: Sunroofs .. Are they always trouble prone?



orconn
05-26-09, 12:43 PM
I have noticed that a lot of people looking for a used car make the "sunroof" a "must have" on their equipment list when looking for a car to purchase.

Having had sunroofs on cars that I purchased "new" and in each case having had to have the sunroof repaired (repeatedly) under warranty and after the warranty ran out. The repair was not cheap, but failure to repair would have caused water damage to the interior. Almost all failures involved the sunroof coming of its' rails and failing to close and seal properly. Seal failure itself has also occurred. This experience of chronic failure of the device to buy cars without sunroofs if I think I am going to want to own the car for a long period of time.

Playdrv4me
05-26-09, 01:00 PM
That's odd. I've never had to repair or do anything to any sunroof I've had on any of my cars. Also, I like the way they break up the otherwise drab roof on most cars even just from an aesthetic standpoint. Given the choice, even with the risks I'd still take a sunroof equipped version of a car over a non-sunroof model any day of the week. The exception to this is aftermarket sunroofs, which are usually a disaster from day one.

ga_etc
05-26-09, 02:00 PM
I haven't had a domestic car with a sunroof yet, but I have had three Hondas with them. None of them have ever leaked unless I forgot to close it lol. I had a '98 Camaro that I traded in on the ETC that was a T-Top car. It would leak unless I had the driver side in there just right.

Jesda
05-26-09, 02:09 PM
I've never had major problems, but I use them frequently when I have them. I think that keeps all the joints moving and prevents them from seizing.

On the Q45 I had the rails lubricated once to prevent some light sticking while closing, and I replaced a switch. I routinely made sure the drain holes were clear.

hueterm
05-26-09, 02:10 PM
I've had factory roofs on the following, none ever has had a problem:

'77 GP
'83 GP
'99 GP
'02 Avalanche
'04 Avalanche
'04 EXT

ryannel2003
05-26-09, 06:00 PM
I had a sunroof on my '00 Camry and one of the tracks broke and the repair was going to cost around $1000. Declined that because it was an old car... but thankfully it never leaked.

I'm glad my Seville doesn't have one, because I'm sure it would leak. Everything else on the car has.

Rodya234
05-26-09, 06:51 PM
I know that some say aftermarket sunroofs are less reliable then the factory ones, but what do you guys think about them? I'm thinking about getting a sunroof put into my Deville, because I'm jealous of the one in my dad's. :rolleyes:

V-Eight
05-26-09, 07:25 PM
I like how they make the car feel like it has more headroom that it actually does.

Playdrv4me
05-26-09, 07:36 PM
I know that some say aftermarket sunroofs are less reliable then the factory ones, but what do you guys think about them? I'm thinking about getting a sunroof put into my Deville, because I'm jealous of the one in my dad's. :rolleyes:

I would avoid it. If the car was not produced with the Sunroof already in place, it's a 50/50 shot as to whether an aftermarket one is going to cause problems and leaks or not. Most of the time they do, and then you end up with a nasty expoxied rim around your fancy sunroof just a few years down the road to keep it sealed down. So you basically bought a skylight.

Red_October_7000
05-26-09, 11:01 PM
Aftermarket sunroofs leak. Not bad if they are done right, but have a towel handy when you go through the automated car wash. Factory sunroofs not so much. No problem with the ones in my mom's Impala, my Suburban, or one of my girlfriend's MR2s, nor did the T-bar roofs on her other ones leak. For that matter the roof itself on my Corvette never leaked either, just the window seals, which in fact leaked quite badly when I got the car as the rubber had perished. Look after the rubber correctly and lubricate it, and use it with frequency. As an option they are worth it anywhere where it gets hot; having it open at the touch of a switch or pull of a handle really helps the car cool off as hot air rises naturally and the hottest air will be out in minutes. You can also leave it cracked if there is no risk of rain and the car will not get anywhere near as hot as it would otherwise. Look for one with a shade that is also integrated, you won't want to hunt for it on hot days after the car has cooled down. On nice days you can slide the pannel back and let the outside air in. They are also great if you smoke and others are bothered by the smoke; having the sunroofed cracked makes much less noise than a window and draws the smoke out nicely. One thing I can't stand is people who open the window when they smoke, letting in the hot/cold/wet outside and half the time ashing out the window, which is an uncooth practice and injurious to the paint. The sunroof, when tilted up, is less vulnerable to unwelcome incursions and removes the temptation to ash on the bodywork like a churl.

V-Eight
05-26-09, 11:47 PM
What do you lube the rubber with?

billc83
05-27-09, 12:11 AM
What do you lube the rubber with?

Usually KY with spermicide. :histeric:

(Apologies, that was too easy and probably unnecessary)

Rodya234
05-27-09, 12:15 AM
Usually KY with spermicide. :histeric:

(Apologies, that was too easy and probably unnecessary)

lul.:histeric:

thebigjimsho
05-27-09, 01:26 AM
The only problem I ever had with a moonroof was on my SHO. They used a water soluble glue for the felt on the sun-screen. Of course, that can see some moisture because you can have the roof open in the rain at speed.

Had to strip the whole thing down...

Aron9000
05-27-09, 01:36 AM
Absolutely no problems on the one in my 1991 Brougham. Its a factory job though. I love the sunroof since hardly any of these cars had them back then, and this one is freaking huge, not like the mail slot on my friend's Acura RSX.

If you are tall, be aware that they do take a couple inches of headroom out.

V-Eight
05-27-09, 08:39 AM
Usually KY with spermicide. :histeric:

(Apologies, that was too easy and probably unnecessary)

No, that was what I was going for :P

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
05-27-09, 04:48 PM
I don't suppose it's a directly useful comparison, but my dad always used to buy brand new Fords every 2-3 years, they all had sunroofs and not one ever had problems....

I've heard that aftermarket ones can be a problem for leaks and rust, and I've seen a couple of BMW ones with burnt out electric motors, other than that they seem fine.

Then again I was told Camaro T-Tops leak and mine has the aftermarket Cars&Concepts ones, and you can jet wash it and it don't leak so maybe it's just down to luck?

Playdrv4me
05-27-09, 04:55 PM
I don't suppose it's a directly useful comparison, but my dad always used to buy brand new Fords every 2-3 years, they all had sunroofs and not one ever had problems....

I've heard that aftermarket ones can be a problem for leaks and rust, and I've seen a couple of BMW ones with burnt out electric motors, other than that they seem fine.

Then again I was told Camaro T-Tops leak and mine has the aftermarket Cars&Concepts ones, and you can jet wash it and it don't leak so maybe it's just down to luck?

The nice thing with the BMWs is they have a little removeable panel that puts you RIGHT AT the motor for easy replacement AND manual operation if the motor goes bad.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-27-09, 06:38 PM
The sunroof on the S Class doesn't leak at all, even under high pressure car washes. It slides open smooth and SILENTLY, but it's a slow mover, probably why it's silent.

The T-tops on my friend's brother's '92 Camaro RS do leak though, but it's probably normal for a 17 year old Camaro.

Aron9000
05-27-09, 06:41 PM
The sunroof on the S Class doesn't leak at all, even under high pressure car washes. It slides open smooth and SILENTLY, but it's a slow mover, probably why it's silent.

The T-tops on my friend's brother's '92 Camaro RS do leak though, but it's probably normal for a 17 year old Camaro.

The t-top design was kind of lousy for the 3rd gen cars. His might have worn out seals. Sometimes the seals trap water and end up rusting a hole through the metal and it'll leak that way.

The 4th gen cars were a lot better in this regard. The only time my 1999 Z28 leaked was going through a high pressure car wash, and it was usually a few drops right where the a-pillar, t-top, and window came together.

orconn
05-27-09, 07:26 PM
The nice thing with the BMWs is they have a little removeable panel that puts you RIGHT AT the motor for easy replacement AND manual operation if the motor goes bad.

Ah the Germans ......always ahead of the game! However, it might have even been better if they had sourced their components so replacement or manual operation wouldn't have been necessary. Of course that might have necessitated buying American components as the Italians have been doing for their luxo class products since the 1960's.

Red_October_7000
05-27-09, 11:46 PM
No, that was what I was going for :P

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144762

Not sure if Aaron did it deliberately but I gave it good when he brought up "Windshield Pissers" over on Toyota Nation.

billc83
05-27-09, 11:55 PM
Wait, there are Toyota enthusiasts now?

Red_October_7000
05-28-09, 07:41 PM
Wait, there are Toyota enthusiasts now?

Considering many of them are "enthused" over things like Camrys and Corollas, I'd consider most of them derranged rather than enthused. A few of us like the sort of cars that Toyota doesn't think are important -sportscars, Grand Tourers, and not sad little mommy-mobiles and penalty boxes to appeal to the hairshirt eco-mentalists.

V-Eight
05-28-09, 08:47 PM
Toyota sucks

Playdrv4me
05-28-09, 08:56 PM
Well, even I have to give credit for the occasional hit over there... Land Cruiser/LX, Supra, LS400, Cressida, 4Runner/GX and the little MR2s to name a few.

ryannel2003
05-28-09, 09:17 PM
I used to be a member of that forum. The things that were said about GM over there were laughable.

agp
05-28-09, 09:17 PM
I don't really see the purpose of a sunroof... I mean, I have one, but I only use it when I'm driving around 40-50mph and I don't want wind blasting on my eyes from the side windows. It's a good thing to have, but I wouldn't consider it a necessity or a luxury.

thebigjimsho
05-29-09, 12:10 AM
Love my moonroof. Even if it's not open, I keep the shade open to get extra light in. Also why I ordered tan interior in the V to really lighten things up, almost like a convertible.

Red_October_7000
05-29-09, 12:19 AM
One thing also; with the glass or even just the shade open, it's awesome at night. Watching the stars, clouds, and city lights go by out the roof is pretty cool. Having a girl hang out it is super-cool ;)

Kick94sts
05-29-09, 12:39 AM
One of the least known advantages of a sunroof is the reflection it can provide at night. Take a girl out for a ride at night and if she has the correct attire on, look up at the sunroof and you can see right down their shirt....lol

V-Eight
05-29-09, 04:38 PM
One of the least known advantages of a sunroof is the reflection it can provide at night. Take a girl out for a ride at night and if she has the correct attire on, look up at the sunroof and you can see right down their shirt....lol

HAhhah, good call

93eldodave
05-29-09, 10:08 PM
That's odd. I've never had to repair or do anything to any sunroof I've had on any of my cars. Also, I like the way they break up the otherwise drab roof on most cars even just from an aesthetic standpoint. Given the choice, even with the risks I'd still take a sunroof equipped version of a car over a non-sunroof model any day of the week. The exception to this is aftermarket sunroofs, which are usually a disaster from day one.

Me neither ? if you keep the track clean and lube with a light lube, clean drains from time to time ( or at least check them) silacone spray on the seals and they last forever..I have a 16yo eldo no wind noise no drips..:cookoo:

thebigjimsho
05-29-09, 11:42 PM
Just a side point. Sunroofs are movable metal roof panels. Moonroofs are movable glass roof panels...

V-Eight
05-30-09, 12:09 AM
Ok, moonroofs are nicer.

codewize
05-30-09, 12:29 AM
Ive always refrained from buying cars with sunroof because of the problems I hear about. Recently I acquired an 02 DTS with a moonroof. It was there so I wasn't going to not buy the car because of it.

2 weeks into ownership the moonroof stopped working. It's going in Tues for some other things, hopefully they'll fix that under my 60 day lemon law

Playdrv4me
05-30-09, 12:52 AM
Ive always refrained from buying cars with sunroof because of the problems I hear about. Recently I acquired an 02 DTS with a moonroof. It was there so I wasn't going to not buy the car because of it.

2 weeks into ownership the moonroof stopped working. It's going in Tues for some other things, hopefully they'll fix that under my 60 day lemon law

There better be a thread and pics in the FWD forum. You know better than to get a new car here and not let us know... :tisk:

Eric Kahn
05-30-09, 10:44 AM
Being 6'6" I hate sunroofs/moonroofs with a passion, since they are the reason I have had to pass on many cars that I wanted because of the lost headroom

codewize
05-31-09, 02:12 AM
You must have been on vacation. I asked several questions before buying. Then I kind of got into a deal where I wanted to pay a little less for the car but somehow I got caught up in the whole thing.

It's an 02 Blue Onyx DTS. Very much the same as my 01 but no Nav and no Night Vision. Oh and it has a moonroof and my 01 doesn't.

Nice clean car and after buying it, turns out that it belonged to the aunt of a guy I work with. So I know a lot about the car now.

I think I posed a few quick pics.


There better be a thread and pics in the FWD forum. You know better than to get a new car here and not let us know... :tisk:

Playdrv4me
05-31-09, 01:05 PM
You must have been on vacation. I asked several questions before buying. Then I kind of got into a deal where I wanted to pay a little less for the car but somehow I got caught up in the whole thing.

It's an 02 Blue Onyx DTS. Very much the same as my 01 but no Nav and no Night Vision. Oh and it has a moonroof and my 01 doesn't.

Nice clean car and after buying it, turns out that it belonged to the aunt of a guy I work with. So I know a lot about the car now.

I think I posed a few quick pics.

Awesome, congrats!