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Can car’s sunroof withstand carwash?

January 10, 2012
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A weekly Q&A feature about automobiles in the Toronto Star, recently posed the following question from a reader on Jan. 9:

I own a 2010 Hyundai Genesis. When I use a carwash, water leaks inside from the sunroof.

The dealer can’t find a leak and warned that carwashes have high pressures and it is normal to have some leaking. I was told that I should find another place to wash my car.

I don’t know what to do about this. I tried three times to get it sealed while my vehicle is still under warranty, but they are unwilling to do anything about it.

Eric Lai, who answers the questions each week, answered by saying that he concurs with the dealer’s suggestion to avoid “no touch” carwashes, which, he said, “use extreme high-pressure water to clean, and instead look for a soft cloth or hand-wash type carwash for your sunroof-equipped vehicle.”

Lai also said that most any rubber vehicle seal, be it a sunroof or door seals, will leak if high-pressure water is applied. He said such high pressure can also strip paint from metal and rust can also be knocked off of a vehicle.