How to clear front and rear sunroof drains?
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  1. #1
    ems
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    How to clear front and rear sunroof drains?

    Help? Have been dealing with water on my right front and rear (mostly rear) floor for at least a month now. Followed the "how to" instructions and confirmed that it is NOT the polen filter (thanks for the help btw).

    Have tried to do it myself and have had my car at the shop twice and no one knows how to do it. Spent the last hour searching other posts, and have not been able to find any "how to" directions.

    THis is turning out to be a majo PIA. Can someone please steer me towards a fix?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    cleaning out sunroof drains

    I had this problem on my old Jetta and I used compressed air (adjustable blow gun attached to my air compressor). I then found one of the drains (rear) had come loose and was draining into the truck area. I know this is not Passat related but VW likes to keep using old designs where they can.

    Hope this helps,

    John French

  4. #3
    ems
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    Quote Originally Posted by john french View Post
    I had this problem on my old Jetta and I used compressed air (adjustable blow gun attached to my air compressor). I then found one of the drains (rear) had come loose and was draining into the truck area. I know this is not Passat related but VW likes to keep using old designs where they can.

    Hope this helps,

    John French
    I think that is my problem as well, except that it is draining to the rear floor. Have already blown them out with an air gun with no result.

    Am trying to find some sort of an instruction or schemation on how totroubleshoot, breakdown and repair???

  5. #4
    Super (Charged) Moderator, Grinding Gears...gone fishing! ScottPassat2.8's Avatar
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  6. #5
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    I would think that blowing them out with an air gun could cause more harm than good. If they are severely clogged, seems like the drain line might blow loose in a concealed place - who know where? - then that's where the water would drain.

    The accepted method is to squeeze the drain nipples (don't get all excited now!), part 32 in Scott's diagram.

  7. #6
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    Try running some water from a hose over the sunroof, and see if you can identify where it comes in.

    I used the bentley recommended way to clean out the drains with a piece of throttle cable, and ended up disconnecting one of them inside the a-pillar, resulting in a major leak at that point. I had to drop the roofliner to reconnect it.

  8. #7
    ems
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    I would think that blowing them out with an air gun could cause more harm than good. If they are severely clogged, seems like the drain line might blow loose in a concealed place - who know where? - then that's where the water would drain.

    The accepted method is to squeeze the drain nipples (don't get all excited now!), part 32 in Scott's diagram.
    Thanks Rusty.

    Can you tell me where on the car part#32 is located (front and back) is located? That is not clear from the diagram.

    thanks again,

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ems View Post
    Can you tell me where on the car part#32 is located (front and back) is located? That is not clear from the diagram.
    At the bottom of the A and B pillars... open the door and look way down near the bottom of the frame. They are small black rubber "nipples" about the size of the last joint on your pinky finger. Pinch until the flaps unstick & open up (kinda like how the valves on the camelback or platypus water sacks work).

    If you spray a small amount of silicone lube up into the slit in the nipple, that should keep the flaps from sticking together again.

  10. #9
    ems
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    The good news is that I think I finally cleared the leak from cleaning out the drain area and blowing with lp (20psi) air.

    The bad new is the I spent over an hour fishing around the A&B pilars underneath the car and simply cannon find the "nipples"/drain tubes. THough I found the one in the A pilar, and then when I test with water from sunroor drain it drained out from underneath.

    DOes anyone have a diagram or picture.

    merry christmas

  11. #10
    ems
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete1 View Post
    At the bottom of the A and B pillars... open the door and look way down near the bottom of the frame. They are small black rubber "nipples" about the size of the last joint on your pinky finger. Pinch until the flaps unstick & open up (kinda like how the valves on the camelback or platypus water sacks work).

    If you spray a small amount of silicone lube up into the slit in the nipple, that should keep the flaps from sticking together again.
    I wonder if that design has evolved with the B5 --> B5.5? I am not seeing anything in or on the A/B pilars resembling what you described?
    Are they by chance under the plastic rocker panel molding?

  12. #11
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    Instead of the B pillar, the rear drain may be in the rear wheel well... look for post #10 here:
    Questions regarding Sunroof Drain Tubes...

    Also, the tubes themselves may be disconnected from the nipples... see post #12 here:
    Sunroof Drain Nipple

    I'm not sure if the drains are only on the driver's side (two drains total), or on both sides (four drains total).

    I'll try to take some pictures tonight...

  13. #12
    ems
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    THANKS! I gotta figure this one out. Neither my local mechanics, body shop or vw dealers will touch it.

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    sorry I didn't get to that pic... I'll try again tonight...

  15. #14
    ems
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    bump... Pete?

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    There are four drains, on at each corner of the sunroof.
    VW dealer cleaned mine once for 110.00.
    It was leaking (A pillar drivers side) and it was under warranty, so I took it in.
    I had a habit of cracking the sunroof and parking under trees for shade.
    I lived in SWFL at the time - an expensive introduction to sunroof drainage.
    On a B5.5 sedan, the rear drains are in or behind the rear wheel liners. Maybe even behind the bumper somewhere?

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ems View Post
    bump... Pete?
    Sorry... too busy at work.

    Here's two photos of the driver's side front drain (click for larger image):




    I thought the front drains were located near the bottom of the pillar, but they are above the "accordion boot" instead. Oops.

    Passenger side front drain is the same as the driver side.

    I'll try to locate the rear drains this weekend (I think they are up inside the rear wheelwells, hidden behind the wheelwell paneling.

  18. #17
    ems
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    THANKS Pete!!! Should have responded sooner, but have been traveling.

    Your pictures were a big help, and really helped me to identify the leak/break. Turned out that the hose/line behind the nipple is where the break was. Think that I have FINALLY got it fixed !?!?!?!? (I hope). THis was not an easy one to trace.

    THanks again.

  19. #18
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    Good to hear you got it fixed!

    Where did the rear drains turn up? (I'm guessing they are up inside the rear wheel well, hidden below the black plastic "liner")

  20. #19
    ems
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete1 View Post
    Good to hear you got it fixed!

    Where did the rear drains turn up? (I'm guessing they are up inside the rear wheel well, hidden below the black plastic "liner")
    To be honest with you, I gave up after finding/fixing the front leak. When I tested for the rear drain, the water did come out from behind the wheel, and I hope that was ok.

    I;ve traced and repaired a number of problems on this car over the 6+ years I've had it and this one has turned out to be the most elusive pia so far.

    THANKS AGAIN!!!! You saved my a-- on this one.

  21. #20
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    Just found and unclogged my front two. A nice tool I used was a left over turkey baster from t-giving lol. Just fill with water and wedge it in the drain as far as you can and fist it. Black crap shot right out. I hear the rear drains are the tough ones.

  22. #21
    GCM
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    Rear sunroof drains can be accessed from inside the trunk by removing the side trim panels.

  23. #22
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    Hello guys. I am plagued by water leaks in our passat.

    There is no sunroof so instead of a drain nipple near the hinges of the driver's door, there is simply a plug (broken though). What is the purpose of that hole in passats that do not have sunroof? Should I keep that hole open or seal it?

    I sealed the door panels, but today I noticed that after the rain, the amount of water increased again in the rear carpet (right driver's side). All door sills seam to be dry, except the driver's door sill looks suspicious. Still some water, although I sealed the door panel thoroughly...

    Thanks.

  24. #23
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    Water entering the front can easily migrate to the back. If you have no sunroof and the pollen filter seal is OK, check the drains in the water scuttle. They're under the battery and under the brake booster.

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