Water Leaking into Car from Roof: Causes and Fixes

The roof of a car is pretty crucial, covering the driver and passenger areas of the vehicle. However, folks can be left in dilemmas when the roof starts deteriorating, having holes that let in water. If you notice water leaking into the car from the roof, it would be best to fix it quickly.

Remember, car roofs come with excellent construction and are made of sturdy and durable materials. But, it is not uncommon for car roofs to develop holes, which often result from various external factors.

Not to worry, there are various effective ways of fixing such an issue, and you can effectively fix the holes immediately you notice that water leaks in when it rains. This article reveals some causes of a leaky car roof and various effective ways to fix such a problem.

water leaking into car when it rains

Why does water leak into the car from its roof?

Without a doubt, a leaky car roof may seem like one of the painful things car owners face during the rainy season. Such leaks may start small and grow larger, and maybe that’s why your car seats are wet, except you find the water leaking into the car from the windshield.

In essence, it is pretty helpful to confirm if the car’s interior wetness is due to a roof leak, windshield leak, or any other factor. Nevertheless, the following are common causes of a leaky car roof.

  • During the sunroof construction, the manufacturer may have some compromised factors that may cause leaks in some new cars. If such is the case, it would help if you take the care back with your warranty.
  • Possible accidents from heavy objects that hit the car’s roof, leading to dents that further cause severe tiny leaking holes.
  • Rust can also cause the roof to leak, and it results from the oxidation between metal and water. Such an occurrence would start making the roof disintegrate, and you may find small holes soon.

Ways to Fix a Leaky Car Roof

Whether you find water leaking into the car’s passenger side or the driver’s side from the roof, you must seek effective solutions to get this fixed. Interestingly, you can fix such an issue yourself within your garage with the help of some auto sealants.

These commercial products are formulated to block the leak holes effectively and provide a waterproofing solution that inhibits water from leaking into the car when it rains. Nevertheless, it would help if you leave a severely damaged roof to professionals to fix, as such sealants would not help.

With that in mind, the following are helpful steps that you should follow to fix a car roof leak.

Step One: Inspecting the Leak

If you are not exactly sure if the water is leaking into the car driver’s side from the roof, it would be best to find where the leak is from. Again, even if the roof appears to be leaking, you should try to find the exact places where there are holes that let in the water.

Working on the roof, kindly get out all dirt and debris found to give you access to the roof undisturbed. You would often find an accumulation of water wherever such leaks exist. Again, it would help if you looked out for cracks and rusted areas, and some bubbles should also tell where the leak lies.

Step Two: Start Applying the Sealant

After purchasing the roof sealant, you should apply some on holes following the manufacturer’s instructions. By now, you should know that these sealants come with varying formulations, consistency, and packaging, and as such, they would require different application methods.

However, you would have to use an applicator pad or use a small cardboard paper. Then, carefully rub the sealant all over the holes while ensuring you don’t rub them excessively on a particular area.

Step Three: Drying the Sealant

Once you’ve fully applied the sealant, you should let it dry. The drying process often takes 20 to 30 minutes, but you can use a hair dryer to hasten the drying time. So, set the dryer’s heat to be suitable and apply it evenly to the applied sealants.

Step Four: Test the Sealed Roof for Leaks

With the help of your garden water hose, splash water across the car’s roof (around the areas having the sealant) to test if it still leaks. If there are no water leaks, then you’ve done an amazing job. Again, you can decide to repaint the vehicle’s roof depending on the sealant type. But, if this problem lingers, there may be a need for a professional service.

Things You Would Need:

  • Car roof sealant
  • Sealant applicator pad
  • Cotton rag
  • Dryer
  • Garden water hose

Note: Fixing a leaking car roof problem may appear quite expensive, especially if the roof damage is pretty pronounced. But if you have a warranty, it would be recommendable to take the vehicle to the auto dealer. For used cars or old cars with no warranty, kindly ensure that you don’t ignore roof leaking issues as they may become worse.

Tips to Prevent Leaks from Car Roof

It is great for car owners to avoid having a leaky car roof, and here are some helpful tips:

  • Car owners should consider waxing and polishing the body of their vehicles periodically. If you do so for the roof of your car, you can rest assured that the car paint would remain protected for a long while and shine attractively.
  • Kindly check the vehicle’s roof for rust and corrosion and think of an effective way of repairing and repainting the roof before such rust leads to leaks. It is common for rust to occur with the association of metal and water due to oxidation. Nevertheless, you can decide to apply a rust converter to battle the rust issue.
  • Since moisture is responsible for easily making the car’s roof rust, you should also consider parking your vehicle in a shaded garage. Again, this shade would work well in protecting the car from other plant debris and fruits, as noticed with opened parking lots.
  • Kindly get convertible top care for your vehicle to help you out during the rainy season.
  • It would be a great idea to take extra care during installing various car hardware on your roof to prevent such leaks. It is common for folks to install auxiliary lights, a roof rack, and even a sunroof that would provide added style and functionality.

However, if there is a compromise in the quality of the services during such hardware installation, it could drill some holes that would cause leaks.


What is the cost of fixing a car roof leak?

You can find the car ‘roof leak repair cost’ at an average of $900 to $1,500 when using the services of a certified professional. In essence, the parts should cost at least $500 while these experts charge from $300 and above for labor.

Nevertheless, the price you get to pay depends on the extent of the damage, the service station, and location. Kindly check with the “car water leak repair shop” close to you and relay to them the extent of the leaks from your car roof.

How do I find out where my car is leaking water?

If you find the inside of your car wet, there are various places that such leaks could come from, and one of such is the car’s roof. Perhaps, the vehicle’s roof could have some dents or a few rusted areas that let in water.

Another possible reason could be from the windshield, and this commonly occurs due to poor windshield installation. Nevertheless, such car leaks can also be a sign of a faulty A/C, as the evaporator drain may seem clogged if its core is leaking.

Does home insurance cover a leaking roof?

When it comes to the roof of your home, you can find leaks that appear covered by your insurance if the cause of such leaks is not “excluded” from the policy. In most cases, if the roof leaks result from poor maintenance, you have to deal with the cost of fixing such.

So, one can conclude that whether or not you receive reimbursement from your insurance policy for fixing your leaking roof would depend on the original cause of the problem. Thus, it would be best to check the deductibles of your home insurance to be sure of the extent it covers before you decide to file a claim.

How much does it cost to replace the roof of a car?

Vehicle roof replacement often costs an average of $975 to $1050 and may go higher depending on the car model and its make. Then, you may find experts charging between $75 and $150 for each hour they spend on doing this job.

Kindly note that you can get a personalized quote from auto roof repair services near you. Furthermore, you should only find certified personnel to handle this task to prevent any further damages or leaks from occurring.

Does the car to leak seem normal?

It is pretty common for vehicles to leak different liquids, much more from the front area of the car. Kindly note that the front areas of vehicles hold much liquid, but you may also find the vehicle leaking if you use the A/C.

Nevertheless, it would be best to confirm that the leaking fluid appears to be water, and you can find out by wetting a towel and perceiving it; then, you should check the water’s temperature. Further, look around the roof and windshield to look for possible leaks to effectively find out where the water leak is from.

How often should one replace the roof?

You may find that the roof of your car lasts for up to 20 years, depending on the materials for its construction. These parts of vehicles seem pretty durable and can serve for a long period.

But the vehicle’s roof may start deteriorating due to several reasons, including weather conditions. Once you notice some dents on the roof of your car, most probably after a storm and further find cracks, you may need a roof replacement if the damage seems significant.

Final Thoughts

Leaks in cars are pretty annoying, and it may be very dangerous to find water leaking from the interior car light or other areas within the car getting wet. It wouldn’t be such a smooth ride if you find water leaking into the car from the roof.

Thus, it is imperative to search for the leaking spots on the roof and fix them with commercially available sealants. However, some damages on the vehicle’s roof may need expert services to fix, and as such, it would be best to take your car for repairs if such sealants do not work.


Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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