Top 4 Car Sunroof Repairs

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When you purchase a new car, adding luxury accessories can significantly improve comfort, the driving experience, and add to resale value. One of the most popular add-on accessories is the sunroof or moonroof. Most sunroofs operate mechanically, via a system of motors, cables, and gears that will slide a piece of tempered glass open and provide exposure to the outer elements. While many of them are designed exceptionally well and built to last a long time, there are times when damage can occur.

If you’re in the market for a new car and are considering adding a new sunroof, or have one and are experiencing some issues, it’s important to understand the common repairs and possible expenses for fixing them. Make an informed choice about whether adding that cool sunroof is a smart financial decision. In the content below, we’ll outline the top 4 car sunroof repairs completed in the United States, and some of the average costs of completing them.

1. Broken Sunroof Motor

There was a time when a sunroof add-on was a manually operated system. The driver would unlock the sunroof latch and physically slide it open. When they were done driving, drivers would have to physically close the sunroof to protect the interior from exposure to elements and for security reasons. As with most technology, today’s sunroof is built for convenience. To open one, a driver simply needs to press a button and the glass panel will open. This is completed through a series of electrical components working together to power a motor — which completes the action of opening and closing the sunroof. The most common type of sunroof issue is a motor that is either damaged, has lost electrical power, or is malfunctioning due to unknown reasons.

There are a few common sources of a broken sunroof motor including:

  • The internal gears inside the motor have seized-up.
  • The motor operating gears have broken.
  • Electrical power to the motor is cut off due to a damaged electrical relay or fuse.
  • There are exposed electrical wires restricting flow to the motor.

Regardless of the source, the first step in repairing this issue is correctly diagnosing the root problems. Since there are so many variables involved, it’s hard to estimate a repair based on a sunroof motor problem. However, generally speaking, the motor itself can range from $100 to $500 with labor costs added on top. If the issue is electrical such as a blown fuse or relay, the cost of those components is minimal.

2. Leaking Sunroof

While the sunroof is intended to open on those bright sunny days, sometimes the wet weather can leak into your car from the sunroof. This introduces the second most popular sunroof repair: the leaking sunroof. Most sunroof leaks are caused by debris that can clog up the sunroof’s drainage system. A sunroof typically has four to eight independent drain tubes — usually located on the corners that must be physically removed and cleaned to resolve the problem. When those tubes become clogged by leaves, dirt and other debris, it can cause water to leak between the seals and on top of your head as you drive.

If the leak is simply caused by the clogged drainage tubes, the repairs can be rather inexpensive — typically no more than a few hundred dollars. However, if the seal is broken, it will require removal of the sunroof and replacement of the seal — which usually costs more than $500.

2. Broken Sunroof Cable or Track

The sunroof is physically manipulated via a system of cables and tracks from a motor. The track and cable work together to pull the sunroof open and closed. When one or both of these components break, it will render the sunroof useless. A broken cable or track will require the sunroof to be removed and total replacement of the sunroof assembly. This can cost more than $800 to complete.

4. Broken Glass

You’d think that broken sunroof glass would be among the top three repairs — but that’s not accurate. Sunroof glass is tempered and ‘shatter resistant’ but not shatterproof. There are times when a sunroof can be broken — such as being struck by debris while driving or objects falling on top (like tree branches). Replacing the glass itself is a rather simple process. The problem comes with removing all those tiny shards of glass. If the glass itself needs to be replaced, the cost can range from $200 to $500 for high-quality auto glass. The clean-up of the broken glass can increase that estimate significantly.

A sunroof is a complex operating system and should only be repaired by a professional technician who understands how these systems work. While it might be attractive to fix these problems yourself, doing so can cause additional damage to the sunroof and eventually a trip to a dealership or sunroof repair expert for a complete replacement. If you have a problem with your sunroof, it’s best to have a professional diagnose and repair it.


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Number of Reviews

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Peter

23 years of experience
229 reviews
Peter
23 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Rear) - Simi Valley, California
Did a great job replacing my window regulator. Left everything cleanly installed with no additional damage. Peter also gave some good feedback on other upkeep items from his 50pt inspection. Grateful for his quality work and professionalism.
Chevrolet Malibu - Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Rear) - North Hollywood, California
Peter is an excellent mechanic with great customer service skills. He was amazingly patient when he discovered the wrong part was given to him for this job. He called the main office to be sure they did not charge me for the work that did not occur and worked me into his schedule following day, which happened to be a Saturday. I was pleased with the work done by Peter and highly recommend him.

Edmundas

15 years of experience
30 reviews
Edmundas
15 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Altamonte Springs, Florida
Edmundas, was the pillar of professionalism. Unlike many mechanics at dealerships he took the time to make sure I was aware of the steps he was taking to resolve my issue. He provided me with quotes for additional work that needs to be done. I will be booking my next repair work worth him through this service.
Honda Pilot - Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Orlando, Florida
This was a wonderful experience!!! Edmundass was extremely professional and very fast ..I definitely will be using him again in the future!!!

William

8 years of experience
7 reviews
William
8 years of experience
Mercury Mariner - Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Rear) - Las Vegas, Nevada
William was fantastic - very fast and found some additional issues on my car that needs some attention. He explained everything to me very wonderfully and I'll definitely be using his services again.

Robert

18 years of experience
625 reviews
Robert
18 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe - Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Rear) - Broomfield, Colorado
Robert was great. He was on time and he did a great job completing the work booked. He was very friendly, answered all my questions and gave me quotes for additional work I wanted done. He even set an appointment for me. I would highly recommend Robert and look forward to booking him again!

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