Clean your Sunroof Drain Hose - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 109 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Clean your Sunroof Drain Hose

I had a problem with water coming down from the liner in the back of my 02 OBW during and after rains. I let it sit outside one particularly rainy day to find about 2 cups of water in the mat in the cargo area. I was not happy about this, here is my journey to finding the problem.

First, what the problem turned out to be was a plugged drain hose that was backing up the system and water was overflowing out of the canal into the interior of my OBW- not good.

Ok, here goes:

Find what side has the plug- pour some water down the farthest outside rail on your sunroof. you can see the hole for the front drain if you use a light, but good luck seeing the back drain- trust me- it is there.

I tested all 4 drains and had only one of them plugged. I knew it was the right rear drain. The water should come out behind the respective tire

first, take out the flooring in the cargo area, and start taking off the sides where you have the plugged hose. then start pulling down the ceiling. My car looked like this.


You will find the top drain coming out of a black plastic piece the hose is clear and is about 1/2" thick.


It goes through the car body until you can see it at the bottom just before it goes into the drain. Look behind the plastic storage area on the side.
This is the one you want.

Pull out the hose, it is not held in by anything but gravity.

Here is how mine looked
Nice- huh?



I took a coat hanger and cleaned it out. Put the hose back in place and did the water test again on that drain and it worked!
Water test

Good luck.

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post #2 of 109 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 06:35 PM
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Smile

WOW! Thanks so much... I almost took my car to the body shop to fix a leak that was making puddles on the floor of my trunk every time it rained. But I decided to see if I could find the leak myself first and check this forum for any suggestions. I had exactly the same problem as you! There was black grime and dirt built up on the end of the drain hose underneath the car. I stuck a drinking straw in the end of the hose and wiped off the grime. Works like a charm! Thank you so much... I never would have guessed that repair would have been so simple!

FYI... the end of the drain hose underneath the car has a flap on it which I assume prevents critters and maybe even water during those creek crossings from coming into the space below the floor of the trunk. The grime was caked on so thick that this flap could not open as it should. Simply wiping it off from time to time should keep this problem from happening again.

THANKS!
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post #3 of 109 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 11:16 AM
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Photos?

Neoday, I think I have the very same problem. I would like to see your disassembly photos, but it seems your photo service (imagestation) went belly up, so no pics Can you post them somewhere else or send them to me, please? Thanks.
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post #4 of 109 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, sure thing. They are on my home PC and I will get to them back up and linked tonight.

Thanks for the heads up and let me know if you have any questions. I have had quite a bit of rain lately and no water inside- Yay for me!

I'll submit a reply once they are back up.

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post #5 of 109 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 02:37 PM
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Step-by-step for checking rear sunroof drain hoses

Thanks for the quick response, Neoday. Being completely irrepressible, I already took a shot at it myself. I've posted the steps in case they can help anyone else. I'm sure your photos would be appreciated as well...

My trouble seemed to be a disconnected hose on the rear passenger side. The symptom was water in the rear area, and a wet headliner around the center seat belt retractor.

I did this fix just now over my lunch hour, took about thirty minutes to diagnose and fix (well, hopefully fix!). Here are the steps (sorry no photos). Note these are the same steps whether doing the driver or passenger side.

Tools: #2 phillips screwdriver, 13mm short socket or wrench, flashlight, fingers.

1) Open tailgate, remove visible screw on the lower trim panel near tailgate opening. If you have a cargo net hook, unscrew that as well. Open the grocery bag hook on the passenger side and remove it as well (single phillips head screw). You should at this point be able to pull the lower trim piece away well enough to get the upper trim piece off.

2) Pull the upper d-pillar trim off. It pretty much pulls straight away from the body. You can pull off the little d-pillar speaker cover to help you get a fingerhold. Pull the trim off to about the c-pillar.

3) Pull down the interior trim that covers the top LATCH anchors. You can loosen just one side or pull it completely off if you're going to do both sides. Unbolt the LATCH anchor near the D-pillar (this is to make it easier to pull the headliner down.

4) Starting from the d-pillar, pull the headliner down carefully. The headliner is attached with black press-in clips, but there does not seem to be a safe way to detatch these. There was enough room for me to get my hand in to do what you need to do, though you might get a couple of scratches.

5) The hose you're looking for is about 1/2" OD, and was tinted blue on my car (04 OB Ltd Wgn). About 12" in from the back of the car, you can see the hose attached to the sunroof drain. Pull it off and check to see if it's clogged (you can push a screwdriver into the drain hole to check it). Mine happened to be clean. In my case I found that the passenger side hose was not connected to the drain, so that the drain pretty much dumped right out to where the center rear seatbelt retractor was. It seemed to me that the hose was just about 1/4" shorter than it should have been. Anyway, with enough tugging, I got just enough to get it back on. If I'm ever in there again, I will use some spring-type hose clamps or maybe even splice in a little extra hose.

6) Reassemble the car in the opposite order you used to take it apart. The only part that needs special attention is the d-pillar trim, which as some fragile trim pins (they're yellow, and there are two to a side) which are very easy to bend. I suggest that when you get to the d-pillar trim you fit the d-pillar end of it first and then the part that runs across the ceiling from the d to c pillars. To set the d-pillar trim, you push *sideways* into the d-pillar, rather than up at an angle, which is the direction you'll go when you push in the part over the window. If you stop to examine the trim piece (and pay attention to the two little yellow pins) you can see what you need to do.

All in all, took about 30 minutes, and I'm hoping that this will be the end of my leak!

One more note. I've seen on this forum people saying there are two rear drains, exiting the car behind the rear wheels. On my car at least there were, in fact, two drains, but I only had an outlet (on the driver's side). I assume that the two tubes join somewhere near the driver's side d-pillar and both exit the same outlet, but I didn't really look into it, as clogging wasn't my problem.

Best of luck to anyone this might help.
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post #6 of 109 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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wow, I am way late, do you still need those pics?

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post #7 of 109 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 01:52 AM
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This thread has been very helpful.

I've had this leaking issue for almost a year and thought it was the seals of the sunroof. Turns out one of the drain outlets was clogged (w/ black, smelly mud-like stuff). Not only was one of the drains clogged, but also one of the hoses was leaking at the top because the fitting was loose. I can't believe Subaru didn't put some kind of hose clamp on there.

BTW, my car ('02 H6 LL Bean) has an outlet behind each rear tire. The outlet on the passenger side has two hoses running to it and the driver side has one hose going to the outlet.

My 4-Runner is 19 years old and the sunroof has never leaked.
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post #8 of 109 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by neoday
wow, I am way late, do you still need those pics?
Although mine is an 07, I suspect the arrangement is probably close, if not the same. So, yes, if you can, please do post the pics.

At the same time, I would ask if anyone with a MY05 or later has found the rear drain outlets. I looked behind the two rear wheels, but that space is filled with the mufflers. Above the muffler is a heat shield, so I can't see what is above it. Is this the area of the drain outlet, or am I in the wrong place altogether. (No problem with leaks, but I'd rather know where to look underneath, especially if mud etc could prevent the drains from emptying properly.)
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post #9 of 109 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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WooHoo! Photos uploaded again and added a video about the water drain test.

any questions, please feel free to ask.

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post #10 of 109 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:34 PM
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Neoday:

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