Sunroof & Moonroof Repair | Glass.com® (2022)

Some people love sunroofs and some people hate them; there is little middle ground when it comes to the topic of sunroofs and moonroofs. These openings in the roofs of cars, trucks, and SUVs come in many forms and offer a variety of benefits, along with a few disadvantages as well. We'll explore different sunroof options, the benefits of sunroofs, as well as disadvantages of sunroofs, sunroof and moonroof glass replacement and repairs, as well as some aftermarket accessories.

Sunroof vs. Moonroof Replacement

Let's tackle the debate of a sunroof vs. moonroof first. The two terms are often used interchangeably, although the term moonroof has become the more popular version referring to any type of retractable or glass opening in a vehicle's roof. For those purists out there though, there are notable differences. Unfortunately, many explanations out there are as clear as mud, so we intend to clarify this. The easiest way to remember the difference is that a sunroof only lets sunlight in when it's open, while a moonroof will let light in even when it's closed.

A sunroof is traditionally an opaque panel paint matched to the body of the car. A moonroof is transparent- usually tinted tempered or laminated glass. Get it? A moonroof lets in a little light (light the glow of the moon) all the time. And a sunroof lets in all the light, but only if it's open. Again, the terms sunroof and moonroof are interchanged more freely today. Most cars today are equipped with moonroofs, but many still refer to them as sunroofs.

Sunroof & Moonroof Repair | Glass.com® (1)

Types of Sunroofs

From basic older styles to modern luxury options. Sunroof & Moonroof Repair | Glass.com® (2)

Now that we've sorted out the sunroof vs moonroof debate, you may be wondering what your moonroof options are. There are probably more than you would expect! We will start with the basic older styles and work our way up to modern luxury options.

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Folding Sunroof: These manual, cloth sunroofs were a popular add-on for vintage cars before glass sunroofs became an option. They offered a relatively inexpensive way to get the open-air feel of a convertible. But as you might imagine, wind noise and water leaks were abundant.

Pop-up Sunroof: These became a popular manual option in the 1980s on sports cars such as the Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Celica. Many were transparent and let through a small amount of light, but they did not slide and merely acted as a vent. Some versions also acted as pop-out sunroofs which could be removed completely.

T-tops and Targa Tops: Although not what traditionally comes to mind when one thinks of a sunroof, these are indeed considered to be versions of one. T-tops consist of two removable roof panels- one on the driver's side and one on the passenger's side- that leave a support beam running down the middle of the car. A targa top is similar except that it is a single large panel, eliminating the need for a center beam. This offers the ultimate open air feel without stepping up to the realm of a convertible.

Sliding Sunroof: A sliding sunroof is one of the more common options seen on cars today, although many manufacturers are evolving to panoramic sunroofs (see more on this below). Sliding sunroofs generally are electronically operated by a switch inside the vehicle's cabin. They can usually double as a pop-up sunroof, allowing for venting as well as sliding back to let in the sunlight. Depending on the vehicle, the glass panel may slide back into the roof of the car, or it may slide up and back at an angle on top of the roof. These sunroofs often feature a sliding sun shade on the inside as well to eliminate any sunlight when not in use.

Panoramic Sunroof: This has become one of the biggest trends among today's vehicle manufacturers. Originally seen only on luxury vehicles, these extra-large pieces of glass are making their way to more basic models as well. Panoramic sunroofs allow for massive amounts of light, air, and views of the sky- not just for drivers, but back seat passengers too. Some vehicles even have dual sunroofs which allow passengers in the rear of the vehicle to operate their own separate sunroof. Manufacturers are constantly pushing the limits of how much glass can be used for a vehicle's roof. Some vehicles, like the Tesla Model S even come standard with an all-glass roof.

Sunroof Glass Replacement Services

Glass.com's nationwide sunroof replacement affiliate provides the follwing services:

(Video) How to Repair a BMW E39 Sunroof or Moonroof

  • Broken sunroof glass replacement
  • Broken moonroof glass replacement
  • Broken panoramic sunroof glass replacement

Benefits and Drawbacks of Sunroofs

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If you're shopping for a new car, one decision you should make is whether or not the vehicle will have a moonroof. There are numerous benefits, but some drawback as well. If you like the idea of the sun on your face and wind in your hair, of bringing the outside in, and enjoying the weather on nice days, then a sunroof is probably for you. If you don't enjoy the heat of the sun or having the extra light in your eyes, you may want to consider how often you would actually use the sunroof if you had one. Remember, most come with shades that can be closed when the sunroof is not in use so it's not an all-or-nothing option. However, sunroofs typically add on at least a few hundred dollars to the price of a vehicle.

When it comes to maintenance, having a sunroof is basically like having another window in your car. Sunroofs, just like your windows can suffer breakage, failing gaskets (causing air and water leaks), and failing electronics. And because the sunroof is a horizontal surface which can harbor dirt and debris more easily, they require a bit more cleaning to stay in top shape.

Moonroofs can be made of laminated glass or tempered glass. Laminated glass is what your windshield is made of which utilizes two pieces of glass with a polycarbonate plastic-like layer sandwiched between the two, which makes it very strong. Both laminated and tempered glass, are considered safety glass. But when tempered glass breaks, it shatters into very tiny pieces that are less likely to cause lacerations. Because of the safety aspect, tempered glass is utilized more frequently as sunroof glass.

Sunroof Repairs, Replacements, and Upgrades

If your vehicle didn't come with a sunroof and you wish it had, there are aftermarket options for sunroof glass installation. Many kits on the market today replicate a high-quality factory-like fit, complete with electric motors, sunshades, and control switches. A professional auto glass shop should be able to complete an aftermarket sunroof glass replacement or installation, such as an aftermarket panoramic sunroof.

If you already have a sunroof, but it is in need of repair, your local glass shop can help too. They usually have experience in repairing common issues like:

  • Broken sunroof glass
  • Broken sunroof switches
  • A Bad sunroof motors
  • Off-track sunroofs

Where to Get a Sunroof Replaced

Not sure where to get your sunroof fixed, or worried about the sunroof glass replacement cost? If your sunroof is broken, use Glass.com to find a local repair shop near you to get back on the road with a new sunroof replacement today. Can't make it to a glass shop? Most of our local Glass.com Affiliates offer mobile sunroof repair and replacement options as well, meaning they will come to you!

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FAQs

How much is a sunroof glass? ›

The average cost of a sunroof replacement is $500 with average prices ranging from $250 to $750 in the US for 2020, according to axeladvisor. However, some sunroof glass can cost as much as $700 to $1,200 to replace. You actual cost will depend on the type of sunroof you have and other factors.

Can you repair a cracked moonroof? ›

Regardless of whether you noticed the sunroof glass crack at home or glass shattered during a drive, you need to contact an auto company to mend the damage. While tempered glass breaks into pieces that are less likely to damage car occupants, it cannot be fixed; a new sunroof must replace the old broken one.

How do you cover a shattered sunroof? ›

If the entire pane of sunroof glass has caved in, you can start by covering the hole left behind by taping stiff cardboard in its place. If your sunroof is cracked or leaking, you can temporarily fix it by duct-taping a plastic bag under it to limit the amount of water that entered your car.

Does Safelite fix leaky sunroof? ›

Can you repair or replace my sunroof? No, at the time Safelite cannot repair or replace your sunroof glass. We only fix windshields, side windows and rear windows.

Is sunroof glass covered by insurance? ›

All glass on a vehicle is covered through the auto policy's comprehensive coverage. This includes the windshield, side windows and sun roof. It does not include damage to mirrors or headlights, even if those parts are made from glass.

What is the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof? ›

A moonroof is considered a type of sunroof, says CARFAX. But a moonroof usually has a tinted glass panel, much like an extra window, on top of the car. It is designed to let in light without having to let in the elements, according to USNews.com.

How much does it cost to fix a sunroof? ›

The average cost of a sunroof repair is between $400 and $800 depending on what pieces need to be corrected. The national average for a new sunroof ranges from $600 to $1,000.

How much does it cost to replace a sunroof seal? ›

If the leak is simply caused by the clogged drainage tubes, the repairs can be rather inexpensive — typically no more than a few hundred dollars. However, if the seal is broken, it will require removal of the sunroof and replacement of the seal — which usually costs more than $500.

Is sunroof glass tempered? ›

Auto safety groups point to the type of glass used in most sunroofs. It's tempered, which means it's designed to break into small pieces, instead of shards. That glass is different than what is used in windshields, which are laminated. They have a film coating that keeps the glass together when it breaks.

Does insurance cover a shattered sunroof? ›

Most types of damage to the sunroof or to the car from the sunroof will need comprehensive auto coverage. This type of policy protects the vehicle's value from non-accident related damage. This coverage can provide extensive protection to most components of the vehicle.

What would cause a sunroof to shatter? ›

Manufacturers believe that the exploding sunroofs are caused by environmental factors, like changes in the temperature or debris hitting the glass. But drivers who have had their sunroofs explode are maintaining that it was a random occurrence due to a safety defect or poor engineering.

How can I temporarily fix my sunroof? ›

How To: Repair a Leaky Sunroof - YouTube

Can I use Flex seal on my sunroof? ›

You should use a flex seal. It's an aerosol can spray that seals anything to make it completely waterproof, but it is still flexible.

Can a moonroof leak? ›

Although sunroofs are a great feature to have in your car, it can create additional maintenance. Leaks can develop in all types of sunroofs including folding sunroofs, pop-up sunroofs, t-top and targa tops, sliding sunroofs, and panoramic sunroofs.

How long does it take to replace a sunroof? ›

With a standard installation, common with single panel sliding sunroofs, it will generally take about 60-90 minutes. If there is excessive glass clean-up, the installation may take longer. If your sunroof replacement requires a headliner drop and/or urethane, installation times will vary.

Is panoramic sunroof covered under insurance? ›

The panoramic roof MUST be covered by any comprehensive policy. The panoramic roof may not be covered by the so called 'windscreen insurance', which is an add-on / up-sell which allows you to make a claim on a broken windscreen (or any other window) without paying an excess or affecting your premium / no-claim bonus.

How much more is a sunroof? ›

In terms of cost, models that feature sunroofs typically cost about $1,000 more than models without them. If your car does not have a sunroof, you can have them installed, and this costs between $300 and $800. These aftermarket sunroofs are not considered as high-quality, though.

Are sunroofs safe in a crash? ›

That said, government crash-test results have shown that the effect of a sunroof is insignificant to the overall strength of the roof. The structure of a car consists of a strong steel frame wrapped by relatively thin metal panels. That steel frame is what is helping to keep you safe.

What is a sunroof that doesn't open called? ›

A moonroof is a type of sunroof, except that it's a transparent, sliding, tinted glass panel. This panel is not removable.

Is a sunroof worth the extra money? ›

A sunroof will give you quick access to fresh air without hurting your car's performance, making too much noise, or wasting money. If you forget to close your sunroof, you can wake up to a soaked car. Additionally, sunroofs cost extra, so you'll need to pay more upfront.

Why is it called a moonroof instead of a sunroof? ›

A moonroof is a type of sunroof, but its main difference is that it's made of glass and can't be removed from the vehicle. They do slide or tilt open, allowing the light and fresh air in. Moonroofs come with an interior sliding panel that slides open, giving you access to the moonroof itself.

How much does it cost to fix a sunroof? ›

The average cost of a sunroof repair is between $400 and $800 depending on what pieces need to be corrected. The national average for a new sunroof ranges from $600 to $1,000.

How much does a sunroof cost? ›

The Cost of Installing a Sunroof
Average cost (low):Average cost (high):
Moonroof$1200$2500
Pop-up$400$900
Spoiler$700$1100
Factory$1000$2000
1 more row

How much does it cost to replace a sunroof seal? ›

If the leak is simply caused by the clogged drainage tubes, the repairs can be rather inexpensive — typically no more than a few hundred dollars. However, if the seal is broken, it will require removal of the sunroof and replacement of the seal — which usually costs more than $500.

How much is it to get a sunroof installed? ›

If you install a simple (non-electrical) sunroof yourself, the price can be as inexpensive as $300. However, many people would rather a professional do the job. Professional installation of a pop up sunroof would start at around $400.

How long does it take to fix a sunroof? ›

With a standard installation, common with single panel sliding sunroofs, it will generally take about 60-90 minutes. If there is excessive glass clean-up, the installation may take longer. If your sunroof replacement requires a headliner drop and/or urethane, installation times will vary.

How do I fix my sunroof? ›

Sunroofs Everything How to Fix One OR Make it Manual for FREE!!

How do you fix a sunroof that won't open? ›

SunRoof won't Open/ Close Quick Hack! Works on Most Vehicles

Does a sunroof add value to a car? ›

Vehicles not equipped with those features often sell for hundreds — or thousands — of dollars below their normal resale value. Two major comfort options that can improve resale value are a sunroof and an automatic transmission.

Can I get a moonroof installed in my car? ›

Almost any vehicle, new or old, can be fitted for a sunroof. Do your research to find a qualified technician who has training and certification. It may cost a little extra, but it will be worth it to have an expert installer work on your car.

Does a moonroof open? ›

A moonroof is a type of sunroof, but its main difference is that it's made of glass and can't be removed from the vehicle. They do slide or tilt open, allowing the light and fresh air in. Moonroofs come with an interior sliding panel that slides open, giving you access to the moonroof itself.

How do you permanently seal a sunroof? ›

How to STOP your SUNROOF from Leaking! SUPER DUPER EASY

What causes a sunroof to leak? ›

Some of the things that can cause the leakage could be clogged drain tubes, a worn or damaged seal around the glass pane or a cracked sunroof pan assembly. At each corner of the sunroof tray, there are drain tubes that are supposed to take the water out and not let it enter the car.

Is it normal for a sunroof to leak? ›

Sunroofs are particularly susceptible to leakage because most are actually meant to leak by design. In order for the glass to sit flush against the roof, there is usually no exterior gasket to block water from dripping down along the outside edges of the sunroof.

Are aftermarket sunroofs reliable? ›

Aftermarket sunroofs are dangerous for your safety

And any alternation made to it will affect the rigidity and integrity of the car. So when you simply cut a portion of the car's roof to fit the glass panel, you are not only playing with your safety but everyone who will be traveling with you.

How much is a panoramic sunroof? ›

Ultimately, the question of whether a panoramic roof is worth the money is a decision only a prospective buyer can make for themselves. With prices typically under $2,000 for most optional panoramic glass roofs, they're not prohibitively expensive and are in line with the pricing of most modern vehicle options.

Does installing a sunroof void warranty? ›

NEVER use ANY petroleum based products on a sunroof seal, they will cause corrosion of the seal. I'm buying a new car and the dealer says, “adding an aftermarket sunroof will void the warranty” Is that true? It is not legal for any dealer to void a vehicle warranty because an aftermarket product has been installed.

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