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2014 Highlander LE
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ugh...sorry to hear.
 

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Problem Solved!!! It is not pretty. I also have a 2014 Highlander Platinum with a panoramic sunroof. As other people have said, I have water running down the C pillar and inside the car AND under the carpeting. After 4 trips to the dealer (where I bought it used (not under warranty (and the extended warranty doesn't cover leaks))) and their outsourced body shop, I decided to take it apart myself. The shops all claimed they fixed it each time by blowing air through the drains. It was clearly never the drains because water was draining out of the bottom of the car through the drains AND into the car.

FYI, the issue with my car is not with the seal. Yes, water gets past the weatherstripping/seal, but the roof is designed to drain off that water. There are potentially 2 [other] issues with your vehicle.

I have taken out the headliner and removed the entire sunroof assembly. The first issue is where the aluminum side rails connect to the plastic at the front and back. There is a bad seal between the aluminum and plastic. There is also a design flaw that lets water drip onto the headliner - even if the seal is ok. The design flaw is that there is an opening where the sunroof track moves through the black plastic at the back of the aluminum side rails - but the opening is too low and if there is a significant amount of rain, the water can pool above that opening before it has a chance to drain out of the car properly.

I [thought] I fixed the issue several times with some jerry-rigged (or, jury-rigged, for you sailors) changes - only for the leak to return. I have finally fixed it - but it required tearing the whole thing apart (and some other jerry-rigged fixes). I am still in the process of putting all the trim back together. I will paste together all the video clips I have taken of this project and will post it on youtube - hopefully in a couple weeks.
 

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2014 HiHy LTD
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Thanks, Jazz. The first thing the dealer checked was the drain hoses, and that did not solve the problem. The problem had to do with the holes where the roof rack crossbars mount. I uploaded two photos that show where it was leaking. One of the photos shows the silicone sealant that the dealer used to seal around the openings. To get it to leak, the car had to be parked facing uphill on a slight incline and sloped slightly toward the passenger side. This just happens to be the way the parking space where we stay in New Mexico is situated.
Thanks, this helped me to fix my leak!
 

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2014 HiHy LTD
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WARNING! This is going to be a long post, but I hope it will help other HL owners in fixing this nasty leak.
I have a 2014 Highlander Hybrid Limited, with panoramic sunroof.

After moving to a new parking spot, where the car is parked slightly uphill... After the very first heavy rain, I noticed signs of a significant leak on the C-pillar (around 3-rd row seats) on the driver side.
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Those circled areas were soaking wet. the water was dripping from underneath the roof liner.

As I found out, the water leaks are not covered with the extended warranty. Surprise-Surprise!

Anyhow, once I found the issue I went to see what people say about that online. All the talking about the kink/clogged drain hoses is a complete BS in my opinion. Those drain hoses are at least 1/2 inch in diameter, so unless a mouse stuck in it, there is almost no way to clog it. And BTW, there is an easy access to the drain hose through the opening on the first picture so you can just disconnect it from the bottom and blow into it. Mine was just fine, so the leak did not seam to be caused by the hose kink/clog.
Eventually I found this thread, and specifically this post, that got me thinking.

So, the next day we had sunny weather and I decided to look under the roof rail trim and fix the issue.
As you can see from the picture below, I removed the trim:
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Under the trim, I fund those holes that looked like they very much could let the water through them
That gap seems to be a good spot for the water to come inside the cabin:
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This is how the trim looks from the bottom. There is some sealing but apparently it doesn't do the job well:
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I cleaned up around those holes and applied some silicone sealing:
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I let the silicone sealing heal for a few hours and put everything back.
We had two days of heavy rain after I did the repair, and there is no water coming in anymore! Yay!

I spent about 2-3 hours for the fix, but I'm pretty sure the dealer would charge me big for fixing the issue.

I hope this post will help some people with their similar leaks.

Cheers,
Eugene
 

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2014 HL XLE AWD
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EugeneHL….Curious (2nd pic) shows lifted roof rail. U didn't say so assume no issue when u reinstalled roof rail, meaning it bolted back ok. Also last pic..any idea what those 2 protrusions u sealed around r ? Tks for pics/info.(y)
 

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Curious (2nd pic) shows lifted roof rail. U didn't say so assume no issue when u reinstalled roof rail, meaning it bolted back ok
No issue when reinstalling. See the second last picture, the holes in those pieces are much larger than the screw holes, even with the sealant on them.
I was also thinking that some o-rings or rubber washers of a proper size would do the job as well. But nobody would see that sealant ever again :)

Also last pic..any idea what those 2 protrusions u sealed around r
This is from the rail bottom.. see the second last picture.
 

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I have same leak on my 2015 Highlander Limited..

It leaks down to passenger side seat belt section on on the seat and carpeted area.
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Thermal image below

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Dark purple indicate water/moisture

Dealer told me it is not covered under my ECP Platinum plan and taking out headliner alone for diagnostic takes 5 hrs labour at $140 an hr rate. Also told me it could be two hrs or ten hrs or even longer.

I found this section and tried to show them what it is - they don't care at all.

I bought some sealant and did it myself, only time will tell if I did it properly or not.

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Quick update on my fix with the seal.
I waited for two days of decent rain to make sure the leak is gone, before I published my pictures and report.

But two days later, after publishing the pictures here, it leaked again!
I tried to get under the headliner as much as I can, but the air channels and side airbags don't let me get behind them and I cannot see where the water is coming in.
 

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Quick update on my fix with the seal.
I waited for two days of decent rain to make sure the leak is gone, before I published my pictures and report.

But two days later, after publishing the pictures here, it leaked again!
I tried to get under the headliner as much as I can, but the air channels and side airbags don't let me get behind them and I cannot see where the water is coming in.
Same thing here..

I did re seal and for couple of days of light rain & driving was fine - BUT with heavy rain, it leaked again!!

Don't know what to do!!

Dealer quoted me at least 5 hrs to remove headliner.. at $149 / hr.
 

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...
Don't know what to do!!
...
Have you tried putting thread sealer or tafflon tape) on those roof rail mounting screws?
Since seeing you posted pictures, after my car wash I notice there is always a collection of water under the roof rail (silver) screw cover. In your post #48, the 2nd and 3rd pictures from the bottom up, there seems to be "rust" in one of the rail mounting thread as well... In your last picture with the screw covers removed, those are the screws that I am talking about.
 

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Considering how much water is coming through in a short period of time, I am getting more convinced tat the cause for this issue is kink drain hose on that side. It is hard to get there, where you would see the kink, as it's hiding behind the airbag.curtain and the air vent channel. My plan is to wait until it gets warmer outside, and then replace the drain hose on that side by myself. The hose itself cost around $30 if buy original.
 

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Considering how much water is coming through in a short period of time, I am getting more convinced tat the cause for this issue is kink drain hose on that side. It is hard to get there, where you would see the kink, as it's hiding behind the airbag.curtain and the air vent channel. My plan is to wait until it gets warmer outside, and then replace the drain hose on that side by myself. The hose itself cost around $30 if buy original.
Yea, getting access to those drain (pinkish colored semi-transparent) hoses are a bit of pain to get to... Before pulling the hoses, have you tried push a small gauge wire through from each drain hole? Just a thought...
EDIT: I thinking more towards a clog than a kink drain (I assume the leak wasn't there when the vehicle was new), unless some work was done around the drain hoses routes.
 

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Why would they not just replace the rubber seal around the roof rack, when using sealants have to be very careful, one may actually be sealing up something that was never designed to be sealed and make the problem worse, if it is the roof rail then the rubber seal has failed looking at the design, water should not be getting past that seal, otherwise it will become trapped, unless there is drain or maybe get into the vehicle?
 

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Here's the picture of what I was able to see underneath the headliner
There is a leak somewhere there... at the bottom you can see the C-pillar, and at the top is the drain hose. I wasn't able to take a picture of the hose kink.. but I was able to see how not well it looks.
My suspicion is that the hose got cracked with time.. I found a workaround solution, I'm just parking my car facing downhill, and no leaks even in heavy rain. This will do for now, and when it worms up outside in a month, I'll dig deeper and try to fix the issue. I'll post an update here.

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2014 HL XLE AWD
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Considering how much water is coming through in a short period of time, I am getting more convinced tat the cause for this issue is kink drain hose on that side. It is hard to get there, where you would see the kink, as it's hiding behind the airbag.curtain and the air vent channel. My plan is to wait until it gets warmer outside, and then replace the drain hose on that side by myself. The hose itself cost around $30 if buy original.
Just following along.. So far no leakage in mine. IIRC...another rail hole reseal thread didn't mention "drain hose". Trying to visualize how its connected, where it goes to & how u spotted it ? Tnx.

FWIW..missed post above ^. :oops:
 

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Just following along.. So far no leakage in mine. IIRC...another rail hole reseal thread didn't mention "drain hose". Trying to visualize how its connected, where it goes to & how u spotted it ? Tnx.
Does XLE have panoramic roof? I think this issue appears on the 2014 HLs with Panoramic roof
 

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Does XLE have panoramic roof? I think this issue appears on the 2014 HLs with Panoramic roof
Maybe thats how I got confused. lol! Mine just has standard sunroof, no pano. Tks.
 

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Have you tried putting thread sealer or tafflon tape) on those roof rail mounting screws?
Since seeing you posted pictures, after my car wash I notice there is always a collection of water under the roof rail (silver) screw cover. In your post #48, the 2nd and 3rd pictures from the bottom up, there seems to be "rust" in one of the rail mounting thread as well... In your last picture with the screw covers removed, those are the screws that I am talking about.
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When I took the rail out again, I found out that the passenger side roof rail holes can see though inside the cabin.
and took your advise on sealing the tread - tape and thread locker.. I did both this time on all the bolts.. we will see if this works.
 
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