Sunroof is the generic term used to describe an operable panel in a vehicle roof which can let in light and/or air. Moonroof is a term created by Ford in the 70's, yet is now used generically to describe glass panel inbuilt electric sunroofs.
I bought a used car with a broken sunroof, how do I get it repaired?
Try to identify the original installation center or sunroof manufacturer. Check the glove box for a sales receipt, warranty card or other paperwork. Don't overlook the obvious. Check with the previous owner as well. The original installer or sunroof manufacturer can help make arrangements for repair, or see your local sunroof professional for assistance.
My sunroof is no longer made, can I still get parts?
Often, parts are still available; check with your local sunroof professional. If the manufacturer is no longer in business, there may still be parts in the pipeline through wholesale distributors or other shops. Sunroof manufacturers and suppliers may be able to help locate out of production parts. See your local sunroof professional for assistance.
What are my options if no parts are available?
Parts are not standardized or
interchangeable among sunroof manufacturers (aftermarket or factory). The use of
non-original parts, even if they look similar, is highly discouraged. Stress and
failures caused by non-spec parts can cause serious damage, particularly at
If no service parts are available, it may be necessary to have your sunroof replaced. This involves removing your old sunroof, and installing a new one. A slightly larger size sunroof than the existing one is required [usually not a problem]. See your local sunroof professional to determine the extent of the work needed.
There's no specialized sunroof installer near me, who else can I turn to?
There are a variety of businesses who may also install sunroofs. Check Yellow Pages listings for Sunroofs, Automotive Accessories, Automotive Customizing, Automotive Trim or Automotive Seat Covers and Upholstery. Some Body Shops have experience. You may also find that some glass shops, stereo or window tint shops install sunroofs. Your local car dealer may also know of someone who installs sunroofs. Of course, check the links on this website for sunroof vendors who can direct you to a local professional.
What size sunroof fits my vehicle?
The ideal size for any vehicle suits the vehicle, the owner and the owner’s budget. Most people want to maximize their open air enjoyment and ventilation by getting the largest sunroof that will go in their vehicle. Sunroofs are designed to fit a variety of vehicles, rather than made for each specific model. There are several sizes (dimensions) of each type and brand, but all can be distilled into SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE and SPECIALTY sizes, which helps accommodate most vehicles. Pop-up and Spoiler sunroofs fit virtually any vehicle, including short roofline cars and standard cab trucks. Inbuilt (moonroof) and Folding sunroofs require longer rooflines to fit the length of the internal cassette or large fabric panel. Other issues which may affect sunroof choices include ribbed or fiberglass roofs and stepped rooflines (ie Durango). Most assuredly, there is a sunroof solution for EVERY hard-top vehicle, and often several choices at that. See your local sunroof professional - they can show you the options and advise you.
Can I get T-Tops installed in my car?
While there are still several cars with factory installed T-tops, to our knowledge, there are no longer any aftermarket T-Top or Targa Top kits being made. This type of open air option was required to be CUSTOM designed for each vehicle application. Consider a sunroof.
There are several companies who do refurb factory T-Top panels as replacement parts, but not as a complete kit.
What can I apply to the rubber seal to protect it?
Modern sunroof seals may be made of SILICONE, SANTOPRENE or EPDM Rubber. All of these materials are made to be maintenance free. Your best approach is to keep the seal clean, wiping occasionally with a damp cloth (water). If it gets really dirty, use a small amount of mild soap or detergent in the water, then rinse clean with water.
Vinyl & Rubber "protectants" such as Armor-All are not effective and leave a sticky residue which may cause the seal to fail or stick to the glass. NEVER use ANY petroleum based products on a sunroof seal, they will cause corrosion of the seal.
I'm buying a new car and the dealer says, “adding an aftermarket sunroof will void the warranty” Is that true?
It is not legal for any dealer to void a vehicle
warranty because an aftermarket product has been installed. The only exception
to this is if the dealer can prove that the aftermarket product was the cause of
a warranty failure. It is also not legal for the dealer to void the warranty if
an aftermarket product is chosen over it's factory equivalent.
As an example, a dealer may not legally decline a warranty claim for a faulty transmission because an aftermarket bedliner or rear wing was installed on the vehicle. Further, the dealer can not claim that the use of the factory equivalent is mandatory.
Aftermarket products give consumers freedom of choice. With most aftermarket products, you do not sacrifice quality to get that choice. There is no substitute for good consumer research, but dealers can not restrain consumer choice based on this argument.
My factory (sliding) sunroof is leaking, what can I do?
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.
If this isn't your problem, you should consult your local sunroof specialist.
My factory sunroof is broken, where can I get it repaired?
Usually, you need to depend on your car dealer
for service and replacement parts. Depending on their service department, they
may send it to their local sunroof professional for service. Parts are likely
very expensive, however refurbished panels and other parts for many factory
sunroofs may be available through your local sunroof
Replacing a factory sunroof with an aftermarket one is usually not an easy proposal. A slightly larger size sunroof than the existing one is required, however most factory sunroofs also have a welded in undercarriage which must be removed. This may not leave enough room for a replacement sunroof to fit. It is a very labor intensive process. See your local sunroof professional to determine the extent of the work needed. Often repair is less costly than replacement.
Can replace my factory metal sunroof panel with a glass one?
Replacing a metal panel factory sunroof with a glass one is no longer an option. In the early 1980's there were several companies offering aftermarket glass panels for several specific factory sunroofs including Porsche, Mazda RX7 and Honda CRX. These companies no longer exist, and their inventories are long gone.
What kind of tools or special training will I need to install a sunroof in my car?
A telephone, an appointment and your checkbook
or credit card. Sunroofs and are
generally not available over the counter in the box, and are NOT recommended for
do-it-yourself installation. See your local sunroof professional. Unlike
many bolt-on or tape-on vehicle accessories, proper sunroof installation is
fairly complex. Professional shops are trained, experienced and insured, plus
they support the factory sunroof warranty.
Sunroofs are not and should not be a do-it-yourself installation, they are strictly a do-it-for-me installation, and the reasons are clear. Do you have an additional $500 or more to invest in the proper tools to do such an installation? Have you been trained by the sunroof manufacturer on the proper technique to install their product? Do you have access to all the technical bulletins involved in the sunroof you're interested in? What will you do if a part is missing? Do you have "Mastercraftsman" experience in upholstery... particularly headliners? How about automotive electrical experience? Do you know what will happen if you locate your "HOT" connection to far away from the ignition switch? And what about the onboard computer (or computers)? Will they read your hookup as a drop or surge in the system and adjust for that, causing your new electric sunroof to open and close at will, without your intervention? Do you know what an SRS power line looks like? DO you know what SRS is? Will your airbag go off in your face because you hooked up your "HOT" lead to the SRS line?
I think you get my point....... and we haven't begun to address warranty issues. In short, it's worth the money to bring your car to a trained professional. You'll appreciate the appearance, fit, knowledgeable advice and above all the many years of enjoyment you'll get from your professionally installed sunroof. See your local sunroof professional.
In ballpark terms, what is the price for a sunroof including installation.
Like comparing baseball to soccer or football, we can't send you to a ball park until you tell us what game you are interested in. First, we need to know what vehicle you have, and what style of sunroof you have in mind. Different vehicle applications, installation skill, labor rate (by region and shop), features and interior finish dramatically effect the price. This site is supported by sunroof manufacturers and distributors, who sell WHOLESALE to installation professionals around the world. It is up to the local shop to price the completed job. Because each installation varies, we do not provide MSRP.
If we were to provide a ballpark range, it could look like the difference in the cost of a ticket to see a high school football game, and the price of a Superbowl ticket, then how good are the seats? There is some price range info on www.sunroofs.org, however we prefer not to provide a "large price range"
Can I put a sunroof in my BOAT?
We have had boat companies inquire about using our sunroofs in new hull designs and found it best to discourage them. Sunroofs are designed for automotive roof applications, and cannot withstand being walked upon, or the pounding a boat might take. They are not designed for the shapes (or lack of contour) of a boat hull. In addition, most have aluminum and zinc components which would not withstand salt spray. The best referral we can provide is see your local boat repair shop or dealer and get a new BOAT HATCH.
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