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Old 10-03-2015, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Omaha, NE
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DIY E53: Sunroof Tube Kink Fix

DIY E53: Sunroof Tube Kink Fix


This is not new but the other day when it rained heavily, water leaked from the ceiling console switch!!!

There are a few comments here and there on the web but no detailed DIY.
If you have detached rear sunroof hose, then there is a DIY for detached drain hose by “knfxda”.


I have attached the pdf by “knfxda” for your reference.

My problem was a clogged LF drain hose, which WAS KINKED!!! My theory is: the very bottom drain outlet (next to jack pad) has a few leaflets (presumably to block dirt/debris); but freezing rain etc. may cause blockage at the very bottom, then the heavy column of water back up all the way to the sunroof cassette, making the tube heavy ---> coming off the metal clips (in the A pillar). Anyway, just a theory.


1. Wash your hand before touching trim work!

2. I wore goggles for eye protection. It is extremely unlikely that the A-pillar airbag will fire but you need the eyes to go to work lol…

3. Get a spool of grass trimmer ($2 at hardware store), this stuff is plastic, not too stiff, not too soft. I used it to clear the drain.

4. Do NOT use compressed air, it may detach the hose where it is attached to the sunroof cassette. If that happens, read the pdf by “knfxda” lol…


1. Pry off the “HPS” Trim piece using a small screwdriver. Then Torx 25 key to remove the bolt.

2. Note that this trim piece slides under the BLACK rubber seal near the door area (note this for re-installation). See the anatomy of the trim piece: 1 tab and 2 plastic clips. Pull toward the inside of the car and wiggle it off. Install note: make sure the airbag strap does not block the holes for the 2 plastic clips.

3. Now you can see my kinked tube. From factory there was only 1 zip tie. So I added another 4 as shown, making sure the zip tie goes around the wiring loom.

4. While there, I may as well took care of the opposite side. The Right side hose came off a bit but not kinked yet. Anyway, added 4 zip ties.

5. The X5 is slightly lower on the front. So under normal drive, water pools at the front: any blocked drain tube will cause water to spill over at the ceiling switch area.
FRONT: Red arrow
REAR: Blue arrow

6. Drain Exit next to jack pad: over here I cut the leaflets a bit to prevent debris from clogging the bottom.

7. Rear Exit Point, Tailgate area…
That is it, boys and girls...

Attached Images
Attached Images
File Type: pdf E53-Sunroof-Drain.pdf (746.4 KB, 561 views)
1998 E39 528i 5sp MT
2006 E53 X5 3.0 6sp MT

Last edited by cn90; 10-03-2015 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:46 PM
kvc kvc is offline
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Great DIY and pics. I'm sure this will help many members out.
08/06 build 4.4i Stirling Grey over black
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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2005 X5 4.8IS
The Blue ones are always FASTER....

Current Garage:
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:51 AM
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Thanks for posting this, I'll have to check mine before the rainy season begins
____ 2005 X5 4.8is ____

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1998 M3, 1999 328is, 1996 328i, 1994 325i convertible, 1999 528i, 1998 740i, 1999 740iL
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:25 AM
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Yowza and thanks for sharing!

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E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:29 AM
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Excellent post! Thanks in advance.
Previously owned: '03 4.6iS Dinan Supercharged
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: New York
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Sorry for the old thread bump, but of the many threads on this problem this was the most helpful. I straightened my kinked hose and zip tied up, poured water in the corner and it still leaked into the passenger compartment. I removed the visor and grab handle to pry away enough headliner to see that it's connected fine at the top. I reinstalled the visor and grab handle and am currently drying out the a-pillar cover. I didn't fix the problem, which was the leaking into the door jam floor mat area. I'm on the east coast and won't need the sunroof opened for months so I'm tempted to tape it with painters tape until a warm spring day to keep it dry.

I do have time on my hands as I'm off this week though, but would be working outside likely in snow and rain. Thanks for any suggestions from owners who have fixed this problem themselves.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
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Same problem, I took off the a pillar covers both sides were some what kinked, but I don't think that's the problem. I got my compressed air gun and sprayed air into the hole. Then I opened my pano sun roof and poured water into the front section, and water is coming out underneath the car so I don't think it's plugged up, but water pours out of the roof center console where the garage door opener is and the right side pillar. Could it be that the hose maybe isn't connected totally up top the sun roof? Is there any DIY in terms of how to get the head liner down enough to check and see if the hose is well connected up top, I'm hoping that's the issue. If I close the sunroof and pour water on it I don't seem to be getting water in.

So any suggestions as to what the problem may be if you pour water in the sun roof water catch area up top and water comes down your tubes but at the same time comes out of your head liner center console as well?

Last edited by mendes9; 05-14-2017 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:14 PM
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Update: found that the driver side drain tube was clogged, I put my air compressor novle on the hose located inside the pillar, and sprayed air up towards the roof, bam stuff came out and now it drains. Poured more water so far looks good well see.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Hopefully that's all it was, certainly this will help. If it doesn't you may want to consider replacing the sunroof seal. I found water in my X5 in multiple locations after a torrential downpour. The seal was the culprit, simply allowing too much water into the vehicle which the drains ultimately couldn't keep up with. The profile of the seal is a "D" shape and over time it squeezes down and loses it's spring force. Cheap part but pain in the ass to change as you have to remove the pano glass. For me I had the entire headliner and interior pulled so that I could dry it out and seal it up properly.
Current stable: 2005 LMB X5 4.8is, 2000 LMB M5, 2004 JB M3 6spd coupe
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