What To Do If I Left Sunroof Open In Rain? Tips To Handle

You often open the sunroof to ventilate the space in the cabinet. Unfortunately, it suddenly rains while you forgot to shut this roof window.

You are witnessing your car interiors become wet, damp, and damaged. So what are the solutions if you left sunroof open in rain accidentally? Try following our guidance!

What Can Happen If I Left Sunroof Open In Rain?

Left Sunroof Open In Rain

Mild problems are related to odors, mold, deteriorated interiors, or rusting bits of metal components. Worse, your vehicle can withstand dangerous electrical faults.

In one way or another, vehicle equipment will inevitably malfunction once continuously exposed to water, especially rain water containing acid concentration.

Here are 5 typical risks in this case!

External Damage

External Damage

Rainwater pouring into the car continuously through the open sunroof can create a “flood” within the cabinet. Parts closest to the floor, such as the accelerator, brake, and clutch, will not avoid damage.



Hydrolock is always the biggest worry of most drivers. This damage is the most serious and takes a lot of time and money to fix.

In particular, the car engine stops due to water entering the cylinder’s combustion chamber, causing blocked piston movement. Fuel cannot burn in the combustion chamber, leading to an engine stall.

If the driver doesn’t notice and tries to restart the engine, the pistons pushed up for air compression meet the force of water, leading to connecting rod deformity.

Worse, the cylinder wall can be scratched, or the connecting rod becomes broken, leading to a punctured cylinder wall and an interrupted engine.

You can notice a sudden drop in the coolant level with a damaged cylinder.

However, this risk often appears more in case the vehicle moves a lot into deeply flooded areas. Rain through the sunroof rarely causes this terrible case.

Electrical Fault

Undoubtedly, electricity, the blood flowing through most engines, is the most vulnerable when cars are soaked by water entry.

A small problem with the electrical system can cause the headlights, turn signals, interior lights, dashboards, air conditioning system, speaker and radio systems, navigation system, etc., to become lagging, even completely demolished.

Even when the vehicle is out of the water, the electrical wiring and plugs installed around the body and center console area can still be soaked, which can lead to electric shock or hazardous fire.

Sometimes, the car electrical system will shut off while driving.

To avoid life-threatening electrical shock, you had better not touch or come into contact with electrical parts unless they are completely dry.


There are several bits of metal in car design. The acid in rainwater is corrosive, which can easily cause rust for these components.

You should pay attention to things like the screws, bolt holes, bolt heads of the car, the thread starter, or any part linking the structural components of the car.

Rust can somehow reduce the interior’s lifespan, durability, bearing capacity, hygiene, and aesthetics.

Quality Decrease In Interiors

Quality Decrease In Interiors

In case of the car interior wet from rain, other car accessories are also seriously affected, alongside the engine and electrical system.

Can leather seats get wet?

Yes,  similar to the actual metal components, which are rusty over time, the cloth seats (leather seats), cushions, etc., do not damage right away but slowly degrade a couple months later. (odor, leather stretch, and mold).

What To Do If I Left My Sunroof Open And It Rained?

I left my sunroof open in the rain. What should I do? Don’t let your mind mess up.

Confused and hasty actions will adversely cause more serious damage to the vehicle. Please do these repair manuals step by step, which can take a couple of days to complete.

Act Fast

Certainly, the first step is to take a quick look and determine the damage extent to the passenger cabinet. Prevent another water entry by closing the sunroof as soon as possible.

If the rain stops, the rain droplets still cling to the hood and drip down the car. Before closing the ceiling window, wipe away any remaining water with a cloth.

Clean Water In The Cabin

How to dry out car after leaving sunroof open

Use a towel to blot and dry the wet parts within your reach, such as the steering wheel, gearshift lever, check engine surface, windshield wipers, etc.

One part that is often forgotten when drivers clean the passenger cabin is the floor mat.

Don’t forget to take the floor mat out to dry it out. Then, check and clean water in every corner of the car floor to prevent mildew.

If the amount of water entry was too much, we recommend you quickly open all the doors to let the water drain out.

With cloth seats, after blotting with a towel, you can use a fan or a large dryer to treat the absorbent marks.

Take Care of The Damage

After the general cleaning process, it’s time for you to take care of the damage. Electrical faults or advanced motor faults should be decommissioned by specialized repairmen.

Your task is to take care of basic accessories like seats to avoid mold development.

Avoid Turning Your Car On

 Water is already in the engine after the rain; therefore, restarting the car can let water get inside more deeply. This unintentional operation can easily damage the engine and make recovery more difficult.

For the speed transmission, the driver should shift the gear lever to position N – stop the car motion.

Then take out the car key, open the bonnet and remove the battery’s pile to avoid life-threatening electric leakage.

Taking this action, you are recommended to wear specialized gloves and footwear to avoid an electric shock.

Finally, you had better have a service transport your car straight to the repair garage so that complicated errors can be detected soon.

You can prevent this case from repeating by installing a smart sensor device into the windshield wiper. When it starts raining, it can detect and automatically close the sunroof.


Does Rain Get In The Sunroof?

Yes, it does.

Not only a rain gutter, but the sunroof also has 4 water pipes in the four corners of the trough.

When the trough has deposits without being cleaned, it will easily clog the drain pipes, enabling water to drip or overflow into the ceiling and interior compartment.

Besides, cars equipped with sunroofs all have bolt holes to drain rainwater.

If the driver does not maintain them properly at regular intervals, these small bolt holes can be stuck, causing dirt and blockage. Without an exit way, water starts to creep and flow into the car.

Is The Sunroof Easy To Break?

The sunroof may crack or break due to some external agents. However, do not worry too much because it is not a common case.

The part is strong with hard glass equivalent to the driver’s window. So, the basic sunroof can still withstand impact with medium force.

There are some cases of sunroofs cracking due to weather, though. The weather is too hot, and the adhesive inside the glass layers melts or expands suddenly, leading to cracking or breaking.

How Do You Tell If Your Sunroof Drain Is Clogged?

The drainage capacity of a clogged sunroof becomes useless, allowing water to overflow into the vehicle. You can check it by seeing the symptoms, specifically, soaked floor or soaked ceiling.

You can also test it yourself without waiting for signs. Try pouring some water over a closed sunroof and watch. You can confirm if there are water stains on the floor.

Blocked sunroof drains happen more often in autumn and winter due to the leaves falling and snow. That’s why you need to check regularly to prevent water entry.


That a car driver left sunroof open in rain is a common case. You often prefer opening the sunroof for space ventilation and then forgetting about sudden situations like rain.

In particular, if the sunroof is open on nights of continuous rain, the risk of vehicle damage, such as hydrolock, is higher.

Cars getting wet is a difficult case which costs much time and money. After the basic drying steps, you should seek the help of professional repair services and refer to the auto insurance policy.

There may be some offsetting for this damage within the policy term.

That way, you can restore your care properly and economically.

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