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Blocked sunroof drains

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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 17:04   #1
iainmd
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Default Blocked sunroof drains

After much investigation it would appear that both my front sunroof drains were blocked causing water to back up into the car's cabin. Luckily I appear to have spotted it early and there isn't very much water noticeable in the car. The tell-tale sign was water marks on the A-pillar trims which I cleaned up with a Vanish stick.

This appear to be a major design flaw with a class action lawsuit in the US against Volvo about it. The upper drain tube just slots into the lower one and only has about 5-10mm overlap meaning there's no proper seal where the upper drain leaves the cabin to the lower drain. I looked on VIDA and nowadays there's a plastic intermediate joining pipe that forms a proper seal but it can't be retrofitted as the pipe diameters have also changed.

I have manager to clear the left pipe by blowing down it with an externsion connected to the pipe. Unfortunately the right hand side pipe remains blocked and very difficult to get to to clear. I have ordered pipe connectors to properly connect the upper and lower pipes together (8mm to 12mm) and some spare piping which I can use to get at the right hand lower pipe and blast air through to try to clear it. I'll report back on success or failure. There are a few horror story videos on YouTube along these lines so if you've an early P1 with a sunroof it might be best to check it out.

Some guidance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfbjHwn8FSA

Class action lawsuit and the damage that can occur:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYwumRSGI1Q

Connector purchased:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2906492694...84.m1497.l2649

Hope that helps folks.

Iain
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Old Sep 25th, 2013, 09:32   #2
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Hi,

Could you update as to whether that connector works. I'm sure I'll be needing to redo the join on mine and hadn't thought of something like that.

Thanks
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 15:45   #3
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Worked perfectly. I would advise anyone with a sunroof on an S40 or V50 to check if the upper and lower pipes are joined by anything regardless of whether your drains are currently blocked or not. It appears that the later cars have an "intermediate" section and the pipes are wider.

For my 2004 car I bought 2 x 12mm to 8mm barbed straight connectors from here linky which connects the upper and lower pipes perfectly. I also bought 50 cm of internal diameter 8mm pipe linky that I used for each side to temporarily connect to the lower pipe (using the eBay supplied connectors) and blow through to clear the blockages.

What an awful bit of design. I also checked under my carpets to ensure I didn't have any of the water damage/rust that others had on the YouTube videos as a result of this. Thankfully, I'm fine.

Iain
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Old Sep 12th, 2016, 14:10   #4
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I have a 2010 Volvo S40. I just noticed a small section of the passenger front footwell was damp and I think I was able to mop up the most it with 2-3 minutes worth of sponging and a good amount of paper roll.

After looking around the internet for about an hour the first port of call for me will be to check the sunroof drain plugs. Am I right in assuming that the A panel trim will have to be removed to try and do the job properly? Does anyone know of a guide how to do this without breaking any of the lugs or connectors?

Another video shows that to clear the blockage at the bottom end you will have to remove the wiper scuttle trim and "massage" the cross shaped nipple at the end of the pipe where it drains to the outside. Does anyone know of any videos showing how to safely remove the scuttle trim?
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Old Sep 12th, 2016, 20:13   #5
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I don't know of a video but to remove the scuttle panel you will certainly require the replacement of the 4 clips. These.

Remove the wiper arms first then you pop the 4 clips out by pushing the centre down and through the clips then pull what's left out. The two philips shaped plastic screwheads in the centre need to be very gently turned 90 degrees. Then the scuttle panel will lift off.

I ended up having to remove the rubber sound traps from the inside eventually after they blocked again after I did what I did in the above post. I cut a few mm off the end of them before putting them back to stop them re-blocking. Not an easy job.
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Old Sep 12th, 2016, 22:49   #6
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I think I see the purchase of a Haynes Manual in my immediate future
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Old Sep 23rd, 2016, 23:12   #7
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So I took the car to my local mechanic and we popped the passenger side A-pillar off and it seems to be the case that the previous owner of the car must have had a similar problem to mine in the past as it looks like someone has tried to bodge a repair in the past by adding an extension of smaller tubing and trying to seal the join between the drain tubing and the black sunroof plug which goes into the firewall.



Once we opened the bonnet we noticed that the two outer retaining screw clips from the scuttle panel so obviously they had been rooting about in the area of the drain plugs in the past.

We used his air gun to blow out the contents of the black rubber sunroof plug. There was some dirt in it but not a lot. Not that we've ever seen the correct position of the drain plug in the firewall area before but it seemed to be sitting up in the engine compartment and not far enough out if you know what I mean?

Until we take the driver side A-pillar off we can't be sure that a similar bodge has been tried on that drain pipe as well. If it appears untouched we plan to use it as a reference as to how it should sit and sort out the passenger drain plug position if required.

I did pick up one good piece of advice from another post on this forum for helping to dry the carpets out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Proghound View Post
We had a soaking wet passengers side rear footwell in SWMBO's Yaris, due to a bad join between two plates under the NS rear light cluster. Being needed for daily use, rather than take half the interior out we used a different method to dry it.

Having sponged up what water we could, we put a whole newspaper over the wet carpet, with an old towel on top, all under a rubber carpet mat. Capillary action draws the water through the carpet up into the paper & towel. It helps to stand on the mat to start it off. You change the newspaper and towel every day until you're not getting much wet on the paper. At that point, find something heavy with a large flat base, that can sit on top of the mat the whole time to squeeze the water out of the foam under the carpet (a box of old computer paper did it for us). Carry on changing the paper every day until you're getting nothing up. The carpet should now be completely dry, with no damp coming through under pressure. The foam beneath may still be slightly damp but should dry up completely over time.
I might try this to help dry out the carpets once the leak issue has been sorted. If it doesn't work I'll end up taking it to a valeter and see what they can do.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2016, 23:41   #8
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I found I had this problem two years ago when I turned my blowers on to the footwell area.. It was like a tap coming out the vent! To touch the front footwell area it was dry but back was wet and drying it was murder! I taken the drivers seat out and the carpet ect and left behind was around 3inch of water :O

Here is a video of mine <<Clicky>>
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Old Sep 24th, 2016, 09:06   #9
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Crickey Moley that's a lot of water Tony500. Was a blocked or disconnected drain plug the source of the water?
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Old Sep 24th, 2016, 13:01   #10
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Even the later models aren't immune to this issue. I have a 2009 model and had serious problems over a couple of years - i have a thread on this forum which i will update soon, along with a few other threads that might provide some useful feedback for people on here regarding other issues. We had a tree overhanging the hardstanding, which dropped sticky sap onto the car in the spring and leaves and sticky berries in the autumn - a pretty deadly combination as far as the sunroof drainage is concerned. We've since cut this tree down.

I first became aware of a problem whilst on holiday in North Wales. After a heavy downpour during the night there was over an inch of water sitting in the passenger footwell. Fortunately, the vinyl coating on the back of the carpet stops the water soaking through to the metal and electrical components below - but this will not be the case if the route the leaking water takes is behind the trim rather than along the outside: this will partly be dependent on the camber that the car is parked on. The North Wales dealer (Tyn Lon) said the way they resolved the issue was blowing air down the tubes, although another dealer suggested a far more expensive solution that involved removing the dash!

Here's what worked for me, without any disassembly whatosever. (Incidentally, i did initially remove the A-pillar trim to check there were no issues behind it; this is removed simply by peeling the rubber door seal back and then pulling the trim firmly from the top end). Over the course of a few days squeeze some washing up liquid down the drainage hole inside the sunroof well, followed by warm water (drain-clearing fluid might risk damaging plastics and rubbers as well as risking permanent staining). Do this slowly and carefully, otherwise the water will overflow the lip of the tray and enter the cabin. I used a 500ml mineral water bottle for this purpose, allowing the water to be directed in a controlled manner. This should help to loosen the dirt inside the tubes. Then use some tubing to blow air through the hole. I taped some rubber brake tubing on to a plastic WD-40 tube, which i fed into the hole and then sealed with blu-tac). If the blockage isn't too stubborn a battery operated tyre inflator might provide sufficient air pressure to remove the blockage. This worked for me several times. However, it obviously didn't completely remove the debris as the issue kept returning a few months later. On the last occasion i reached a stage where the blockage wouldn't clear, despite several attempts over the course of a few days during which i would pour more washing up liquid and warm water down. Then a moment of inspiration from my partner solved the issue in an instant! She brought out our drain unblocker, which i'd completely forgotten we had. These are quite cheap to buy, and this is the model that we have: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DRAIN-BLAST...=drain+blaster. By cutting up a strip of plastic milk bottle to form a tapering tube to marry up with the aforementioned brake tube/WD40 tube contrivance, and then taping it at both ends with insulation tape, you have then brought down the diameter of the drain blaster to a size that will fit the sunroof drain hole. Well, i was gobsmacked by the result. After priming up the pump and then releasing the trigger the water came gushing out of the blocked drain at the first attempt, clearing it in an instant. Six months or so down the line i haven't had any recurrence of the issue, although before winter sets in i will check again that there are no blockages and if necessary repeat the procedure. I would also suggest regularly cleaning the rubber seal around the sunroof glass, and also the paintwork that it makes contact with, in order to minimise the water and dirt ingress past the sunroof in the first place.
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