How to care for your power windows and sunroof

These parts need attention, too
by Manskee Nascimento | Feb 25, 2018


Gone are the times of manually rolling windows up or down, as power windows are now considered standard equipment. In addition, sunroofs are now commonplace in high-end variants of plenty of models.

They're nice features to have, but here's the thing: These parts undergo maintenance, too. Grooves, moldings, and drip seals need attention. Sticking power windows can put serious strain on your regulator motor assembly, and may even cause it to conk out and require expensive replacement or repair.

When the moldings of your sunroof lose its watertight seal due to deterioration, you have to replace the seal. Preferably, you can find an OEM one, but these don't come cheap. Just to give you an idea, my Mazda 3's sunroof molding would cost around P5,000 to replace.

As you let that sink in, we'll explain some simple methods to keep these parts preserved and running smoothly for many years to come.

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Power windows

We drive in a climate where the combination of heat, dirt, and rain can affect the smooth glide of your window edges running along their grooves. When neglected, these can eventually stick--not good, especially if your window/s won't close during a downpour.

To prevent or fix this, you need a can of silicone lubricant or white lithium grease (best for severely stuck windows), preferably with a straw nozzle extension. There are quite a few brands to choose from at popular hardware outlets.

The goal is to allow a generous amount of either product to cover your power window's entire stretch of railing grooves without making a mess on your door sidings.

 


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Here's how:

1) Roll the windows all the way down to expose the grooves.

2. Clean the grooves by first spraying a bit of detailer in them and swabbing dirt out with a few cotton buds. Excess detailer should be able to drain through tiny holes at the bottom of your door. Dry using compressed air, or simply wait for it to do so naturally.

3) After attaching the straw extension to the nozzle of your silicone lube or white lithium grease can, spray the grooves generously from the top corners all the way down to the bottom ends. Wipe off excess with a clean microfiber towel. To avoid wastage, you can apply the excess silicone lube onto your door and window moldings to revitalize and protect them.

4) Run your windows up and down several times to ensure the product spreads and loosens the windows completely. It's inevitable to get lube on your glass bits. Use glass cleaner to clear them.

5) In the event your windows remain stuck following the above steps, it may be time to take your car in for service and repairs.

 


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Sunroofs

The most important aspect of a sunroof is its seal molding. This prevents water from finding its way into your cabin. Given it's located on the most sun-burnt part of your vehicle, the roof, the molding is constantly bombarded with damaging heat, and dirt often finds its way to where the roof and molding meet.

 


Over time, your seal may deteriorate or stick. To prevent such a scenario, follow these steps:

1) Open your sunroof all the way.

2) Check mechanism railing if it needs cleaning or grease. With a clean terry towel, wipe dirt or debris off, and spray white lithium grease if needed.

3) Spray some detailer on a terry towel and wipe entire contact portion of the sunroof opening and the exposed portion of the sunroof molding. Close the sunroof then tilt it open so you can clean the rest of the molding inaccessible with the sunroof opened.

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4) Reopen sunroof all the way and suck out with a vacuum and soft paintbrush whatever dirt that may remain in the catch areas surrounding the sunroof opening.

5) You can now spray silicone lubricant on a terry towel or directly on the sunroof's molding, provided you can avoid a mess getting into your cabin. Spread evenly across the entire stretch of molding. Ensure you have another dry towel to wipe away any excess lubricant on your sunroof glass and roof area.

Do these procedures three to four times a year. Nothing tops the feeling of things running smoothly, especially with your beloved ride's parts.

 

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PHOTO: Manskee Nascimento
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