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How to Repair a Sunroof

How to Repair a Sunroof

A broken sunroof fails to serve its purpose and starts becoming more of a hassle. Here's how to replace a defective sunroof, or fix a leaky one.
Suketu Mehta
Sunroofs are designed to let fresh air into the car for passengers or to allow sunlight into the car. A majority of cars these days come with a sunroof. They can be either manual or automatic, depending upon the car model. If your car does not have a sunroof, you can even get one installed later on.
Normally, a leakage or crack on the sunroof calls for a repair job. In case of cracks, it is advisable to replace the sunroof, as repairing will still not make it perfect. On the other hand, leakages are mostly caused by accumulation of dirt or debris around the seals, or water clogging in the drain pipe.
Broken Sunroof
There are two major problems commonly faced by cars having sunroof. This could either be a broken sunroof or a leaky one. In case of the former, it is better to replace the sunroof rather than repairing it.

Tools Required
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hand gloves
  • Wrench
  • Sunroof installation kit
  • Utility Knife
  • Cordless frill machine
Step 1
There are a variety of sunroof models available in the market. You need to pick the one which is suitable for your car. Once you purchase the sunroof of your choice, check whether all parts in the sunroof repair kit are provided by the manufacturer or not.

Step 2
Keep the template you have received in the repair kit on the outside your car roof. It should exactly match with the hole on the sunroof already present. This will help you get a rough picture for your work. Remove the sunroof panel from your car. Examine each part and see whether it is in working condition or not. Look through the roof cautiously to find any faulty part which may require repair or replacement.

Step 3
Crank the roof open using a 4mm hex socket, to properly inspect the fault in your broken sunroof. As it is not possible to open the sunroof completely after pushing the headliner behind, decide in advance if it is necessary or not.

Step 4
Take out the broken sunroof after you have found the parts which require replacement. Fix all broken parts without any restrictions. To reinstall the repaired sunroof, you may need to make slight alterations so that it fits well. Check the seal for any leakage.
Leaky Sunroof
Tools Required
  • Thin wire cable
  • Cleaner
  • Piece of wet cloth
  • Coat hanger
  • Thin tube
  • Water
Step 1
Clean the glass panel on the outside the car using a non-abrasive cleaner and a piece of cloth. Now, open the ventilation shade first and then open the sunroof. If you notice any dirt which does not allow the sunroof to close tightly at the seal, clean the area with a wet cloth.

Step 2
Examine the seal properly and see if you are able to spot any cracks on it. You will have to replace the seal if there are cracks, as it is the cause of leakage. Also, inspect drainage tubes. Check for clogging or stagnant water in there. In case you notice water clogging in these tubes, clear it using either a coat hanger or a thin wire cable.

Step 3
To ascertain the fact that there is no more clogging in the drainage tubes, try inserting a wire in and then pulling it out after a few seconds. You can also pour a little bit of water in these tubes to confirm it has been unclogged.
Average Repair Cost
The cost or repairing a sunroof depends on the type and car model. Not all car manufacturers install the same kind of sunroof, and hence, there is a variation in prices. The cost would also depend on the price of the part you are replacing. In case you do not do the repair job yourself, and rather get it done from somewhere else, you will also have to pay labor charges also. The cost could be anywhere between USD 250 to 500. It is advisable to buy original and genuine parts for replacement.