Sunroof Drains And Why They Get Stopped Up

April 1, 2024 1:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


One of the most commonly overlooked parts of your vehicle is the sunroof drains. These drains play a crucial role in keeping your car dry and preventing water damage to the interior. However, over time they can become blocked, leading to water leaks and potential damage. In this blog, we will explore the importance of sunroof drains, why they get stopped up, and how you can prevent this from happening.

What are sunroof drains?

Sunroof drains are small channels that are installed in the corners of your vehicle’s sunroof. These drains are designed to capture and channel water away from the sunroof and down through the vehicle’s bodywork. This prevents water from leaking into the interior and causing damage to the headliner, seats, and electrical components.

Why do sunroof drains get stopped up?

There are several reasons why sunroof drains can become blocked or stopped up. One of the most common causes is a buildup of dirt, leaves, and other debris in the channels. Over time, this debris can accumulate and create a clog, preventing water from draining properly.

Another common cause of blocked sunroof drains is the growth of mold and mildew. When water gets trapped in the drains, it can create a moist environment that is perfect for mold and mildew to grow. This can further impede the flow of water and cause leaks to occur.

Additionally, sunroof drains can also become blocked by insects or small animals. Insects such as ants or spiders may build nests in the drains, while small animals like mice or squirrels may use them as a warm, sheltered place to nest. These obstructions can prevent water from draining properly and lead to leaks.

How do you know if your sunroof drains are blocked?

There are several signs that can indicate your sunroof drains are blocked or stopped up. One of the most common signs is water leaking into the interior of your vehicle. If you notice water dripping from the headliner or pooling on the seats, this could be a sign that the sunroof drains are not functioning properly.

Another sign of blocked sunroof drains is a musty or moldy smell coming from the interior of your vehicle. This odor is caused by mold and mildew growth in the sunroof drains, which can be released into the cabin when the drains become blocked.

You may also notice water stains or discoloration on the headliner, seats, or door panels. These stains are caused by water leaking through the sunroof and can be a sign that the drains are not working as they should.

How can you prevent sunroof drains from getting blocked?

There are several steps you can take to prevent your sunroof drains from getting blocked and ensure they are functioning properly. One of the easiest ways to prevent blockages is to regularly clean out the drains. You can do this by using a small brush or compressed air to remove any debris or obstructions from the channels.

Another way to prevent blockages is to check the sunroof seals for signs of wear or damage. If the seals are cracked or deteriorating, water can seep through and pool in the drains, leading to blockages. You can replace the seals yourself or have them replaced by a professional if necessary.

It is also important to periodically check the sunroof drains for signs of mold or mildew growth. If you notice any signs of mold or mildew, you can clean the drains with a mixture of water and vinegar to kill the spores and prevent further growth.


Sunroof drains play a vital role in keeping your vehicle dry and preventing water damage to the interior. However, they can become blocked or stopped up over time due to debris, mold, or mildew growth. By regularly cleaning out the drains, checking the seals for damage, and monitoring for signs of blockages, you can ensure your sunroof drains are functioning properly and prevent water leaks in your vehicle.

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