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I'm a newbie to sunroofs, so maybe this is something you just have to anticipate dealing with on a sunroof-equipped vehicle --
Today, I took my FEH with sunroof through an automated car wash (the drive through without getting out of your vehicle type) for the first time. Every other wash of the vehicle has either been at home with the hose or via a car wash membership I have. In the latter case, they do put the vehicle through an automated car wash but obviously neither I nor anyone else is in the vehicle at the time it goes through that one.
While going through the car wash today, I got rained on... with every.single.pass of the high pressure jets over the roof of my vehicle. After the first pass, I quickly opened the sunroof slightly and closed it, thinking perhaps it hadn't fully seated. Nope. So I got rained on (not a gusher, but enough that I had drops of water on my pants, seats, center console, etc.)
Worse than that, when the dryer blowers started up, it forced the water into the beams near the door panel and windshield. Again, not a ton of water but enough to temporarily discolor the gray felt there and make it wet to the touch. NO GOOD, especially considering I have side curtain airbags up there... I'd rather those not get wet, as I suspect exposure to water isn't a desirable feature of airbag deployment.
So, is this more a case of "high tech, high pressure car wash vs. sunroof = prepare to get water seepage/rain" or is this a case of something not properly sealed or seated in my sunroof? NOTE: This does not happen under normal conditions, like driving on a windy, rainy day, or when I spray the vehicle down with the household garden hose.
I'm taking my FEH in tomorrow morning for the recall notice anyway, so I will mention it, but part of me says that physics dictates that which has a hole *is* going to leak if exposed to water at high enough pressure.
BTW, I've never noticed water or dampness in the door beam area after taking the FEH to the car wash club/membership place, but then again I never had a cause to look for it. They wipe the interior down so I'd never know if it'd rained in there. I suspect their wash is far less high powered and only runs the vehicle through one or two passes of water to save on time, since humans are involved in wiping down the vehicle.
I love my sunroof, btw. If it's just a case of this particular high pressure car wash, I'll go back to hand washing my car when the car wash membership expires (in April).
Thanks for the replies, gang. I've had to cancel my Ford service appt. for this morning due to illness in the family, but based on your comments I'll definitely spell out the sunroof leak as something I need addressed when I do bring my vehicle in.
Being the cynical type I could see them spraying a hose at it and returning the car with a notation of "no leakage". Even if they reseal it they may test it the same way. I don't know how far away the carwash is from the dealership, but I would tell them that I don't consider it fixed until I could drive through that carwash and stay dry, so they may wish to try it themselves.
Is this one of those "touchless" carwashes? If so, that may explain the problem. I'm not saying there is nothing wrong with your sunroof but I have noticed that those touchless washers make cars leak where they don't normally leak. They use very high pressure to remove the dirt instead of brushes or cloth. They use less water and don't actually have contact with your car but I've never liked them because I am afraid of the high pressure damaging the paint.
Neither of my Escapes have been through a car wash - mainly due to the battery vent and antenna. We get enough decent days even in the winter that I don't mind doing it myself with the garden hose and a bucket.
I wonder if there are any performance standards for what the sunroof seal has to withstand.
I have washed mine with my ~2500psi Honda gas pressure washer with no problems. I've used it at max pressure all around the sunroof, specifically, as well as directly on the painted metal and plastic pieces.
Also, BTW, I've dealt with Chyrsler over leaks I experienced with a brand new Jeep TJ. It couldn't be replicated with just a garden hose, nor a high pressure hose for that matter, but only after sitting in the rain. As someone else mentioned, I had two dealers simply run a garden hose around it and call it good. Our problem was a design flaw in the first series of hardtops Jeep made...they didn't have moulded in drip rails above the doors. Water would slowly seep in along the weather stripping and puddle on the passenger floor board. The next batch of TJ's in 1997 came with the redesigned hardtop. Don't let them just blow you off.
I think it comes down to common sense. I stay away from rock chips or places I have used touch up paint on; I make sure I stay at lease ~9" away and I am sure to use the right the nozzle tips. I have a zero degree tip that will cut through paint. I have used high pressure washers on my jeeps for years and never had paint peel.