Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Troubleshoot a Power Moon Roof That Won't Open

moon roof

A moon roof is an opening on top of a vehicle’s roof which allows light or fresh air to enter the cabin compartment of the vehicle. The moon roof may be manually or automatically operated according to the type of vehicle and the design.

A moon roof can be enjoyed if the vehicle is moving at a slow speed, but when the vehicle begins to have excessive speed, air blowing into the cab will become intense and uncomfortable.

Power moon roofs tend to fail with either the switch breaking down or the electric motor stop working.

If the power moon roof is not opening, it could be damaged by one of the following:

  • Tracks are clogged
  • Cable broke
  • Electric motor quits working
  • Failed moon roof switch

Part 1 of 4: Diagnosing the tracks that are clogged on the moon roof

Preparing the vehicle to check tracks that are clogged on the moon roof

Materials Needed

  • Flashlight
  • Wheel chocks

Step 1: Park your vehicle on a flat, hard surface. Make sure that the transmission is in park (for automatics) or in first gear (for manuals).

Step 2: Place wheel chocks around the rear tires that will be remaining on the ground. Engage the parking brake to the lock the rear tires from moving.

Checking the condition of the tracks that are clogged on the moon roof

Step 1: Locate the damaged moon roof. Try to open the moon roof. Use a flashlight and look in the tracks of the moon roof to see if there is any debris, dirt, or harden grease.

**Step 2: Use a screwdriver and a degreaser cleaner to remove the the debris, dirt, or hardened grease from the tracks.

Step 3: Try to operate the moon roof again. The moon roof should move - if it doesn't there may be a further cleaning or diagnosis needed.

Cleaning up after performing the diagnosis

Step 1: Collect all tools and place them out of the way. Remove the wheel chocks from the rear wheels and put the aside.

Part 2 of 4: Diagnosing the moon roof for a broken cable

Preparing the vehicle to check the moon roof for a broken cable

Materials Needed

  • Flashlight
  • SAE/metric wrench set
  • Wheel chocks

Step 1: Park your vehicle on a flat, hard surface. Make sure that the transmission is in park (for automatics) or in first gear (for manuals).

Step 2: Place wheel chocks around the rear tires that will be remaining on the ground. Engage the parking brake to the lock the rear tires from moving.

Checking the condition of the moon roof for a broken cable

Step 1: Try to open the moon roof.

Step 1: Locate the damaged moon roof. Take a Phillips screwdriver and remove the two screws that are at the front edge of the sliding headlining panel on the inside of the headlining.

Step 2: Look at the cable. Use a flashlight and look in the sides of the moon roof to see if the cable is broken.

  • Note: If the moon roof cable is broken but you cannot fix it right now, then you will need to put the headlining panel back on.

Part 3 of 4: Diagnose the electric motor if it quits working

Preparing the vehicle to check for the electric motor if it quits working

Materials Needed

  • Flashlight
  • Nine volt battery saver
  • SAE/metric wrench set
  • Wheel chocks

Step 1: Park your vehicle on a flat, hard surface. Make sure that the transmission is in park (for automatics) or in first gear (for manuals).

Step 2: Place wheel chocks. Put wheel chocks around the rear tires that will be remaining on the ground. Engage the parking brake to the lock the rear tires from moving.

Checking the condition of the electric motor if it quits working

Step 1: First check to see if the fuse to the moon roof motor switch is okay by locating the fuse panel and pulling out the fuse with needle nose pliers. If the fuse is okay, then you will need to disconnect the power to the vehicle to check the motor.

Step 1: Install a nine volt battery saver into your cigarette lighter. This will keep your computer live and keep your setting current in the vehicle. If you do not have a nine volt battery saver, that okay.

Step 2: Open the vehicle’s hood to disconnect your battery. Take the ground cable off of the battery’s negative post disabling the power to the moon roof motor.

Step 3: Unzip the headliner access. Remove the three wire plug from the motor. remove the long cable joining the motor to the driver. Then remove the two nuts that hold the motor in place.

Step 4: Remove the motor and check the connections. Look at the contacts where the wires connected to the motor. Check to see if there is any debris or corrosion. Try turning the shaft on the motor to see if it turns. If it does not turn, then the motor is probably jammed inside. If the motor turns, the contacts may be burned inside the motor.

  • Note: If the moon roof cable is broken but you cannot fix it right now, then you will need to put the motor back on, hook up the cable to it, hook up the three wire plug back onto the motor, and hook up the battery cable.

Part 4 of 4: Diagnose the a moon roof failed switch

Preparing the vehicle to check for the moon roof failed switch

Materials needed to perform the job

  • Flashlight
  • Flat tip screwdriver
  • Nine volt battery saver
  • SAE/metric socket set
  • Torx bit set
  • Wheel chocks

Step 1: Park your vehicle on a flat, hard surface. Make sure that the transmission is in park (for automatics) or in 1st gear (for manuals).

Step 2: Place wheel chocks around the rear tires that will be remaining on the ground. Engage the parking brake to the lock the rear tires from moving.

Checking the condition of the moon roof failed switch

Step 1: First check to see if the fuse to the moon roof motor switch is okay by locating the fuse panel and pulling out the fuse with needle nose pliers. If the fuse is okay, then you will need to disconnect the power to the vehicle to check the motor.

Step 1: Install a nine volt battery saver into your cigarette lighter. This will keep your computer live and keep your setting current in the vehicle. If you do not have a nine volt battery saver, that ok.

Step 2: Open the vehicle’s hood to disconnect your battery. Take the ground cable off of the battery’s negative post disabling the power to the moon roof switch.

Step 3: Locate the moon roof switch on the dashboard. Remove the switch from the dashboard and disconnect the harness from the switch.

  • Note: You may have to remove the dashboard panel to get to the switch screws or tabs.

Step 4: Look at the contacts on the switch. See if there is any debris or corrosion on the contacts. Also, look at the harness and see if there is any debris or corrosion on the contacts. If there is no debris or corrosion on the two items, then it is possible that the switch has failed electronically. Feel the switch to see if the lever on the switch is not binding or sticking.

  • Note: If the moon roof cable is broken but you cannot fix it right now, then you will need to put the motor back on, hook up the cable to it, and hook up the three wires back onto the motor.

If you need additional help in diagnosing the issue, seek help from a certified mechanic who can inspect the moon roof for you and help diagnose the problem.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...


Related questions

Q: air conditioner not blowing air from dash vents, but blowing air from side vents

A few different items can cause the air to not blow out of the dash vents. The most common are a blend door or a control switch. The best method for the AC diagnosis feature can be found in the...

Q: Moonroof drain plugs clogged

Hello. This problem is common to Hummer H3s. It is an involved fix, and most of the incidences are related to the front drain tubes, as the vehicle sits at a slight rake to the front. Access to these is...

Q: Received a diagnostic code P0562.

The code you have indicates that there is low voltage to the powertrain control module. This is likely due to your battery being low on charge due to age. When the engine first cranks over it is a great strain...