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Locating sunroof leak from 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

I bought a used car with a panoramic sun roof. Very nice.
Now the rains have come to Portland, OR and there is two gallons of water in the foot well on the driver’s side. I thought it was the sunroof as many people claimed but soon determined all the drains were working properly.
The water often drips onto my left foot as I drive but I can not identify the place of entry.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

It could be a plugged drain for the vent area in front of the windshield.

See it, between the engine and the windshield:


The first thing I was going to suggest was to very and check all of the drains for the Sunroof.

You stated that you checked… How did you check may I ask? There should be 4 of them…2 forward and 2 Aft. They usually terminate in a rubber boot that has an anti critter tip on it… Often times you need to squeeze this tube end in order to help the crud that is inside get through the end.

I have also seen drain tubes…that run down the front windshield pillars…where your “Oh Sh$#” handles are located…come apart either by damage or by some knucklehead intervention. The Sunroof depends very heavily on these drain tubes…Not only being able to drain…but being able to drain Fast Enough…

So it is not enough to simply look to see water dripping from the drain tubes end… You really need to verify and test. I’ve never seen one that was not in need of some attention…they work great afterward.


Thank you very much for your reply.

I checked the sunroof drains by running a plastic cord through them and then pouring water into them. All seemed to flow very well.

BUT, I did not remove the fender panels and manipulate them to verify they were completely open.

I will get on with this, and look into the drain in the vent area as well.

Thanks again,


car is 8 years old, so who knows if it was standing under a tree with small leaves of flowers what were getting there and compacted to the point of blocking the flow

I had to remove that cowl cover on 15-years old vehicle for unrelated reason (replacing struts) and the amount of trash there was terrible, almost to the point of blocking drains, although it was not that much dirty from the outside.

since you confirmed water drains in 4 tubes, I would concentrate on that area first


I think it is safe to say we agree on a plan.

The car is in the shop right now getting a new core support. When that is done I will be giving a lot of attention to the leak.

Thanks again for your help.

Best regards,


I’m thinking it’s the idea @texases posts above, the under-windshield drain system. I’ve had that problem on my truck. But for another idea, the drivers side door drain might be plugged up. Some of the rain that hits the door window will go into the door, as that window seal is not 100% water-tight. Any water that gets inside the door is supposed to just drain right back out through small holes in the bottom of the door. Take a look at those holes, make sure they are open & drain freely. It’s usually easier to see them with a mirror.

Thank you.

I will add that to the list.

Best regards,