General Motors Water Leaks: Saturn Outlooks, GMC Acadias & Buick Enclaves, Oh My!

David commented on a post about GM Water Leaks and posed the following question:

I have had my 2008 Saturn Outlook for 13 months. In that time I have taken it in twice and will be going for a third time to resolve water leaks. The first was the spare tire compartment. It was filled with water and the mat was soaked. The second was the headliner near the garage door opener was soaked and leaked into the center console destroying my cell phone. Now I have water on the passenger side floor. What can I do? Tired of the back and forth.

I have seen numerous water leaks in Saturn Outlooks, as well as in GMC Acadias and Buick Enclaves, primarily in those equipped with a power moon roof. Most leaks are due to a defect in the sunroof track and are caused by the inability of the drains to properly disperse water. The water instead comes into the passenger cabin and damages interior parts and electrical components and creates mold and mildew due to standing water. I have also seen many other water leak issues with Outlooks not equipped with the moon roof. I would take the vehicle in for the 3rd repair attempt. Thereafter, if the vehicle still leaks, smells damp or moldy, or has electrical defects due to the leak, e-mail us back and we will either guide you or refer you to someone who can (depends on the state of purchase and vehicle registration).


  1. I have just brought my 2008 Saturn Aura to the dealers for steering box “knocking” which he wrote up on the service ticket. The service person noted to me a mildew odor in the car and this turned into the “discovery” of a real serious water leak. The service person went immediately to the source; He quickly revealed standing water under the front passengers side carpet!
    Now Saturn is going to locate and fix the problem? and replace all carpeting.
    My concern is…CAN this type of problem really be fixed? Is this not a serious health issue?

  2. all, the saturn outlook has a known problem with leakage due to improperly installed or defective sunroof drains. the problem is extremely damaging because the water runs down the A and B pillars. The A pillars drain into the dashboard and its vital electronics. The B pillar drains into the carpet and corrodes underfloor wiring such as rear window power.

    My saturn aura just began leaking near the roof mounted antenna. anyone have ideas?

  3. We purchased a used 2008 Saturn Outlook XR w/sunroof. We have had a couple of issues regarding electronics in the car and were told that some water was found in the fusebox. Every once in awhile we get an oder of mildew.
    The vehicle was covered under warranty and they kept fixing the small electronic problems at a Saturn repair shop. Now the warranty has expired and we were driving in a severe rainstorm and water started pouring through the headliner, onto the console and down both sides of the interior flooding the floor.
    I keep reading about the same leaking problem on several different sites, but no suggestions on what we can do about avoiding drowning in our own car without getting soaked by repair bills…. Someone please throw us a life saving device in the form of guidance…
    Wet, but hopefull..

  4. I purchased a 2008 GMC acadia brand new, It now has 55000 miles on it, I have had several problems with this car from day 1.. My biggest problem is the water leakage coming from sunroof I suppose, My dealership keeps fixin the problem so the say and still same ole problem, It is currently in ths shop again for the same issue, and to no suprise to me cant get noone for gm to call me back, have left several messges with someone. Is this really how GM wants to treat there consumers, how about we stop buying there vehicles altoghter then they may realize they the company has issues they need to resolve, Im thinking we should have never bailed them out to begin with if this is how we get treated.Im sure none of them are driving leaky vehicles.Its pretty bad when u drive the car in rain storm u have to have umbrellas on the inside of the car so u dont get wet…the headliner has been preplaced once but now im every once in a while I will get a foul order as if mildew is growing and now a musky oder…and this to me is very serious problem, for my husband has bad ashtma and allergies and cant ride in the car with out getting bad headache and sneezing and my 5 yr old has ashtma as well…Someone please help..

  5. Hi Shelley,

    Thanks for posting about your GMC Acadia water leak issue. We’ll be getting back to you directly with how we can help, we see issues like this all the time.

  6. Hi there,

    I have a 2008 gmc Acadia as well since brand new. We have also had our vehicle in numerous times to the dealer for water leakage from the sun roof. It leaks through the air bag signs in the front of the car and as I write is causing the park assist to turn off which also causes a continuous beeping sound while your driving. We are traveling in the rain on a 2 hour trip and it us highly annoying. The last visit to gmc we were told that there was nothing more they can do to fix this problem, yet here we sit with water pouring in. Please help. In fact the body shop manager tox haver should have bought a Honda

  7. Hi there,

    I have a 2008 gmc Acadia as well since brand new. We have also had our vehicle in numerous times to the dealer for water leakage from the sun roof. It leaks through the air bag signs in the front of the car and as I write is causing the park assist to turn off which also causes a continuous beeping sound while your driving. We are traveling in the rain on a 2 hour trip and it us highly annoying. The last visit to gmc we were told that there was nothing more they can do to fix this problem, yet here we sit with water pouring in. Please help. In fact the body shop manager told us we should have bought a Honda

  8. I have an 2008 Acadia with water leakage issues. I do not have a sunroof thank god. I cant imagine any more water than I have. So far I haven’t had any electrical problem yet. GM has had phone calls from me and the only response is “unfortunatly there is no recall at this time we can’t help.” My mechanic says it will be at least 1000.00 he’ll have to pull out seats, dash, trim, and run a water hose over the car to find where the water is coming form. Gm i guess thinks I should tarp the car when it rains and not wash it. This is a manufactors problem and shouldnt be at my expense.

  9. I have a 2008 Buick Enclave that every time there is a heavy rain, water pools in the head liner and runs down the window pillar on the passenger side.

    Absolutely ridiculaous that this many people can have a problem, GM acknowledges it and won’t repair it.

    The last GM product I will ever buy. And they wonder why people buy Japanese vehicles….

  10. My 2008 Enclave has a water leak coming fron the drivers side roof rack rail. It’s been in for repair for the 5th time. I troubleshot it myself when the dealer said they “couldn’t find the source”. All it took was a water hose in the leak area. Duh!! Nothing but lip service. I’m going to stay on them till it gets fixed properly. This is my last shot at returning to American cars.

  11. I just purchased a used 2008 GMC Acadia three days ago. I woke up this morning after a night of rain and opened my car door, it smelled like mold. I noticed the front driver & passanger floors were all wet & it seemed that the car was leaking from under the dash. I see that a lot of people are having this problem but the recall was only for sunroofs. Any ideas? Thanks

  12. I have seen quite a few of these platform GM vehicles with water that leaks in primarily from inadequate sunroof drainage system into the vehicle interior and on the floors. The sunroof unit problems are well documented with GM water leak technical service bulletins. If you vehicle is not equipped with a factory sunroof then I would look at the windshield cowl for a water sealing problems and possibly defective windshield seal. If the water leak problem was presented 3 times under the GM warranty and continues to exist you can contact 1 800 Lemon Law – Robert Ruch

  13. Shortly after I purchased my 2007 Saturn Outlook I found the same leak described by Allison, water was leaking on my left foot under the dashboard near the parking brake. After 5 visits to my Saturn dealer the sunroof leak, that is where they said the water was coming from, was finally fixed. It has now been several years since that was fixed and now I have a water leak over the left front passenger seat…the water actually is draining out of the joint where the visor comes out of the roof. I have called my local GM servicing dealer and they are telling me that they don’t believe that this problem will be covered. I must say that I am beyond disgusted. As I look around on the internet it is VERY CLEAR that this is a known issue. If GM is aware, which they obviously are by the way that they add comments to this and other web boards, they should try being proactive. No RECALL is a sure way to ensure that I will not purchase another AMERICAN car. That pains me greatly to say, but this was an expensive car and GM should be taking some responsibility. I really do love this car…except for this water leak!

  14. I have a 2008 Buick Enclave. I have had water leaks on and off for some time, but let it go. We have had so much rain lately, I can’t let it go. The driver’s side pillar is soaked, water runs from my visor onto my steering wheel that has electronics on it, drips around the emergency brake, dripped on my toes on the accelerator, drips on the foot rest by my left foot, dripping on the passenger side, and the strangest ones of all, water was leaking out of the far rear passenger overhead seatbelt holders, both of them. When you drive and make a turn, you can hear the water sloshing above you. If you open the sun roof, and put your hand right above your head, there is so much water in there. My car smells so bad. I too am worried about the electrical damage. I called GM customer service and told him about all the posts I read and he basically said everyone was making it up and lying. My car is way out of warranty. Clearly this issue has been around for some time and I really feel like we are getting ripped off. How can we make GM cover this defect. Clearly this is a manufacturers defect. GM needs to make this right and keep it’s customers happy. My husband did not want me to buy this car. I hope he doesn’t say, I told you so.”

  15. I have a Saturn Outlook 2008 and of course I have the leak problem too! It is not under warranty anymore. How can we get a recall on this, so they will have to fix the problem for free.

  16. Hello,

    I have a 2007 Saturn Outlook. I have major water leak in my outlook as well. We have had this problem for sometime now and like others lived with it but this time the water effected the electrical system which created some malfunctions. While the engine is off there is an electical hissing sound and the check engine light remains on. When turning of the ignition the engine does not turn off right away. It actually conks a bit before turning off. This car has been a nightmare. We even had it in for transmission problems 3 times now.
    Any advise to what we can do. It’s obvious there are tons of complaints about this safety problem. Thanks.

  17. Hi Joe, sadly the Saturn water leak problem is alive and well, even as the brand itself has gone by the wayside. One thing you do not mention is how many times you were at a General Motors authorized dealer to address the leak problem, or the mold and mildew that came of it. If you have been back at least three or more times under warranty to address the matter, you may want to contact a lemon law lawyer in your state (see to find out if you are entitled to recourse. But, please do this soon as the statute of limitations may have expired in your State to file.

  18. All GM owners should also be aware that GM has a problem with their HVAC system. It doesn’t allow for the evaporator coil to dry out after using the A/c. Any mold spores, dirt, bacteria that gets on it from the outside air can start growing. Nothing like mold and infection causing bacteria to blast at you from your HVAC system. Their TSB indicates that this is a problem for all GM vehicles from 1993-2010.

  19. i have a 2008 saturn outlook with this water leeking ,G M will fix this car or i will paint this car yellow and drive it to every dealer in my state i can promise you that if everyone with one of these cars would go to there dealer and complain out load and let everyone know how they are being treated this will stop the B S

  20. I have a 2008 Saturn Outlook with the water leak issue that has created some electronic problems with the ventilation. When I brought the car to a GM dealership, they changed the ventilation motor and as it was still not working they investigated and discovered standing water under seats and carpet.
    As I discovered that the water issue was a common issue for Saturn Outlook, I heavily complaint to Saturn client service, dealership and reported a safety complaint to NHTSA/ODI.
    The dealership repaired for a zero cost for me (as a commercial gesture they said) and the ventilation is now working.
    But during the repair, they discovered that the airbag module was rusted due to water and this time they refuse to make the reparation and want me to pay for that for a cost between $500 and $1,000. They now says that the water leak is due to a misappropriate windshield that has been changed by the former owner and all other reparation due to the water leak are under my responsibility.
    As i see that water leak with outlook saturn is a common issue, I an wonderind whether they say the truth or not.
    Can someone help me on that issue?

  21. I have a 2008 Saturn Outlook and have owned it since Feb 2011. I have been into the dealership 3 seperate times for leaking into the rear and front of the vehicle. Now after some heavy rains I am again having to take the vehicle back in for water leaking into the front of the vehicle (down the pillars and into the dash and down the windshield). My vehicle is now having electrical problems, the radio turns itself on without the keys even in the truck and killing the battery. Once I jumped it and had it restarted, when I turned it off and pulled the key out the truck continued to run and just slowly sputtered out. Under Maryland law this truck would fall under the Lemon Law. I purchased the truck used and within the first week it was int he shop 2 times, then followed by a 3rd time and was there for almost 2 weeks. Now I am taking it back yet again for the same thing and this time it has killed my truck. What is GM going to do for me? I am at the point I want the vehicle replaced or give me what I paid!

  22. Hi Joshua,

    It certainly sounds like it would qualify under the Lemon Law. We can certainly help with that, we deal with GM quite a bit. Someone from our office will be contacting you with how we can further help.

  23. I have a 2011 Acadia that began stinking of mold. Took it in to dealer under warranty, they changed the door rubber seals that touch the glass. There was a horrible odor coming from inside the doors. Deodorized the car they say and gave it back. Now the car stinks of mold and some type of cleaner. Took it back in, and wife told them you will fix it because it smells worse because of what you did. Car is now out of warranty but they are covering it because the problem was not fixed completely while under warranty. Had car a week and they took out interior and found a leak in rear of car too. Said they sealed something in the rear and will reclean the car. What if it still stinks? Is it safe for my 3 month old and 3 year old to ride in a moldy and chemical cleaner smell filled car? The dealer would not tell us the name of the cleaner so we could research it. Mold smells never just vanish so I know it will smell even if they perfume over it. I am more worried about the safety for us particularly my infant. Thanks for any advice.

  24. I have a 2007 Saturn Outlook XR I have water leaks on the inside of my storage area and the celling and my car has been back to the dealer three times.. What can I do? I paid a lot of money for this car and the service .

  25. Am a not so proud owner of ’07 Saturn “Lookout” and am having same issues with water leaking in from everywhere. How do we file as a group against GM for their flagrant disregard in handling these repetitive annoying expensive issues? Any ideas would be appreciated.
    Pissed Off

  26. 2007 Saturn Outlook water leaking in from roof, sunroof, moonroof. Has there been a rectification to this issue ? My Outlook is a mess. It is currently at the dealer for other repairs. I have them looking into the roof leaking again.

  27. I have had to remove ALL of my carpet to my Outlook to dry it out. I Can’t believe that there is no recall to this issue! If anyone knows of any lawsuit or any court filings pertaining to this issue please let me know. The dealer said that they would have to remove the front glass and all of the interior molding to identify the issue. Luckily my wife and I troubleshot it last night and cleared the tubes within an hour. But now we are removing the carpet to dry it out. If there is no recourse then I plan to clear the tubes every few months. If water is NOT draining from behind the front tires then your tubes are clogged and you need to address it ASAP. It is very simple to test if they are draining by pouring some water in the tray below the moon/sunroof and see if it is coming out behind the front tires. Obviously do this on a dry day to test it. Good luck everyone.

    So folks, here’s my story. I have a 2007 Outlook with sunroof up front, moon roof in back. I have a leak that generally shows up along the front passenger side that starts in 4 spots dispersed along the length of the door in the headliner, but primarily near the front passenger pillar. Then it goes crazy especially when driving and eventually drips onto my leather seat. Then depending on the amount of rain, it can be bad enough where a leak shows up on the driver side as well. I was totally convinced it had to do with that large gaping hole above my head – the sunroof. I replaced the seal on the glass pane, but that didn’t help. I tested out the drain lines by pouring water into the sunroof tray and that worked well with no leaks into the headliner. Again it rained – again it leaked. In my distress I decided to jimmy-rig it and taped off the sunroof seam with clear shipping tape the other day. I know, I know. So this morning while driving to work in the rain I noticed the leak started up again. Needless to say I wanted to go postal! So I pulled off to towel down the wet headliner and looked at the tape convinced it had let loose. But NO! What the hell now? So looking a bit more I noticed that the long rubber seal that runs the entire length on the roof just above the doors was loose at the front near the windshield. It seems reasonable to think that driving would force additional water under the seal and back into my headliner making it show up along the length of the headliner above the pillars. So the way I figure it, I am going to pull up the seal, silicone under it, press it back into place and allow it to cure. The seal has shrunk over the years (like all rubber does) and being loose it would definitely allow water to get around it. If that doesn’t work I will replace the seals on both sides.

  29. We also are having 2007 Outlook leak issues. We have had the drain cleared (blown out) by the dealership numerous times. We went the route of the clear tape. It worked for a quite a while. Now, with our very rainy spring this year we are back to having dripping down the passenger side pillar, over and behind the glove box and onto the floor.
    Let me say this: I don’t like our dealership service dept. I have been outright lied to on more than one occasion.
    Here’s the latest new twist: They are charging us $675 and claiming that the problem is the windshield cowl, and lots of electronics need to be replaced because they are corroded from being wet. Is that a possibility? I saw the water running down the passenger pillar, on the inside of the car, could it also be going under the windshield? I don’t trust them. Unfortunately the car is at the dealer now, the work to be completed tomorrow. Any thoughts quickly would be helpful.

  30. I have a 2009 Saturn Vue having the same water leak issue. I am the second owner and have only had the vehicle a year, my extended warranty only covers mechanical and electrical. GM only authorized 1 hr diagnostic to locate the source of the leak and my car has been sitting at the authorized GM dealer for over a week and they still have not found the source of the leak. There is no visible water leaking on the interior but the carpets are soaked when it rains and my car smells bad of mold/mildew. I am seriously getting the run around and am very frustrated because GM is not helping nor agreeing to take care of this issue. I want my car back and I want it fixed.
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

  31. We have a 2008 GMC Acadia with the same issues. I blew out the drain holes for sunroof but still getting water on passenger side filling up the heater motor causing corrosion of motor. Any tips on how to stop the leak?

  32. 2008 outlook no Sun roof floor wet both in front foot wells is it the windshield or the black rubber strips on the roof, or the drain line through the floor

  33. I just left my 2008 Outlook XR at the dealer. According to them the problem are the tubes that drain the water from the sunroof. These tubes run inside the front and rear columns (on the sides the windshield in the front and the side columns on the back of the car). These tubes are not long enough to drive the water until the bottom of the car so the water will leak into the inner fuse block, will damp the carpets on the passenger and driver sides and make much more damage than you can believe. As the insulator between the carpet and the floor is like a sponge, it will absorb the water and soaks all the connectors that run below the insulator (cables that run from the battery, to the seats motors and heater, etc, etc). Not to mention that it may damage the airbag triggers mechanisms located on the columns besides the windshield….Great!!!!. For now I have to replace the fuse block, the front tubes and clean the rear tubes….about $900.00…My plan is to never by a GM car ever….and I’ll make sure my family and friends never by a GM automobile. I paid $35K for this car and in the end GM knows these have lots of problems and are not fixing it….

  34. I have an 2008 Saturn Outlook just recently I started to notice water coming out from under the dash on the passenger side. I haven’t ever noticed any other leak and I have sun roofs and it hasn’t been raining. Does this have to do with the air conditioning? And how can I fix it I can’t afford to take my car to the dealer.

  35. Hi Terri,

    Water leak is sadly a common issue in these cars. Contact the GM dealer in your area to see if there is a silent warranty or Technical Service Bulletin for this problem.

  36. I purchased a 2008 Saturn Outlook new and am still driving it, now with 97,000 miles. I have had leak problems from day one. Numerous times back to Saturn dealer to fix, each time assured it was. Saturn dealer gone, now am going to Chevy dealer that does Saturn repair. Couple years ago (about 60,000 miles) after setting outside during a hard rain, car would not start or start and only run a few seconds. Got it to Chevy dealer who said the ‘fuse box’ was all rusted out and wondered if I had spilled something. I asked him if he did not know of this fourm and the huge leak problem. Said repair was going to be $700.00. Told him to fix it but I wanted all the old parts for my claim to GM. Called back and said they would repair no charge. Last night car set out again during hard rain. Notice, not even driving, just sitting in driveway. Started car and moved it and water came pouring down in every open spot in the headlner soaking interior. Cleaned it up and let it air dry for two days and tonight it runs just like it did at the 60,000 mile problem: Will start, all kinds of warning light go on from low tire pressure to check air bag to park assist off. Will run about 10 seconds and die.
    I have no choice but to take it back to Chevy dealer and remind them to check the service records for the return of this problem that these cars have had from the begining. I hope we can all get a good attorney to make GM know they have a serious, costly, defect that they need to recall and fix.

  37. I recently purchased a used 2007 Acadia. I also purchased an extended warranty for $2400 under the impression it would cover ANYTHING that happened to the car. I am having the same leaking water problems. Everything it rains water comes into the floor. I was told by the dealership it is a seal around the sunroof that can be replaced but is NOT covered by my warranty and will cost around $400 dollars! REALLY? What good is purchasing an extended warranty if it’s no good?

  38. I bought a 2008 Saturn Outlook in Nov of 2012. Not until a year after I bought it, I moved to Florida where it rains a lot. Started having several problems, but didn’t know what it was. Car was driving funny, radio was shutting off, smelled bad inside, ect. Finally after a bad rain I pulled out of my driveway to watch water fall out of the top ac vents and the back of the car. This started my now a year living at Chevy shop. 6 times I had it in the dealer and they couldn’t find the problem. They sealed this and looked at that….. My car back fired on me one day and smelt like something was burning. Finally I had water leaking on my feet both driver and passenger. The moon roof and sun roof were leaking into the front electrical panel causing a short in the car. At this point I was livid. My extended warranty I bought was paying for this little thing that little thing when it was never the problem. (now to find out they knew this was an issue in the beginning being GM repaired many of these cars.) I fought with GM and they offered to fix it or give me 1000.00 to trade for a brand new vehicle. lol. They supposedly fixed it and paid it, but refused to clean or replace my moldy smelly interior. My speakers went out just shortly after buying the car. Today, a year after the fix I find that the water is just running from the moon roof down the door panel where the connectors are for the radio speakers. I took them out a videoed the water pouring out. Ive had the water pump fixed twice. The whole front drive assembly replaced twice, transmission leak, motor seal leak, electrical, air bags, oohhh and the car doesn’t shut off every once in a while even after I take the keys out. I have to take it to the dealer and they shut it down. TOTAL PIECE OF CRAP… I have fought for months with GM now that they have actually tried to threaten me because I demanded them to fix there defected vehicle.
    Sorry so long. Out of options and extremely frustrated.

  39. Stationary Sunroof vs. the motorized Sunroof:
    I have owned a 2007 Saturn Outlook for 6 yrs. I purchased it used. Since that time, it has only leaked twice to my knowledge but suspect it has leaked at other times that my wife did not notice. Last week I drove it for a quick errand and when I noticed a slight musty smell. It had been raining for 4 days. By the time I arrived back home, I noticed water dripping from the airbag covers in both the front pillars and from the right rear pillar. The floor was wet at those points also. Living in Houston, it is humid and it does not take long for the musty smell to start, not to mention the problems that can occur to electrical components.

    I removed all inside upper and lower panels, removed seats and pulled out the carpet sections to dry. I also removed the headliner due to it being wet. I had a perfect view of the front sunroof, its track and the stationary sunroof. To check for leaks, I used the water hose to run water all over the top. To my surprise, the water started running down from the stationary sunroof not the front sunroof. The leaks were precisely at the same spot, same bolt on both sides. it did not run down the side. It poured directly from the roof to the middle row seats. The drains of the front sunroof were working fine. I grabbed the masking tape and taped up the stationary sunroof and performed the same water test. No Leaks! Now I am trying to determine the best way I can fix it. I will not take it to the Dealer.

  40. We bought an 07 Outlook XR AWD in March 2014. It is a great vehicle and we love driving it. However, we have discovered the major leaking issue after we bought it of course. Have stained headliner around the sunroof and water drips out of the lights above the rear seats. It rained hard on a trip we just took and it was leaking and dripping over the passenger front seat, and dripping from the light in the back. As well has water coming down and soaking the carpet and padding. Very disappointed. Do not want to take it somewhere due to seeing all of the comments about taking it many times and not having the leaking fixed. Anything would be helpful at this point…

  41. I have a 2007 Saturn Outlook…my parents purchased this car brand new… the last 3 years car has been leaking. We have taken out the carpet…tested the windshield and replaced the windshield.. Car still leaks….now it’s winter and car is wet and frozen. Not going to bother taking it to a dealer after reading other posts here because it is a common problem…..water drips under dash on both passenger and drivers side…actual puddles in the car…windows now have frost on the inside… Don’t know what else to do….any suggestions?

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