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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I've been lurking but I need advice! My cat is hurting with a few major issues, but it's on the mend. I am just looking for some input on the scary left-to-right play in my steering column, and a leaking sunroof. My suspension is shot, and I know that could be a factor in the steering, but the response seems decent enough. The steering column itself can be shaken side to side, and although it moves the wheels well enough, it seems tight when I'm making a turn. Ideas? I'm thinking fixing the suspension issues (front checked out but rear struts are blown as well as my front wheel bearings. Bent front lower left control arm isn't pretty, either).
Also, my leaking sunroof: the motor seems fine, but it is stuck shut, and no amount of pushing it down in the back is stopping the horrendous leak that is ruining my back seats. I was told that I may have stripped a gear in the motor, but perhaps it is just the tracks? Plus...how the hell do I get the ucky mold smell out?? I'm not a gearhead, forgive my obvious stupidity. Any help would certainly be appreciated!
 

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The leak in your sunroof could be caused by either a bad rubber seal.
(the black rubber piece that goes around the roof panel itself or the tan one you see on the interior of the car)

Or one or more of the 4 drain tubes, on the corners of the frame of the sunroof, are plugged.

Either way you would have to drop the headliner to see whats up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was thinking as much...I was told that since the roof is slanted, it is simply running back in that direction, but who knows? It mostly seems to come in at the rear passenger corner. But then again, there is some older water damage to the headliner right by the roof switch at the front. It's stuck shut for the moment. I just can't figure out what's up. I had a little peak at the motor, and there looks to be loose little gear or something that's not quite seated right, just flopping around. Motor sounds like it wants to work but it's stuck! Thanks!
 

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It's usually broken tracks that make the sunroofs fail.

You say the steering column can be shaken? Like..it isn't tight in the car? If you're parked and sitting still, you can shake the column?

If that's the case, the column is held in the car by four bolts from underneath.
 

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The sunroof should not be leaking, even if it is slightly open. The problem is clogged drain tubes. There is a drip rail inside the roof that catches all water that comes in, and the tubes shunt it away to the outside.

I'd guess the steering rack is tight; the problem is probably either bad guts INSIDE the steering rack, or SERIOUSLY DANGEROUSLY WORN tie rods.
 

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well you say that struts are done and you have a bent a arm, that would cause many issues with steering. plus it would cause excessive wear on the steering components, if you jack up one side of the car and put your hands at 9 oclock and 3 oclock try and wiggle it. do the same in 12 and 6 oclock position
if it moves at 9 & 3 oclock its probably a tie rod
if it moves in both it may be a wheel beering, a arm (bushings-replace the whole a arm), ball joint (replace the whole a arm).


But before you try and go fixing issues that may not exist, fix the issues you know are for sure there. If your getting the suspension fixed have a look at the a arms and the tie rod, you can save labour if you have them replaced well they are in there anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you kindly for all the advice guys. There is play left to right when parked (haven't been able to jack it up yet). I recently had it inspected and tie rods did not come up...does anyone know if they look for tie rods in a Maryland inspection? I plan to have the supension issues repaired within the next two weeks...I don't want to go in there saying my tie rods are busted if I don't know for sure because I'm new to the shop I'm using and not sure if they'd just do it regardless of need. Anyway...I'll try to investigate further in that direction. As for the leaking tracks...how do I go about unclogging? Thanks again!
 

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As for the leaking tracks...how do I go about unclogging? Thanks again!
First you need to pull the headliner down. The trim pieces around the doors need to come off - just pull and the clips will pop out. Then, if you have an overhead console above your rearview mirror, it needs to come off too. Pry the light out with a credit card or something like that, and there are a couple of screws under there. Pull off the rubber seal around the sunroof hole. Then you drop down the headliner a little, and you can see the sunroof assembly. There is a rubber hose coming off of each corner. Pull them off the sunroof and use come canned air to blow them out, and that should take care of it.
 

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The sunroof should not be leaking, even if it is slightly open. The problem is clogged drain tubes. There is a drip rail inside the roof that catches all water that comes in, and the tubes shunt it away to the outside.
Does this apply to the contour also?
 

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Does this apply to the contour also?
Beats me; you should be able to tell by just looking at it.

Regardless, I doubt any sunroof was ever designed without a drip rail, though. It's common sense. Unless water is coming in sideways, or faster than the drains can remove it, you should never get drips through the sunroof unless it's OPEN TO THE SKY.
 
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