Sunroofs come in several different types, but all of them can let water into your vehicle if they wear out or get damaged. Fortunately, some easy, inexpensive sunroof maintenance techniques can keep your sunroof in good shape. If you already have a car with a sunroof, these tips can help you keep it in good shape. If you’re still shopping for a car with a sunroof, knowing the maintenance involved can help you understand if the sunroof is a worthwhile feature for you.
Why is sunroof maintenance important?
Responsible owners know the importance of regular oil changes for your car (about every 3,000 to 5,000 miles). They rotate the tires regularly and occasionally replace the cabin filter. They do this because they understand that preventative car maintenance will ensure the car lasts. So why would your sunroof not deserve the same respect? It does.
It may seem like another window, but sunroofs are complex mechanisms. Any time you have moving parts with motors and gears, there’s always the potential for something could go wrong with it. Sunroof maintenance isn’t always at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to car care, but if you’ve got one, you’d be smart to keep it in good shape.
How to maintain your sunroof’s gasket
Most sunroofs are equipped with rubber gaskets that run along the perimeter of the panel to keep it sealed tight. Over time, exposure to the sun and the elements can cause the gaskets to crack or break, which may be the reason for your leak. Fortunately, most gaskets are inexpensive and not that difficult to replace, making sunroof gasket maintenance relatively easy.
Your sunroof may have leaked because of faulty alignment. Water can easily penetrate the cracks if the panel isn’t level with the car’s roof. This type of sunroof maintenance can be trickier since not every make and model are identical. Still, if your alignment is off, it may require loosening the panel and readjusting it to its proper location. Learn how car insurance covers water damage.
How to unclog a sunroof drain
Sunroofs come with built-in roof drains to ensure rainwater runs off smoothly. The only problem is that it’s common for sunroof drains to get clogged. Leaves, pine needles, and other debris can get stuck inside the drains, so sunroof owners should know how to clean out sunroof drain tubes. Fortunately, it isn’t that difficult. You can stick a wire inside to clear them out or use a can of compressed air to remove any excess gunk that may have built up over time.
Other considerations for maintaining your car’s sunroof
You’ve heard the expression “works like a well-oiled machine,” haven’t you? Well, guess what? That’s because well-oiled machines work better than poorly oiled ones — and your sunroof is a big machine. It’s full of rails, gears, motors, and moving parts that can dry out and stress the mechanisms. Greasing those components should be a regular part of your sunroof maintenance.
In most cases, these parts are easy to clean. Wipe them down with a soft cloth and re-lubricate them with lithium grease spray. It doesn’t take long, and it certainly won’t drain your bank account, but a little routine lubrication could improve the long-term health of your sunroof.
A functioning sunroof can add a lot of pleasure to your journey. On the other hand, a leaking sunroof or broken sunroof can make driving a nightmare. To ensure that your sunroof lasts as long as you have your car, consider adding sunroof maintenance to the list of twice-yearly car maintenance tasks.