How to Maintain and Repair Your Car's Sunroof

A sunroof can make any car ride feel like an adventure. But without regular maintenance, sunroof repair costs can add up quick. All those extra moving parts make for more opportunities for something to go wrong. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your car’s sunroof working smoothly and avoid making trips to the mechanic for repairs. Read on to learn three DIY sunroof maintenance tips.

1. Keep it Clean

Dirt, rust and debris can keep your car’s sunroof from functioning properly. Make it a regular practice to clean your sunroof to prevent damage and save a trip to the mechanic.

Follow manufacturer maintenance guidelines. Here are some general suggestions for how to properly clean your car’s sunroof:

  • Clean the glass with a safe, natural glass cleaner that does not contain ammonia or vinegar (these can vaporize and cause irritation)
  • With the sunroof open, wipe down the entire visible area, or use a handheld vacuum for heavy buildup
  • Clean the slides, tracks, and any other visible moving parts with a washcloth and surface cleaner. Apply a small amount of lightweight lubricant to the moving parts.

In addition to regular cleaning, which should ideally happen every time you clean the rest of your car, we recommend doing a detailed cleaning of the sunroof once a year (more if you live in a particularly dusty environment).

  • Use pressurized air to clean the sunroof trough by blowing it through the drain tube
  • Clear out the drain tube by inserting a long, skinny wire and pushing it through to the other end, twisting periodically to trap any debris.
  • Check your sunroof for leaks: close the sunroof and pour water over the glass. If it leaks into the car, check around the sunroof’s seal for any cracks or signs of damage. Mold and water pooling can also be signs that your sunroof is damaged. If leaking continues, consider having it repaired by a professional.

2. Inspect a Slow or Sticking Sunroof

If your sunroof seems to be moving slower than usual, or it sticks as it slides between the open and closed positions, a simple inspection could reveal where the issue lies. Look for cracks in the gears, visible signs of damage, or built-up debris in your sunroof’s mechanical system.

You can try repeatedly cycling the sunroof through the open, closed, and vent positions a few times to see if the issue resolves itself. If it does, the sticking was likely due to debris buildup, so a thorough detail cleaning may be in order. Be sure to lightly lubricate the moving parts, too.

If, however, your sunroof keeps sticking or moving slowly after you’ve cleaned it well, it could indicate damage to your sunroof’s moving parts or a malfunction in the circuitry. We recommend keeping the sunroof in the closed position until you’re able to have it looked at by a professional.

3. Listen for Telling Sounds

Your sunroof shouldn’t make any scraping, popping, or otherwise concerning sounds. If you notice this noise, clean and lubricate all visible components. If the noises persist or come back after only a few days, close the sunroof and take it in for a repair. Scraping and popping noises could indicate a more complex mechanical issue, or even that your sunroof is about to crack. For your safety, we recommend closing the sunroof window cover until you’re able to get to the mechanic.

Maintaining your car is a great way to protect it, just like reliable and affordable auto insurance. Infinity Insurance offers low rates for coverage you can count on no matter what. Call one of our agents at 1-800-INFINITY to receive an auto insurance quote within minutes or get a free quote online.

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