Before we get into the steps required to maintain your sunroof, let’s take a look at the history of the sunroof.
When automobiles first came into existence, they were called horseless carriages, and for good reason. Those early models were designed very much like horse drawn carriages, with no roof and no sidewalls.
Over the years, the auto industry came up with innovations such as electric starters, antilock brakes, automatic transmissions, air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, safety glass, seat belts, airbags, and many more. Many of these innovations were developed to increase the safety of the automobile to protect the driver and passengers, but some were designed to simply improve the driving experience. One such innovation was the sunroof.
The very first sunroof was introduced by the Nash Motorcar Company in 1937, but it was vastly different from the sunroof that you may have on your car today. The first sunroof was a solid metal panel that could be removed, tilted, or slid back. This offered motorists the option of enjoying fresh air as they were driving down the road.
In 1973, Ford introduced a glass sunroof, but dubbed it a moonroof. This iteration of the sunroof was a glass panel that you could open of course, but you could also leave it closed and still enjoy a view of the sky and at night, the moon, hence the name.
Fast forward to the 21st century and now the sunroof (or moonroof) is an accessory common to many cars, SUVs, and even pickup trucks.
We all know that our cars need routine maintenance to keep them running and looking their best. That include items such as oil changes, tire rotations, and the occasional tune up. What you may not realize though, it that your car’s sunroof also needs regular maintenance to keep it in good working order and to prevent leaks into the passenger compartment. To help you with this, here’s how to take care of your car’s sunroof.
Keep it Clean
Like any other part of your car, the sunroof needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid the build-up of dirt and debris. Keep the glass clean but avoid cleaning products with harsh chemicals like ammonia or vinegar, as they may be unsafe in warm conditions and could damage the rubber gaskets.
Once you’ve cleaned the glass, open the sunroof and clean and lubricate the rubber gasket using a clean, damp cloth. This will prevent any kind of blockage or leakage.
Clear the Drains
When you open your sunroof, you’ll find four drain holes, one in each corner of the sunroof. These drain holes collect excess water and drain it onto the ground beneath your car. By draining this water, they prevent it from leaking into the passenger compartment.
Clearing the Drain
To see if these drains are clogged, you can pour a small amount of water into the area around the drain. If the water drains out freely, your job is done. If not, you need to clear them out. Look for any debris around the drain holes and remove it. If the holes are clogged but you can’t see why, you can use a length of heavy duty string trimmer cord to clear the drain. You just need to push the cord into the drain hole and force any blockage to exit at the bottom of the car. Finish clearing these drains by forcing compressed air through the drains. Be careful not to use too much pressure, but set it to around 30 psi. Finally, test the drain holes again to see if they’re running clear.
If this process fails to clear the drains, you may need to have a qualified technician take a look. By being proactive and performing this routine maintenance on your sunroof, you can be assured that it will continue to give you trouble free service.
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