Subaru Outback Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over $3000 to fix... car is 2014 with 50,000 miles ... 3 plus yrs ago they said it was the windshield... we had it replaced.. then the headliner was soaked ... clogged moonroof tubes... we had them serviced .. it did it again... paid to have them " cleaned out" .. The dealer said they shouldn't be a problem.. so a week ago I heard sloshing water .. and the speakers quit working .. thought it was a battery problem.. well the news today was not good... the moonroof filled up the passenger side with water .. we are not happy ... this has been an ongoing problem with this car for 3 yrs .. we park outside but nothing gets in it..

I personally believe this is a design flaw ...I wasn't born yesterday when it comes to mechanics .. I did all the work on the 2001 Forester we owned for 20 yrs.. What a nice car to work on.. anyway ... I want Subaru to pay for the repairs .. has anyone tried to get them to fix this problem.. Did I buy a lemon?

Jim in Olympia
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
14,384 Posts
I suspect that the dealership didn't do a complete repair of the leaking moonroof drains - which would be to drop the headliner, clear all the lines, check all the connections for signs of leaks, etc.

You can call Subaru (number in my signature) if you feel you've not been treated right. Let us know the outcome.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like I said .. I wasn't born yesterday.. I was wondering where the water goes if it doesn't go down the tubes... if the seals are dust at 5 yrs... why would anyone want to buy a Subaru?... They charged us $139.00 to "clean the tubes"... the problem occurs when there is a heavy rain... the tubes aren't clogged ... they aren't big enough to handle the heavy rain... it's a design flaw... they never did a check to see if the tube was split ... or unhooked .. plus you can't check for moonroof leaks without removing the headliner ..I suspect they would lose in small claims court ... and that is where we are headed if they don't fix the damage ..
 

·
Registered
2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
Joined
·
3,013 Posts
They charged us $139.00 to "clean the tubes"
Yikes! My dad had his 2014 in for an oil change and our dealer cleared his moonroof drains at NO COST. Yes, his was leaking in through the overhead console, he mentioned it when signing in for service.

For what it's worth (referencing the drains being too small for heavy rain) - my 2011 and now 2021 have both sat out in some absolute gully-washers and NEVER had water intrusion from the moonroof. Both were (are) garage-kept at home. My dad's 2014 is garage-kept in the fall/winter but sometimes sits out in the summer (accounting for his needing the drain cleared and mine not).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so this is the $100 question... it rains ... the moonroof is sealed to keep rain out ... where does the water go when the tubes get too much water too fast ? ... this doesn't take too much thought here ... it's like overfilling a glass of water.. since the moonroof is sealed it should by all accounts flow out over the roof.. but if it doesn't then Subaru has a problem .. a simple experiment ... take a quart of water and pour all of it an 8 oz glass... where does the overflow go? .. on a moonroof the SEALS are supposed to keep the water from going into the car ... the tubes being "plugged" has nothing with water filling the car up with water... BTW... the repairs are more than what I paid for my first new Car .. a Honda CVCC..

Jim in Olympia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,513 Posts
. . the moonroof is sealed to keep rain out . .
This has been discussed here in the past, and I vaguely recall Subaru issuing a TSB, or a note in the monthly TechTips, clarifying this misconception.

There is some gasketing around the perimeter, but it's not intended to provide an absolute, waterproof seal. That's why there are drains. Some water still gets through, but it lands in channels that lead to drain tubes. The tubes are sufficient to remove the water without build up in the channels; that's why we don't hear of every car that's been in a heavy rainstorm having interior leakage. However, when the channels or drains are restricted or blocked in some way, the water can back up, and could overflow, landing on the headliner and finding its way down inside the car.

There's been some cases where sealing material in the channels (they're made up of several pieces) was problematic, allowing water to get through. This can only be checked by removing the headliner and then watching for leaking as water is applied above.

Also, the drain tubes exit the body in somewhat hidden areas. The front drains exit behind the front wheel well liners; the rears underneath the rear bumper guard, on the side of the car behind the rear wheels. If a drain tube is blocked, proper clearing requires accessing these exit points, and that involves related disassembly, a possibility that was mentioned in post #2 above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
small update... contacted our insurance and there is a better chance than not that we are covered since the water got into the car after we had record rains and flooding ... The Governor declared an emergency in 14 counties .. this is on the same level as having your car pounded by hail... our insurance guy said he never heard of this happening before .. I am going to show them the video posted by SilverOnyx... and it is my contention that this leaking has been going on the entire time we have owned the car starting with replacing the windshield.. followed by more water leaking out of the headliner... no water should be leaking into the car even if the drain reservoirs filled up... it appears that they may leak during a regular rain fall... but not enough to "see"... a little water isn't going to hurt anything .. all of us have left a window open or even the sunroof open

I have used a rug cleaner to suck the water out of the carpets .. the front is dry to the touch but the rear is still wet.. we didn't notice it because of our Weather Tech liners.

I am still wondering why the water reservoir for the tubes drains into the car when it gets "full".. logic would have it sealed and then the water would run out over the top of the car... am I missing something here? Is there a gap ?.. The other thing was we were under the 7 yr ...100,000 mile warranty when we first started complaining.. ...then there is the sloshing ... where was that coming from?..
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback
Joined
·
87 Posts
I am still wondering why the water reservoir for the tubes drains into the car when it gets "full".. logic would have it sealed and then the water would run out over the top of the car... am I missing something here? Is there a gap ?.. The other thing was we were under the 7 yr ...100,000 mile warranty when we first started complaining.. ...then there is the sloshing ... where was that coming from?..
Your logic seems a bit flawed to me. If the hole in the roof was totally sealed then there wouldn't even be a need for the drains.

Depending where one lives, the drains can be a high maintenance item. Spiders love to build their homes in those drains and that is not covered under warranty.

You have an 8 year old car with a water intrusion issue. There are multiple points of failure, windshield, sunroof, roof rails, roof top antenna, etc. The headliner is going to need to be dropped to find the failure. The process is labor intensive. You seem to be looking for someone else to pay for your repair.
 

·
Premium Member
2016 Outback 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
714 Posts
I've had water in my 2016 and the dealers clear out the clogged tubes for free. The last time was during my 60k service.

I always check the floor under the passenger after it rains. Living in the northeast - gotta stay on it because pollen, dust, sap, debris gets in there often.

**from my understanding, they flush out the lines with compressed air. I don't own an air compressor so I let them do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: campsurf

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your logic seems a bit flawed to me. If the hole in the roof was totally sealed then there wouldn't even be a need for the drains.

Depending where one lives, the drains can be a high maintenance item. Spiders love to build their homes in those drains and that is not covered under warranty.

You have an 8 year old car with a water intrusion issue. There are multiple points of failure, windshield, sunroof, roof rails, roof top antenna, etc. The headliner is going to need to be dropped to find the failure. The process is labor intensive. You seem to be looking for someone else to pay for your repair.
Your logic seems a bit flawed to me. If the hole in the roof was totally sealed then there wouldn't even be a need for the drains.

Depending where one lives, the drains can be a high maintenance item. Spiders love to build their homes in those drains and that is not covered under warranty.

You have an 8 year old car with a water intrusion issue. There are multiple points of failure, windshield, sunroof, roof rails, roof top antenna, etc. The headliner is going to need to be dropped to find the failure. The process is labor intensive. You seem to be looking for someone else to pay for your repair.
You are right ... I am looking for some one to pay... the car was 2 yrs old when this all began, this is the 4th time this has happened and we have paid to have the drains cleaned twice.. to the tune of $300.00... our dealer said.."this shouldn't be happening." ... I believe that when you spend $35 grand on something it should not have problems like this... Dealers should include this service or at least an inspection on every service and we requested it on our last oil change and they said they were fine.. the hole on these tubes is a 1/2 ".. that is the size of a garden hose .. for the life of me .. I don't believe these hoses were ever plugged up ... it's a convenient excuse to cover a design failure on the part of Subaru.. they could be plugged with a peanut or something .. still ... where does the water go it they are plugged ? An Engineer would have considered this question. I would bet good money that the seals are leaking like a sieve on more than one of the "tube reservoirs".. and ... the dealer is either lazy or stupid... the moon-roof is #3 of most complained problem on all Subaru' behind the windshield leaking .. I have yet to hear what plugged up my drains... just saying "they were plugged" isn't good enough... plugged with what..and I still assert that leaking if the tubes are plugged the water shouldn't fill up anyone's car with water.. those reservoirs shouldn't leak into the car...

Your logic is flawed why have the drain holes at all? You just said the sunroof is sealed... obviously it isn't .. the damage is over $4300 now... on a car that that looks new... the video posted by SilverOnyx... shows exactly what the problem is and this is in no way my fault.. so yes... some one else should pay... Volvo has been dealing with a class action lawsuit over this same issue... Subaru is heading in that direction...
 

·
Registered
2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
Joined
·
3,013 Posts
a design failure on the part of Subaru
If that was the case then my 2011 SURELY would have leaked more than it did (which was not at all).

I would bet good money that the seals are leaking like a sieve on more than one of the "tube reservoirs"
I'm curious what these devices are, you keep mentioning them. I don't imagine there are overflow bottles of any kind in the drain system, the best I can figure is these 'reservoirs' are the channels around the moonroof, under the glass when it's closed, to move water to the drain tubes. Those won't be sealed and shouldn't overflow as there shouldn't be enough water getting into them with the roof closed to overflow them. Has the seal around the moonroof glass been inspected?

Next time it rains, if my 2021 is outside in it, I'll have to open the roof and see if it's wet at all in there.
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback
Joined
·
87 Posts
the video posted by SilverOnyx... shows exactly what the problem is and this is in no way my fault.. so yes... some one else should pay...
It shows exactly what the problem is with the car in the video. You are assuming that is your problem. No way to know without pulling the headliner.

I'm betting somewhere along the way the dealer has offered to locate the leak but you balked at paying for the diagnosis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If that was the case then my 2011 SURELY would have leaked more than it did (which was not at all).


I'm curious what these devices are, you keep mentioning them. I don't imagine there are overflow bottles of any kind in the drain system, the best I can figure is these 'reservoirs' are the channels around the moonroof, under the glass when it's closed, to move water to the drain tubes. Those won't be sealed and shouldn't overflow as there shouldn't be enough water getting into them with the roof closed to overflow them. Has the seal around the moonroof glass been inspected?

Next time it rains, if my 2021 is outside in it, I'll have to open the roof and see if it's wet at all in there.

Watch the posted video.. go to about 7 minutes into it.. the reservoirs I speak of can be seen leaking in the video, after the tubes have been cleaned and reattached.. they aren't huge.. the tubes fit onto the outlet.. .. .still where does the water go when the rain comes down in a torrent and the tubes can't handle the volume of water? ... .on a house when gutters overflow it flows over the edge onto the house.... the house is sealed and the water doesn't get inside... think of the car as a house...there should protection against this type of overflow... it shouldn't leak into the car just because the tubes are plugged .. the design is flawed on 2 fronts.. the tubes are too small to handle large volumes of water ... and water leaks into the car when the tubes are plugged... and in the video... leaking into the headliner can be seen coming from under the channel where the water runs into the tube... I call it a "reservoir". .. the guy in the video poured water into it ... and it leaked because the water didn't run down the tube right away.. Why is it leaking? And how often do we need to check the tubes to make sure they aren't plugged..daily, weekly, monthly? ...

Anyway.. this is an ongoing problem with Volvo, and VW/Audi and several other Makes.. for over 10 yrs.. Chrysler got tagged for being negligent in disclosing to owners that regular maintenance is needed on the sunroof drain tubes of affected vehicles. (on several models dating back to 2009).....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got of the phone with SOA... they offered $2000... for our damages... I voiced my concerns that it doesn't matter how much money they throw at this problem... it's still a design flaw... maybe a little leaf screen guard could solve this problem...
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
14,384 Posts
SOA does what it can to help - which is more than most other brands do - especially for a 7 year old car. I think Subaru's really been good about this. Leaky sunroofs are not an exclusive Subaru feature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
SOA does what it can to help - which is more than most other brands do - especially for a 7 year old car. I think Subaru's really been good about this. Leaky sunroofs are not an exclusive Subaru feature.

The gal on the phone was a great listener... I am hoping my main argument ... that since this problem is not covered by warranty because it's "a maintenance issue".. is going to be addressed ... anyone that owns a car with these drain tubes needs to know they can fail at anytime ... there no maintenance schedule.. I tried to get my tubes checked every time I changed my oil... I will go to my grave insisting there should be no way for water to get into the car even if the tubes plug up.

$2000 is a pretty good deal.. unfortunately the shorted out Radio AMP alone was $1000, and the headliner is stained .. SOA might want to throw a little more money at this problem since VW - Audi got tagged for 69 Million over the same exact complaint I am making... Chrysler is fighting a Class Action suit ...where as the overall design of the sunroof has been called faulty.. Once again .. our car might be 7 yrs old but our complaint began when the car was 18 months old ... we have a complete record of everything ... beginning with water leaking from the mirror, shortly after we bought the car with an extended warranty..
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback
Joined
·
87 Posts
beginning with water leaking from the mirror, shortly after we bought the car with an extended warranty..
Do you have a record of the head liner being dropped, with a diagnosis of the sunroof drains being the source of your water intrusion?

As I posted previously, there are multiple points of possible water intrusion on your vehicle. Consider $2k from Subaru a pretty good offer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Tire Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle
The first pic has arrow pointing to right rear drain hose connector on white plastic part, and aluminum tray is what channels the water to front or rear drain. The tray is too shallow, the tubes are too small, and the sunroof seal allows way too much water in. The second pic is drain port to right front. My RF drain hose was plugged. I blew them all out with an air hose at 100psi and only that one had resistance and made a pop sound when it cleared. Pine needles from when my dad owned it. From an engineering viewpoint, the glass seal can't really ever seal tight since it can't be tapered since it lifts up at rear as one operation, and drops down to slide open, so the next best thing to fix would be side rails that can hold more water and 3/4" drain tubes.
Since I had the head liner removed, I removed the roof racks and resealed them and used a second nut as a jamb nut because I read a thread about the nuts coming loose and leaking water( 3rd brake light also). Coincidently, one rack stud was broken at right front, so initially i thought that was my leak since it was over rf grab handle where headliner is stained. I fixed the roof racks first and then blasted it with water hose to find sunroof leak, clogged drain. I bet all those leaking car brands previously mentioned use the same sun roof vendor😜
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you have a record of the head liner being dropped, with a diagnosis of the sunroof drains being the source of your water intrusion?

As I posted previously, there are multiple points of possible water intrusion on your vehicle. Consider $2k from Subaru a pretty good offer.
The headliner has never been "dropped"... the problem is this .. the cost ... who pays for it? ... No one wants to consider another source of "water intrusion"... yet a video exists exposing the problem... My question to everyone ... why would anyone design a gutter system that would leak into "the vessel" if the drain "accidentally" gets plugged?.. and since my car has had 4 episodes of water intrusions (this last time it was sloshing) and the dealer has said other cars aren't experiencing this problem while driving around on the same planet like my car is.. by deduction ... a mechanic of journeyman level could conclude that there is more going on than "plugged tubes"... no car owner should have to worry or maintain a faulty design that can't be maintained at reasonable intervals... as a guy who has worked on cars, motorcycles, and other engines since 1980 ..I have seen a lot of design failures or other shortcomings in design... on a positive note... we drive some great cars today.... I have a little Toyota PU... I change the oil and that is it ... I haven't tuned it up in over 10 yrs ... albeit, I don't drive it a lot of miles and it doesn't have any problems beyond stuff that wears out. Now that is a good vehicle.. Then I have an example of bad design.. not a car but a Toshiba DVD player ... it was used once ... and died while not being used... manufactures make design mistakes... even the good ones.

$2000 from SOA might start to cover the money I have already spent dealing with these water intrusions.. then there is the loss of resale or trade-in value.. ...and lastly, add up all the time wasted dealing with this ... I have no problem standing up for a beloved car manufacture (the Outback is a great car)... but, not without acknowledging they are not above making mistakes... their is a lot of evidence that the tubes on all cars with this design are causing problems .. Subaru knows it or they wouldn't have offered me a single dime if they thought their moonroof was of sound design... and yes, my car is almost 8 yrs old... with 50,000 miles but consider my Toyota PU suffers no problems and is a 1998 with a 134,000 miles. I believe the Moonroof on my car is the problem ... if we plug the tubes and pour a little water into the drains it is leaking into the headliner.. just like the one in the video.. I am ready to bet the cost of dropping the headliner to find out ... what I want, if I am right is another car that is 8 yrs old with 50,000 miles on it... I LOVE THIS CAR... but so did all the VW, Jeep Patriot and Volvo owners that suffered being told ... "your tubes were plugged up and that is why your car is full of water"..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
View attachment 526263
View attachment 526262 The first pic has arrow pointing to right rear drain hose connector on white plastic part, and aluminum tray is what channels the water to front or rear drain. The tray is too shallow, the tubes are too small, and the sunroof seal allows way too much water in. The second pic is drain port to right front. My RF drain hose was plugged. I blew them all out with an air hose at 100psi and only that one had resistance and made a pop sound when it cleared. Pine needles from when my dad owned it. From an engineering viewpoint, the glass seal can't really ever seal tight since it can't be tapered since it lifts up at rear as one operation, and drops down to slide open, so the next best thing to fix would be side rails that can hold more water and 3/4" drain tubes.
Since I had the head liner removed, I removed the roof racks and resealed them and used a second nut as a jamb nut because I read a thread about the nuts coming loose and leaking water( 3rd brake light also). Coincidentally, one rack stud was broken at right front, so initially i thought that was my leak since it was over rf grab handle where headliner is stained. I fixed the roof racks first and then blasted it with water hose to find sunroof leak, clogged drain. I bet all those leaking car brands previously mentioned use the same sun roof vendor😜
3/4" drains might just work with deeper channels ... I use red loctite on nuts I want to stay in place forever.. or a plasti-nut.. My last Subaru was a 2001 Forester.. they suffered from the infamous Chinese head gaskets ...Subaru paid dearly for that mistake .. I spent a couple hundred on a Felpro gasket pack and fixed my blown head gasket... I will say this... that little engine was a joy to work on.... I just sold it this past Sept ..,it was 20 yrs old ... the other problem common to this car and other older Subarus are oil and tranny "drips" going right into the exhaust creating a smell in the cab mostly during cold weather ... this is when you first start the car or stopped at a red light.. We bought our Outback because of this.. my wife couldn't take the smell ...
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top