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Hi,
New to the forums and new to owning a Tiguan, this will hopefully help anyone with the dreaded leaking panoramic sunroof!

This simple repair will take 5mins on a nice sunny day!

Having not long owned my Tiguan (one week), it decided to leak; the problem was a water leak making the headlining near the top of the nearside (left-hand side) A-pillar wet; the water then ran down the A-pillar and door-card and collected as a puddle in the footwell!

After several trips back to the VW dealer (approved used) without success (they blew the drain hose off!) I decided to google and solve the problem myself - having modified many Defenders and found better repair/solutions; I've come up with a quick, simple, cheap repair that anyone can do. Best of all, it doesn't require removing the headlining or bending it down, which could result in it being creased and damaged!

PROBLEM:

The OEM VW union, which connects the drain tube to the sunroof gutter, is poorly designed and, over time, perishes and fails or works loose (or is blown off by main stealers using airlines to clear blockages) resulting in the water in the gutter leaking onto the top of the headlining. If you're lucky enough to still have a warranty, VW will repair it by removing the whole headlining and replacing the tubes with new ones. However, these 'new' drain tubes are identical to the old ones and will fail again…


SOLUTION:

We're going to 'line' the existing drain tube with another tube carrying the water past the VW OEM union to solve the problem.

As a bonus, the way this repair sits in the gutter produces a small 'dam' which holds back tiny particles of dirt/debris from entering the tube and blocking it over the years.

PARTS NEEDED:

First part needed: I found after trial and error that the best tube was a fabric braided rubber fuel hose from these guys - hydraquip.co.uk. After the material is removed, the hose has an outside diameter of just over 9mm; the wall thickness is approx 1.5mm with an internal diameter of 6mm.

The second part needed: is a 10mm pipe stiffener - I got these from Bunnings, but they are produced by Polypipe; they are for flexible central heating pipes to reinforce them where a compression union is used.

The third part needed: high-grade silicone sealant, not the rubbish water-based stuff!


PROCESS:

The drain outlet is located in the corner of the sunroof gutter near the bug-catcher mechanism.


1: We need about 200mm (20cm) of hose un-braided (a small willing child works best for this operation!)

2: Into one end only, insert the pipe stiffener - this helps flare out the hose's back to make a tight push-fit.


4: Make sure the drain outlet on the gutter is completely dry and relatively clean, it's a pain to get to, so I used some heavy gauge wire and cloth.

5: Gently feed the hose down the gutter outlet stopping short, so you can run a bead of silicone about 15mm from the end as indicated below; running the silicone bead 15mm from the back ensures the silicone will 'smear' inside the outlet giving the best long-term seal.


6: Now push the hose fully into the drain outlet using gentle force (don't want to break the plastic gutter outlet!) until level with the end of your finger.


That's it. Let it cure for 24hrs and then poor water into the gutter to ensure it's all sealed - I gave up after pouring two litres of water down the ting with no leaks - I checked by popping the vanity light bulb holder out and running my finger around the topside of the headlining.

At some stage, I'll do the off-side - the rear drain tubes can also fail, but this solution will not work as they can't be accessed. However, they are easily accessed by dropping the rear headlining without any stress or damage caused to it; it's then just a case of scoring the unions and reinstalling them.

I hope that helps someone; feel free to suggest any edits or ask any questions.
 

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Very common problem - I repaired mine about 4 years ago, it was a temporary fix at the time - simply wrapped insulation tape around each "bulb" - (touch wood) no further leaks since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of those 'i'll properly fix it next weekend'.....4yrs later...meh still works!!

It's still beyond me why VW designed them that way, and after all these years of failures they still make them the same way! Surely cheaper to make a single hose with flared end???
 

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Thanks to all for posting on this thread (and note this is my first mytiguan post, so thanks!).

My bodyshop guy and I climbed up to look inside the pano roof to fin out WHERE the drain holes are so we could try to ream them with a soft line of string trimmer line......BUT COULDN'T FIND WHERE THE HOLES ARE!

I looked at all the threads on this, and the exploded diagram that was posted in this thread, but it still doesn't make sense to us exactly where the holes are!

It would be great if someone could point us in the right direction.

Note that my vehicle is a 2009 Tiguan.

Thanks,

Flash

Durham, North Carolina
 

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4 holes, one each corner of pano
Thanks so much for responding! my concern is that looking in the front two corners there doesn't appear to be any hole. I'm wondering if the hole is facing the front facing the side or at a diagonal in the corner.

From close visual inspection, and poking around with a piece of wire, there doesn't appear to be any hole. With regard to the back, I'm not even aware that the back lifts up or is viewable. If there is some sort of direction that can be provided with regard to finding that, that would be great also! Again, I appreciate the thought, but the short description doesn't really move me forward! :)

Thanks again,

Flash

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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Those pics aren't from a Tiguan, they're from a completely different car than mine. That vehicle is quite different, in that I also don't have the drain outlet at the door jamb as shown on that thread.

I am getting a leak onto the headliner of the passenger side.....and the problem is that I can't find the drain hole to even check if that's clogged before taking down the headliner to check the fitting!

Anyone have a 2009 Tiguan that can tell me where the drains are????????

Thanks so much, all,

Flash

PS: Here's two pics of mine...

2.jpg


3.jpg


http://www.gruvenparts.com/sun-roof-drain-locations/

Try that link. They are literally one in each corner in that approximate location shown on the car with the green roof. I don't think you can access the rear at all without removing the glass. You can only get to the hose by removing interior trim. Are you getting leaks into the car from over the top of the pano roof lining?
 

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I know it's not a tiguan those are the approx locations though.... I have a 2008 with pan roof and replaced both drain hoses at the front. Right in front of the screen in your photo in the corners of the recess is where they are located. I was asking ref the leak as if you can't see them maybe someone had filled them to try to stop the leak from the hoses. They are easy to find / see so you shouldn't have any issues finding them unless a previous owner has modified something. So in front of the buffer screen in the corners the photo I posted should help all be it a different car
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi, Sorry i've not been getting notification on my own post!!

Mark0, my picture 'drain' shows the newly installed tube so yours won't look exactly like that, the front ones (the only two that this will will work on) are in the corners of the sunroof channel, they are best seen by letting the bug-deflector pop up, then from either inside the car or by leaning over from outside they are on the outside edge, right in the corner facing outwards.
 

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I FINALLY got this fixed on my 09 Tiguan. I thought it was the spout leaking at the joint between the sunroof drain and the tube, so I re-glued that a couple of years ago with marine adhesive. In a recent storm we saw it still leaking :mad: .

I finally decided to figure it out once and for all. I bought a long bendy pipe cleaner on Amazon. Threaded it into the tube, and...got it stuck. FML. After really yanking on it, I got it and a little dirt out of the tube. But went to blow into the tube to clear out the dust, and...nothing. I couldn't blow through it. I had never thought to check to see if it was actually a BLOCKAGE causing the leak and not a little hole or misalignment. The gears started turning and I realized I could still be experiencing leaks in the sunroof as the tube fills up with water, then the roof rack channels fill up with water, and the water spills OVER the top of the roof rack assembly into the car ceiling. UGH.

So I have a blocked tube, and it's already watertight since I fixed it. Onto the work I wish I had thought to do years ago.

I followed the drain line down the A pillar, behind the dash, and pulled out the dash panel to reveal the end of the drain. Follow along in pictures.
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive exterior


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Bumper Automotive design Hood


You can see the tube goes into a "collector" or drain end that directs it through the firewall (and eventually behind the wheel well liner).

I yanked out the collector and saw this:

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


It felt heavy, and I found out that was because it was full of what I can only describe as a clod of dirt.

That's likely due to the fact that the drain end has a tiny little "x" shaped opening that allows it to get COMPLETELY clogged. Seriously?!

Wood Finger Thumb Nail Button


Road surface Finger Asphalt Automotive tire Grass


I emptied it out and then cut the end of the collector off to allow larger particles to get through (Why VW decided that only water should be able to exit the drain pipe is absolutely beyond me, but I would imagine that a large portion of the people experiencing leak problems with their sunroofs are actually seeing this issue). I put it back into the hole, threaded the line into it, and made sure there were no kinks.

Hood Office supplies Writing implement Pen Automotive exterior


Hand Hood Automotive design Finger Automotive lighting


I did the same thing on the driver's side. I poured a couple of gallons of water through the system with the roof open (carefully to avoid it going in the drivers seat) and closed. Works like a charm. The nice thing is if this is happening on your car, taking out that trim panel is a LOT easier than getting to the roof drain behind the ceiling panel - maybe even a better starting point. Shame it took 4 years to figure it out. And shame VW decided that this was a sane design decision :(. I'm thinking about moving to the Pacific NW just to get some more mileage out of this fix.
 

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Hi everybody.
First let me thank you for all your comments and idead and solution you gave to the forum, really apreciable.

I just bought a 2009 tiguan 4 motion SE. After washing the car this morning i notice some water leaking from the panoramic sunroof rear side.

Please help?
Any idea?
 

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Hi Deny and welcome to our very friendly and informative forum. This thread covers the pipes down the A pillars, however there are several other older threads on here covering unblocking the rear pillars. Use the search function, which is excellent, to look through for the older advice.

I'm sure those who've had this in the past will also chip in before long. Fortunately I don't have a sunroof, as the biggest gripe with them does seem to be leaking when the drain tubes block.

Tricky
 

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Hi everybody.
First let me thank you for all your comments and idead and solution you gave to the forum, really apreciable.

I just bought a 2009 tiguan 4 motion SE. After washing the car this morning i notice some water leaking from the panoramic sunroof rear side.

Please help?
Any idea?
You have 4 drain tubes in the car. The tubes with the years start to loose and water goes in wrong direction. Should be your issue.
 

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Thanks for the informative advice people... we got our 2013 Tiguan around 3 & 1/2 years ago and noticed a musty sort of smell that we could never shift! Around two weeks ago by pure chance (never use the back seats) we noticed the passengers footwell carpet was damp, from there a can of worms was opened!

Long story short & passenger & rear seats removed led to around two days of drying the underlay and carpet... problem came back after two days with no rain... led to the discovery of the entire section under the back seats acting as a reservoir! And running down both sides of the car into the rear foot wells. One side appears to have a white waxy residue!

I honestly think the problem was caused by VW from manufacture (behind the rear pillar on the passengers side the drain hose was crushed by the pillar clip) interesting to see if they will take any responsibility! Not holding out much hope though as car is 7 years old this year and last two services have not been with VW, so they will probably say prove it was us who done this!

A few pics of the damage and the crushed pipe which I believe was the main cause of the leak!

a00270e8c0355b09d0e5c1be6e09376c.jpg


ca5d73246830a2edf17324f727d5acd0.jpg


347dcbd4d55c64fb3a278b738b440ada.jpg


ca5d73246830a2edf17324f727d5acd0.jpg


0dcf4ac8c9394bad5a59eb7fb613773e.jpg


a58eb0e89fea1b25c19534d3784f47de.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for the informative advice people... we got our 2013 Tiguan around 3 & 1/2 years ago and noticed a musty sort of smell that we could never shift! Around two weeks ago by pure chance (never use the back seats) we noticed the passengers footwell carpet was damp, from there a can of worms was opened!

Long story short & passenger & rear seats removed led to around two days of drying the underlay and carpet... problem came back after two days with no rain... led to the discovery of the entire section under the back seats acting as a reservoir! And running down both sides of the car into the rear foot wells. One side appears to have a white waxy residue!

I honestly think the problem was caused by VW from manufacture (behind the rear pillar on the passengers side the drain hose was crushed by the pillar clip) interesting to see if they will take any responsibility! Not holding out much hope though as car is 7 years old this year and last two services have not been with VW, so they will probably say prove it was us who done this!

A few pics of the damage and the crushed pipe which I believe was the main cause of the leak!

a00270e8c0355b09d0e5c1be6e09376c.jpg


ca5d73246830a2edf17324f727d5acd0.jpg


347dcbd4d55c64fb3a278b738b440ada.jpg


ca5d73246830a2edf17324f727d5acd0.jpg


0dcf4ac8c9394bad5a59eb7fb613773e.jpg


a58eb0e89fea1b25c19534d3784f47de.jpg
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank You @Leeski. Your pictures helped me find out the source of leak in my Tiguan. The drain valve was missing which caused water to flow into rear passenger foot well.
 

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Post away Mike. :)
 

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I’m still in the early stages of my leak tracing. Most of my google search results pointed towards faulty connections at the sunroof drains between nipple and hose. I inspected the passenger and rear drain connections and they looked fine. While mopping up water in the passenger footwell with my Shamwow I did notice water pooled in the well beneath the floor, where the seats mount. Today I noticed a “trail” of water coming from beneath the hard foam spare tire tray, traveling next to the seatbelt floor anchor and pooling just inside the door, where the wire cabling runs through. I’m going to remove the spare tire tray and the passenger side panel in the cargo are tomorrow to hopefully pinpoint a source.
 

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