Fitting a sunroof brings extra fresh air and light inside the car, making
driving more of a pleasure as well as considerably increasing the resale value
of your car - provided the job is well done.
Manufacturers are increasingly fitting sunroofs to their cars, either as an
extra or, on more expensive models, as standard. These factory-fitted sunroofs
are built-in with the rest of the car and are often the metal sliding or
fold-up canvas type. (See Bodywork 45 and 46 for more details.)
Sliding and fold-up sunroofs can also be fitted as an aftermarket accessory,
although they are expensive and generally have to be fitted professionally.
Furthermore, the roof structure of some cars prevents these types of sunroofs
from being fitted.
One type of sunroof that you can
yourself, however, is the tilting-glass
type. These are hinged at the front and have a handle at the back which allows
you to tilt the window open. They are relatively cheap, simple to operate and
can be fitted to most makes of car.
This type of sunroof requires no special skills to fit, other than those of
an ordinary DIY mechanic, but you do have to be very careful when you mark and
cut the roof panel. A mistake here could very easily ruin your car.
Points to check
Before buying a sunroof, always check carefully that the particular sunroof
you want to buy will fit your car. There may be problems if, for example, your
car has a roof with a pronounced curve or if the roof is a highly stressed part
of the body structure.
You can buy aftermarket sunroofs from a car accessory shop or direct from
the manufacturers, but the best source is often a specialist sunroof-fitting
centre. As well as fitting sunroofs, these centres often sell sunroof kits to
the public and offer specialist advice.
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You do not always need to replace a component that is worn, damaged or
broken. There is an increasingly wide range of sealants and adhesives in car
accessory shops that allow you to make satisfactory repairs, thus saving the
cost of buying a new component.