Why won’t my BMW sunroof open?

This article will explain the “my BMW sunroof won’t open” problem. To explain the problem associated with your BMW sunroof, we will list the four causes causing the sunroof not to open.

The sunroof is also known as the power moonroof. The sunroof on a BMW allows fresh air to enter the car cabin and maintain the freshness and lively feeling. Moreover, with a sunroof installed on your BMW, the illumination inside the car also increases. Thus it enhances the visibility inside the cabin. However, the sunroof mechanism is complex because it involves mechanical and electrical systems. Moreover, a sunroof also requires frequent maintenance. 

Why won’t my BMW sunroof open?

A sunroof on a BMW can get non-functional due to one of the following reasons:-

  • Debris in the run channels of the sunroof
  • Overheating of the sunroof motor
  • The sunroof fuse is blown.
  • The switch of the sunroof has failed.
  • Mechanical Issues

These are the main issues for a faulty sunroof. Below we will explain each cause in detail.

Debris in the run channels of the sunroof

Since the sunroofs are open to the atmosphere, the chances of debris getting stuck in the sunroof tracks are highly likely. The clogging of debris in the sunroof channels is one of the most common reasons behind the operation of the power sunroof. The sunroof channels can be clogged by different things such as dust, leaves, branches and even small twigs. 

When the debris gets stuck in the run channels of the sunroof, the sunroof won’t be able to open beyond a certain point because the mechanism which pulls the sunroof open will be hindered to operate. Thus it becomes highly essential to clean the run channels of the sunroof frequently. For preventive maintenance of the sunroof, you must open the sunroof every week and, with the help of a cloth, clean the run channels of the sunroof. Preventive cleaning will make sure that the sunroof operates perfectly.

Overheating of sunroof motor

When it comes to sunroofs, dust and debris in the run channels can drastically affect the mechanism pulling the sunroof. Because when something solid gets in the channels of the sunroof, the sunroof won’t move. But the electric motor which is attached to the sunroof will continuously pull it until it reaches the completely open position. 

Since the path for the sunroof, movement is hindered, and the motor is continuously applying force to move the sunroof, the motor will start to overheat. Although some motors are provided with overheat protection. The motor is shut off if it starts to overheat. The overheating will completely damage the motor in the motors that don’t have the shut-off feature. Also, overheating the motor will cause a lack of lubrication in the run channels of the sunroof.

The fuse of the sunroof is blown.

As said earlier, the sunroof combines mechanical and electrical systems. Thus an electrical system always has a failsafe feature that prevents fire. Every electrical system on the car has a fuse; thus, if there is a situation where the overload on a short circuit happens in the electric wiring, the fuse quickly blows away and prevents the car from catching fire.

Thus, if the sunroof is not opening in the BMW, one of the reasons might be the blowing away of the fuse. Moreover, if the fuse is blown away and the sunroof is open, it won’t close. SO if the fuse blows away, the sunroof doesn’t operate at all.

Failed Switch

To open the sunroof of a vehicle, a switch is provided just about the inner rearview mirror. The sunroof switch is a two-way switch, meaning a single switch can open and close the sunroof. Thus when a driver or a passenger moves the switch in the backward direction, the sunroof opens, while if the switch is moved in the forward direction, the sunroof closes. 

Now a sunroof switch is an electrical component and can get damaged easily. The switch consists of two metal contacts, and if these metal contacts get worn out, the switch becomes inoperable. Thus, this can be frustrating because if the sunroof gets open and on pressing the switch it doesn’t close, the situation will become tricky, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Mechanical Issue

Since a sunroof combines electrical and mechanical systems, the problem can occur in any system. Sometimes, the sunroof motor works perfectly, but the mechanism that pulls the motor is defective. The defect in the mechanical system can be due to the dirt or junk which has stuck in the sunroof.

Other articles about  BMW you may be interested in

How to open a BMW boot which is not opening?

How to fix a BMW x5 tailgate that opens by itself? 

Why won’t my bmw door open


In this article, we have successfully addressed the “my BMW sunroof won’t open” problem. While explaining the problem associated with your BMW sunroof, we have also explained the different causes which can develop this problem. Moreover, we have also explained why it is extremely important to perform maintenance of the sunroof on your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): my BMW sunroof won’t open

How much does it cost to fix a sunroof which doesn’t open?

The sunroof glass replacement can cost you around $300 to $400. However, if the sunroof’s wiring or track is damaged, it can cost you between $500 to $800. Moreover, motor replacements cost between $200 to $500.

Why does a sunroof close and not open?

A sunroof might close and not open due to different reasons. However, the two major problems behind the sunroof, which doesn’t open or close, are the stuck debris or a lack of power. 

Is there a fuse for the sunroof?

Like every other electrical system, the sunroof is also an electrical system. The fuse in the sunroof protects the system from high voltage spikes. If the fuse is blown, the moonroof will not open or close. 

How much does it cost to seal a sunroof?

The leak in the sunroof is a common problem faced by owners who have a car fitted with a sunroof. The repair can’t be extremely expensive, but if the seal is broken, it will cost around $500 to get a new seal for the sunroof. 


  1. https://gomechanic.in/blog/6-common-sunroof-problems/
  2. https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/power-moonroof-is-not-opening-inspection