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BMW Water Leaking In Sunroof – Clogged Drains

February 25, 2013

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

car year: 2003
car model: 745Li
I need your help.  Every time I wash my 03 745li, it leaks from the sunroof and enters my carpet from the foot-well and is soaked! What do I need to stop this once and for all?

The most common reason for water entry via the sunroof area would be clogged drain tubes for the sunroof tray (assuming the roof is properly adjusted so that it closes flush with the surrounding roof area.  If one or more of the drain tubes are clogged with debris, the water that enters the sunroof tray, past the sunroof panel seal, will overflow and enter the cabin.  Additionally, check the sunroof panel seal for any signs of water passage due to wear or damage and verify that the panel is properly adjusted when closed.

You can check and/or clear the drain tubes by carefully inserting a flexible wire or cable (such as an old-style speedometer cable or a flexible yet sturdy stranded control cable)  into the drain tube openings (one at each corner) of the sunroof tray.  Gently push the wire or cable through the drain tube.  The drains run down the A-pillars and the C-Pillars (the front and rear roof supports).

If the sunroof panel does need adjustment, the Bentley repair manuals will show the proper procedures.

If the sunroof seals need replacing, we do have some of the seals listed in our online store at  If your specific model is not shown, you can order them by calling our advisors at 800-535-2002.

Sunroof seals:

Bentley repair manuals:

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