Ok, it’s been raining a lot. Not quite 40 days and 40 nights but a lot. You know the story of raining 40 days and 40 nights but the part of the story that you don’t know is that the sunroof (literally where you check to see if it has stopped raining and is the sun out) didn’t have a gutter and rain came inside his vehicle. As you can guess, it smelled like mildew and was moldy. The upholstery was wrecked! It was because he didn’t have gutters under the sunroof and if there were gutters the gutters weren’t cleaned.
The same can be said for your gutters in your car and more specifically the tubes that run down the interior framework of the car that drain the water from inside the pan of the sunroof.
Your sunroof isn’t actually waterproof! Even off the new car lot! Water makes its way past the seal between the sunroof and the roof and is collected in a pan below. You might know it as the area were the sunroof goes when you open it. There are downspouts that are connected to the pan where the water runs off once it collects in the pan. If those tubes get clogged with road grim or leaves or dried up berries it causes the pan to hold water and like your household sink, back up and overflow. In this case into your car. At first, your car will smell musty and then mold will develop. Then the headliner will develop water stains and sag down from the ceiling. Other times it will drain all the way to the floor and collect under the seats.
A car came to the shop two weeks ago and the water had come in through the closed sunroof , leaked into the sunroof pan, ran down the down jambs, under the drivers’ side seat and collected there in a primordial swamp with old Cheerios, a pair of blunt scissors, and a copy of “Papa, please get the moon for me”. In several car models, the computer sits under the driver’s side seat and in this case, that got wet as well and it shorted out the computer and ruined the wiring harness between the engine and the computer. The repair estimate came to roughly $11,000.00
Needless-to-say, that was a major cleaning bill.
If you park on the street or under a tree and leaves have fallen on your car or squirrels have dropped half eaten nuts or plant berries all these things fallen into the drain pan of your sunroof. In older models, road dust and grime have collected in there as well which will clog up your drains out of the roof pan.
Inspect your sunroof once-in-while; and look for any leaves in the pan or along the edges in the rails that the sunroof glides on. Remove any debris an do the same thing when you lift the hood or the trunk of your call look at the edges where there is a gasket that looks like it is holding back water and clean it out.
Here at Fara’s Auto we use low pressure air to clean out the dust and junk from the pan; and in some cases, we need to use a snake to unclog the tubes that connect to the pan in order to drain the water. This should be part of your preventative maintenance.
Your car will last longer and not smell like a zoo.