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how to unclog sunroof drains?


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#1 geoguy

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:05 PM

Ok, several searches have yielded lots of advice on how to unclog sunroof drains on other models (esp. XC90 & S40/V50), but I haven't found any similar description that would apply to my '05 V70R . . .I found a little water pooled on the passenger side rubber floor mat during the most recent of many rainy days here in New England. The car had been parked in the rain for a few hours, & the floor was dry prior to parking in that spot. So the water had to have entered during that morning's rain. It appears that very little water made it onto the carpet, but I want to nip this in the bud.

Yesterday I tried pouring water into the driver's side sunroof drain, & it quickly dripped out onto the ground behind the front wheel. Did the same thing at the passenger side, & it did not drain. I can poke a wire at least a few inches into the top of the sunroof drain opening, so it doesn't seem to be clogged at the sunroof, but I don't know where the drain hose is routed to look for a clog further downstream.

I assumed the passenger sunroof drain hose would be behind the passenger A-pillar trim, but all I found there was a tube that feeds the tailgate washer nozzle.

While installing a new cabin air filter I removed what appears to be the AC drain hose, & could easily blow air through it, so that doesn't seem to be part of this problem.

If anyone has successfully cleared a passenger-side sunroof drain on a P2 V70R, I would be very grateful for their advice . . . TIA.

- Mark

Edited by geoguy, 12 April 2010 - 04:07 PM.


#2 AlexD

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:26 PM

Sadly the best way to do this is to blow on it, so you may way to find some way to seal the opening around the straw of a can of canned air.

Of course, since one side is open, I have to ask if there is any evidence of a leak around the sunroof area? It might be something other than the sunroof drain causing the issue, such as the seal around the raincap that is part of the HVAC air intake.

#3 geoguy

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:23 PM

But I poured water directly onto the passenger side sunroof drain opening, & it didn't drain to the ground (as it promptly did on the driver's side. Wouldn't that imply the problem is in the sunroof drain hose?

Edited by geoguy, 12 April 2010 - 10:24 PM.


#4 AlexD

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:32 PM

But I poured water directly onto the passenger side sunroof drain opening, & it didn't drain to the ground (as it promptly did on the driver's side. Wouldn't that imply the problem is in the sunroof drain hose?



Well, it could be that the hose is indeed plugged, but just because the hose is plugged doesn't mean it is the cause of the leak :D As long as the water had somewhere to go (down the other drain) then it may not be the cause. If there is no water on the back side of the head liner, I would say the leak is elsewhere. Do three things:

1. Clear out the sunroof drain, just use air-pressure to clear the blockage, air compressor, canned air, whatever. Verify roper operation. If it drains outside the car, then perfect, if it is draining inside the car, you'll need to address that.

2. Pull the trim around the sunroof and the overhead console/sunroof control, etc. module. BE SURE TO UNPLUG YOUR BATTERY 15 MINUTES BEFORE. For some insane reason unplugging this module without disconnecting the battery makes the airbag light go off, go figure. Once off, you should be able to inspect the headliner for signs of water damage, if there is no water there, look elsewhere.

3. Last but not least, pull the carpet from the floor of the right side. You can remove the glovebox as well if you prefer, inspect all around the air inlet and airbox for signs of leaking, be thorough and use a flashlight. If there are signs of water here, then get someone with a high-volume hose to point into the air intake and blast a stream of water/spray right into that area on the cowl while the blower is on, inspect for dripping while this is going on. If you get leaks now, it is probably the rain cap.

#5 geoguy

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:37 PM

And how does one get at this "rain cap", if it is indeed the problem . . . by removing the plastic cowl at the rear of the hood?

Thanks for the tips, btw.

Edited by geoguy, 12 April 2010 - 10:37 PM.


#6 AlexD

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:40 PM

And how does one get at this "rain cap", if it is indeed the problem . . . by removing the plastic cowl at the rear of the hood?

Thanks for the tips, btw.



It is kind of a pain in the butt, but yes, you remove the cowl, swear a great deal, spend $20 on the new part, etc. It has a funny name but it is essentially the snorkel that sticks out of the area under the cowl to suck the air in, sorry if that's not terribly descriptive, I can't think how else to describe it.

#7 geoguy

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:45 PM

I can picture that . . . thanks again, Alex.

#8 Mendy9677

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:02 AM

Just joined because I just had this issue and I am facing a $1200 bill. Anyone contact this law firm to see what they are doing: www.Volvo-Lawsuit.com ?

#9 demice

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 05:30 PM

Found a lake on the floor of the front passenger side of my 2001 V70. Not exaggerating. We had a big storm and there was so much water on the floor that it was sloshing around on the totally saturated carpet. Took it to the dealer and problem was diagnosed as a blocked sunroof drain. They want over $600 to remove and dry the carpet and underpadding. The same thing happened a couple years ago, but not as much water came in, so the expensive drying service was not required at that time.

Does anyone know if this is a design flaw on the V70 ? Any less expensive suggestions on how to dry out the car and avoid mold issues? Many thanks!




#10 abarth

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:35 PM

$600 is cheap and I think you should have it done.

The carpet and padding must come out and be dried. The insulation/padding may not be able to be dried and should be replaced.
This can take several days. If it is not done, you will get mold and electrical connectors will fail and rust will start.

I owned a detail shop that dealt with problems like this when there were large storms. Insurance may pay for it.

A wet vac will NOT get the water out of the padding. You MUST remove the carpet and insulation.