Sunroof Issues in Winter & How to Fix it?


By  AIS Windshield Experts

Category:  Sunroof Installation

Sunroof Installation

As winter sets in, sunroofs can develop many problems ranging from simply freezing shut to major mechanical failures. Frigid temperatures, and uneven terrain can affect sunroof seals, mechanisms and drainage systems. Knowing how to fix a sunroof or how to seal a sunroof for winter-related difficulties and adopting some preventive measures will help you avoid being caught off guard by its breakdowns exactly when you need your car the most.

Common Winter-Related Sunroof Problems

1. Freezing and Sealing Issues

Water and condensation collected in the sunroof drains and channels can freeze in coldweather. This causes the water to expand, which can physically warp the sunroof panel. The frozen water puts outward pressure on the seals, causing uneven wear or even tears and cracks. A damaged seal leads to air and water leaks.

2. Malfunctioning Mechanisms

Lubricants thickening or contracting in cold temperatures can impede mechanical sunroof components. Sticking cables, jerky motors and seized guide tracks are common winter sunroof ailments. Road salt washing onto critical mechanisms causes rust and corrosion, hampering the smooth operation.

3. Condensation and Leaks

Temperature fluctuations between your warm parked car and freezing outside air significantly lead to condensation buildup if the sunroof seal is compromised. Opening a frozen-shut sunroof can crack the seal frame. Leaks let in moisture that soaks the headliner and electrical parts, resulting in moulds, shorts and electrical gremlins appearing later.

Preventive Measures

Here are some of the top preventive measures on how to fix moonroof:

1. Regular Maintenance and Inspection

The best way to avoid being broadsided by winter sunroof troubles is to ensure that it is in tip-top shape before cold conditions set in. Thoroughly clean all debris and lubricate cable pulleys, rubber seals and guide tracks. Inspect closely for cracks or gaps in seals. Have suspected leaks been investigated right away before they lead to icing trouble? Replace worn-out parts and mechanisms for reliable functioning all winter long.

2. Sealant Application

Applying specialised sealants formulated for sunroofs helps protect seals from winter damage. The ultraviolet-resistant formulas maintain suppleness in cold climates. Use silicone-based sealants on the metal flanges and trim pieces. For rubber sunroof seals, a dedicated rubber conditioner keeps seals resilient despite frequent freeze-thaw cycles during winter driving.

3. Proper Cleaning Techniques

Power wash your car before winter sets in to remove grime buildup from sunroof drains and channels. Avoid poking objects into the drainage holes, as that could damage the sunroof motor or mechanism. Use a hand-held vacuum with a soft brush attachment to dislodge packed debris and leaves inside drains and tracks without causing any scratches.

4. Using a Car Cover

Investing in a fitted, waterproof, and breathable car cover provides excellent sunroof protection from winter precipitation and road salt spray. Remove any  buildup before putting on the cover to avoid excess load pressure on the roof. Drying the car to avoid trapping moisture under the cover leads to condensation troubles.

Solutions to Winter Sunroof Problems

1. Repairing or Replacing Seals

Identify the source of any leaks right away and get the seals replaced. Use duct tape as a temporary solution over small cracks on short drives to your repair shop. For major rips or leaks, it is wise to avoid opening the compromised sunroof until replacement seals are installed. Ensure proper seal frame alignment and have the repair shop check for any related mechanical issues during the fix-up process.

2. Mechanical Adjustments and Repairs

From frayed cables to stripped gears, seemingly minor mechanical issues can quickly snowball into complete sunroof breakdowns in cold conditions. Listen and feel for grinding noises, uneven movements or sluggish operation - the hallmarks of underlying mechanical troubles. Have repairs done before winter gets too cold for lubricants to be effective.

3. Dealing with Condensation and Leaks

Wet headliners and electrical issues stemming from undetected small leaks and condensation can dampen your winter driving experience. If you suspect such leakage, get it investigated promptly during occasional warm spells when opening the mechanism won’t freeze it further. Operate the defroster before opening a cold car to avoid sudden fogging. Improve ventilation and use moisture-absorbing bags to manage condensation buildup during winter months.


Don’t let frozen or broken sunroofs damper your winter journeys. Pay special attention to lubrication, cleaning and sealing inspection before cold weather begins. Identify and fix minor issues promptly before major damage or breakdown occurs. Invest time upfront in thorough winterisation rituals, smart preventive maintenance and prompt repairs as needed.

Being proactive reduces the chances of getting caught in a cold car with a dead sunroof. It avoids costly damage from unchecked condensation leaks or malfunctioning mechanisms exacerbated by harsh winter conditions. If you are looking for premium sunroof installation or repair contact AIS Windshield Experts.

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