Featured in nearly 90% of new vehicles on today’s market, sunroofs, once a luxury only afforded by the wealthiest, have become a staple in standard packages across the board.
Taking their cues from the horse-drawn carriages of the early 20th century, where only the passengers rode in an enclosed cabin, vehicle manufacturers started adding early versions of what we now recognize as a sunroof to vehicles in the 1920s. Although these early versions featured a lot more sun and a lot less roof, they were originally used to divide chauffeur and passenger.
Modern sunroofs consist of a multi-layer glass panel mounted on motorized slides installed into an opening in the roof. This assembly is connected to a switch inside the vehicle, allowing the sunroof to be controlled by the driver. When the switch is flipped to open, vent, or close, a signal is sent to the motor, and the roof opens or closes with help from the motorized slides, as per the driver’s selection. With a laundry list of components, it’s no surprise that sunroofs can have some problems.
Let’s take a quick look at the two most common sunroof problems consumers run into and how to deal with them.
Damp seats, water dripping on your head while you’re driving, or pooling in your footwells or dome light likely mean that your sunroof’s drainage channels are blocked, causing your sunroof to leak.
At the manufacturing plant, technicians install gravity-fed drainage channels into the opening, which are connected to rubber tubes that direct the water through the vehicle’s body and out to the ground below. When these channels get clogged with dirt or other debris or the tubing becomes aged, cracked and worn, drainage slows, causing water to pool in the opening and leak into the vehicle. To prevent this from happening, regularly open your sunroof and clear out any debris that may have built up in the trough around the sunroof opening and from the corner drain points.
2. Electrical Issues
Anyone who has had to troubleshoot automotive electrical issues will tell you things can get complicated quickly. Below are the three most common electrical issues that cause sunroofs to malfunction:
- Broken Fuse – A fuse is an electrical safety device to prevent overloading circuits. When a fuse is overloaded, it pops, causing a break in the circuit and preventing the signal from moving further.
- Dead Motor – A small electrically-driven motor is used to power the slides of your sunroof, allowing it to move back and forth. Unfortunately, these motors don’t live forever, and one day they will die on you.
- Faulty Switch – Much like the motor discussed above, switches don’t live forever either and are considered wearable parts, meaning they’ll require replacement at some point.
If you’re experiencing issues with your sunroof, the auto glass experts at Super Auto Glass in Calgary, Alberta would love to help you out. Call us today at 587-606-8064 to book your stress-free auto glass replacement experience.