Am I wrong to be frustrated that my sunroof is leaking after only 4 years? Can I repair it myself?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

I own a 1993 Subaru Legacy Wagon. It's the 25th Silver Anniversary L
Plus Sports Wagon Edition. That means I have a sports suspension, fancy
wheels, turbo, leather steering wheel and LEAKING electric sunroof! When
it rains, the sunroof leaks on my head, just like the old B.J. Thomas
song. No one except the dealer will even look at this for me. The dealer
thinks the silicone rubber seal is in need of replacement (the drains
are clear). Even though silicone costs $4 a tube, the cost estimate is
for eight hours of work at $60 per hour! They say it's so expensive
because they have to remove the headliner, sunroof and other items.

I cannot believe this thing is leaking after only four years, and can't
believe how much it costs to fix. Do I have any alternatives? Should I
attempt this on my own? Or should I just do it and get on with my life?
-- Ted

RAY: You should absolutely, definitely NOT attempt this repair yourself.
You could more easily fix the leak in the Mir space station. The dealer
is right about what's involved with this job. This is a complete pain in
the butt.

TOM: But I think you're right to be disappointed that the sunroof is
leaking after only four years. And if it were me, I'd complain to Lord
Subaru and see if they'll contribute to the repair (Subaru's Customer
Service Number is 1-800-SUBARU3). As always, be polite and tell them how
much you like the car, and that you're surprised that the sunroof didn't
last longer. "It shouldn't leak after only four years, should it?" you
might ask.

RAY: And if you get nowhere with Subaru, then you have two choices. You
can either throw in the towel (so to speak) and get it fixed, or you can
do what my brother would do: Go the duct-tape route.

TOM: Yeah. And if the dealer won't sell you the special Subaru Sunroof
Duct Tape for $180 a roll, write back and I'll get you some.

* * *

TOM: Well, you asked for it, and here it is. My brother and I sat down
and wrote down everything we know about how to make your car last
RAY: And it only came out to eight lousy pages!

TOM: But now this gold mine of information can be yours....

RAY: Get your copy of "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even
Knowing It!" by sending $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed,
No.10 envelope to Ruin No.1, PO Box 6420, Riverton, NJ 08077-6420.

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