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Sunroof VS Moonroof: Differences, Benefits, and Downfalls

on March 30, 2021

Sunroof VS Moonroof: Differences, Benefits, and Downfalls

on March 30, 2021

Sunroofs and Moonroofs have been around for years, attached to automobiles that are constantly updating. However, many people don’t know what the difference between these two features is. 

Let’s review the difference between a sunroof and moonroof, compare car features, and go over some of the improvements and failures for each of them. 

Moonroof VS Sunroof

A sunroof is normally a tinted glass panel of car roofing that is slightly opaque. This is so that the ceiling of an auto can camouflage with the exterior of the car without being noticed. The slat can also be opened by tilting it or removing it altogether.

A sunroof most times comes with a metal slat that will retract in and out of the ceiling or a section just above it. This panel is normally mechanical and is opened with a button or switch. This allows you to choose between natural light, and shade when driving. 

Many may ask, what is a moonroof on a car, and why is it different than a sunroof? The answer might surprise you. There is a distinct difference, but most vehicle sellers don’t want you to know it.

A moonroof is a type of sunroof that cannot be removed from the vehicle. This panel is not tinted and is made of glass that can only be tilted or slid slightly open. A moonroof also comes with a manual sliding sunshade that is colored to match the interior of the car.

Both of these options technically come in an option called “panoramic roofs”, which means that most of the dome of your vehicle is a sunroof or moonroof. This gives a wider range of vision above you for your passengers. 

Some of the sunroofs have a wind deflector as well, which helps to level out massive gusts of wind.

So either way, when someone asks for you to “open the roof” you can do as they ask. Your choice is whether or not you want it to open all the way, or just enough for a calming breeze to roll in. 

The Benefits of a Sunroof

One of the primary advantages of having a sunroof in your car is the option of having natural light in your automobile. The tint, as well as a built-in sunblind, helps to protect you from the sun and its harmful rays. 

While a sunroof is not completely comparable to the rush and excitement of a convertible, it does give some reminiscent vibes. Having the wind whipping through your hair, even if it is only a little bit, while your driving can make you feel like your taking a joyride. 

Want to roll down the windows and feel the air, but hate the noises that come as a result? Many research studies show that a sunroof results in less noise than rolling down the windows of a vehicle.

A sunroof can also increase the value of your car. Upon trade-in, new vehicle features like this increase the amount of money that the recipients could deem that your auto is worth. Even with depreciation, a sunroof could make up for a decent amount of value loss.

Leaving your car parked in the sun for even a small amount of time can have you coming back to a heatwave in your vehicle. A sunroof makes it easier to cool off your car. Heat rises, so when the sunroof is opened fully, it allows for a quicker cool down than air conditioning using the fresh air from outside.

All in all, a sunroof gives a sleek and modern feel to any vehicle that has it. It is one of those features that make the vehicle look bigger and more sophisticated on both the inside and out. 

The Downfall of a Sunroof

Of course, a sunroof comes with some undoings. One of the downfalls is the constant temptation to stick extremities out of the sunroof. While this looks fun in the movies, it is not safe. In fact, it is Illegal!

When a body part is placed outside of a fast-moving car, a world of things can happen. This can cause anything from cuts and scrapes to concussions and loss of limbs. 

Anything can be coming at the automobile when traveling fast, so it is best to stay seated, buckle-up, and keep your body parts in the vehicle at all times. 

A sunroof is relatively heavy (45-65 lbs). The heavier the body of the car, including all of its added features, the more gas that the auto will use when driving. This means that you will be exchanging a better fuel efficiency for a sunroof. 

While a sunroof will be good to remove heat, you must also understand that a sunroof leaves you and your car’s interior susceptible to the outside temperatures. If it is cold outside, your car is more likely to be cold when you turn the automobile on. 

With any kind of sunroof, you run the risk of leaking. A leaky sunroof can cause hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damages if it is not caught relatively quickly. Fixing a leaky sunroof will be an added $300-$1,000, on top of those damages. 

The Benefits of a Moonroof

While a moonroof cannot be removed, it does allow for a nice, subtle breeze to flow in and out of your vehicle. This creates a cross breeze that doesn’t mess up hair or scatter papers. It is just enough of a breeze to assist with the windows half down, or the AC on.

Does a moonroof open? The answer is yes, but not all the way. It is known to tilt or slide open halfway at the most. This is a large difference that could make or break the decision to get a moonroof.

Air circulation is a large advancement of this vehicle feature. Cracking your moonroof allows for a better way to circulate the hot or cold air in your car. For those who live in extreme climates, you will understand how important moving around the temperature air is. 

A moonroof does expand the look of the interior of your vehicle, but not as much as a basic sunroof. This is due to the moonroof not being able to open entirely. 

The Downfalls of a Moonroof

A moonroof doesn’t have a tint to it, which means that it does expose you to sunrays that could be harmful. If you want to opt for a moonroof, it would be a good idea to put sunscreen on before a nice long drive.

Your car may get hotter when left in the sun when compared to a normal sunroof because it doesn’t have the tint and the sun protectant barrier. This means that you should probably be sure to park in the shade to prevent extreme heat.

Installation and Repairs

Installation should generally be done by professionals. Doing this procedure on your own, or through an unknown contractor, could result in a botched sunroof and moonroof installation. The after-effects vary but are known to be leaking at the least. 

There are some kits that are being sold that can help you to get a sunroof in your vehicle, but it is in your best interest to purchase them and immediately go to a mechanic or professional auto glass shop to get it installed. 

The normal range of price features a sunroof installation cost can be anywhere from $300-$800. While this doesn’t seem like a hefty cost, this does not generally include the mechanics price for their work. This could end the value up in the thousands.

Sunroof repairs and moonroof repairs are mostly for leaks, but there could be situations such as an off-track sunroof, or a sunroof with broken glass, that also warrant some fixing. Be aware of what a sunroof and moonroof are supposed to do, and go to your mechanic immediately if it isn’t working.

What is Best for You?

While each option has a promotion and an undoing, it is best to really weigh your options. Are you looking for a car feature that can open completely, or are you more interested in something that tilts or opens just enough for a cross-breeze?

No matter your decision, understand that this choice can cause some pretty hefty consequences if it is not done correctly. Damages to the interior of your car due to a leaky sunroof can be one of the most expensive things to pay for.

With a DriveSmart Auto Warranty, we can help you pay for the leaky sunroof, and make sure that the money that you would pay stays in your wallet for more important things. 

DriveSmart is able to get a better estimate for many different repairs, and you don’t have to pay your mechanic a single cent. Let DriveSmart take care of paying the mechanic, while you go about your day as if nothing happened.

Blog by Brooke Lazar

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