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Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Car Sunroof

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Car Sunroof

A car sunroof can turn your mundane drive into an adventure with the push of a button, but it’s disappointing when it leaks or stops working. 

It’s no surprise that sunroofs are becoming increasingly popular. The number of vehicles equipped with this feature has grown dramatically in recent years. According to the New York Times, at least 40 percent of cars released in 2017 or later sport a sunroof.

While sunroofs can make driving more enjoyable, they’re known to break if not properly maintained, making maintenance and careful handling essential for enjoying your sunroof long-term. Here are some common indicators that it’s time to repair or replace your sunroof.

Broken Motor

A sunroof usually opens with the touch of a button. The sunroof is opened and closed by a motor powered by several electrical components working together. The most typical problem is a broken motor, a motor without power, or a malfunctioning motor for unknown reasons.

Several common causes of a damaged sunroof motor include:

  • The motor’s internal gears have seized up
  • The gears that operate the motor are broken
  • A faulty electrical relay or fuse interrupts the flow of electricity to the motor

Identifying the actual cause of the problem is the first step to fixing it. It’s challenging to estimate a repair based on a sunroof motor issue because many factors are at play, such as the motor and labor costs. Electrical problems like blown fuses or relays have relatively cheap component costs.


If a rattling sunroof interrupts a peaceful drive, it might be time for maintenance. This issue is more of an annoyance than anything serious, but you still might want to have your sunroof repaired.

Simply lubricating the end of the sunroof should solve the problem. If it’s still rattling, another issue might be at bay, such as a misaligned glass. In this case, you’ll probably need to replace your sunroof. It’s best to have it checked out by a professional.

Broken Glass

Although it’s often marketed as “shatter resistant,” sunroof glass is tempered. Sunroofs can occasionally break due to things falling on top of them or being hit by debris while driving. Replacing the glass is relatively straightforward, but the challenge is getting rid of all those tiny glass fragments.

For high-quality auto glass, the price will be higher, especially if the glass itself needs to be replaced. The cleanup of the glass debris may raise the estimate, too.

Only a qualified technician familiar with these systems’ inner workings should attempt to fix a sunroof because it has a complicated functioning mechanism. 

While it may seem appealing to handle these issues on your own, doing so could worsen the sunroof’s condition and require a trip to the dealer or a specialist. We always advise having a professional inspect and fix any issues with your sunroof.

Water Leakage

Water leaks aren’t uncommon for sunroof owners. Clogged drain tubes, worn-out seal rubbers, or a broken pan assembly are a few common culprits. Typically, the drain tubes direct water away from the vehicle, but the water in the tray will spill into the cabin if it is clogged with dirt or debris. Sunroofs are not completely sealed, which is why these drain tubes are needed.

Leaks into vehicles have the potential to seriously harm the electrical system and ruin the interior. For this reason, don’t delay if you’re experiencing a sunroof leak.

Car Sunroof Maintenance 

Car sunroof repair and maintenance should be your top priority to avoid a complete replacement. Here are some tips for maintaining your sunroof so it will function for years to come:

  • Keep it clean – Dirt, dust, and debris are notorious for wreaking havoc on sunroofs. Regularly cleaning your sunroof will help you avoid such damage. To clean the glass, use a secure, all-natural glass cleaner that doesn’t contain vinegar or ammonia. Wipe clean the entire visible area with the sunroof open.

For particularly thick buildup, use a handheld vacuum or steam cleaner. With a washcloth and surface cleanser, clean the slides, tracks, and any other visible moving components. The working parts should be lubricated lightly using a tiny amount of lubrication.

  • Listen closely – There shouldn’t be any popping, scraping, or other unsettling noises coming from your sunroof. Clean and lubricate any visible components if you hear this noise.

    Have a car sunroof repair done if the noises continue or return after only a few days. Noises like scraping and popping could point to a more serious mechanical problem or even suggest that your sunroof is about to break.
  • Slow or sticking sunroof – A quick inspection is the first step in car sunroof repair. This inspection may be able to identify the problem if your sunroof appears to be moving more slowly than usual or if it becomes stuck when transitioning between the open and closed positions.

    Check the mechanical components of your sunroof for built-up debris, evident signs of deterioration, or cracks in the gears.

To test whether the problem goes away on its own, try cycling the sunroof through the open, closed, and vent settings several times. A complete detail cleaning might solve the issue. Also, remember to oil the working parts lightly. If this doesn’t do the trick, it might be time to replace the sunroof.

Contact Utah Mobile Auto Glass

Contact the experts at Utah Mobile Auto Glass if you need to repair or replace your car sunroof. When you work with our glass technicians, you will receive the highest quality work in the industry and service with a smile. We’re committed to customer satisfaction. 

Our loyal customers keep returning because we provide exceptional quality at an affordable price. We’ll gladly work with your insurance company to see if you qualify for free or low-cost repairs. We’re in northern Utah, so whether you’re in Lehi or Salt Lake City, we’ll be there to provide fast, mobile service. Contact our experts right away!