How to Put a Sunroof in Your Car

One of the most popular vehicle options in recent years are sunroofs. There are several styles in the marketplace including sliding glass sunroofs, tilting sunroofs, and panoramic sunroofs.

A sunroof can either be manually operated or motorized with an electric motor. A manually-operated sunroof simply lifts or tilts from the closed position to allow fresh air to circulate in the car. A sunroof equipped with an electric motor typically has one or more functions that operate with the press of a button including tilting, sliding to the open position partway or fully, and closing partway or fully.

If your car was manufactured without a sunroof, it may still be possible to have one installed at a later time. Having a sunroof installed aftermarket is an intricate procedure that should only be attempted by a professional.

When a sunroof is installed after the vehicle has been built, there are significant changes in store for your car, including cutting, reinforcement, sealing, as well as wiring and accessory changes.

Determining your vehicle’s eligibility for a sunroof installation, finding a suitable sunroof style, and selecting a reputable sunroof installer are paramount to a proper sunroof installation.

  • Warning: Check with your manufacturer prior to your sunroof installation to determine how it may affect your vehicle’s warranty.

Part 1 of 3: Determine if a sunroof can be installed in your vehicle

Some vehicles may not be suited to an aftermarket sunroof installation based on the vehicle design. If there are roof supports, roof-mounted accessories, or overhead storage bins, it may not be feasible to have a sunroof installed, as this could permanently disrupt other functions or weaken the roof’s integrity.

roof mounted antenna

Step 1: Assess any roof-mounted accessories on your car. Accessories that are mounted to the roof will likely need to be relocated.

If, for example, there is an antenna mounted on the roof above the driver and front passenger area, it will need to be relocated if a sunroof is going to be installed.

roof mounted dvd player

Step 2: Assess interior space. Ensure that the space inside the vehicle is sufficient for a sunroof.

The typical sunroof glass is roughly 18 inches wide. Allow an extra 3 inches for hardware and installation materials around the sunroof, so if there is a roof-mounted DVD player or overhead storage bins, measure to determine that there is enough room.

Step 3: Check availability for sunroofs on your car. Check an online configurator to determine if sunroofs are manufactured for your specific vehicle.

Look on sunroof manufacturer websites such as Webasto to see if a sunroof is listed for your vehicle.

Step 4: Search for local installers. Perform a web search for sunroof installers in your city.

Step 5: Reach out to local installers. Contact local sunroof installers to find out if they can install a sunroof in your vehicle.

Part 2 of 3: Find a suitable sunroof style for your vehicle

Not every sunroof style can be used on every vehicle, and these will vary in versatility and price. You’ll need to determine which one suits your application.

Step 1: Determine the type of sunroof you want. There are three main styles of sunroofs available for aftermarket installation from which you can choose..

Here is a way to help you make sense of them:

sunroof types and differences

Step 2: Consider how much you want to spend. Determine how much you want to invest in a sunroof installation for your vehicle.

Step 3: Determine which style your vehicle can accept. Not every option can be installed in every car, so you’ll need to figure out what will work for yours.

Use an online tool, such as Webasto, to determine which styles you can choose from by entering your vehicle’s information.

perforated sunshade

Step 4: Decide on a sunshade style. Your vehicle may be able to accept a variety of different sunroof styles, and there may be different sunshade styles available for each type of sunroof.

You’ll need to select either a rolling cover, typically a perforated vinyl rolled sheet, or a sliding sunshade, which is wrapped in a fabric matching your vehicle’s headliner color that completely blocks the light from your sunroof.

Part 3 of 3: Find a sunroof installer

Because installing a sunroof involves cutting the sheet metal on your roof and connecting your sunroof’s electrical components to power, installation should only be done by professionals.

Step 1: Reach out to local body shops. Contact local body shops to find out if they install aftermarket sunroofs.

  • Tip: Check with the body shop at your vehicle manufacturer’s dealership. They know your vehicle well and could be the best place to have your sunroof installed.
411 site
Image: 411

Step 2: Check the phone book or online listings for local sunroof installers. One way to find an installer is by checking phone or online listings, such as 411.com.

webasto site
Image: Webasto

Step 3: Go through sunroof manufacturers to find dealers. Check the website of popular sunroof manufacturers for dealer locater tools.

Sources such as Webasto have dealer locater tools on their website to help you find one of their trusted installation facilities near you.

Step 4: Request examples of previous work. Ask to see pictures of their installations or for references from previous customers.

A reputable installer will have no problem sharing their successes with you.

A sunroof installation can add value to your vehicle as well as comfort. Choose a sunroof installer that stands behind their work. Confirm the parts and labor warranty with the installer to be sure they will back their product and craftsmanship, and if you have any issues with your sunroof, then get an estimate for its repair and have one of our certified mechanics perform an inspection.


Next Step

Schedule Power moonroof is not opening Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Power moonroof is not opening Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Power moonroof is not opening Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(171,627)

Rating Summary
161,099
5,644
1,174
834
2,876
161,099
5,644
1,174
834
2,876

Chris

20 years of experience
448 reviews
Chris
20 years of experience
Toyota Avalon V6-3.0L - Oil Change - Portland, Oregon
Chris is AWESOME! He's serviced my car several times now and is always quick, efficient and never tries to upsell me on things I don't need or pressure me into adding services or booking appointments (something I definitely can't say is true with most mechanic experiences I've had). Love this service and Chris is a top-notch professional.

Claud

8 years of experience
475 reviews
Claud
8 years of experience
Dodge Caravan V6-3.3L - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front) - Detroit, Michigan
Excellent...On time, good communication, great work...I highly recommend!

Tony

15 years of experience
280 reviews
Tony
15 years of experience
Dodge Avenger V6-2.7L - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front) - Atlanta, Georgia
Professional, courteous, gave good advice on what should be done next and also some pre maintenance tips.

Matthew

33 years of experience
1210 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Dodge Ram 1500 V8-4.7L - Control Arm Assembly Replacement (Front Lower Right) - Norfolk, Virginia
Matt was professional, extremely knowledgeable and insightful. No frills...able to diagnose problem and trouble shoot easily. A ton of experience. I found a mechanic for life.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Install a TV Tuner in Your Car
Install a TV tuner to the monitor in your car so passengers can watch TV on the road.
How to Install a DVD Player in Your Car
Install a car DVD player in your vehicle to entertain passengers on the road. This article tells you how to install in-dash, pop-out car DVD players.
How to Buy an Inexpensive Vehicle DVD Player
A portable dvd player or a mounted one are options for your car dvd player. Purchase these online or at retailers with extras like a GPS included.

Related questions

How do I use the venting sunroof feature?
The venting sunroof feature allows your sunroof to open slightly, and at an angle, so that you can get fresh air without there being a clear opening into your vehicle. To use the vent feature, press the “Vent” button in...
How do I reset the sunroof?
If your battery has been disconnected or replaced, then the sunroof will need to be reset before it will start working properly. To reset the sunroof, follow these steps: 1. Turn the ignition to the ON position. 2. Push the...
Fuse A/C power windows
Hello, thanks for writing in about your 2005 Kia Spectra5. It sounds like those systems may all share that same fuse and one of them is drawing too many amps, or there is a short in the circuit. I wonder...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com