5015 15th Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107 | 206-783-1696
Automotive Water Leak Repair
If left untreated, a water leak can cause significant damage and cost thousands to repair. Leaking water rusts footwells, corrodes electrical equipment and damages door mechanisms. Leaks also spawn unhealthy mold and mildew.
Convertible Top Leaks
Mold & Fungal Growth
Sunroof Leak & Trunk Leak
Older vehicles are especially vulnerable, but new cars spring leaks, too. A shopping center ding or minor fender-bender may knock a car slightly out of alignment. Poor alignment can trigger trunk and side panel leaks. Weather stripping, window seals, sunroof seals and gaskets wear out before you know it.
Fix Water Leak In Car
Our experienced technicians have repaired hundreds of leaking vehicles over the years. They'll quickly determine the source of the water leak. They'll plug the leak and repair the damage. If the leak was accident-related, insurance will usually cover the cost of repairing the leak and fixing the damage.
When you file an insurance claim or order a new convertible top from Sunmark, we temporarily patch any leaks in your top free of charge. The patch is not designed to last forever, but it's much more than a strip of duct tape. Our technicians take time to properly sew and seal the damaged area until your replacement top arrives.
Interior Cleaned & Disinfected Following Leak Repair
Our skilled technicians fix leaking and damaged sunroofs. If your sunroof won't open or close, give us a call. We repair most major sunroof brands, including Inalfa sunroofs.
Types of After-Market Sunroofs
Here's a rundown of the commonly available after-market sunroof styles.
An Inslider (1) is a one or two panel roof system with a ventilation function and a front panel which slides underneath the rear glass panel or underneath the roof skin of the vehicle. An inslider is always a bottom loaded system.
A Topslider (2) is a two panel roof system that contains a ventilation position and has a front panel which can be moved over the rear panel. The rear lever that supports the panel makes a large slide opening possible. This product is available as bottom loaded and as top loaded variant.
An Exterior Slider (3) is a roof system including a ventilation function and a slide opening function. The front panel moves over the rear panel or over the roof skin of the vehicle. Because of the absence of a rear support lever for the glass panel, this system can be applied as a one of two panel system. Exterior sliders can be bottom loaded or top loaded systems.
A Fixed Panel (4) is a mostly top loaded roof system with one or more non-moving panels that provides a large panoramic view.
If you need sunroof repair call the experts at Sunmark.
The Sunmark Standard of Excellence
Broken Sunroof Slider
Customers often ask why sunroofs go bad when – in a climate like Seattle's – they're rarely open. The simple answer is that sunroofs are made to be used. The mechanism that opens and closes the sunroof can seize up or corrode when it's stuck in one position for long periods of time.
Making matters worse, many of today's more complicated sunroof mechanisms are manufactured using cheap parts. Cheap parts don't last. Case in point, the plastic slider clip on some Mazda Tributes. This one (below left) snapped with the sunroof half open.
Installing Repaired Sunroof
Repairing this sort of damage is not easy. The entire sunroof mechanism needs to be removed to replace the broken slider clip. In this instance, the replacement clips are much sturdier than the original ones, so the owner should not experience the problem again. Why didn't the carmakers use better clips during the manufacturing process? You know the answer to that.
Because cheap parts break more easily, it's a good idea to have your sunroof mechanism cleaned and lubricated once a year. Call us to schedule your annual sunroof inspection and maintenance.
Car Water Leak Repair
Every once in a while a brand new car straight from the factory springs a leak. The leak appears after the car's been parked in the dealer lot and it rains a time or two. When a tiny bit of water pooled in the trunk of this 2017 Stingray the dealer didn't mess around with half measures. Their technicians couldn't find the leak, so the service department called the experts at Sunmark Upholstery.
Brand New Corvette Stingray
Hairline Leak Above Right Tailight
Sealing Water Leak
It's a good thing the dealer called us. Finding this leak turned-out to be a real head scratcher. When their standard diagnostic tests failed to identify the source of the leak, we stripped off the rear panels and tested each rear body seam individually using compressed air and a special fluid. That did the trick. A hairline leak appeared in a seam just above the left tail light assembly.
Repairing the leak was quite a bit easier than finding it. A bead of epoxy sealed the tiny gap and the car was back on the lot in no time.
Sunroof Leak Repair
A customer recently pulled into our shop complaining of a sunroof leak in their Toyota van. Trouble is, the Sienna Rampvan was equipped with two sunroofs and they weren't sure which one was leaking. After testing both mechanisms, we discovered the problem. It was in the forward sunroof. The factory sealant had deteriorated and there was debris on the rails preventing the glass from fully closing.
Repair Leaking Sunroof
Bad Factory Sealant
Unknown Debris Prevents Closure
After removing the debris, we cleaned the sunroof rails then applied new sealant. The van — now tight as a drum — was back in the customer's driveway in the blink of an eye.
Replace Leaking Sunroof
Aging sunroofs are often to blame for water leaks. In many cases, cleaning the drains, rails and operating mechanism will elminate the leak. But, old sunroofs are notoriously fragile. There comes a time when repairing one isn't cost-effective. At that point, a car owner can either install a replacement sunroof or permanently seal the old one.
Old Sunroof Won't Close
Damaged Sunroof Removed From Car
Replacement Sunroof Installed
Replacing a damaged sunroof is time-consuming, but pretty straightforward. The tricky part is finding one that fits. Car makers stock OEM replacement parts for roughly ten years after a car is manufactured. Finding parts for an older car, such as this Acura, can be difficult. Fortunately, we were able to track down a working sunroof salvaged from another Acura. It was in great shape and it fit like a glove.
2011 BMW M3 Clamshell Top Water Leak
With its micro switches, sensors and minuscule tolerances, the clamshell top on BMW's 2011 M3 convertible is a thing to behold. But, not even an engineering marvel such as an M3 top is impervious to Seattle rain. When the clamshell on this white M3 developed a water leak, the dealer was going to charge an arm and a leg to repair it. Our technicians promised to fix the leak for a lot less.
2011 BMW M3 Clamshell Top
Retracted Clamshell Top
Seals Cleaned & Adjusted
We tested the top and discovered a problem with seals in the clamshell. The seals were in good shape, but some had been knocked out of alignment. We cleaned, treated and realigned the seals. That did the trick. The dealer was going to charge $2500. We did it for $900! The happy customer left Sunmark with a dry M3 convertible and $1600 in his pocket.
Water In Front, Leak In Back
It sounds counterintuitive, but flooding in the front of a car often results from a water leak somewhere else. This Luxury Crossover Lexus RX300 is a case in point. When the owners pulled into our shop, they complained that the mats and carpet in the forward footwells were constantly soaked. They'd already inspected the doors, windshield and roof without spotting any evidence of a water leak. They were stumped.
Forward Compartment Flooded
Floor Pan Soaked
Water Collecting In Trunk
Water Leaking Through Trunk Conduit
Draining Flooded Trunk
Evidence Of Traffic Accident
After inspecting the entire vehicle, we discovered additional water damage in the rear passenger compartment. When a floor pan is damp "stem to stern" it often indicates a trunk leak; water in the trunk can easily migrate into the passenger compartment if the vehicle is parked nose downhill and there's an open conduit between the trunk and rear seat.
Sure enough, when we spray-tested the SUV water pooled in the trunk. The open conduit between the trunk and the back seat was easy to find (red arrow above). With the water drained from the trunk, we re-tested the car. It turns out the source of the leak was a taillight tweaked out of alignment during a minor traffic accident. Leaks resulting from traffic accidents are common. They often require new sealant and realignment. In this instance the fix was relatively easy: a new taillight assembly instantly solved the problem.
Repair Leaking Sunroof
When the winter rain returns our "Sunroof Leak Hot line" goes crazy. Perfectly good sunroofs start leaking for no apparent reason. They never leaked when it rained in the spring. The open/close mechanisms work fine. The seals look tight. What's the deal? In most cases this sort of water leak results from a combination of two factors: heavy rain and the accumulation of debris.
Sunroof Mechanism Cleaned
Sunroof Drains Cleared
You may be surprised how much rubbish collects inside an open sunroof. Even a gentle breeze can blow dirt, small debris and pine needles into the sunroof mechanism when the car is parked. A heavy rain turns that debris into messy, drain-clogging gunk. Often times the sunroof will work fine once it's dismantled and the drains are cleaned.
Experienced Water Leak Detectives
When is a door leak not a door leak?
The case of "The Phantom Door Leak" illustrates how difficult it is to diagnose and repair an automotive water leak. The owner of this European sedan complained that water was pooling on the driver's side mat. You'd think a bad door seam might be the problem. But, after running a series of tests, our technicians determined that the source of the leak was actually the sunroof.
The sunroof itself wasn't leaking, but the driver's side drainage conduit (red arrow) was damaged. Instead of ejecting runoff, water was being forced inside the car. What appeared to be a door leak, turned out to be far more complicated and systemic. A do-it-yourself repair would have been a waste of time and money.
Often times our technicians have to disassemble entire sections of a vehicle to identify the source of a water leak. Water was also pooling on the driver's side of this car (below). When evidence pointed to a leaking side panel, we removed a wheel assembly and discovered the problem. The car had been in a minor accident eight years prior. The repair had been faulty and one of the interior seams had finally cracked.
Some repair shops would smear Bondo® on the damaged section and call it good. At Sunmark, good isn't good enough. We carefully seal this sort of crack with a special epoxy designed to flex instead of break. By using an epoxy instead of a bonding compound, this leak will never again be a problem.
Experience counts when repairing automotive water leaks.