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Roof drain clogged, CL500, C216, or W221


Alex1978

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Water is pooling in the footwell, screen pillar, and other interior areas because the front drain on the driver's side sunroof is clogged. I've twisted, pulled, and pushed rather hard with some nylon fishtape—including with a pointed brass end—and a steel coiled drain cleaner, but thus far, no luck. According to how far the tape extends (it goes twice as far on the passenger side, which is not obstructed), the obstruction is towards the bottom of the screen pillar and refuses to move.

Additionally, I have checked the drains in the engine compartment and in the wheel wells and have found nothing clogging them.

I've also tried using a vacuum to blow and sucking. I have not yet used my air compressor for fear of rupturing one of the internal hoses.

No other options come to mind at the moment. I could use drain cleaner, but I'm concerned about the potential effects on metal, plastic, aluminum, and paint.

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I've tried using plastic-coated curtain wire and, if that doesn't work, welding rod with a copper coating. The drain tube requires special attention since it is easily broken. Is the bulkhead drain not working since it's next to the bonnet hinge? To get this one out of the way, I had to use welding rod to climb up behind the arch liner.

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I've tried using a drain cleaner with a wire spring and a drill, but to no avail. It's starting to seem like a drain rod was misplaced in a prior garage. I can't figure out where the upper exit is, so I can't ride it backwards at the moment. I've removed the two plastic pins, pulled down the trim around the front wheel well, and jammed a bunch of fish tape down the functional side, but I still can't find it. I intend to return at night armed with a flashlight.

I took the airbag and A-pillar trim off, but the piping must be hidden within the pillar itself. I haven't removed the roof flashing just yet.

Here are three fallbacks:
1) Park with the driver's side up a modest incline so that water may flow freely away from the operating hole.
2) Use a method (such as tape) to seal the sunroof that doesn't detract from the aesthetics of the room and can be removed without harming the paint or glass roof edge trim.
The third option is to drill a new drain hole and run a pipe through the interior of the A pillar; this pipe may then connect to the windshield drain via a reed valve or go back into the wing hollow.

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I appreciate everyone's suggestions. I believe I have solved the problem. Even though I haven't been able to completely thread the fish tape through the hole on the driver's side, the water does seem to be escaping.

Here is what I did so that you may do it too:

I removed the three plastic nuts with built-in washers and two plastic snap bolts at the bottom of the plastic wheel arch liner.
I raised the car's suspension and drove it into ramps. With the wheels rotated all the way, I was able to get access to the insides of the wings by removing two metal self-tapping screws and one plastic nut (same to the nuts on the wheel arches). Once I did that, I could see where the water was leaving the operational side. It's a 15mm outside diameter rubber tube that exits within a forward-facing compartment 6 inches from the top of the leading edge of the wing. There didn't seem to be any way to get to the engine bay. The tube is almost

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In retrospect, I merely had to unhook the horizontal flaps at the bottom to find the drain's exit point. You don't have to put the vehicle on ramps or climb under it to remove, clean, and reinstall the joker valve if you know where to feel for it.

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