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Pelican Technical Article:

Sunroof Drain Repairing

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hour4 hr

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, trim panel tool, T20 Torx, Phillips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-13)
R56 MINI Cooper JCW Hatchback (2009-13)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Sunroof drain hoses

Hot Tip:

Have extra trim clips on hand in case they break when removing

Performance Gain:

Repair sunroof leaks

Complementary Modification:

Replace front and rear at the same time

The sunroof on MINI R56 models has four water drains, one in each corner. The drains are small (12mm) tubes that run from the sunroof cassette through the body. Each drain is connected to the body via a rubber hose. These hoses and drains can become detached, plugged or loose, causing water leaks into the interior of the vehicle.

Avoid marring the trim. Work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The front drain can be viewed with the sunroof open.
Figure 1

The front drain can be viewed with the sunroof open. It is located in the front corner of each side of the sunroof (red arrows). Be sure it is clear of debris and dirt. The rear also has two drains, one at each corner. These however can't be seen from outside the vehicle.

To test the front drains for good flow, open the sunroof.
Figure 2

To test the front drains for good flow, open the sunroof. Then, fill the corner of the sunroof with water (red arrow).

Next, monitor the rear section of the front wheel well liner.
Figure 3

Next, monitor the rear section of the front wheel well liner. Water should be seen escaping the trim panel (red arrow). If the water leaks into the interior or is not seen beneath the vehicle, the drain may be plugged.

To test the rear drains for good flow, put the sunroof in vent position.
Figure 4

To test the rear drains for good flow, put the sunroof in vent position. Then, fill the corner of the sunroof with water (red arrow).

Next, open the rear hatch.
Figure 5

Next, open the rear hatch. Water should be seen escaping the drain at the upper corner of the body (red arrow). If the water leaks into the interior or is not seen, the drain may be plugged.

To repair problems with the front drains, first remove all the pillar trim panel (A, B and C).
Figure 6

To repair problems with the front drains, first remove all the pillar trim panel (A, B and C). See our tech article on pillar trim removing. Then working at the sun visor, remove the fastener trim covers (inset). Then remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows) while supporting the visor.

Lower the visor enough to access the electrical connector, then separate electrical connector (red arrow) by pulling it straight apart.
Figure 7

Lower the visor enough to access the electrical connector, then separate electrical connector (red arrow) by pulling it straight apart.

Next remove the sun visor storage clip.
Figure 8

Next remove the sun visor storage clip. Open the cover and remove the Phillips head screw (red arrow).

Working at the headliner sunroof plastic trim, unclip it at the top, roll it downward and detach it from the body (red arrow).
Figure 9

Working at the headliner sunroof plastic trim, unclip it at the top, roll it downward and detach it from the body (red arrow). Pull it away carefully as it may crack. The upper clips have to be pulled away while rolling it downward.

Next remove the side sun visor or passenger handle.
Figure 10

Next remove the side sun visor or passenger handle. Open the covers and remove the Phillips head screws (red arrows).

Pull the headliner down enough to access the corner of the sunroof.
Figure 11

Pull the headliner down enough to access the corner of the sunroof. The front drain has a hose that attaches the sunroof cassette (red arrow) to a metal tube in the body (blue arrow). These can be come detached, if you find this issue, replace the hose. If it is clear, attached and not plugged, the metal tube may be plugged. Pull the hose off the body connection (inset).

Then, blow low pressure air down the drain tube until all the debris escapes out the bottom of vehicle.
Figure 12

Then, blow low pressure air down the drain tube until all the debris escapes out the bottom of vehicle. You can reattach hose and periodically check water flow as you work. Once you are sure drain is clear, reattach and assemble headliner.

For the rear drains, first remove all the pillar trim panel (A, B and C).
Figure 13

For the rear drains, first remove all the pillar trim panel (A, B and C). See our tech article on pillar trim removing. Next remove the passenger handle. Open the covers and remove the Phillips head screws (red arrows).

Working at the headliner sunroof plastic trim, unclip it at the top, roll it downward and detach it from the body (red arrow).
Figure 14

Working at the headliner sunroof plastic trim, unclip it at the top, roll it downward and detach it from the body (red arrow). Pull it away carefully as it may crack. The upper clips have to be pulled away while rolling it downward.

Pull the headliner down enough to access the corner of the sunroof.
Figure 15

Pull the headliner down enough to access the corner of the sunroof. The drain is visible (red arrow) just above the window. The hose for the rear drain runs from the sunroof cassette to the exterior of the body. To check if the drain is clear, or to access it clear debris) pull the hose straight off (inset).

To replace this hose, which is usually the best choice if plugged.
Figure 16

To replace this hose, which is usually the best choice if plugged. Detach the hose at the sunroof. Then squeeze the exit of the drain (red arrow) and pull it out of the body (inset), guiding it out from the interior. Reverse steps to reassemble. Apply a small amount of dish soap to ridge on new drain to pop it into body easier.

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