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Rain leak in Subaru Outback wagon 2003 comes from sun/moon roof

My 2003 Subaru Outback wagon would get wet inside the back left side when ever it rained. I could see that the previous owner had had some sealant applied to the body around the rear hatch. I observed the water to drip in from above the rear side window and so I proceed to seal every nook and cranny around the back; but nothing slowed the leak. I considered turning the car into a mushroom farm. I finally went to the Subaru dealer, and for a significant labor cost they removed some of the interior panels to access and simply reconnect the hose that drains the trough around the sun/moon roofs. If I had known, I would have tried to do it myself. It was a mystery. So here is my story if it may help others. Seems a manufacturing flaw that is a money maker for Subaru dealer repair shops.

Sun Roofs Have Used This Design For Decades. I Think Your Particular Problem Was An Anomaly, Not A Design Or Manufacturing Flaw.

Rarely, the drain tubes clog, also.

Had the leak been addressed while the vehicle was under warranty, it would have been taken care of by Subaru. Too many of these and Subaru would surely have a “money loser”, not a “money maker”.


CSA is correct.

Sun/Moon roofs can be problematic, mostly due to clogging of the drains that run from the 4 corners of the trough that surrounds the opening. What you experienced was an odd assembly flaw, not a design problem.

If the previous owner had a few more functioning brain cells, he could have had this taken care of under warranty, and would not have had to smear sealant over the car. I would suggest that you check the vehicle’s maintenance history simply because someone not smart enough to pursue a warranty claim also might not have been smart enough to maintain the vehicle properly.