Sunroof rattle and removing interior roof trim [Archive] - Audi Forums

: Sunroof rattle and removing interior roof trim

08-01-2010, 03:11 AM
Hey all,

Audi A3 3-door 8P '04 reg, 2.0 FSI

A couple of weeks ago what started as a slightly nagging rattle when my sunroof was on tilt gradually became a real irritation. The problem seems to be the metal brace plate located at the back of the sunroof that flips upwards when the sinroof tilts up. This seems to have lost its connection to the glide tracks, or perhaps the spring (?) that is responsible for pushing it against the glide rails and sunroof itself has dislodged. When the sunroof is on tilt I can now move this plate this plate with a finger and produce the same rattling noise that is audible when I drive over a bit of roughness in the road. The problem is no longer just when the sunroof is on tilt- it now happens when the sunroof is open/closed/tilted, whatever. :(

So I read in a thread somewhere that fixing this problem will require the removal of the interior ceiling trim (to access, replace or fix the sunroof glide rail issue) and started merrily (and with a handy supply of cotton gloves) on my way.

I started by unclipping the piece of trim that runs between the C-pillars (easy). The C-pillar trim can then be removed with a great deal of pain (you have to loosen the small shelves that support the luggage compartment cover board to be able to free the C-pillar trim, then with a push forwards and upwards the trim can be freed from its two clipped on locations). That's two hours condensed into one sentence. The front of the C-pillar has a smaller piece of trim running along the windows that can then be unscrewed (hooray for screws, not clips!).

I was making good headway and could now unclip the main ceiling board trim at the back, ovet the luggage compartment (there is a single centrally mounted clip that keeps it in place). I could feel that it would be possible to lower it a tiny bit, but this is nowhere near enough to gain access to the sunroof. So the next step was to remove the rear grab handles. This is easily done by deploying the grab handle and unclipping the plastic cover plate over each of the two screws that secure the grab handle to the body work. With the screws out, the grab handle comes off, and frees up some more of the ceiling.

It was now possible to lower the ceiling board as much as 5cm at the rear, allowing a tantalising look at the region where the sunroof is installed... Still not enough. :mad:

The next obstruction is the B-pillar trim, that seems to bracing the ceiling board in place. To lower the ceiling board even more, the B-pillar trim would need to be removed. Here I have found my Waterloo, so to speak. No matter what I do, I can't figure out how to remove the B-pillar trim. One way that may work would be to remove the rear passenger sill trim, but this looks like a stack of work and I'm not sure how it would be done. I don't have the guts to just grab and pull at the top of the trim as I have no idea how it is mounted, although it most likely is just some clips holding it in place - although you never know how those cunning Germans have solved that one!

Has anybody got any hints/tips to allow me to continue on my quest to the sunroof?

This type of work is frustrating because you constantly work in such a way as to avoid damaging the interior, but with zero foreknowledge of how the designers intended the interior to be assembled/disassembled. Anyway, I've taken tons of photos of the process so far, and I will definitely make up a document detailling the process for anyone who wishes to do the same.

Second question: my searches on the web have revealed the following offer for a 'comprehensive workshop manual' for the paltry price of 10 quid.

Audi A3 Workshop Manual (

Does anybody know if this is on the level? Is this type of thing worth getting, or a waste of money or a scam. If this manual has the secret to solving my problem, it would be worth it at the price - I'm just not keen for a 5GB download for nothing....

Here's hoping...