A sunroof is a great feature in the Ford Expedition. But after some time, you might notice that there is leaking coming from the area of the sunroof. To avoid the problem, we have researched what causes such leaking and the solutions you can perform.
If the sunroof of your Ford Expedition is leaking, the possible reasons include:
- Worn or missing seal or gasket
- Clogged built-in roof drain
- Glass panel binding and misalignment
- Ungreased moving components
- Cracked glass panel
The solutions for a leaking sunroof can be as simple as cleaning clogged roof drains or changing the whole glass panel. Read on to learn why a Ford Expedition's sunroof might leak and what you should do about it.
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Why Is The Ford Expedition Sunroof Leaking?
If you drive on a rainy day and water leaks inside the car, it is a problem. Even if you think your sunroof is okay, the issues might not be visible.
There are car owners who reported that the sunroof of their Ford Expedition leaks. You can check the car seats and carpeting if these are damp or have moisture. Other signs include musty smells and excessive fogging inside the car.
Here are the common causes of sunroof leakage:
1. Worn Or Missing Seal Or Gasket
A sunroof has rubber gaskets on the perimeter of the glass panel. The gaskets seal the panel in place. But as time passes, changing weather conditions cause wear and tear on the gasket. In some situations, the seal can get lost.
The gasket can become cracked or damaged, allowing water to leak inside the car.
2. Clogged Built-in Roof Drain
Another culprit for the leaking is a clogged sunroof drain. Ford and other car manufacturers install a drainage system in car models with sunroofs.
The drainage has channels and holes where water could divert. Tubes in the drainage system direct the water to the bottom of the vehicle rather than inside the car.
Accumulating debris on the drains will prevent water from flow on the right path.
3. Glass Panel Misalignment
Sunroofs may leak by design. The glass panel should sit flush against the car roof. In most cars, it is not the case. Minor factory issues during installation can cause misalignment.
If you replaced your sunroof yourself, you might have misaligned the glass panels. Even if you bought the highest quality sunroof, it could still leak if installed incorrectly.
You should let a professional replace your sunroof if you do not have the necessary skills and experience.
4. Glass Panel Binding
A technical service bulletin was released about Ford's Vista sunroof glass binding or sticking. Owners might experience rattling or grinding noises when operating the sunroof. The cause of the noise is also attributable to defective or cracked glass brackets.
The bulletin also informs owners of the 2018-2019 Ford Expedition about the service procedure to correct the issue.
5. Ungreased Moving Components
The sunroof has movable parts, such as gears, rails, and motors. If you don't oil these parts, they can dry out and will not work as intended.
You can keep the sunroof in good condition by lubricating the moving parts.
6. Cracked Glass Panel
If you have driven by some construction site or where large debris falls, you should check your sunroof's glass panel for damage or cracks. Otherwise, you might not notice that there are cracks.
These cracks will create holes where water can pass through. The bigger the crack, the bigger the leak.
The type of sunroof glass you choose can lead to leaking. Tempered glass is the factory sunroof glass for the Ford Expedition. Choose this type of glass when replacing the sunroof glass.
What To Do If The Sunroof Is Leaking?
There are different causes for a leaking sunroof. Below are some solutions to follow:
- Replace the damaged glass seal of the sunroof. You can buy a glass seal from trusted vendors.
- Unclog the sunroof drains by cleaning and taking out any debris. You can check the drains on the four corners of the frame.
- Wipe the sunroof track to get rid of anything that's stuck.
- Spray lithium grease on a soft cloth and wipe the moving parts of the sunroof.
- Regardless of the crack size, you should fully replace the glass panel as soon as possible. Ask a professional installer to avoid misalignment.
- You can use a sunroof repair kit compatible with Ford Expedition.
- If you are not confident about fixing the problem, go to your car care center and ask for help from the professionals.
- Always buy a genuine Ford OEM part when buying the replacement.
Where Are The Sunroof Drains Located?
You should know where to locate the drains in case you have to unclog them. The drains are close to the pan assembly. You can find four holes, two at the front and two at the rear of the track. These holes direct the water out of the vehicle through a channel.
The passageway for the water starts from the inside of the roof. The water passes through the dashboard before going under the vehicle. This system will not affect the interior of the vehicle and its electrical connections.
The purposes of the sunroof drains are as follows:
- Protect the vehicle from moisture and water damage
- Avoid overflow of water inside the vehicle
- Directing water out to the proper channel
How Do You Seal A Car Sunroof?
If the cause of the leaking is a defective sunroof gasket, it will help if you know how to fully seal it permanently.
Once you have the suitable sunroof seal, follow these steps to seal it:
- Clean the sunroof using a wax-free cleaner and rag to eliminate dirt. Then let it dry under the sun.
- Fully close and lock the sunroof.
- Add silicone sealant to pour around the perimeter of the sunroof. Also, pour the sealant in gaps and seams between the glass and the roof.
- If there is excess silicone, remove it within five minutes using mineral spirits.
You can buy this silicone for sealing the sunroof:
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Leaking Sunroof?
If you have issues with your sunroof, you also worry about how much you will spend to solve the problem. You might spend between $100 and $1,000 for a major replacement.
The cost depends on the damage to your sunroof and the rates for labor. Also, the cost of the sunroof depends on the model you will purchase from the car dealership.
You might not spend anything if the issue is easy to fix, such as unclogging the drains.
How To Maintain A Car's Sunroof?
If you want to avoid spending money on a sunroof, you should know how to keep it in good condition.
Listed below are some tips you should remember:
- Clean the sunroof regularly. Use a vacuum to clean the glass or cloth to wipe down dirt. You can also use a cleaner that is free of ammonia or vinegar.
- Do not forget to clean the gasket, slides, and tracks.
- Lubricate the moving parts.
- Inspect the moving parts, brackets, and latches to check if there is some binding. You can try turning on the car, then opening and closing the sunroof.
Listen to popping or scraping noises when using the sunroof. These noises will tell you that there are components that need attention. You have to take action to avoid more leaking.
A leaky sunroof is annoying when you drive on rainy days. Clogged drains, a misaligned glass panel, and an improperly sealed gasket are some of the common reasons of a leaky sunroof in a Ford Expedition.
There are both simple and complex solutions for a leaky sunroof. You can unclog the drains or clean the sunroof trails and gasket yourself. If the sunroof has cracks, the solution is to replace it. The cost can range from $100 - $1,000.
Considering all the causes and solutions available, it is a good idea to maintain your sunroof. Keep it in good condition. The gears and motors of a sunroof may also require care for the sunroof to stop leaking.
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