Sunroof Maintenance Tips

  • Repair an Ailing Sunroof
  • There are two approaches to repairing a malfunctioning sunroof: the first is to fix what you’ve got, the second is to replace the whole unit. All the greasy bits of sunroofs live between the roof sheet metal and the headliner. Before you start pulling the car apart, find a place to work inside or check the weather forecastbeing caught with a hole in the roof during a downpour wouldn’t be fun. The first thing to try is removing the glass panel. If you can, tilt the sunroof panel to the “vent” position, which should give access to the screws holding the panel. Remove them, and with the sunroof glass off, you should gain access to the moving parts for an easy inspection. Look for cracked or stripped gears, a buildup of dirt and debris, or anything else that looks like a problem. With the glass panel still off, turn on the car and cycle the roof control through the open, close, and vent positions to identify problems.
  • In your case, it sounds like you might be able to get away with replacing the gear on the motor at the front of the sunroof, but without opening it up, it’s impossible to know. If you do find and fix the problem, clean everything, then slather it with lithium or marine grease for smooth future operation. If you find nothing, don’t bother putting the sunroof back together because you’re just going to end up removing it all anyway. Installing a new sunroof is a big jobyou’ll have to take off the interior trim around the door pillars as well as any overhead handles or dome lights, then pull the headliner down, disconnect the sunroof wiring harness, and unbolt the whole mechanism. It’s in one big rectangular piece called a cassette, which should swap for the new piece without any fight. Be sure to do a function test before putting the interior back together; it may need a little jiggle for a perfect alignment. To answer your final question, yes, you can do this repair, but it’s complicated enough that it may be worth the cost to have a mechanic do it.
  • My Sunroof Leaks
  • Most power sliding sunroofs have a water management system, which prevents them from leaking. The water management system consists of a water trough that leads to drain tubes. These drain tubes route any water [that gets past the glass] down your front and rear pillars to the ground below your vehicle. Over time the water trough/drain tubes may become obstructed by leaves, dirt and other foreign substances, causing the water management system to back-up. It is important to check your drain trough and tubes regularly.  The trough can be cleaned with a wet rag, and the tubes with compressed air. This is the most common reason for a leaky factory sunroof. You can attempt the repair yourself or we can help by directing you to the nearest sunroof specialist. Embed Video