Tech Stuff

Tech Stuff

Sunroofs! India-specific Usage and Maintenance Tips


Most people in India seem to find this feature pointless; I for one enjoy having a sunroof. However, a sunroof has its pros and cons. The Team-BHP guide to sunroofs will help you understand whether this feature is for you (or not). The sunroof is a contradiction in itself, some people even call it a moon-roof. Surprisingly, one of the biggest markets for these is in the UK where they have not much sun. Sunnier climes prefer the air conditioning.

Coming to the Indian context, the cars having sunroofs are mainly:

  • High end VW Passats
  • High end Skodas (not on the Laura and Fabia anymore)
  • High end Chevrolets
  • All German cars except for the cheap corporate editions
  • I end Hyundais - i10 and i20
  • Honda have belatedly joined the band wagon, but it still does not make any difference to the overpricing of the Accord and CRV.

What about us Maruti and aam jantha cars who want to fit a sunroof ?
In no uncertain terms: DON'T! A sunroof should be integrated into the structure of the car's roof panel, ideally at the factory level. Also, the seals of an after-market unit will never be that good. Cutting a roof in your car is a hit and miss job  one sneeze leads to many drops. Besides, an open after-market sliding roof is a drag aerodynamically as it slides over the roof. Remember, fitment is not reversible, unless you remove the roof panel and weld a new one on.

I need a hole in my roof like I need a hole in my head!!!
It may seem so, yet the sunroof has its uses:

  • Extinguishing stubborn father-in-law cigarettes at speed when he insists on lighting up despite your expressing displeasure
  • Quick dissipation of flatulent smells
  • Getting excess heat out of the car, open roof for a few minutes and the hot air rises out.
  • Fresh air without buffeting and during small showers (more on this later)
  • It looks cool!!! Yeah, am a bit of a poser!

Where and when is the sunroof most suitable?

  • Early morning and late evening
  • Temperatures between 20-25 deg C
  • Overcast
  • Bangalore after October
  • Driving through the tea gardens

 Where should you not use a sunroof?

  • Next to a bus
  • In Cherrapunji or closer to home - Agumbe
  • Summer
  • Passing road works
  • Rush hour
  • When stationary in traffic

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