Why Is My Tesla Sunroof Causing Issues? Problems and Fixes

Some issues in Tesla sunroofs have remained in the limelight since their introduction. Prominently, Tesla Model S and 3 were the most affected. Though consecutive generations have gotten rid of those issues, previous models still have a high probability of having these. This blog will discuss Tesla’s sunroof issues and their possible solutions.

Your Tesla sunroof may cause issues due to bad seals, blocked drains, broken hinges, or faulty closing mechanisms. This can eventually lead to water leakages, immobility, noises, and excess heat penetration into your car’s cabin.


Most Reported Issues With Tesla Sunroofs

  • Leakage: It is the most noted problem, especially in Model S. During heavy rain, the sunroof might still let some water go into the cabin despite being tightly closed.
  • Getting Stuck: Sometimes, the opening and closing mechanism of the Tesla sunroof can malfunction, making it stay either closed or opened. Your commands will not push the sunroof; you might need to do it physically.
  • Noises: Sunroofs are supposed to be quiet; however, some issues can lead to various noises while the car moves at high speeds. Besides Model S, Model Y is also known for this issue.
  • Heat: Tesla sunroofs do an excellent job of blocking sun heat from raising the cabin temperature. However, they might not do it well during extreme weather conditions.

Tesla Sunroof Issues Explained


Generally, there are two main reasons why the Tesla Model S sunroof leaks: drain blockage and bad seals. Two drain pipes in the front, one in each corner, are responsible for not letting water accumulate near the sunroof sliding zone. The drains terminate just at the rear of the front wheels. When these are clogged, the water might find its way to enter the cabin. However, the main culprits are usually the seals. It is mainly because of a manufacturing error: when the roof is closed or shut, it damages the seal, eventually causing leakages.

Getting Stuck

Tesla sunroofs get stuck because either there is dirt in the sliding mechanism or any critical part of it fails. Dirt or debris can block the path of the sunroof sliders. Sometimes, the dirt can be accumulated so much that the blockage overpowers the motor, rendering it ineffective in moving the sunroof. Likewise, if the critical parts like the motor, the sliding cable, or the shoe that pulls the cable fails, you can expect the sunroof to malfunction. 

Note that the hinges can also break, rendering the sunroof immobile. A Tesla Model S user shared such an ordeal in 2020.


Bad seals can generate wind noises in the sunroof. As in the case of water ingress, air can also make its way into the cabin fairly easily if the seals happen to be broken or worn out. Unfortunately, even if the seals are not harmed by the opening and closing mechanism, they can still deteriorate over time due to sunlight and other climatic factors. However, if your Tesla has a full-glass window on the top, it can generate wind noise anyway due to the empty vortex in the front.


Unfortunately, sunroofs are notorious for making the car hotter as no glass has been invented so far that blocks 100 percent of the sun’s heat. The situation exacerbates when the weather is hotter than usual. Even if not much effect is felt inside the cabin, about an inch or three near the sunroof can be hotter. Another downside includes added pressure on the climate control features, which now require extra work to cool down the car. This can decrease the range.

Read: Why Is My Tesla Media Control Unit (MCU) Causing Issues? Explained

How to Fix My Tesla Sunroof Causing Issues?


Luckily, fixing the leakage issue in your Tesla is not a tough job. If the drains are clogged, insert a long steel wire to push the debris and help them exit from the bottom. Pour the water in each corner afterward to see if the water is going smoothly or if the blockage still exists.

If it is a seal issue, replace them. Open the trunk to access the appliqué from the bottom. Just pull it upwards, and the appliqué should come out easily. You will notice that two seals are running along it. Replace the bad one and reinstall the appliqué. Done! 

Getting Stuck

You can either fix the stuck issue or contact the service center; however, going for the latter is recommended. If dirt is in the sliding mechanism, gently clean it with a cloth without applying too much pressure. Lubricate afterward and open and shut the sunroof multiple times. This should fix the issue. However, if any critical component is malfunctioning, you would need to change it. But doing so on your own entails the risks of further complicating the issue. Therefore, try approaching the professionals in the first place.



Change the seals to get rid of the wind noise. Inspect the seals carefully and replace the impacted ones, as mentioned previously. Try installing the noise reduction kits available online to eliminate the vortex gap in your fully glass-covered Tesla roof.


Tesla cars have heavily tinted sunroofs. However, you can install extra protection to further block the sun’s heat. Various sunroof shields are available online to do the job.

Moreover, try parking your car in the shade whenever you can. It will cool down the glass before you begin your next bout.

Getting Tesla Sunroof Fixed

Approach a Tesla service center to get the job done. If you have tried the above solutions and got no results, you should get the professionals involved. You will likely suffer these problems if you own an older Tesla Model S or 3. Tesla has, fortunately, getting rid of these issues in the coming generations. For the previous ones, if you still have a valid warranty, getting your car to a Tesla service center rather than rectifying the issues yourself is recommended.

Cost of Fixing Tesla Sunroof



Cost (US$)

Opening sunroof drains


Changing the seal

50 per seal 

New hinges

Up to 70 per hinge 

Sunroof shade

Up to 100 


Concluding Remarks: Why Is My Tesla Sunroof Causing Issues?

Tesla sunroof causes issues when its critical parts fail, resulting in rainwater leakages, noises, and immovability. Besides, some heat penetration on extremely hot days is also a point of concern. But these issues are, fortunately, bygone ones for the newer models—Tesla is swift at eliminating its defects!

However, if you own older models, you can stick to the recommendations and solutions presented here to keep the sunroof in good condition and prevent it from causing issues.

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