Piston Slap: A Fusion of Moonroof Drainage Problems? (Part II)

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap a fusion of moonroof drainage problems part ii

(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 sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.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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3 of 36 comments
  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jun 24, 2015

    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.

  • Fusion2010 Fusion2010 on Jun 24, 2015

    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.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.