2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; I have a 2008 CTS which was purchased new from Massey Cadillac. For the second time in less than a ...
  1. #1
    wcammack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    I have a 2008 CTS which was purchased new from Massey Cadillac. For the second time in less than a year, the sunroof drain(s) have become clogged, this time triggering the Stabilitrac and Service Engine light simulteaneously. The first incident caused the spare tire area to complete fill with foul smelling water; this incident flooded the driver's compartment. I rarely if ever use the sunroof, and this vehicle has less than 20K miles on it. I purchased the most wonderful in the world Major Guard warranty for 6years/100k miles, and the dealer (Massey Cadillac) is telling me this is a "Non-covered Item". I won't brag about being a lawyer, but I have read several posts regarding this. I know a "Manufacturing Defect" when I see it. Any other owners care to chime in? This is my second Cadillac, and may soon be my last. I have absolutely had it with this vehicle.

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    Loveldos is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Sorry to hear you've had troubles with your sunroof. I had an '08 CTS-4 Premium Sedan with the larger, panoramic sunroof and there were no problems for 29,000 miles and I just traded it for a 2013 CTS Premium Coupe at the end of August 2013. Good luck resolving this matter! I would suggest involving the Cadillac Zone Manager and telling them you are a "repeat" customer, the low mileage, etc.

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    wcammack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Thanks for your reply COE. My car is a 2008 CTS Premium Sedan like yours without AWD. It has the same sunroof as your old vehicle with most likely the same defective drain tubes. If the dealer (Massey Cadillac) can not resolve this I will go to the Cadillac Zone area manager. This is not a wind, air, or water leak. It is defective drain tubes that allow water and probably other matter to enter the car and flood out Stabilitrac and other major components. And if i spend 50k on a car and have to figure out how to clean out tubes on a monthly basis, I will just figure out a shortcut to my closest Lincoln or Mercedes dealer.

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    tinman's Avatar
    tinman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Where do you park your car? Under trees? Only major debris will clog your drains. I keep mine in the garage overnight and away from trees at work. No problems in 50k. While I personally believe they should take care of this, you can easily run some trimmer line up your drains from the bottom up to keep them clear. And this is not just indigenous to Cadillacs. Every car with a sunroof will have these same problems.

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    wcammack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    i park my vehicle in the garage. I had a Buick Riviera and then a Buick LaCrosse. Both had sun roofs and did not leak one drop. As I said earlier, if I have to monthly remember to weed whack my sun roof on a 50k+ car, then that is something that should be disclosed at the time of purchase. Do I need to monitor my fuel injectors on a monthly basis or the air intake system? The answer is no; that is why you go back to the dealer to preserve your warranty and establish a service record. Thanks for your post COC. Let me know if your opinion is different than mine.

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    Tbbt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Your car is a 2008 model, It's 5 years old now. As I read it, you had a problem with the rear drains once and now with the front drains once (in 5 years). You didn't have the same thing happen twice, you had 2 different things happen (yes same cause). In other words, if you had a front wheel bearing go out of one wheel it's not the same defect if a rear wheel bearing goes out.

    I'm not trying to minimalize your problem or argue with you, just trying to make it more clear. If you have a good attitude here, you might get help, if you don't.....

    It really is too bad that the extended warranty didn't cover this problem, but it didn't. that was probably in the fine print.

    Good Luck, Marv

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    ROC OUT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by tinman View Post
    While I personally believe they should take care of this, you can easily run some trimmer line up your drains from the bottom up to keep them clear. And this is not just indigenous to Cadillacs. Every car with a sunroof will have these same problems.
    Out of curiousity, where are the "drains" so that I can run trimmer line up through them? I would like to do this as a precautionary measure to make sure the drain lines on my 2008 CTS are clear. I bought my car used so I suspect this has not been done. Don't have any problems yet but want to be proactive. Thanks!

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    tinman's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    I own a wagon so I don't know the answer to your question. I am not trying to be nasty, but if you tried a search I know it has been answered before.

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    wcammack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Thanks for your post Marv. I am trying to be conciliatory in this matter, it is just frustrating to have a driver's side carpet soaked with water and have no idea of its cause. Had I known there was a drain issue, I obviously would have been diligent in cleaning them regularly. Not so much of a bad attitude, just a lot of frustration which I hope you can understand.

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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by wcammack View Post
    I have a 2008 CTS which was purchased new from Massey Cadillac. For the second time in less than a year, the sunroof drain(s) have become clogged, this time triggering the Stabilitrac and Service Engine light simulteaneously. The first incident caused the spare tire area to complete fill with foul smelling water; this incident flooded the driver's compartment. I rarely if ever use the sunroof, and this vehicle has less than 20K miles on it. I purchased the most wonderful in the world Major Guard warranty for 6years/100k miles, and the dealer (Massey Cadillac) is telling me this is a "Non-covered Item". I won't brag about being a lawyer, but I have read several posts regarding this. I know a "Manufacturing Defect" when I see it. Any other owners care to chime in? This is my second Cadillac, and may soon be my last. I have absolutely had it with this vehicle.
    Hello wcammack,

    I apologize that you are experiencing this issue with your CTS. I would like to look into this situation for you and contact your dealership in regard to this. Could you please private message me your name, contact info, VIN, mileage, and dealership you are currently working with? I cannot guarantee any assistance would be available, but I would definitely like to look into the situation. If you are not able to private message me, you can also reach out to me at socialmedia@gm.com with “ATTN GREG” in the subject line. Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

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    wcammack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Hi Greg--FYI I sent an e-mail to you with all of the requested information. Thank you for any assistance you are able to provide. --Bill

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    tinman's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Sunroof water leak in passenger floor area
    Try using a turkey baster as a “toilet plunger” and work the drain with water in it. Try the ol’ “in and out” routine until it hopefully forces the water and debris out the drain line. Then the light bulb went off. With the drain lines full of water along with the sunroof tray, I put the turkey baster directly on the drain hole and started pumping. I started feeling some resistance and then the clog finally gave way. A perfect stream of water was now flowing onto the driveway at the bottom of wheel well.
    OR
    Use thick monofilament or weed wacker line to run through the 4 drains. Smooth out the cut end of the line with sandpaper to help it slide through the drains.

    Open sunroof.

    Front: Take a cup of water and carefully pour into front drain channel to gauge initial drain rate. Use weed wacker line and rod out front drains from roof. The front drain lines run down the "A" pillars and exit out the side (behind the fender) about a foot below the top of the dash, about 3-1/2 feet. Pour more water and observe draining. Run weed wacker line again. Repeat until satisfied. You should notice the run off puddling behind the front wheels and may also observe dirt/sludge/algae that was in the lines.

    Rear: The rear drain lines run down the "C" pillars into the trunk and exit out the rear wheelhouses. Peel back the sides of the trunk liner to access the drain lines. The right rear drain line can be seen by removing the battery access cover, but it is difficult to work with unless you peel back the liner. Detach the rear lines from the wheel well grommets and run weed wacker line up the drain lines. The distance from the drain outlet to the sunroof is about 4-1/2 feet. Place the drain line in a bucket or bottle. Carefully pour water into the side drain channels of the sunroof. You may want to have someone pour water in the channels while you observe the flow into the bucket/bottle. Run weed wacker line again. Repeat until satisfied.

    All sunroofs leak some water and that leak off is normally handled by the drain lines. IMO this sunroof is a flawed design for two reasons. (1) The fixed portion of the sunroof uses the same type of perimeter seal the moving portion uses and therefore doubles the amount of leak off compared to a standard sunroof; (2) The drain lines are undersized even for a standard sized sunroof. As a result of this, the drain lines, at best, are barely adequate for a light rain. Throw in a little bit of clogging and a more intense rain and we get what we all complain about. After constantly cleaning lines and still living with leaks, I removed my headliner to see if I could resolve this problem. I replaced all four lines with 1/2" I.D. tubing in place of the factory 1/4" I.D. and have had zero leakage even in a total downpour (I live in Florida).

    Use 1/2" I.D - 5/8" O.D. clear hose from any hardware store. I considered 3/8", but why not not use the largest size that will fit?

    The 4 drain nipples on the corner of the sunroof are 1/2” O.D. There is a grommet on each corner that reduces them to 3/8” O.D. to fit the original drain lines. The clear hose fit perfectly on the sunroof nipples once the reducer was removed. There are clips on the stock hose that keep them in place (2 in the rear and 3 in front - 2 on "A" pillar, 1 under dash). Remove the clips from the stock hose, tape precut lengths of new hose to them (roof side) and then pull the whole thing through the trunk and underdash, respectively. Place a grommet around the front lines and secure the grommet to the existing inner fender holes. The fronts were a pain to get to and you have to slightly enlarge the hole to accomadate the larger grommet. The rears were easy. Secure the new hose to a 1/2” nipple and push it through the existing wheelhouse grommet.

    Removing and reinstalling the interior parts (especially the headliner) takes patience and took the longest time, but is not overly difficult. I removed the headliner from my car, but I would recommend leaving it in and trying to work around it. There are two electrical harnesses that are glued to the headliner that I had to remove and then reattach when installing.
    Originally Posted by loosend
    What so you mean about the 1 under the dash and how does that one come into play? Is it the AC condenser drain tube or related to the sunroof? How do you get to that one under the dash?

    The nylon clips clamp around the hose and then push into a body hole with a barbed end. In order to pull the stock hoses out you have to remove these clips. The front hoses have two clips on the "A" pillar that are easily removed. There is a third hose clip that can only be removed by reaching under the dash. The sunroof drains only drain the sunroof.

    *Remove the front kick panels (these are the plastic side panels under the dash - to the left of the driver's feet, right of the passenger's feet.
    *Remove under dash trim plates - plastic panels under driver and passenger dash area - both have lights that need to be unplugged. Passenger side has airbag control module (I think it was) that needs to be unplugged also.
    *Once these panels are removed, reach up and peel back the carpeting from the outer corners. The carpeting has attached insulation and is fairly rigid so takes a little effort to move. On the driver’s side there is also a styrofoam wedge (dead pedal) that I found easier to remove and then glue back to the carpeting.
    *With a light, look up under the dash to the now exposed side area (I ended up on my back for this part). You should see the drain hose coming down (if you follow the hose up you should now see the third clip) and then going through an access hole and finally plugging into a grommet in the inner fender. Tugging a little on the drain hose from above (while you're lying under the dash) may help to identify what you are looking at.

  14. #13
    Ryno316 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    I have a 2009 CTS 3.6 di and I had the same problem recently. Whenever it rained, the drivers side footwell would flood. First time I thought I left the window cracked but after the second time I took it in and they said the sun roof was misaligned and the drains had become clogged. My CSR told me typically it was not covered by the extended warranty (I have 75k miles) but since I was having some other preventative maintenance work done at the time, he was able to squeeze it in under warranty.

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    wcammack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Thank you Ryno316 and Tinman--that is excellent reading and positive solutions that should be required reading for an owner. I think I may just skip the suroof in my next Cadillac! Thanks again--Bill

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    Re: 2008 CTS Sunroof Leak-Clogged Drain-GM Protection Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryno316 View Post
    I have a 2009 CTS 3.6 di and I had the same problem recently. Whenever it rained, the drivers side footwell would flood. First time I thought I left the window cracked but after the second time I took it in and they said the sun roof was misaligned and the drains had become clogged. My CSR told me typically it was not covered by the extended warranty (I have 75k miles) but since I was having some other preventative maintenance work done at the time, he was able to squeeze it in under warranty.
    Hello Ryno316,

    Welcome to Cadillac Owners! I am sorry you recently dealt with a sunroof leaking. I am glad the dealer was able to work with you towards resolving this concern. If additional vehicle issues or questions arise, please contact us via private message. Gregory and I monitor the Cadillac forums and are here to assist.

    Sincerely,

    Laura M.
    Cadillac Customer Care

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