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Toyota Repair/Sunroof Squeak and Rubbing Sound


I purchased a new 2012 Camry XLE on Dec 17, 2011. I took the car to the dealership for sun roof issues 6 times with the last trip in August of this year.

On July 7 2013 they said they applied sunroof assembly repair #1 and also sunroof assembly repair #2 according to the TSB specs. To address the squeaks, the technician put strips of stiff white nylon about one half inch wide by two inches long between the points where the inner and outer roof meet in July 2013.

This year all of those pieces of nylon fell out landing in the track of the sunroof. In September of this year, the technician said when they installed the strips during the hot summer they were tight in place. When cooler fall weather comes the gap between those metal contacts increases causing the nylon to fall out and keep falling out. He said there is nothing else to do because they will just keep falling out if he puts them back in. He told me all of this in front of his service manager.

My memory may be failing me, but I thought when I researched this online, the TSB said to use felt between where the inner and outer roof touch or am I wrong. Why did they use stiff nylon? Wouldn’t a larger piece of felt stay in place better and longer than a small piece of stiff nylon???

The technician said during one of 6 the times I brought the car in for sunroof noise issues that he manually pulled on the part of the roof that is rolled under that almost touches the other roof. He said Toyota painted those points and recommends that the paint bond between them be broken. So he said he painstakingly used his fingers to pull on all of them.

He shared all of this with me on my last visit in September this year when I was hearing a rubbing/squeaking sound from the sunroof again. Here is what he says causes that rubbing/squeaking sound and he says that there is not a permanent fix the sound. He claims that when it rains or I wash my car, dirt seeps between the rubber of the sunroof seal and the metal roof. When I tilt the sunroof, he said that sound that's like a stick dragged across a picket fence is from the dirty dry rubber rubbing on the metal part of the roof when the glass starts to open or is almost closed. He pointed out the car’s paint upon which the sunroof’s rubber weather stripping rubbing the inside of the roof has made the paint look “fuzzy”. He went on to say this rubber dries out which is why it makes that noise.

He recommends the following in an ongoing manner. Apply a good car wax to the metal part of the roof upon which the sunroof touches. I asked about rubbing silicone onto the rubber seal of the sunroof glass, but he said that would degrade the car’s paint. He said that he uses a lubricant that is not oil based. He applies that when I bring my car in for the squeaking issue. I do notice that his lubricant does take away the squeaky rubbing sound for a while. His ongoing solution is to clean the rubber seal well a couple times a year and then have him rub that unnamed liquid on the entire rubber seal whenever I bring in the car for service. (I shared I do most of my own mechanic work including changing oil. He said I could still stop for an application.)

A few weeks after he cleaned and lubricated the sunroof in late August, I can easily hear the rubbing sound and squeaks when the radio is off. Ted, I am somewhat frustrated here. The 3-year warranty expires on Dec 17th. How normal are these rubbing squeak like noises for a 2012 Toyota sunroof when driving over an uneven road? What should I do about the matter?

hello, the TSB procedure is a permanent fix and I have done quite a few of them, so it seems that those pieces fell out because it was not done right in the first place, it should not be necessary to constantly have to clean and  lubricate those parts in order to have a quite sunroof with no squeeks and/or rattles. You may want to have another dealer look at this, I understand that Toyota only pays for a TSB procedure once under warranty, I don't think the present dealer wants to admit their mistake and are giving you this lubrication story as a cover. Visit another dealer to verify the noise, they may send you back to the original dealer, they are obligated to make it right, the factory pays them to do so, if you get no satisfaction from them even after speaking to management then contact Toyotas customer service number or go online and file a complaint, they may set an appointment for you to have the field service technician come to the dealer and make a decision.

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


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