I love my 2017 VW Golf GTI. It's a great car, the most enjoyable to drive I've ever owned. But about a year after I bought the GTI, the sunroof developed an annoying creaking sound, mixed in with some rattles. Here's a nighttime photo of the little devil.
After the noises appeared, I did some Googling and found that sunroof problems appear to be fairly common with Golf/GTI models. The first time I took my car into the VW of Salem (Oregon) service department, the staff checked it out but couldn't determine what was causing the problem.
So I went back a second time. Whoever worked on the car somehow thought that whatever they did had caused the sunroof noise to go away, because the service report I got said that my car sounded like other VW's with a sunroof.
Well, after driving it home and going over some speed bumps, which made the creaking noise appear, I attempted a few fixes on my own.
I sprayed the gaskets with silicone. I applied Gummi Pflege lube to the channel at the back of the sunroof assembly, since I'd discovered that tilting the sunroof up even a tiny bit made the noise go away, and I'd read about the Gummi Pflege tip on a "Golf sunroof noise" discussion page.
But nothing I did worked, so I contacted Dan Gonzales, the VW of Salem service manager, and told him another approach was needed. Dan kindly gave me a loaner car to drive while mine was being worked on. Little did we know that I'd have the loaner car for five weeks.
It was quite a saga, the sunroof repair. I'm sharing a copy of the service report, with some personal info blacked out, in hopes that someone with a similar problem will learn what worked (and didn't work) with my car.
Download VW GTI sunroof service report
I got frustrated with how long the repair was taking. But after reading the service report, I now realize more fully how much time and effort it took to figure out what the problem was, even though Gonzales did a good job of keeping me informed through the twists and turns of the repair job.
Because the service report is kind of hard to read, I've typed out the sunroof repair portion of it below.
Test drove and found creaking noise from right rear of sunroof assembly when going over uneven road surfaces at slow speeds intermittently. Verified TB [technical bulletin, I assume] for applying antisqueak material along along rear edge of sunroof had already been performed.
Found noise was also present in same location when pushing on headliner near same right rear corner of sunroof. After further test drives, found noise also is not present if sunroof is opened, even a small amount.
As per Techline, completely loosened sliding glass panel and readjusted as per ELSA [repair manual]. Also applied light layer of silicone spray on edge of glass and found noise still present.
As per Techline, removed all pillar trims and other components necessary to remove headliner. Removed headliner assembly and test drove. Found noise still present.
As per Techline, new sunroof assembly on order. Removed glass panel. Removed sunshade assembly, removed sunroof drain tubes and removed side curtain airbags, both sides.
Sublet to body shop for sunroof replacement. Reinstalled side curtain airbags, sunroof drain tubes, sunshade assembly and glass panel when car returned.
After sunroof replacement, found noise was still present. As per QTM [Quality Technical Manager], took pictures and measurements of glass panel fit and sent in for review. As per QTM, removed glass panel and removed front panel trim above sunshade assembly.
Reinstalled glass panel and test drove and found noise no longer present. As per QTM, replaced glass panel assembly and sunroof front panel trim (one time use, gets destroyed when removed & must be replaced). Submitted photos and measurements for review.
Test drove and found noise no longer present. Reinstalled headliner and all other trim pieces and components previously removed. Test drove again and found vehicle operating to specs. Sunroof frame vendor code 3YK. Glass panel vendor code #YK. Techline case EE-273012
Bottom line: this tale has a happy ending. I haven't heard any creaking or rattling from the repaired sunroof. VW of Salem stuck with the repair and I'm pleased with the result. Sure, it bothered me that it took five weeks, but this was a complex job.
My car was returned looking great, as Dan Gonzales had it detailed before I picked it up. And he told me that I can pick out $200 worth of accessories from the parts department. That's good customer service.