Q: “My electric sunroof won’t close, what can I do to fix it? The rainy season is coming and I have to sort this out ASAP!” Wearing a Poncho in Victoria.
A: A sunroof is an excellent way to get additional sun or air into your vehicle. There are several different versions of sunroofs; most open and close automatically with the touch of a button. If your sunroof suddenly becomes stuck open, and it’s rainy or cold outside, you’ve got a major problem. The two main causes of a stuck sunroof are a lack of power and debris stuck in the sunroof’s tracks.
Inspecting Lift Arms
One thing to do is remove the glass from the sunroof to access the lift arms. The guides that the lift arms follow may need to be pushed forward if they have become stuck in the open position. Our glass repair partners use tools to push the guides forward so that the lift arms can fully close. If this was the issue, they would replace the glass and test it out. If it is still stuck, they may check out the sunroof cable as it may have slid into the path of the guides and lift arm. You may need to remove the sunroof plate to access and resit the sunroof cable. Then you replace the J plate and test that the lift arms move fully.
Testing the Motor/Electrical
If there is nothing physcially blocking the sunroof you must ensure that the sunroof motor is running properly. If there is no power to the motor, the sunroof will remain in the open position. A glass technician can test the motor by turning and pushing the motor mechanism from the inside in an attempt to work the motor manually. If they can open and close the sunroof manually, then the motor is broken and needs to be replaced.
To be sure your your motor is not replaced unnecessarily, they will also test the wiring going to the motor to make sure there is not a short circuit that is stopping the electricity from getting to the motor. Using a multimeter they test the sunroof switch and wires. If there is no resistance, then the wiring is fine. If there is high resistance, however, then there is a short and the wires must be replaced.
Things you can do yourself
The number one thing you can do is clean the sunroof tracks, as dirt and debris can cause the sunroof to become stuck open. You can very quickly clean your sunroof tracks so debris doesn’t build up in the tracks, as if too much debris builds up, this can eventually damage the sunroof cables, which are very difficult (and expensive) to fix.
Since we are not glass experts, we send leaking sunroofs to a partner who is a glass specialist. They are able to pinpoint leaks and stop them before they get any worse.