By on June 23, 2015

 

(photo courtesy: OP)

Matt writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve got a follow up question to this one. The leak is still happening. It seemed to have stopped over the winter because of the snow and cold. The snow wasn’t melting enough to cause water to come into the car but we’ve been getting heavy rain lately and the leak seems to be back.

I noticed a couple days ago that the sunroof is rusted out on the inside of the rubber seal that runs around the moon roof itself. I’ve attached some pictures of it. The rust seems to stop, from what I can tell, around the drivers side front corner of the moon roof but along the front and especially the front passenger corner of the moon roof the rust is really bad.

I have an appointment next week at the dealership to see what can be done about it but I am really hoping that even though the car is 6 years old that Ford will step up and fix on their dime what, in my opinion, is clearly a case of defect when it was manufactured.

Will the entire moon roof unit need to be replaced? I can’t leave it the way it is because its only going to get worse and worse, but I am wondering what my options are in terms of fixing it – assuming Ford leaves me hanging in the wind which, lets face it, given the cars age is probably what I am looking at. Honestly, I am very upset by this whole thing. I don’t think a 15 year old car let alone a 6 year old one should be suffering from a rusted out moonroof.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Sajeev answers:

Turns out, from your last query, the B&B nailed it. Kudos to “vinnie” for this nugget of wisdom:

“Hey, so the dealer just figured out this same exact problem in my 2012 SE. It took several calls to Ford engineering and a year of trial and error for them to figure it out. It ended up being the moonroof glass itself. Apparently the metal band that is around the actual glass can become separated and water can get in there and leak into the headliner. Based on what Ford told them, they put in 3 brand new moonroof glass panels before they found one that worked, so there seemed to have been a bad batch or two where the metal and glass were not bonded correctly. Good luck…”

With that in mind, I suggest:

  1. What does your owner’s manual say about the corrosion warranty’s duration? You still might be okay on years, but IIRC, you will be way past it if they limit your mileage.
  2. Talk to the dealer and see if you can get the name of a Ford warranty/claims rep. Plead your case, professionally. Don’t ruin someone’s day – someone that had nothing to do with your problem and has their hands tied. Generally speaking: good customers that make their case known in a pleasant manner get things done far more often than nasty-tempered customers.
  3. Manufacturers (and dealers, ‘natch) love customers that come back for service to the dealership. This paper trail makes it easier for either Ford or the dealer to get you a new moonroof glass for no charge. It’s called goodwill repairs and it happens all the time.

Answering your final question: moonroof glass can be replaced separately from the entire assembly in the roof.  It’s usually a handful of screws attaching it to the”arms” of the assembly.  If Ford leaves you out in the cold, just get a replacement moonroof from a junkyard based in a rust free portion of the US.

 

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

 

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36 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Fusion of Moonroof Drainage Problems? (Part II)...”


  • avatar
    PeterKK

    Ouch. I hope they fix you up. Hopefully you get squared away either way, though.

    Good luck!

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Heh… why I don’t do silly options.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      These silly options are alright on quality made cars from Japan. German cars sometimes have sunroof -drainage- issues, but nothing like this poorly-made glass panel issue.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Meh, I’ve had moonroof issues with German cars more than American cars. If I order a car, I select “moonroof delete” if possible. My wife’s Lincoln has a MASSIVE pano-roof. I know that one day it’s going to cost me money.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Hmmm….

          One reason I’m not “sold” on the panoramics just yet.

          That said, my family’s had at least 15 vehicles equipped with moonroofs over the last 20 years, in bunches of Honda products, but also a couple VWs, a Jeep, a Nissan, a few Fords, and a couple GM products, with nary a leak or long-term problem, other than a plugged drain or two, solved by a little hot water down each! :-) Biggest problem on my four of the Hondas was the day the thing partially jammed open as I was arriving to work, and managed to get the car to the dealer just as a rainstorm hit; a screw had loosened along the track! Fixed under warranty, and the thing was flawless until the day I sold it!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’ve had problems with two out of the three vehicles with sunroofs I’ve owned, one being a Ford & one being a Nissan, and I’ve heard a seemingly endless litany of horror stories from others with sunroofs (including shattering sunroofs at highway speeds), which is why I will NEVER own a vehicle equipped with one again.

        Once the water started the tin worm INSIDE THE METAL IN THE ROOF, it’s a death by structural integrity fail in the making.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Any horizontal breach in any impervious surface is eventually going to let water in.

      Water is Mighty!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        My high school physics teacher, who also taught geology, often said, “Water always wins.”

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          My first rule of home buying forged from painful experience:

          Check that effing basement; every nook and cranny, every inch of foundation/frame interface, floor drains, and sniff, sniff, sniff. And try to check it again after a major ground-soaker of a rain and before signing the papers.

          Water has an evil, crafty intelligence. I could be Japanese Shinto for all the hateful respect I have for water.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I did check the basement and every nook and cranny when I bought my house. However, I did not know the water would come up from the sewer drain and fill my basement with 4 feet of water.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This makes me glad I got the “sewage back up” rider on my homeowners. It was one of those where I saw the box and decided immediately I would check it off.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh…I had coverage. $10,000. Too bad they stopped counting my damage after $45,000.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            bball, did that water come up through your sump pump well or was it a floor drain w/o a check valve. I.e., storm sewer or sanitation sewer?

            (It creeps me out even having this discussion!)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Came up through the drain.

            No sump pump. Wouldn’t have matter as my neighbor across the street has two and he had more water in his basement.

            I had a check valve, but the previous owner had it installed improperly. It was installed past the spot where our sewer pipes split in the floor. So it was protecting the main floor….

            Now I have three check valves and when I’m on vacation, I shut my elder valve.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We have a shared sewer system…

            (shudders)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh noo finished basement.

            Though mine isn’t, my HVAC, washer dryer, and car are down there.

            I don’t have a sump, but I dunno about how check valves and stuff work?!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            A check valve or backwater valve is something that basically lets water only go one way. It’s like the opposite of a trap door. Once the flow is reversed, it shuts.

            Depending on how your house is set up, you may or may not need one. I live in a densely populated neighborhood that has virtually no elevation change. Most houses were built in the 20s-50s. So no one brought sand or dirt in to raise the building site.

            My parents, on the other hand, live on a hill towards the top. They have separate storm and sanitary sewers. Their house was also built in the 80s and the sump pump has never had to run. They don’t need one.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “I had a check valve, but the previous owner had it installed improperly.”

            Inherited bumblef*ck cobbling, how fewer stories we’d have to tell without it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Is this something required by building codes nowadays? House is from 1938, but the basement sewage/plumbing was redone at some point, as there’s cutout and patching of the basement concrete floor.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Some places yes, some no. Has a lot to do with local flood potential.

            Don’t guess, get a reputable plumber over there for an assessment. The money at stake if it’s effed up is… well, think of bball’s fiasco.

            A good plumber can be as financially important as a good cardiologist. I love those guys.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s code in some places to have one. If I were building a house now, I’d have a check valve in the front yard. Probably three in a row.

            You can tell that you have a check valve if there is a PVC pipe sticking out of your floor that you can unscrew and look into your sewer line. I have three of those things because the pipes split as soon as they enter the house.

            Like RideHeight says, find a good plumber. My neighbors, who are doctors, lawyers, PAs, engineers, execs, almost all went we a guy that gave them a great deal and didn’t pull any permits. I went with someone I trusted based on working jointly with him for a number of years. My job was $700 more expensive, plus permit fees. Three of my neighbors have had flooding again because of poor install (valve not sloped enough).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Thanks. I feel better in that particular aspect. I live at the top of really a hill on either side. Literally everything west of I-75 running through Cincinnati would have to flood before my house.

            My place is also built on a little hill of it’s own, in my yard. If I look across the street from the front room, my house is a good 6 feet higher than those.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ah ha! I do have a PVC sticking out, with a little square closure thing on top of it. Part of the cutout and patching work that was done.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            ” I live at the top of really a hill on either side.”

            Sounds golden. Gravity is the only real ally in the War on Water!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            That could be one. If you are on a hill, I wouldn’t worry too much.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            About time gravity started pulling its weight.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Have a look, presuming you enjoy topo maps.

            https://www.topoquest.com/map.php?lat=39.27241&lon=-84.39253&datum=nad27&zoom=2&map=auto&coord=d&mode=zoomin&size=m

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I love me some maps.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Maps is like take you places and s***.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Water is nature’s trump card.

            It gravitates to areas of least resistance whether you want it to or not.

            Basements (excavated sites) require sump pump & PVC drain pipe with check valve to reverse gravity and send water up and out of foundation area (to be super cautious have a backup, quality sump pump in case of failure of primary, and auxiliary power source to run sump pump in case of power failure).

            Grade of lot around basement is super critical, too, which more builders/developers screw up than most people would believe (ground should slope downward from all sides AWAY from basement, which is why competent civil enegineers are important).

          • 0 avatar
            Zoom

            The Truth About Plumbing?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That photo would send me to 1) the dealer route like Sajeev suggested. Failing that, option 2) is dumping that car.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I love my moonroofs and will take the risk of something like this happening. Up here in the real Black Forest of Dark Winters we need whatever light we can get!

    So far my only leaky moonroof was also on a Ford, but it was a straightforward seal issue and not something like this, and only manifested itself under hard cornering.

    My G8 moonroof suffered some kind of mechanical damage at some point (I think something must have hit the track while it was parked with the roof open) and wouldn’t close. By bending one of the arms very slightly I was able to fix it. Still worth it.

  • avatar

    Sunroof ? Delete Option, please. I’ve had convertibles, and a sunroof is like buying your kid a mechanical dog when he/she wants a real puppy.

    You have to close them over 30 mph. In my area, with no garage, there WILL be 2 feet of snow on top of that roof, several times a year.

    They are often bundled with other options you want…so you are kinda stuck with them. Better radio and xenons ? Sunroof ! Leather and Nav system ? Sunroof !

    I can only guess they are pretty cheap for the OE to make but pretty expensive as options, or mandatory options.

  • avatar
    Fusion2010

    OP here! I’ve taken my Fusion to Ford to see if there was anything they could do for it, I had the service tech come out and look at it for himself and at first he tried to blame it on the amount of salt they use on our roads here in Ottawa Canada but then he did acknowledge that he hasn’t seen a moonroof do that and it’s was likely a problem that occurred during manufacturing.

    In the end he said they wouldn’t do anything for it because of the age and KM, that if I want to replace the glass I’m looking at $600 + labor for a new one. I can’t say I’m surprised that they won’t do anything but I am very disappointed. I’ve been a long time customer there I have had lots of service done there and was even planning on buying my next car from them.

    I just wanted Ford to stand behind their product and do something about it, I shouldn’t have a rusted out moonroof on a 6 year old car and the fact that they agree but won’t do anything is annoying.

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