Water leak from cabin interior roof light

lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
Water is dripping from the cabin light of my 2005 Buick LaCrosse.

this is the cabin light located in the middle of the front seats between the driver and passenger seats. Lots of rain today and the car was parked for about 45 minutes nose pointed downhill during the downpour. Then when I started to drive it, I noticed the dripping. Just 8 good sized drips and then it stopped. When I got home, I opened/closed the sunroof; checked the drain channel , pretty much dry, no debris so I doubt if that is where the water got it. HOWEVER, located directly about the cabin light in question is where the OnStar antenna is mounted atop the car. I dried all the water off around the antenna base then applied some medium to light downward pressure----water bubbled out from under the base. I am thinking that this is where the water is getting in---a faulty seal or something? Anyone else had this problem? This is the second water leak we have had with this vehicle and this one is probably not going to be covered by warranty. I am not happy. Thanks for your help.


  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    I was able to fix this today. For anyone who needs to access the base of their OnStar antenna (on the interior side of the roof), here is how: pop the covers of the overhead cabin light by pulling down on each end of the plastic cover, the side which meets the middle border between the two plastic covers (lenses). The covers should come off with very little effort. Once the interior of the light cabinet is exposed, take out the two screws which are readily accessible. Then on the opposite end from the screws, pull down from each side of the plastic housing. The housing should pop out with minimal effort. The antenna retaining assembly should now be accessible.

    I loosened the bolt which screws into the base of the antenna so that I could look under the exterior antenna mounting; discovered distinctive pattern of dirt residue leading me to believe small amounts of water have been invading for some time. I cleaned it up, applied a small amount of silicon sealer under the mount base, tightened the bolt and put the light assembly back together.
  • dthayerdthayer Member Posts: 2
    I also have water leaking through the lights. I couldn't tell if it was coming from the antenna or the moon roof or how to go about fixing it but will now check both based on the info given.
  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    since I re-sealed the antenna almost a year ago, no further water problem. as a suggestion, once you take the light lenses off and have visual access to the bottom of the antenna, do a water test prior to messing with it. maybe simulate a driving situation whereby someone uses a garden hose to spray water at the antenna base while you observe from inside. good luck !
  • lwrobellwrobel Member Posts: 3
    I am wondering if your instructions are for a car equipped with or without a power sunroof. I am asking because I followed your directions but once I removed the plastic covers and then the 2 screws, I could not remove the plastic housing. It did come loose where I removed the screws, but not the other end. It seemed to be connected to the sunroof button somehow but couldn't see how to remove. I didn't want to break it off. Can not see what is holding this on. This is why I ask if you had a power sunroof. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong as I need to fix this leak.
    Thank you very much.
  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    Yes, I do have a power sunroof. I did not have a problem in removing the plastic housing once I had removed the two screws.
  • lwrobellwrobel Member Posts: 3
    Thank you so much for your quick reply. Do you have any insight you can add. As stated when I removed the 2 screws, that end of the housing easily came loose but the other end where the power sunroof button is was attached very tightly. When I tried to gently remove it by pulling that end, it did not want to budge and I don't want to break anything. Do you know if it is snapped or clipped in by the power button end. In other words, if I use some gentle force, will it snap off? I don't want to make matters worse. Any additional advice, details or experience you can add would be greatly appreciated. !!! THANK YOU
  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    What I know for sure is: when I removed the two screws, all I did was apply alternating pressure on each end of the panel; wiggle while pulling down; and it came free.
    I suspect the power button is connected to the panel by wires with a clip. I kind of remember that after I removed the panel, it just was suspended, probably hanging by the wires to the power button, while I did my inspection/repair.
    I do remember that once I had those two screws out, the rest was EASY so it could not have involved anything technical.
    Let me know how it turns out for you.
  • lwrobellwrobel Member Posts: 3
    THANK YOU!!! I think I fixed the problem. It poured last night and no leaks!!! Thanks for your instructions-had I not found this I probably would have paid a mechanic a couple of hundred dollars to fix something pretty simple. :)))
  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    Excellent!! My next DIY adventure on my LaCrosse is to figure out to remove a portion of the dashboard so that I can get to some irritating rattles in the area of the vents. Has to be as easy as the cabin light thing. Like you, I hate paying $200-300 for what is probably an easy fix. Let it rain !
  • gplngpln Member Posts: 1
    How do I remove the (interior) dome (twin) reading light lenses (on a 2005 Grand Prix) without breaking the lenses? Thanks anyone.
  • isptechisptech Member Posts: 2
    Take a small screwdriver and place it on the side of the lens near the outside of the car. Gently pry each lens out in this manner. Once you get the one end loose, the other end has 2 plastic clips that allow the lens to pivot when pushed. pull the whole lens assembly gently toward the outside of the car.
  • bigprofittbigprofitt Member Posts: 2
    So it is the clear plastic lens that actually covers the light bulbs that you have to remove first? You take a small screwdriver and on the front (area toward and nearest the windshield) you pry gently to remove each clear plastic lens? Then you pull the entire assembly (not just the clear plastic lens) toward the front of the car and it will come lose?

    Does anyone have pics of the process?

  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    All I know is what I posted on Message #3 of this thread. Instructions were for my 2005 LaCrosse.
  • lacrossefixedlacrossefixed Member Posts: 2
    Can't believe I finally found folks talking about my irritating problem with the leak from the dome light of my 2005 LaCrosse. Like others, I had eliminated the sunroof as the culprit. Tracks were clean, and drain holes took the water away quickly. Now I was focused on the antenna above the interior dome light/sunroof switch panel. I had tentatively tugged at the plastic housing on the dome light, but didn't want to crack the thing. Now, with your detailed comments, I'm energized to have a go at it tomorrow morning. Hoping that silicone sealant will do the trick on the antenna, but will first douse the antenna with water just to be sure that's where the leak really is. Many thanks for replying to others, and hopefully solving my problem. Do you still have your 2005 LaCrosse? Mine has about 52K, and I've been very happy with it. Looking at the 2014 LaCrosses now to replace my 2000 Park Avenue.
  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    taking the plastic housing apart is quite easy. If you find it going badly, you are doing something wrong. Take a break and re-evaluate. once the housing is removed, the rest is straight forward. I still have my Lacrosse. 60K. The only complaints I have are: rattles from the dashboard area and upon a cold start-up, when I turn the wheels somewhat sharply (like pulling out of the garage onto the street), I get a grinding noise. I really don't notice that sound once the car is warm. I like the ride and have had several occasions during inclimate weather to experience the traction control in action: impressive. Good luck !
  • lacrossefixedlacrossefixed Member Posts: 2
    We are indebted to Lacrossesoaked for telling us the leak could be fixed. I had some of the same questions as others, but now that I've actually completed the repair (no leaks!!!) I'd like to pass along some details that others might find helpful. First, yes, it's the two clear plastic lenses (which also serve as on-off switches) which you have to remove first. Just turn the light on (or off, I forgot) until a thick edge appears. I think it's the outer edge on each light. Use that edge and your fingernail to just pull it down and pop it out. Do it for both sides. Then you'll see the two reflectors. On the rim of each reflector is a small cutout which allows you to access a screw that goes up into the plastic housing. Unscrew each of those. They are Yorx-head screws. Now you can pull the outer, decorative plastic housing down. Mine is grey. Pull it from the front edge. There are holes on the front, inside which should make it easier to grip and pull. As you start to pull the front edge down, you'll see that the rear of that plastic housing is held into an inner plastic housing by two plastic tabs which are covered with a metal clip. Just keep pulling and they'll come out. Now you can see the nut that anchors the leaking antenna to the roof. It is a 10mm nut, so use a socket wrench, not a spanner. As you loosen that nut, you'll see that it's holding a small metal "basket" tight against the roof. As you unscrew the nut, the basket should also loosen the tension against the roof. If it's stuck there, just tug it a bit with needle nose pliers. It'll come off. Now that the nut and the little metal basket are removed, you can see that the antenna not only has a bolt which comes down through the roof, but a little "centering" peg just a half inch toward the windshield. Though I could not see any signs of leakage there, it did happen. Before I loosened anything, I did have my wife douse the roof with the garden hose. It did leak under the nut as well as under the centering peg. Now you can push the entire antenna up with your thumb and check the outside. I cleaned the rubber gasket thoroughly, cleaned the surrounding outside roof surface then applied waterproof silicone ($3-4 at local store) to the roof, to the underside of the rubber gasket outside, and to the inside of the roof where the bolt, nut, and centering peg are located. I let it cure for 72 hours, then had my wife again douse it with a hose. NO LEAKS! Then I reversed the steps above, and am good to go. Thanks again to Lacrossesoaked for breaking the code on this one.
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