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Driving on the motorway at the weekend I discovered a leak in the ceiling of my '51 plate Clio. The leak is located roughly an inch forwards from where the passenger sunshade sits when stowed.

Its the first time I've noticed the problem, and it was pretty thick horrible persistant rain (50MPH-on-the-Motorway bad for several hours) so I don't think its a major issue, but obviously if its one that's likely to get worse I don't want it to deteriorate!

I think at present it could be one of three things:

  • I'm aware of some damage to the rubber surround of the windscreen in the top corner (it looks a bit like "chewed by vermin" damage - rat or bird perhaps) but IIRC this is unlikely to cause the effect described - am I correct in this assumption? Edit clarification - This is on the OUTSIDE of the vehicle

  • I'm also aware that the door seal might need fixing in place again, as it came loose a few weeks ago. I fitted it back, but not sure if it needs securing by more than just friction.

  • Is it potentially the sunroof? I've heard different things from different people, and one of them is something about drainage channels?

  • Could it be something else?

I'm somewhat of an amateur when it comes to fixing cars, but I'm quite handy so if it's an easy fix I'd like to do it myself if possible.

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This is a two part answer. The second is depending on whether there is an issue with the first part.

First, it could be the drainage channels are blocked which should be toward the front of the vehicle. If you have an electric sunroof, you should be able to run it towards the rear the vehicle and see them in the front at the corners. If you poor some water down these channels and it doesn't flow easily, these are plugged and you'll need to figure out a way of clearing them. Fine lacing wire may do the trick (as long as you loop the tip so it doesn't rip anything.

If the vehicle has a manual tilt-up roof, you can remove it basically by unhinging it at the back. There should be a small red button under the closing clasp which you press and it will release the clasp from the roof of the car. You can see it better in this video. You can then get to the drainage channels and see if they are blocked.

Secondly, if the channels are clear, your issue is (and from the video it seems this is very common), you'll need to replace the seal for the sunroof. The original seal used by Renault is a piece of junk. You'll need to take your sunroof completely out to replace the seal.

To remove the sunroof, follow the directions in the video, but basically:

  • Remove the glass portion of the roof (as described already)
  • Remove the 16x10mm bolts holding the roof frame in
  • Disconnect to the two channel hoses
  • Remove the sunroof frame

There are two different ways to replace the seal. One is use silicon sealant. The second (which I'm liking immensely) is to replace the old seal with some mastic tape. Follow along with the video and I'm sure you'll agree. No muss, no fuss, no mess.

Replace the sunroof like you took it out.

Hope this helps.

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