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Sunroof leak on my Saturn Outlook



  • I emphasized how bad of a family vehicle this is under a prior post with the user name fixtheproblems. At that time in march my transmission went out 1 month after supposedly having the leaky sunroof repaired. Not only did it not get fixed, it cost me $700 to get it dried out as it was the middle of winter. The dealer at that time tried telling me that it was just clogged drains.

    Now fast forward 4 months and it has been back to the shop twice, the first time after my wife went to the car wash and got wet. She was told at that time by the service manager that she should know better than to take a vehicle with a sunroof through the car wash as some leaking is normal. My past vehicles with sunroofs have mysteriously never had a leak after performing the same task of making sure I have a clean vehicle. As the weather continued to get warmer and into the rain season, guess what more leaks and the growing musty smell of mold - which of course is great for my toddler and infant children to breathe in as we travel In our "family" vehicle.

    We of course brought it in again and were told the Drains had magically plugged again and that they took care of it. I received a call later that week where they told me that they read replacing the front seal "might" take care of the problem.

    As I don't like paying for uncertainty, I decided to investigate myself. Pulled the headliner down and doused the vehicle with the hose. All drains are perfectly clear but the stationary moonroof is leaking. Next stop will be to a glass installer to have it reseated, which of course will be a bill paid out of my pocket to fix the manufacturer defect.

    I will update the status of the fix after we get rained on. Sorry for the rant but one day somebody is going to have a serious accident or lasting health issues from this problem.
  • zippadeezippadee Posts: 1
    I have one that I purchased in May of this year and so far have over 1500.00 into leaks and still leaking again . I am beyond frustrated and disappointed this wasn't ever recalled and no one will help with the repairs. I have so much money invested into this car and now its sitting in my garage with soaked floors and I believe a wiring issue related to it now. Such a disappointment and too much money to fix it :(
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001

    I am sorry that you are experiencing an issue with your vehicle. Have you contacted GM Customer Care? If not, we cannot guarantee anything but we would be happy to look into your concern. You can reach via email at or you may contact Saturn Customer Assistance Center at 800-553-6000

    Jennifer T. (Assisting Amber)
    GM Customer Care
  • kmy25kmy25 Posts: 1
    My sunroof has been leaking on my 2007 saturn for the last 3 years non-stop when it's raining. I live in Seattle, WA so all winter long I have to change out towels that I keep on the passenger side floor to soak up the puddles of water all day long. I have had both the driver and passenger tubes changed at a GM dealership, costing $400 each time, resulting in the sunroof still leaking. There have been at least 3-4 times when the vehicle will not start for no reason.

    The GM dealership told me is was not because the sunroof was defective, but because it was full of pine needs, leaves, etc... I beg to differ. It leaks because the sunroof was designed poorly and is defective.

    I'm tired of having a lake on the passenger side floor all winter long, changing out towels and having moldy smelling carpet.

    Thus far, thankfully I have not had any issues with the fuse box or electrical system.

    GM needs to figure out how to fix this problem and issue a Recall so all Outlook owners can have this fixed permanently for Free.

    I have also submitted my complaint as suggested on-line to NHTSA. Thank you for posting how to file a complaint.
  • trpmomtrpmom Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Outlook that has leaked for 4yrs and after constant repair, replacement of sunroof over the back seats, replaced rubber striping throughout roofing and around sunroofs, and years of stress; finally found the HIDDEN PROBLEM. The Manufacturer drilled holes on the left and right side of the window above the rear seats the size of a pencil and DID NOT USE THEM. They left them open to rust and therefore flood our vehicles. This was found when the dealer had a glass repairman remove my window to replace it again and he found this defect. The dealer rep was shocked and had no words. The holes were filled in back in February and I have had NO MORE LEAKS! The mechanics aren't looking for holes that don't belong. Please share with other owners with this problem so they can get it fixed properly.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    Hello trpmom,

    I am sorry to hear of the ongoing issue of your vehicles leaking sunroof that you had to deal with. I am glad you were able to work with a dealership who helped resolve and fix this concern for you and that there have been no leaks since. Thanks for sharing your experience with everyone. If you ever have additional concerns or questions, please reach out to us by email at socialmedia(at)


    Laura M.
    GM Customer Care
  • I have been having the same exact problems with my 08 xr. Were the holes by the third row windows, and do the Windows have to be removed for the holes to be visible? Trying to pinpoint my leaks too. :( so frustrating
  • I also have a 2008 outlook and I am also having a sunroof problems. The back sunroof over the second row seems to be fine but the front sunroof is terrible! It does seem as though the resevor around the sunroof does not drain so when there is a heavy rain there is water leaking out of the interior liner. Mostly out of the air bag sign (which makes me wonder how much good that air bag is gonna do if I ever need it), the sun visors, the buttons for the garage, the liner in general on the passenger side (I have no idea why the passenger side is leaking worse?) and when there is a lot of water and im driving around it will even drip out of the lights above the second row passenger seats. I am worried about electrical issues in the future, about the mold smell in my car and how safe this is, most importantly if it will affect the airbags? It looks as though someone found a fix for leaking for the second row sunroof but nothing for the front one? any suggestions? I don't know if I should bother trying to fix these issues or just give up and get rid of this thing... I love the amount of room, the layout, the ride and the styling but it seems like there are an awful lot of cons building up against this thing. thanks in advance for your help and opinions!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    Hello avoss,

    I am sorry you are experiencing a sunroof issue. I would like the opportunity to further discuss your situation with you. Please contact us by email at socialmedia(at) and include your contact information, VIN and current mileage. We look forward to hearing from you.


    Laura M.
    GM Customer Care
  • I took my 2008 Outlook in earlier this summer. They finally agreed after noticing I bring it in every summer (rainy season in SWFL) that maybe there was an issue. They took off the wind guard in the front of the sunroof and re-sealed it. SO far so good.

    However, the damage between the inside and outside of my car remains to be seen. Of course they don't think any water damage could occur. It is amazing how water can come from the outside of your car to the inside of your car for YEARS and no water damage be done between the out/insides (sarcasm meant).

    Have a great day!
  • Hello kmy25,

    I also own an 08 Outlook and have had the same problems and woes as you. I am extremely happy that you found a resolution to your leakage. Would you mind sharing with me a couple of more details about these mystery holes? I am taking my car to a non-GM repair facility I trust and would like to describe this to them.

    Where exactly are the holes? Under the roof racks or near the 2nd moon roof?

    Is this something that is easily accessible?

    Are you still leak free?

    I would greatly appreciate any info you give me. Thank you so much for reading and taking time away from your life to help me out.
  • Be careful for the leaks, they got so bad with us, even with multiple repairs... the fusebox was affected. Our car was starting on its own and refusing to shut down because of the water leaking in. We even tried at one point to DuctTape our sunroof because we just can't keep throwing money at this black hole of repairs that is our 2009 Outlook.
  • njrazdnjrazd Posts: 2
    If Laura from GM is hanging around, please note that this will be the LAST GM PRODUCT I PURCHASE, even though we are GM family. The local Chevy dealership wants $550 to clean out the drain lines, even though he has stated that keeping my sunroof closed 24/7 would not alleviate the problem of build up in the drain lines. Sounds like a design problem to me! My previous vehicle was a 1993 Honda Accord Wagon with a sunroof that never leaked in the 15 years we owned it. After a rainstorm the other day, I had water leaking from the light fixture above the dashboard. Do I have to wait until a major electrical malfunction occurs due to this issue? Time to find the attorney that is pushing through a class action lawsuit.
  • I just unloaded my 2008 Lemon Outlook finally!! Bought a KIA CADENZA! Beautiful car! I will NEVER be a GM customer again. Definitely a defect. I wouldn't pay the dealer either for the lines to be blown out that's a rip off!! We did it ourselves and it worked! I'm sure since it is a problem in every Outlook it will return just not for me anymore thank goodness!! Problem after problem with that car!!
    Such a shame that the company won't just make good on the problem they created!
  • 2008 Saturn Outlook, possible other years affected as well. We have been having this problem the entire time we have owned this vehicle. It got so bad last night that water was dripping from the airbag tag on the drivers side column, and I have wondered why the airbag warning light comes on on the dash. This is a serious safety concern. I fully expect this vehicle to be recalled for this defect and repaired immediately. If satisfactory resolution is not reached, I will take it upon myself to move this to a class action suit. It is obvious GM cares about their customers, yet not obvious why you follow this problem here yet offer no fix through an admission of guilt in the form of a recall. We have replaced the speaker in the driver's side door twice and the car smells like mildew if we leave it sitting after a rain. If this has damaged the airbag and has caused any serious injuries due to the airbag not being deployed, or deploying slowly that is a serious issue. This should be brought to the attention of a GM employee that can escalate this issue ASAP. In the meantime I am going to move forward with an investigation into possible damages and related injuries that may have been caused by this definate defect in workmanship. Tom at Foulkes dot com.
  • dompdomp Posts: 24
    Good luck. Please post any progress. I've been battling the same issue for years. Leaky sunroof repaired several times by the dealer, airbag sensors repaired at least once due to water damage. Now the airbag light's back on again. The dealer told me that if the airbag light is on indicating some type of failure, none of airbags will deploy. So either it's a major safety issue, or the dealer scamming (or both).
  • Good luck on your attempts to get resolution. After several attempts to stop water from running out of the rear pillar airbag plugs, I filed a complaint with the NHTSA. That was back in 2009 or 2010. I got an computerized acknowledgment. No further word since then. I've posted this suggestion several times over the years, but apparently there's no interest by NHTSA until there are several deaths due to airbag failures in the 2007, 08, & 09 Saturn, Buick, and GMC versions of this vehicle. Also, since at the time I filed the complaint the Federal Government actually owned GM, that might explain why there was no interest. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the issue is an engineering flaw in the way the vehicles were constructed, and it wouldn't be cost-effective for GM to recall and destroy/replace all the affected vehicles. Much cheaper to defend a few lawsuits and settle claims, if necessary. This stonewalling by GM will work; eventually all the vehicles will be past the age that anyone might care.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    Hello rfoulkes68,

    I recognize your dissatisfaction with this situation and apologize that you are experiencing a sunroof leak in your Saturn. If you would like for us to look further into this issue for you, and work towards a possible resolution we are available by email for assistance. We can be reached at [attn Amber]. Please include your screen name, VIN, exact mileage, contact information, as well as your current and selling dealership.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I agree, I too have filed a complaint with NHTSA with no results. I have spoken with reps from GM and the dealership to no avail. It's sad that GM is ignoring these issues. I pray every time we get in our Outlook we make it. We can't afford a new vehicle and there is no repair for this one that will last. We come from a family of GM retiree's and have always been loyal to them. That has come to an end after this experience. Good Luck to you!
  • I have not filed a complaint yet with NHTSA, but I will soon. I have been a person who has always worked on vehicle when I can, so instead of paying a dealership hundreds or thousands of dollars I decided to try and fix the problem myself. So for $10.00 I downloaded a service manual off of a website. It wasn't a complete manual, but for what I needed the info was in the files. So, yesterday I opened my sunroof and put water in the gutter near both front openings of the drain. The right side drained fairly quickly because I was able to get the dealer to fix it for not draining last year, and GMC covered the costs except for a $100 deductible. Now I'm out of warranty. The left side backed up and the water sat in the gutter, so if it was raining hard the water would overflow the gutter and get down into my car like everyone else. So, I looked at the manual and started to do some investigating. Here is how I fixed the left drain. I removed the small airbag plastic access cover on the left windshield pillar. Underneath is a screw holding the pillar trim. Remove screw and tilt top of trim towards passenger side and slide upward. There is a small plastic tab on the bottom front side of the pillar, so pull up and out. Now you can see two drain tubes running down the pillar. In my case (2008 Outlook) the harder plastic tube was the one that was for the front drain. The other hose is a soft rubber hose with a connection in the middle of the pillar. You can verify this by sticking a piece of wire it and moving it back and forth and feel for this in the tube. It should be the tube without the connection halfway down the pillar, that is something else. If you follow the tube down the pillar, it will turn right and go into a rubber almost 90 degree drain hose plug. That is the end of the drain system. It is just underneath the trim of the most forward part of your dash board. If you take a flat tip screwdriver working from left to right, this trim pops open fairly easy and I didn't need to take it out, just lift it up about halfway across the dash. Now pull the drain tube out of the clips running down the pillar, but do not disconnect from the gutter. Then gently pull the drain plug out of it's opening in the front wall. That is it. The drain plug is a bad design that seems to clog very easily with a build up of dirt and debris. Once I removed the drain plug from my hose, the water poured out on the ground, so don't do this over the dash, hang it outside the car to drain. Now look inside the drain plug, and you will see that the plug is designed with the rubber in the middle, sliced in quarters and that allows the water to drain. It doesn't take much to get blocked. So since my car is no longer under warranty, I removed the four small rubber tips, and wow the water flows out like it should. If the right side starts to slow down, I promise I will do the same to that side. This is what I think GMC should have done to fix this issue, but I'm not an automotive engineer and they probably have their reasons to limit the flow, but the design needs to be changed. I will tell you that it's not the easiest of tasks, but if you are a mechanic at all I know you can do this like I did and save over $400 for the one side. A couple of hours later, and my drains work great. I hope this helps some of you who have thought of taking on this task before, instead of paying a dealer $100+ an hour.
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