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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all!

I wanted to share an experience with everyone, in case you run into the same problem that my husband and I just navigated through.

We have a Passport AWD Touring, which of course includes a sunroof. Neither of us has had many cars with a sunroof...I had one in a Toyota several years ago, but never experienced this issue.

We got our Passport at the end of June and it currently has about 7600 miles on it. Seemingly out of nowhere about two weeks ago, we started experiencing electrical issues. The dashboard cluster was displaying errors for things that were really wrong (burned out LED head lamp and low tire pressure, to be exact). One night, the car alarm sounded every 15 minutes on the dot with no apparent cause. Then the driver's seat would not auto adjust when we would get in with our key fobs.

So we brought the Passport to the same Honda dealership where we bought it and they had it for about half a day before they called us with the diagnosis. During the course of their inspection, they found that the carpet under the gas/brake pedals was wet (which we never realized). This led them to find that the sunroof drainage tubes were clogged with leaves and other debris, so the water was not properly draining around the frame of the car. Instead, it was draining under the dashboard, onto the carpet and partially onto a computer console, which was causing the issues that sent us to the dealership.

When the tech advisor from Honda called us to let us know this, he explained that the cost to replace this console (part and labor) totaled roughly $350.00. The cost to rip out the carpet and replace with new (part and labor) was about $1200. He contended that this was required in order to prevent the growth of mold in the carpet and underlying foam, which I totally agreed with. He went on to advise that since this was considered water damage, it was not covered by the manufacturer warranty. Now, let me say first that I totally understand this. But as I explained to the advisor, we NEVER used the sunroof and were never told that it was even possible for leaves to clog it in a manner that we can't even visibly see or easily clean ourselves. I told him that if this had been disclosed to us at the point of sale, we would've taken precautions about where we park this 'off road' vehicle...especially since our home doesn't have a garage.

The advisor stated that he totally understood that and that the amount of prevention we could do ourselves was minimal. He stated that this is an issue that they'd seen many times before and they will likely continue to. His manager contacted Honda Corporate.

To Honda's credit, all of the staff at our dealership (Autopark Honda in Cary NC) and at corporate were incredibly kind and helpful. Honda agreed to pay in full for the replacement of the damaged console, the carpet replacement and a total clean of the sunroof. We had only hoped that they would be kind enough to at least split the cost, but they far exceeded our expectations.

The Passport is now completely back to normal and in a new state. When we are parked around trees, we now use a car cover (purchased from O'Reilly since Honda doesn't yet make one for the Passport) 100% of the time to prevent debris from gathering again. We also avoid parking on an incline during a heavy rain, which was advise given to us by Honda.

We're very pleased with the outcome, so I wanted to share in case anyone goes through something similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The dashboard cluster was displaying errors for things that were really wrong (burned out LED head lamp and low tire pressure, to be exact).
*weren't
 

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Thank you for taking the time to write up a thorough explanation of what happened to your PP. ....Did Honda say it was definitely related to the moonroof drains or could it have been the drains by the wipers that were clogged? I always seem to have to be cleaning those out. Thanks again!
 

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Hi, all!

I wanted to share an experience with everyone, in case you run into the same problem that my husband and I just navigated through.

We have a Passport AWD Touring, which of course includes a sunroof. Neither of us has had many cars with a sunroof...I had one in a Toyota several years ago, but never experienced this issue.

We got our Passport at the end of June and it currently has about 7600 miles on it. Seemingly out of nowhere about two weeks ago, we started experiencing electrical issues. The dashboard cluster was displaying errors for things that were really wrong (burned out LED head lamp and low tire pressure, to be exact). One night, the car alarm sounded every 15 minutes on the dot with no apparent cause. Then the driver's seat would not auto adjust when we would get in with our key fobs.

So we brought the Passport to the same Honda dealership where we bought it and they had it for about half a day before they called us with the diagnosis. During the course of their inspection, they found that the carpet under the gas/brake pedals was wet (which we never realized). This led them to find that the sunroof drainage tubes were clogged with leaves and other debris, so the water was not properly draining around the frame of the car. Instead, it was draining under the dashboard, onto the carpet and partially onto a computer console, which was causing the issues that sent us to the dealership.

When the tech advisor from Honda called us to let us know this, he explained that the cost to replace this console (part and labor) totaled roughly $350.00. The cost to rip out the carpet and replace with new (part and labor) was about $1200. He contended that this was required in order to prevent the growth of mold in the carpet and underlying foam, which I totally agreed with. He went on to advise that since this was considered water damage, it was not covered by the manufacturer warranty. Now, let me say first that I totally understand this. But as I explained to the advisor, we NEVER used the sunroof and were never told that it was even possible for leaves to clog it in a manner that we can't even visibly see or easily clean ourselves. I told him that if this had been disclosed to us at the point of sale, we would've taken precautions about where we park this 'off road' vehicle...especially since our home doesn't have a garage.

The advisor stated that he totally understood that and that the amount of prevention we could do ourselves was minimal. He stated that this is an issue that they'd seen many times before and they will likely continue to. His manager contacted Honda Corporate.

To Honda's credit, all of the staff at our dealership (Autopark Honda in Cary NC) and at corporate were incredibly kind and helpful. Honda agreed to pay in full for the replacement of the damaged console, the carpet replacement and a total clean of the sunroof. We had only hoped that they would be kind enough to at least split the cost, but they far exceeded our expectations.

The Passport is now completely back to normal and in a new state. When we are parked around trees, we now use a car cover (purchased from O'Reilly since Honda doesn't yet make one for the Passport) 100% of the time to prevent debris from gathering again. We also avoid parking on an incline during a heavy rain, which was advise given to us by Honda.

We're very pleased with the outcome, so I wanted to share in case anyone goes through something similar.
You stated that you never used the sunroof.... so I assume you never opened it at all. How did leaves or anything else get into the sunroof to clog the drainage if you never opened the sunroof?
 

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The clogging of Sunroof drainage has happened to my 2015 Fit years ago. I barely open or close the roof also. But when it clogged. It will leaking / dripping water from the passenger side glove box and onto the carpet. But it did not happen to my 2017 CR-V which I start to put the weathertech liner just in case. And hope will not happen to my Passport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for taking the time to write up a thorough explanation of what happened to your PP. ....Did Honda say it was definitely related to the moonroof drains or could it have been the drains by the wipers that were clogged? I always seem to have to be cleaning those out. Thanks again!
They did confirm that this was a result of the sunroof drains, however, we did clean the drains near the windshield as a precaution, as well. We had actually been more on top of that area since it's more visible and it had been done during a previous oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You stated that you never used the sunroof.... so I assume you never opened it at all. How did leaves or anything else get into the sunroof to clog the drainage if you never opened the sunroof?
The way that the advisor and manager explained it to us, it doesn't matter if the sunroof is opened or not. I think the only time we ever opened it was the day we took possession of the car, and that was only to ensure that it worked and we closed it immediately. My understanding is that no sunroof (Honda or otherwise) is completely sealed, even when closed. There are drainage tubes that run from the area around the sunroof, through the frame of the car (around the doors and windshield) and down to the pavement. Those tubes can become clogged with leaves and debris (in our case, pine needles), which causes that water to run elsewhere, like the interior of the car. Those tubes are not visible to the naked eye and the only way to correctly clear them is to take the sunroof assembly apart. I've since learned that there are some videos on YouTube about how to do this, but I certainly wouldn't be confident enough to try it. Prevention is the only way to prevent a problem like the one we experienced...and according to Honda, the only real prevention is to garage the car, not park in areas where there are trees or to use a car cover.
 

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The way that the advisor and manager explained it to us, it doesn't matter if the sunroof is opened or not. I think the only time we ever opened it was the day we took possession of the car, and that was only to ensure that it worked and we closed it immediately. My understanding is that no sunroof (Honda or otherwise) is completely sealed, even when closed. There are drainage tubes that run from the area around the sunroof, through the frame of the car (around the doors and windshield) and down to the pavement. Those tubes can become clogged with leaves and debris (in our case, pine needles), which causes that water to run elsewhere, like the interior of the car. Those tubes are not visible to the naked eye and the only way to correctly clear them is to take the sunroof assembly apart. I've since learned that there are some videos on YouTube about how to do this, but I certainly wouldn't be confident enough to try it. Prevention is the only way to prevent a problem like the one we experienced...and according to Honda, the only real prevention is to garage the car, not park in areas where there are trees or to use a car cover.
Perhaps pine needles are thin enough to enter the drains (which Honda said are invisible to the naked eye) but I do not see how leaves would get into into those "invisible" drainage lines.
 

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Please forgive my skepticism, but I believe the folks at your dealer may not have been totally accurate. There is just no way that pine needles can get through a closed moonroof unless it was raised in the back to vent the car when in hot weather. I have to be careful to keep mine closed all the way when the darn palm trees in my driveway are dropping tiny yellow seeds......Good that they finally come through for you in the end.
 

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With the window closed the weatherstripping should deflect objects and water, any water that seeps through should then be diverted via the drain tubes. Also being that they said don’t park at an incline in the rain is ridiculous.. but glad they took care of the issue! That’s all that matters!
 

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I went through this last week, you should see the amount of water POURING in! The drain tube on the drivers side wasn't even connected! My PP is a lease I was going to buy out, not anymore! This is the second vehicle I owned that was built in Alabama and will not buy/lease another Honda made in that facility, very poor quality comes out of that plant! Ontario or Ohio built for me only from now on.
 

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I went through this last week, you should see the amount of water POURING in! The drain tube on the drivers side wasn't even connected! My PP is a lease I was going to buy out, not anymore! This is the second vehicle I owned that was built in Alabama and will not buy/lease another Honda made in that facility, very poor quality comes out of that plant! Ontario or Ohio built for me only from now on.
Damn that’s unfortunate, I hope our drains are connected! Did the dealer find yours disconnected or were you able to find and fix it yourself?
 

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The way that the advisor and manager explained it to us, it doesn't matter if the sunroof is opened or not. I think the only time we ever opened it was the day we took possession of the car, and that was only to ensure that it worked and we closed it immediately. My understanding is that no sunroof (Honda or otherwise) is completely sealed, even when closed. There are drainage tubes that run from the area around the sunroof, through the frame of the car (around the doors and windshield) and down to the pavement. Those tubes can become clogged with leaves and debris (in our case, pine needles), which causes that water to run elsewhere, like the interior of the car. Those tubes are not visible to the naked eye and the only way to correctly clear them is to take the sunroof assembly apart. I've since learned that there are some videos on YouTube about how to do this, but I certainly wouldn't be confident enough to try it. Prevention is the only way to prevent a problem like the one we experienced...and according to Honda, the only real prevention is to garage the car, not park in areas where there are trees or to use a car cover.
Hello Susanmary428, thanks for sharing your experience with roof drainage with us. You are/were fortunate to have a reliable dealer that fixed your problem.
 

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Damn that’s unfortunate, I hope our drains are connected! Did the dealer find yours disconnected or were you able to find and fix it yourself?
No I let them deal with it, it's a new car im not contorting my body to fix there f-up
Had it in for a non adjusted e-brake from the factory, sunroof drain tube not connected from the factory and a defective arm rest :rolleyes:

When I took delivery the sunvisor had a tiny tear in it! I dont know how all this sh*it got past all the inspections at that factory!
 

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That sounds like some weird BS to me.
Personally, I’ve had four other Honda’s with a moonroof and never had a leaking issue, nor was I told to NOT park on an incline in the rain?

Nice they actually honored the warranty though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Perhaps pine needles are thin enough to enter the drains (which Honda said are invisible to the naked eye) but I do not see how leaves would get into into those "invisible" drainage lines.
I think I worded it wrong when I said "invisible to the naked eye." I think it's more accurate to say "invisible to the untrained eye." Basically, the take away from my point of view is that this is not something that the every day driver with basic knowledge would be able to look for or would think to be aware of. As I said, the only way to clean these drains (as it was explained to me) is to take the sunroof apart. There was SOMETHING in there because Honda paid the dealership to do it.

The biggest thing to know about this situation is that Honda took care of the issue, even though TECHNICALLY they didn't have to. So if you experience this and your service department tells you that you're on the hook for the repair, they're not lying to you but they're also not advocating for you. Push for them to get corporate involved and I think you'll get taken care of.

For anyone interested, this YouTube video gives an excellent explanation of how this problem can occur:
 

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As a side remark...I have been driving a 2011 MDX since new with no such problems...I have parked under trees in the fall....also a 2004 Accord with a sunroof before that...and several Hondas before that with sunroofs..never had any leakage issues in any of my cars.
 

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Don’t trust dealerships, hell these days don’t trust anyone. In 3 months of ownership with the sunroof never opened, the drain was clogged?? If anyone else experiences this and gets the run around from warranty coverage, fight it!
 

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I think I worded it wrong when I said "invisible to the naked eye." I think it's more accurate to say "invisible to the untrained eye." Basically, the take away from my point of view is that this is not something that the every day driver with basic knowledge would be able to look for or would think to be aware of. As I said, the only way to clean these drains (as it was explained to me) is to take the sunroof apart. There was SOMETHING in there because Honda paid the dealership to do it.

The biggest thing to know about this situation is that Honda took care of the issue, even though TECHNICALLY they didn't have to. So if you experience this and your service department tells you that you're on the hook for the repair, they're not lying to you but they're also not advocating for you. Push for them to get corporate involved and I think you'll get taken care of.

For anyone interested, this YouTube video gives an excellent explanation of how this problem can occur:
Thanks for the video. Its good to know how to deal with a clog should it happen.
 
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