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Moonroof Problems,not Working What Can I Do?


pete rock
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hi since ive had my es300 which is about 7 months my moonroof hasnt worked when i bought it from the previous owner he told me it was the belt that needs replacing.he has 2 drill bits diagonally wedged on the inside.

now if these bits are removed the moonroof glass will sink in completely and will leave a space you can see from the top outside.does this sound more of an off-track type of problem??either way has anyone else had this sinking problem??im not that good with electrical stuff and really dont want to remove my headliner.where could i bring it to get looked at??and how much would it cost to fix?would it be an expensive fix?

i love my moonroof and really wish it worked.

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There is a manual method of closing the sunroof if an electrical failure were to leave it in the open position. Check your owner's manual to see how its done for your specific year. Usually they give you a crank, or have you use a screw driver, that is inserted into a hole in the headliner and you are able to crank the sunroof fully closed.

During the last inch or so of travel towards closing, the sunroof mechanism on both sides rides up on a cam (more like a ramp) that pushes it up into place. In your case one of several things may have happened. The motor has failed before closing, the mechanisms that push the sunroof up into place are broken, or the drive tracks on both sides have stripped away from the motor drive gear. The only way to correct any of them is to pull the headliner, and maybe even remove the sunroof mechanism from the car.

To remove the headliner and the sunroof from the car is time consuming but not difficult, and unless you're mechanically inclined and a moderately talented DIYer is best left to the professionals. Only then will you find what requires repairing. New parts will be expensive, and maybe an entire used assembly from a rearended wreck would be the cheapest way to go. Be aware that the headliner was originally put into the car through the front or rear windshield before the glass went in. To get it out now will most likely mean kinking it in one or more places that will show up when reinstalled back into the car.

I've done several of these in the last couple of years, and while they are not hard to do, the job can chew up 4 or 5 hours. Keeping your hands clean and off of the headliner is an absolute must, as cleaning it afterwards always leaves marks that show up. Good Luck!

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Based on the fact that the roof sinks in, I would say that it is off track at the least. It may also need a new belt or motor. Most metro areas have a shop that specializes in sunroof installation and repair. I would ask around to see who specializes in that and take your car to them for an estimate. They should be able to give you a worst case estimate.

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