If you love to feel the sun and wind on your road trips, but you don’t necessarily want to own a convertible, a sunroof can equip your car with the best of both worlds. However, even this fun option can create some less-than-enjoyable experiences if it develops a functional problem, as practically any part of a vehicle can.

Once you know what kinds of issues you might encounter as the owner of a car with a sunroof, you’ll understand why these problems occur, how to interpret common trouble signs, and what you can do to get your sunroof in good working order again. Watch out for these three sunroof headaches.


1. Mechanical Failures

A powered sunroof may seem to advance and retract effortlessly, but a fair amount of mechanical work must go into those simple motions, with an electric motor manipulating cables and tracks to get the job done. If any of these components develops a problem, the sunroof may move sluggishly or refuse to budge at all.

This malfunction may occur because the gears in the sunroof’s motor have either seized up or completely broken down. Even if your motor still works correctly, a broken cable may prevent it from using its energy to move the sunroof backward or forward.

If your sunroof moves part of the way and then stops, your mechanical failure may stem from nothing more serious than dirt and debris obstructing the tracks. This obstruction can cause the motor to overheat, prompting a circuit breaker to kill the power. You can eliminate this issue simply by cleaning out the sunroof’s tracks.

An automotive technician with the right skills and experience can replace a failed sunroof motor without too much trouble. However, if a broken cable has caused you sunroof malfunction, the technician may need to remove and replace the entire sunroof system.


2. Electrical Issues

As noted above, a sunroof relies on a combination of cables and a geared motor. The motor, in turn, gets its power from the car’s electrical system. Without a reliable flow of electricity, even the most shipshape mechanics can’t operate your sunroof normally. The sunroof might move in only one direction, or it may not move at all.

A sunroof that only works in one direction may suffer from a failed switch or relay. Your auto sunroof repair technician can use a voltmeter to check these components. If they don’t need replacing, the technician may need to test and replace bad wiring. The quickest and least expensive fix involves replacing a blown fuse.


3. Leaks

Car owners choose vehicles with sunroofs because they enjoy sun and wind, not because they want to get drenched by rain. If your sunroof leaks water into your vehicle, you can suffer from more than just discomfort. The moisture can wreak havoc on your upholstery, promoting mold and stains, while also damaging electrical components in the cabin.

A tiny, gradual leak in your sunroof can escape your attention unless you know how to spot subtle signs of moisture infiltration. Examples include a musty smell, unexplained window fogging inside the cabin, and dampness in your carpeting or underneath the floor mats.

If your sunroof glass appears intact, then the leakage you experience may come from worn rubber in the seals that normally make the sunroof weatherproof. Another possible cause involves accumulated debris blocking the drainage tubes that normally divert water away from the sunroof (and you).

You must replace damaged seals before your sunroof will keep water out of your cabin as it should. Your technician can also clean debris out of clogged drainage tubes or replace damaged drainage tubes.

Kenny’s Auto Accessories & Collision Center can repair or replace a malfunctioning sunroof while also fixing any other issues that this problem might have caused, such as fabric damage from water exposure. Contact us to tell us about your problem and schedule our sunroof services.