I purchased a 2002 VW Golf this summer for $3k. When fall came around, the rain came, and we found that there were several leaks. The leaks lead to electrical failures. The worst of the leaks was the sun roof plugs.

When I took it in to a local shop, they were able to open the sun roof by force, but they couldn't get it closed after that. They suspect that the cables had corroded and seized, preventing it from closing again without replacing the cassette.

Total cost for repairs of electrical, plugs, and seals is $5k. I'm not really keen on paying nearly double the cost of the car to have it repaired. The cost of just the sunroof work is $2300, which includes replacing the cassette. I'm fine paying for the electrical work and seals, but the sun roof is completely unnecessary, and we already didn't use it, and won't miss it.

What alternatives are available to repairing it? I'd considered just cutting a piece of plywood the size of the the roof, laying it in there with the sun roof seized, and layering flex seal or something over the top of it to effectively seal it, but im not sure how effective that would be.

2 Answers 2


A decent body shop could remove the sun roof and weld in a panel to fill the hole. The edge is usually "stepped" with a tool called a joggler so that the final surface is flat.

How much that would cost, with the painting and preparation is a different question, but it would prevent any further leaks...


I'm almost positive that behind the plastic trim in the roof, just behind the rear view mirror, is an emergency key which lets you wind the sunroof closed manually. I know for definite that Polo's of this era have this. Infact some pictures here show how to do it.

As for the leaks, Mk4 Golf almost always leak due to blocked holes in the scuttle tray. The sunroof drains come out of the a-pillers so if you open both front doors, you'll see a little rubberised plastic bit that comes to an X. Just open that and squeeze the stuff out of it. That plus clearing the leaf debris from each side of your scuttle panel will almost always solve any leaks on the Mk4 platform. No need to open the sunroof at all.

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