A panoramic sunroof in your car looks cool, but is it really safe?
As a guy who owns a car with a panoramic sunroof for over a year, I’m going to tell you everything about panoramic sunroof safety.
I will share with you everything, including safety during a hailstorm and how hard it is to steal a car with a panoramic sunroof.
Table of Contents
Is Panoramic Sunroof Safe?
A panoramic sunroof is as safe as a conventional roof in a car. It doesn’t affect the structural rigidity of a vehicle and doesn’t fall into pieces, so it is safe even during accidents.
How is a Panoramic Sunroof Made?
A panoramic sunroof is made out of 5 layers. In the center of those layers is a layer made out of polycarbonate foil, which is transparent and very tough. Under and over, there are two layers made out of liquid polymer. On the top and down of each sunroof, there are two layers of glass.
To see it better, I’ve prepared a picture of how it looks like.
Two outer layers are made out of normal glass that you know from windows. Most people think that panoramic sunroof is made out of glass only, but it’s not true.
There are also two layers of liquid polymer that prevent panoramic sunroof from crushing and falling into pieces. You know this mechanism from a windshield.
The most important layer of polycarbonate foil in the middle of every sunroof is highly impact-resistant. This layer is extremely hard to break.
The whole construction is made at a high temperature. As a result, the ultimate product is very consistent and tough.
Is it Easier to Steal a Car with a Panoramic Sunroof?
It’s not easier to steal a car with a panoramic sunroof because the sunroof is very hard to break. If someone wanted to break into your car, it would take him at least over a dozen minutes.
Imagine that someone wants to break into your car through a sunroof. This person probably hits a sunroof with a hammer. What happens next?
The car alarm goes off. But the sunroof doesn’t break. It would take the burglar at least 10 additional minutes to break it, which is impossible because you or bystanders already hear the alarm.
If someone wanted to break into your car, he would do it by crashing the front door or the rear door glasses. It is way easier than dealing with a hard panoramic sunroof glass and takes a few seconds literally.
Car thefts don’t look at the roofs of the cars because they don’t have a chance to see a panoramic sunroof in most cases, especially in the SUVs.
Can You be Blinded by the Sun if you have a Panoramic Sunroof?
A panoramic sunroof lets more sun into the interior of a car, but You’re not likely to be blinded because the glass in a sunroof is usually darkened.
It works similar to your sunglasses. However, most sunroofs aren’t darkened as much, and they let in some sun to the interior.
Panoramic sunroofs are made for many reasons. One of them is enjoying the night sky. That’s why the sunroof is only slightly darkened not to harm your sight by the sun so you can be able to admire the moon and the stars.
But even if you are still afraid to be blinded, you can always use a sunroof’s coverage to cover your sunroof completely.
Does Panoramic Sunroof Increase the Temperature?
A panoramic sunroof increases the temperature in your car on warm days by 10-25%, and during cold days it decreases it. To partly prevent it, you should use a sunroof cover.
I think the increased temperature is one of the biggest disadvantages of a car with a panoramic sunroof.
As I said, it can increase the temperature by even up to 25%. The worst part is that the coverage helps only a bit.
If you cover a sunroof, it will still preheat your car. Of course not that much, but the glass in the sunroof has a high heat conductivity. It preheats easily and remains hot for a relatively long time.
To prevent a high temperature, your air conditioning needs to work properly. It will consume more refrigerant, fuel and it won’t be good for your wallet, but…what can you do if you live in a hot place.
When the air conditioning doesn’t work in older cars, the heat might be hazardous, especially for older people. Always make sure to air your car out before you drive.
If you don’t want to have this problem, it is a good idea to park your car in the garage or in the shade where the temperature is lower.
In the winter, a panoramic sunroof lowers the temperature of your car’s interior. That’s not good, but you can’t do anything except switching on the air conditioning.
It will take a minute or two, and we all know that there is nothing worse than a freezing car interior…
Is Panoramic Sunroof Dangerous during Accidents?
A car with a panoramic sunroof has the same structural rigidity as a car with a conventional roof. Because of that, a panoramic sunroof doesn’t cause dangers during a car accident.
Many people are afraid of a panoramic sunroof because they think their cars will be more likely to be more damaged during an accident. They think they will be more vulnerable and can get some serious injuries.
That is not true because, as I stated earlier, the layers that make a panoramic sunroof are extremely tough, and they don’t make your car more dangerous during an accident.
Moreover, many experts claim that a car with a panoramic sunroof has even better structural rigidity than a car with a conventional roof, making it even safer.
There is one thing you need to know.
It applies only to the cars that have a panoramic sunroof factory-made. If someone fits a panoramic sunroof independently, it’s not guaranteed that the car will be safe. That being said, you shouldn’t fit a panoramic sunroof on your own.
Also, some of you might wonder that during an accident, the glass fragments will hurt you. That is also a lie because the panoramic sunroof doesn’t fall into pieces.
I’m sure you have seen a broken windshield. It’s designed not to hurt anyone. In this case, it looks the same.
If you want to buy a car with a panoramic sunroof under $20k, take a look at cars in this article.
Is Panoramic Sunroof Safe during Hailstorm?
A panoramic sunroof is safe even during a hard hailstorm. However, the hailstorm might cause scratches at the surface of a sunroof, so if possible, it is better to keep your car in the garage.
For sure, the hailstorm can’t break your panoramic sunroof, but keep in mind that the glass scratches easily, so it is recommended to keep your car under a roof.
It will also prevent the sunroof from branch scratches if you tend to park under the trees.
When a sunroof have scratches, your car will be worth less, so you should keep it in a good condition.
Does Panoramic Sunroof Leak?
If you have a car with a factory-made panoramic sunroof, it will not leak. A sunroof is always tested and caressingly sealed to be 100% leakproof.
If you have a panoramic sunroof and don’t close it or move it, it’s sealed and locked down. It just can’t leak.
Things are different if you have a custom-made panoramic sunroof. Frequently, someone decides to install a panoramic sunroof to replace a conventional roof, and it comes out that it leaks because of mistakes in the installation process.
That’s another reason why you shouldn’t install a panoramic sunroof on your own.
I think the myth of leaking panoramic sunroof came from sliding roofs. It often happens that sliding roofs leak, but that’s also not because of production fault, but because of custom-made sliding roofs.
Sometimes sliding roofs leak because of the driver who doesn’t fully close them.
Is it Expensive to Replace or Fix a Broken Panoramic Sunroof?
If the panoramic sunroof is broken, it’s best to replace it. A panoramic sunroof replacement cost varies, and you should expect to pay $500-$1500.
A panoramic sunroof is tough, but anything can happen. It can break without reason, a brick can fall on your car, or your neighbor can damage it. Yeah, these cases are not likely to happen, but what if…
If you need to replace your sunroof, it should cost about $500 in smaller cars and even up to $1500 in top-notch cars. The replacement will probably take from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
If you have a small crack in your panoramic sunroof, it is possible to fill it with a resin that will make the crack invisible. The cost should be way smaller because you will probably not pay more than $80.
If you have a windscreen cover, it doesn’t include a panoramic sunroof. However, most regular car insurance companies should cover panoramic sunroof damages.
When can Panoramic Sunroof Increase Your Safety?
We always question the panoramic sunroof’s safety. But I think there is one more thing that makes a panoramic sunroof safer than a conventional roof.
It improves the visibility of the stop lights.
I think most of us had a situation when we drew up too close to the stoplight and we didn’t fully see them.
That’s a real danger because you don’t know when to drive.
With a panoramic sunroof, you have a great view of the stoplights even when you stop your car on the crosswalk.