Preventing Future Leaks

Prevention is often the best solution, as it can save you time and money in the long run. Here are some tips to help prevent sunroof or moonroof leaks in the future:

Regular Maintenance

Make a habit of cleaning the drain tubes and inspecting the seals during routine vehicle maintenance.

Keep the Tracks Clean

Regularly clean the sunroof or moonroof tracks to prevent debris buildup.

Use a Sunroof Wind Deflector

Installing a wind deflector can help redirect airflow and minimize the chances of water entering the vehicle.

Park Under Shelter

Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a covered area to reduce exposure to the elements.

A leaking sunroof or moonroof can be a frustrating issue, but with proper diagnosis and maintenance, it can be effectively addressed. By understanding the common causes and following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can keep your vehicle’s interior dry and enjoy the benefits of your sunroof or moonroof without worries. Remember that if the problem persists or seems complex, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help to ensure a proper fix and maintain the value and comfort of your vehicle.