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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I think the sunroof drains completely ruined my truck. Looks like they rusted away completely and the male tip that the hose connected to snapped off and rusted into nothing itself inside the hose. Water ran down the side pillars and underneath the carpet until finally filing up to the point where the radio died and the carpet got wet. Both drains had the same failure. Repair estimate is already north of $23,000 and that is before any of the water logged electronics in the floor have even been added into the mix. It's crazy that something this small can cause so much damage. I think it's done for sure. Might not even be covered under insurance considering the nature of the failure. On a side note, I thought these things were made of aluminum. That's a frame part (or at least it's called that) and it's definitely not aluminum.
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Dealerships during regular service are supposed to clean the drains and condition seals.
Find a new dealership for your next one....
 

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I am so sorry. Please let us know what the dealer suggests and if any of this is covered by insurance or the dealer if these drains should have been inspected during regular maintenance? I have so many questions: Has the dealer / Land Rover seen this issue before? I also heard the L405 was 100% aluminum framing, so what is the "frame" part that is so rusted?

Are you the original owner of this car? Do you know if it had been wrecked or repaired?

Again, I am so sorry, this is a frightening post.

Jan
 

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L405 is aluminum but that is probably the sunroof/pano frame that is made out of some sort of steel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
L405 is aluminum but that is probably the sunroof/pano frame that is made out of some sort of steel.
You are exactly right, that rusted "frame" part that is painted black is one of the roof supports. It runs parallel to the sunroof glass in case anyone can't tell what area they are looking at in the pics. The white cloth covered thing in the pics is the head level side airbag.

My best guess as to the cause of the corrosion is the use of dissimilar metals in the frame part and the drain tube that went through it and to which the rubber drain hose connects. It's near identical damage on both sides. Deep corrosion. All the way through. I know if you join some different kinds of metal alloys together without some kind of insulation between them, it will cause a chemical reaction that quickly leads to rust & corrosion. No other piece of metal on the entire vehicle has anywhere near that level of corrosion, and that includes everything under the vehicle that is constantly exposed to the elements (which at most has very minimal but expected surface rust here and there after all these years). This frame part in the pics was even powder coated or painted, so that's why I'm thinking it didn't rust because of water exposure, at least not initially. That's my current unqualified theory though.

What scares me is there is no way that I'm aware of to really know if the connector the hose connects to is corroding because I don't think it would be visible from where the water enters the drains. Even cleaning them out regularly might not do a thing to help. Although that will tell you if it's clogged, and would tell you if the hose is still connected, but it won't tell you if that tip is corroding but hasn't failed to the point of the hose falling off yet. Mine rusted away to pretty much nothing but the tip is still Inside the hose and despite its terrible condition I can see that water would still pass through the middle even now in its current condition if it were somehow magically connected to the frame part again. The sunroof could continue draining and pass any inspection as long as the hose is still connected, but once it corrodes enough and that hose breaks off, it's over real fast. By the time you realize it, it will probably be too late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am so sorry. Please let us know what the dealer suggests and if any of this is covered by insurance or the dealer if these drains should have been inspected during regular maintenance? I have so many questions: Has the dealer / Land Rover seen this issue before? I also heard the L405 was 100% aluminum framing, so what is the "frame" part that is so rusted?

Are you the original owner of this car? Do you know if it had been wrecked or repaired?

Again, I am so sorry, this is a frightening post.

Jan
Thanks. It's at a different dealership than where I purchased it, but they are saying it's probably not worth fixing & I agree. Waiting to see what the insurance company says. I've got comprehensive coverage, and an umbrella policy, but something tells me they are going to deny coverage and say this is wear & tear or at least wasn't caused by any sort of accident. Similar to how they would respond if the engine blew up, or it had a costly suspension failure. This certainly feels like a different situation to me, but I'm not sure they would agree.

I am the original owner. It was a 2014 autobiography with around 70k miles. Never been wrecked. I think this is something they (LR dealers) see sometimes, because they immediately guessed what it was and that it would be a total loss. The thing that pisses me off most was I was already looking at new vehicles at the time and was just about to trade it in. It wouldn't have brought a ton of value as a trade in, but a heck of a lot more than it would now.

The whole ordeal has us so spooked that we are now considering trading in my wife's 2014 supercharged (which has less than 50k miles on it). It's in near perfect condition, and we weren't planning on getting rid of it for another year or two, but now we worry that something similar might happen to it. Her 2014's trade value will just continue to go down so maybe it's best to trade it in now and avoid the risk of a total loss altogether.

I don't think I'll bother getting sunroofs on any vehicle from here on out though. We never use them anyway, and so now they seem like an unnecessary risk area to me. Convertibles? Sure. Sunroofs? No. We haven't had many problems with any of our range rovers (4 so far) but there are some annoying things about the way they are built that eventually make them not worth owning after about 8-10 years. Its not just LR though. All of these modern cars. I wonder how collectors will maintain one of today's vehicles when they are 50yrs old. I've got a 72' Scout II that is a complete PITA and never runs well for long, but it's a hell of a lot easier to fix than a Range Rover. I cannot imagine how hard it will be to fix a 50yr old L405.
 

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Thank you for your reply. I am crossing my fingers for you. If this is a known issue, it feels like a potential recall with the sunroof manufacturer. I suspect the rusted "frame" is part of the sunroof assembly, and I believe most sunroofs are sourced from one company. Roughly how much of your L405's life was garaged? Cars should not rust out even if they are not garaged, but if your car is garaged for most of her life, it further heightens my concern about build quality.

I am the original owner of a 2004, L322. She has been pampered, first oil change at 1k miles and then every 5-7.5k miles. She's always garaged and has 215k miles on her now. She is having some suspension fault warning lights now, which I am having difficulty getting repaired, but the car is maintaining height. The Land Rover dealer where we purchased her will no longer service cars older than 2013. My long trusted independent shop does not want to tackle the suspension faults.

I nearly pulled the trigger on a 2017, L405; I love the way the supercharged v8's drive; they are spectacular. I have my eye on the L460, phev for '23, and I want to keep the L322 in the garage as long as I can keep her running.

Good luck with your current and future RR's.
 

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I will bet that salt water also played a role in this damage.
It is unfortunate that this happened.
NOTE living near a coastal area will subject the machine to overnight dew events that contain salt Now that you know this is an issue make sure your the one thats inspecting the drains. I would use some type of aircraft fogging spray ACF 50 comes to mind sprayed into the drains on a regular basis
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will bet that salt water also played a role in this damage.
It is unfortunate that this happened.
NOTE living near a coastal area will subject the machine to overnight dew events that contain salt Now that you know this is an issue make sure your the one thats inspecting the drains. I would use some type of aircraft fogging spray ACF 50 comes to mind sprayed into the drains on a regular basis
You might be onto something. Not so much because of Louisiana, but both range rovers have spent time at our place in Hawaii (& have been on ocean transport vessels multiple times). Our place is around 1000ft above sea level, which keeps us out of the salt clouds when the surf is really big, but it is on the north shore and always windy so salt water could have played a role. I'm certain it didn't help.
 

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thats your answer, salt damage a few cycles of salt will quickly corrode unprotected metal you could also use DC111 thats a silicone paste but might be hard to get to the fittings
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thats your answer, salt damage a few cycles of salt will quickly corrode unprotected metal you could also use DC111 thats a silicone paste but might be hard to get to the fittings
I think you are right about the saltwater being the culprit, but it's still not something that should happen. That's not unprotected metal & saltwater is an expected environmental exposure given they sell them in coastal areas and don't tell you not to visit costal areas. This is a design flaw, not some kind of misuse or lack of recommended maintenance by me. It's not like I drove it in the surf either. I bet the sunroof manufacturer had some quality control issues in the powder coating process. They should have designed it in a way that directs water completely external to the cabin, even if the drain line fails or clogs. It can be done. The dumbest thing though is the placement of so many electrical components in the floor. There is zero reason to put any electronic modules under the carpet.

I think I've now lost faith in LR's off-roading bonafides. Like many of you, I've defended the company many times over the years, but if their vehicles are so fragile that critical components can rust away to nothing in just a few years, then they aren't well suited for life outdoors after all. Well designed vehicles cannot be completely destroyed by something so minor as a little water and they don't rust to the point of failure anywhere near that fast. Seriously. My 50 yr old International SCOUT II with hundreds of thousands of miles on it in Hawaii has less rust damage than my 2014 Autobiography w/ 70k miles (and the scout IS driven in the surf/beach sometimes). That is pathetic.

Anyway, I've spent around half a million dollars on 4 range rovers since 2012, but I'm so disgusted by this episode that I'll probably never buy another LR product again. We've decided to trade them in and get new vehicles before something like this happens again. Won't get much from my autobiography but I'm hoping for around $10k salvage value.
 

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OP, I'm in central La., and I have a 2014 RRS. You've certainly got my attention with that. How did you discover this issue?
I have looked at the drain components on my 2008 RRS, but never on my 2014. Think I'm gonna look for my 2014 drains tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OP, I'm in central La., and I have a 2014 RRS. You've certainly got my attention with that. How did you discover this issue?
I have looked at the drain components on my 2008 RRS, but never on my 2014. Think I'm gonna look for my 2014 drains tonight.
Well, one morning my windows were a little fogged up, and then my radio stated acting up. It would pop and then either cut all sound, or it would be very quiet and only some tones would come out of some of the speakers (not all). Then it stopped altogether. Carpets were dry to the touch, but I pulled up one of the door sills and lifted the carpet a bit and saw water. The repair shop found the actual issue after removing the headliner. I don't think you could see the corrosion from above if you open the sunroof. You can probably see the area if you can pull the side of the headliner down an inch or so though. Might have to use a scope or mirror but those pics were taken before the headliner was completely removed, so maybe you can get it to drop a little by removing one of the grab handles and then just pull a little. Not sure. I didn't remove my own headliner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And what the hell do you park under...that stuff looks like sap/salt and brine with a heavy chaser of pollen. Never seen anything like this!!!!!
Lol. Yeah it looks bad. Didn't ever park it under trees or anything else when outside. Rest of the time it is under covered parking. One of the pics show the end of a shop towel they were using coming through. Everything else you see is just rusted metal.
 

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So, I think the sunroof drains completely ruined my truck. Looks like they rusted away completely and the male tip that the hose connected to snapped off and rusted into nothing itself inside the hose. Water ran down the side pillars and underneath the carpet until finally filing up to the point where the radio died and the carpet got wet. Both drains had the same failure. Repair estimate is already north of $23,000 and that is before any of the water logged electronics in the floor have even been added into the mix. It's crazy that something this small can cause so much damage. I think it's done for sure. Might not even be covered under insurance considering the nature of the failure. On a side note, I thought these things were made of aluminum. That's a frame part (or at least it's called that) and it's definitely not aluminum.
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This happened to my 2014 LWB Autobiography. It was devastating and expensive. Fortunately, I filed under my auto insurance under Comprehensive Coverage and only had to pay a $1,000 deductible. Try to get it covered.
 
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