Home News Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car – And How Do You Go About It?

Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car – And How Do You Go About It?

by Kelvin Yates

Can you add a sunroof to a car? Sunroofs have been one of the most popular automotive features in recent years. Sunroofs come in a variety of types, including sliding glass sunroofs, tilting sunroofs, and panoramic sunroofs.

If your vehicle was built without a sunroof, it might still be feasible to have one installed afterward. Installing an aftermarket sunroof is a complicated task that a professional should only perform. When a sunroof is fitted after the vehicle has been manufactured, it requires major modifications, such as cutting, reinforcing, sealing, wiring, and accessory alterations.

A proper sunroof installation requires determining your vehicle’s eligibility for a sunroof installation, identifying a suitable sunroof style, and selecting a trustworthy sunroof installer. However, whether or not a sunroof is a need for drivers is a different topic. It’s crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether or not a sunroof is a must-have feature for your new automobile.

What Exactly Is Sunroofing?

A sunroof is a movable panel on a car’s roof that opens to show a window, allowing light and fresh air into the cabin. Sunroofs are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, and can be operated manually or mechanically. Any glass panel on your car’s roof is commonly referred to as a “sunroof.”

Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car?

Can you add a sunroof to a car? In a car, a sunroof can be installed.  If you wish to put a sunroof in your automobile, you must first ascertain whether your vehicle currently has the requisite factory-determined architecture to accommodate a sunroof.

Due to pre-drilled holes and grooves, the sunroof will fit properly in most cars. However, not all vehicles can accommodate one. If no pre-existing locations for the sunroof exist, your best bet is to purchase new locations and pre-drilled holes for it.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between Sunroofs And Moonroofs?

The difference between a sunroof and a moonroof is frequently misunderstood. The ability to slide open or pop up to show the sky distinguishes a sunroof, which is typically made of glass or metal. A sunroof can be pulled open to let fresh air in from the top.

A moonroof is a piece of tinted glass that goes between the headliner and the roof, as the name implies. It is impossible to remove this from the car; however, it usually slides or tilts open.

Panoramic Sunroof Vs. Sunroof Vs. Moonroof

It’s crucial to understand the differences between a moonroof, a sunroof, and a panoramic sunroof before diving into the benefits and drawbacks of a sunroof. You might think they’re all the same, but they’re not. Each one has specific characteristics that set it apart.

  • Sunroof– A sunroof is typically a solid, body-colored panel that pops up or is totally removable.
  • Moon-roof– A moon-roof is a sort of sunroof with a sliding glass panel instead of a solid, body-colored panel. Because the previous sunroof has mostly gone out of favor with drivers, the majority of current automobiles have a moonroof.
  • Panoramic sunroof– This is a larger-than-average sunroof that can open to allow more light and fresh air in.

Why Are Sunroofs So Appealing To People?

The sunroofing feature has evolved into a symbol of luxury, and many people are now actively looking for it when buying a new vehicle. It is currently considered a must-have feature by some when purchasing a vehicle. A sunroof gives your vehicle a touch of elegance. People have always appreciated the look and feel of sunroofs, so when they buy a high-end vehicle, they make sure to get one with one.

Advantages Of Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

Following are the advantages of having a sunroof for your cars.

 1. Allows In Natural Light

The main advantage of a sunroof is that it lets in more natural light than a standard glass area. To keep the cabin from overheating, sunroofs are always provided with a sunblind and a shade. They let more natural light into the cabin and give the appearance that it is larger. Some people also report that it improves the aesthetic of the cabin.

2. Interior Heat Should Be Reduced

Given the extreme heat, leaving your car parked for even half an hour is enough to turn the cabin into an oven. Instead of starting the car and setting the air conditioner to maximum cold, try opening the sunroof for a few minutes. They allow more natural light to enter the cabin, giving it the appearance of being larger.

Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

As a result, opening the sunroof allows hot air from the interior to escape more quickly. You may use your key to open the windows with the global up/down feature. If the car has a sunroof, it will also open, saving you the effort of getting into a hot cabin. While driving, you may also do this by tilting the sunroof open and allowing the air to flow.

3. Convertible Vehicle

Opening the sunroof at low to medium speeds may offer you a glimpse of a convertible automobile without the cost. Driving at night with the sunroof open is a lot more fun. In the correct weather, you may enjoy a refreshing breeze without the wind that comes with opening the windows. You can even park your automobile, recline your seat, and look up at the sky from within your vehicle.

4. Your Vehicle Will Appear Even More Attractive

A sunroof improves a vehicle’s appearance. The black-tinted glass on the top of an automobile provides a wonderful touch to the overall aesthetic. Sunroofs are typically associated with luxury vehicles, giving the impression that your vehicle has a higher-end feature.

Although sunroofs aren’t usually required, they do have their own set of benefits. Nonetheless, there are a few common errors.

Disadvantages Of Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

Following are the possible disadvantages of a sunroof.

1. Standing Up From The Sunroof

While the car is moving, you must always be seated and strapped. It’s a basic rule that can’t be changed. People are frequently observed taking their hands out of the sunroof or, worse still, standing up through it. We see children doing this all the time, and parents must discourage it, regardless of how upset the child becomes.

2. Upgrades

Many people try to modify sunroofs using aftermarket components. When a sunroof is added to a vehicle, it is thoroughly evaluated, and the engineering behind the body structure is taken into account. A car’s roof is critical to its structural integrity, and aftermarket alterations always risk destroying it. Additionally, such sunroofs are prone to leaking (factory-installed sunroofs feature drainage holes) and electrical issues.

3. Costly

If you have a vehicle with a sunroof, it can be very costly to repair or replace if the sunroof becomes damaged or broken. Installing a replacement sunroof is particularly challenging, and a badly built sunroof can result in leaks and excessive wind noises while driving.

Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

4. Reduced Internal Space

Having a sunroof might result in less interior headroom, which can be a problem when traveling with taller people. It does not affect every driver, but it is a significant factor to consider for taller drivers.

5. Extra Weight

Adding a sunroof to your car can add 30 to 40 pounds of extra weight and stress. This may impair fuel consumption and put additional pressure and strain on your vehicle’s components, necessitating more maintenance.

6. Additional Mechanical Issue

A sunroof is another technological component that is prone to failing or leaking and requires costly maintenance or repair.

How Much Does It Cost, Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

A complete sunroof costs between $123 and $337 on average. The vehicle’s brand, make, and model, as well as the type of sunroof system utilized by the vehicle and its position, all influence the price. A full sunroof can cost up to $1,300, including the sliding panel and glass window.

It’s worth noting that adding a sunroof will lower the car’s value due to the perceived greater risk connected with that particular modification, so assess the costs and advantages carefully before making such a decision.

When Adding A Sunroof On A Car, How Long Does It Take?

One day is the average installation time. This is due to the fact that most sunroof models are vehicle-specific and require professional installation. However, speak with your local installer before settling on a model and estimating installation time.

The installation of a sunroof is not as straightforward as it may appear. The installation is a multi-step process, and faulty installation can result in accidents, leaks, and other difficulties that can harm the car.

Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

As a result, you should expect the installer to have the car with them for a day in order to fix the sunroof properly and without any delays. Installing a sunroof with a normal sunroof installation kit, on the other hand, usually takes around an hour. Some automobiles may take longer to repair and may require additional parts or tools.

Is It Possible To Remove The Sunroof From A Car?

If you’re confident in your abilities, you can remove the sunroof from a car. Some sunroofs in automobiles cannot be removed. A sunroof may be removed from an automobile with the appropriate tools and method.

Depending on the sort of vehicle you have, the removal procedure will differ. Still, in most cases, the process begins with the headliner and glass being removed, followed by the roof lining being removed to reach the rails that hold the sunroof in place. As a result, it will never be a simple process and will cost more than replacing a sunroof.

Is It Possible For A Dealership To Add A Sunroof To A Car?

Sunroofs are a typical consumer choice in today’s autos. Because of the specific expertise necessary and the cost of the machinery involved, not all dealers provide sunroof installation on new automobiles.

As a result, new and used car buyers should be aware that if they want a sunroof fitted, they may need to take their vehicle to a specialty shop because only a few shops countrywide have the competence to do so.

If a vendor claims to add a sunroof to a car, you should conduct your own research to confirm he is correct. You can obtain documentation and confirmation from prior clients with whom he has worked. It’s a delicate process, and you don’t want to end up hurting your automobile as a result of the sunroof installation.

Is It True That All Sunroofs Leak?

No, not all sunroofs are prone to leakage. Examining the architecture and structure of your vehicle is the best approach to assess whether your sunroof may leak.

There are two types of constructed sunroofs with leak prevention methods:

  • A roof that does not tilt or move back is known as an inline or fixed roof. It is made up of a front glass panel and a plastic cover that fits over it.
  • Slide-back roof — Rather than a cover on top, this style of roof has a front glass panel. You may also slide to open and close the door.

So, in order to keep the lined or permanent roof from leaking, you must clean the surface frequently and ensure that water does not remain on the surface for an extended period of time. You should also have a splash shield installed on the slide back to keep water out of the automobile. Water will not get inside the car if it is closed during snowfall or rainstorm.

How Do You Add A Sunroof To A Car?

But what if your car doesn’t have this feature? Can you add a sunroof to a car? You can always ask a mechanic to install one for you. We recommend that you leave it to the professionals if you aren’t comfortable working on a vehicle and don’t have a trustworthy friend or family member who can assist you. However, if you’re up for the effort, there is a way to save money by installing your car’s sunroof from the convenience of your own garage.

1. How To Begin Before Adding A Sunroof To A Car

Not every automobile will be suitable for adding a sunroof, so make sure you do your research before purchasing the kit and any other essential components. After all, you’ll be cutting into the roof, which, if done incorrectly, might result in damage or leakage.

You should also check your car’s warranty, as installing an aftermarket sunroof may void it automatically. However, once you’ve decided on a sort of sunroof, measure the flat top of your vehicle to ensure you can mount everything without requiring customized bodywork.

  • Pop-up sunroofs do not glide open; instead, a front hinge raises the backside to enable airflow.
  • Buying a manual sunroof is frequently less expensive and easier to install than buying an electric type.
  • To incorporate an electrical sunroof, you’ll need to be prepared to work with the motor that opens and closes it.

2. Cutting For Sunroof To Add A Sunroof To A Car

The tough phase begins after you’ve chosen the correct sunroof. Cover the area with masking tape before cutting through the roof to prevent the paint from breaking or tearing. You should have received a rubber template with your kit, which you’ll place over the tape to guide you. Before you make any cuts, measure everything again after it’s all down.

When you’re confident that everything is in order, trace the template onto the masking tape using a razor blade or knife. You’ll want it to be exact and easy to follow, but don’t force it. This may disturb the paint underneath before you’re ready to cut. Then drill four holes in the roof with a 4mm drill bit, each about five inches from the corners of the shape you created.

Most kits include a probe for penetrating the cloth headliner; now, you’ll use it to guide the probe through each hole and past the material. This will serve as a guide for cutting the headlining with scissors or a knife in the next stage.

Keep in mind that tearing the headliner will necessitate a complete replacement. Once the material is clear, remove any insulation you find to expose the roof metal where the sunroof will be installed. Expand the four holes in your roof using your drill or rat-tail file so that a sheet metal nibbler tool may fit in each one. If you deviate from the traced blueprint, you’ll end up with a leaky roof.

The nibbler tool will then be used to cut along the traced line. Simply insert the tool into one of the holes and make a clean, straight cut down each side. You can tidy up the edges as needed after putting on some heavy-duty gloves and removing the metal.

3. Sunroof Installation To Add A Sunroof To A Car

Remove the masking tape and use a file to smooth out any residual sharp edges of the hole now that you’ve completed the sunroof installation. Even though none of this will be visible after the sunroof is in place, you’ll need to apply a primer and clear coat to the freshly exposed metal to prevent rust. Before using the clear coat, make sure the primer is totally dry.

Remove the weather sealing trim from your purchased kit, open the lid to reveal the adhesive, and insert it into the frame. The frame can then be weather-sealed and inserted into the hole you just made in your roof. To avoid damaging the paint, avoid shifting the frame after it’s in place.

Slide the inner frame into place on the inside of the car and secure it with the hardware provided in your kit. If you have an electronic sunroof, make sure the wire is routed above the headliner and into the A-pillar so it can reach the fuse box behind the driver’s seat.

It’s possible that doing so will necessitate removing and replacing the headliner. If not, add the adhesive strips that came with your sunroof assembly to the trimmed ends of the headliner to keep it from hanging freely. Remove any remaining pieces of fabric, then use the finishing trim that came with your kit to finish it up.

4. Time To Put The Glass To Complete Adding A Sunroof To A Car

It’s finally time to put the glass in place. This would be the easiest phase compared to the rest, especially if you bought the electronic type with the glass already installed. The glass is inserted vertically on the front of the frame’s hinges to ensure that the glass’s lip is outside the seal’s lip. Maintain pressure on the hinges as you lower the glass into position until the latches are connected.

Keep an eye out for any gaps between the frame and the glass, and double-check that the hinges are engaged after the glass is in place. A manual bracket handle should be present, into which the sunroof toggle can be slid. Return the handle to its original position, and your sunroof will be sealed.

How To Keep Your Car’s Sunroof In Good Shape

1. Clean It On A Regular Basis

Cleaning your sunroof regularly is the most effective way to keep it in working order.

Give your sunroof some care every time you clean your automobile by following these steps:

  1. Clean the whole visible surface of the sunroof, using a vacuum if necessary.
  2. Using a soft cloth, vehicle cleaner, and a toothbrush, clean all moving parts, including the gasket surrounding the roof. Make sure the slides and tracks are clean.
  3. Lubricate all moving parts with a small amount of lightweight, heat-resistant grease (such as white lithium).
  4. Consider using a glass cleaner that doesn’t contain ammonia or vinegar. In hot temperatures, these compounds might evaporate and cause discomfort if inhaled.

2. It Should Be Detailed Once A Year

It’s a good idea to clean your sunroof at least once a year. If you reside in a dusty area or drive on dirt roads, you should do this once a month. To begin, clean the sunroof in the usual manner. Next, pump low-pressure air (no more than 10 psi) down the drain tubes to clean the sunroof trough just inside the rubber seal.

To complete the surgery, insert a thin, flexible, non-puncturing wire into a drain tube and twist it clockwise and counterclockwise while gently pushing it farther into the tube. Make sure your drain tubes are the right length; the further ends, which are normally found under the car near the wheels, can be attractive sites for insects to make nests (it helps to understand how to get rid of roaches in car and how to get roaches out of car), clogging the drains and causing leaks.

The sunroof should then be closed, and water poured over the glass. Examine the sunroof seal for any fractures or sharp edges, as well as the region around the seal for any excessive water pooling or mold if it spills into the passenger compartment. Is it still dripping? Consider having your car repaired by a professional.

3. Allow It To Move Freely

If your roof is stuck or moving slowly, look for cracked or stripped gears, as well as a buildup of dirt and debris in the moving parts (if they are visible). Start your car and cycle the roof through the open, closed, and vent positions to find the problem region.

Clean everything and then apply a mild, heat-resistant oil to any visible moving parts if it runs more smoothly after a few cycles. It could be a fault of the electronics that operate most modern sunroofs if it’s still stuck. Bring your vehicle to a reputable sunroof maintenance facility.

How to Add an Aftermarket Sunroof to Your Car: Facts

  1. There are various types of aftermarket sunroofs to choose from, such as pop-up sunroofs, electronic sunroofs, and manual sunroofs, and they differ in price and functionality.
  2. The flat area on the roof of your vehicle determines the maximum size of the sunroof that you can install, and it is important to measure it carefully to ensure a good fit.
  3. Sunroof kits with various options can be found online at different retailers, and it is recommended to choose a complete kit with weatherproofing, templates, and wiring for electronic sunroofs.
  4. Prior to installing the sunroof, the roof of the vehicle must be covered with masking tape or painter’s tape to protect the paint from damage.
  5. A razor blade should be used to trace the rubber template of the sunroof, and four holes should be drilled into the roof with a 4-millimeter drill bit for guidance.
  6. A sheet metal nibbler tool must be used to enlarge one of the four holes to fit the sunroof frame and cut along the traced line.
  7. After cutting, the edges of the hole must be filed down to ensure a clean finish, and to avoid rusting, the newly exposed metal should be covered with primer and a clear coat.
  8. The weather seal should be applied to the frame and dropped into place into the cut hole, and the inner frame should be secured with screws, and the headliner glued into place with adhesive strips.
  9. The finishing trim should be attached, and the glass sunroof connected to the hinges, and the manual or electronic latches should be connected and tested.
  10. Installing an aftermarket sunroof can increase the value of the car and improve the driving experience, but it is a complicated process that requires specialized skills and tools and may void the warranty on the vehicle.

Final Verdict – Can You Add A Sunroof To A Car

Can you add a sunroof to a car? When the car is in production, a factory-installed sunroof is meant to be mounted flush to the roof of the vehicle. An aftermarket installation necessitates a technician cutting a hole in the roof and installing it with a raised edge. Both can leak and harm your car’s interior, but a factory-installed sunroof is definitely the safer option.

If you insist on adding a sunroof later, seek quality aftermarket components, a trained technician, and any warranties that may be offered. A sunroof can be installed in almost any vehicle, new or old. Find a certified technician with training and certification by doing some research.

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