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What is the Difference Between a Sunroof and a Moonroof?

If you're confused about the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof, then you're certainly not alone. Many people use the terms interchangeably because moonroofs are a type of sunroof, and most sunroofs that you'll see on cars today are technically moonroofs. At Canada Auto Glass & Sunroofs we provide sunroof and moonroof installations among our Burlington glass replacement services, and we are happy to help our clients learn proper auto glass terminology.

Some people think that the difference between sunroofs and moonroofs comes down to how they are tinted or how they open, but neither is really the case. To understand where these two terms came from, it can help to consider their historical development.

The very first sunroof was simply a panelled hole in a vehicle's roof that could be popped open or entirely removed, letting in light and air. Sunroofs were initially opaque, meaning that they didn't let in any light while the panel was closed. Eventually, car manufacturers started making roof panels out of glass and marketing them as moonroofs. Essentially, a moonroof lets light in while it is closed, functioning like an extra window in the roof of the car.

Today, most sunroofs are made of tinted glass and either pop open a few inches or slide in between the headliner and the roof of the vehicle, making them moonroofs. Opaque sunroofs have largely gone out of style, which is why the term is now used for traditional moonroofs as well.


There are many benefits to driving a car that has a sunroof or a moonroof installed. One is having the option to let in some extra fresh air. Just pop or slide the sunroof open and you can cool off a little without needing to turn on the air conditioning. Moonroofs and opaque sunroofs when they are open also let in some extra light into the vehicle. This can make the ride more enjoyable for backseat passengers.

Many cars come with factory fitted sunroofs, but you can also opt for professional aftermarket sunroof installation. Whether you choose to go with a sunroof or a moonroof is entirely up to you. If you always want your sunroof to act as an extra window and let in sunlight, then a glass moonroof is your best choice. If not, then an opaque sunroof is the better option.


If your vehicle did not come with a sunroof and you'd like to have one, or if your sunroof is broken and in need of repair, then you can trust Canada Auto Glass & Sunroofs for sunroof installation and repair in Burlington. Our dedicated team has been providing sunroof installations for all makes and models of vehicles for nearly two decades. We offer a variety of additional glass replacement services in Burlington as well.

For more information about sunroofs and moonroofs, or to book a service appointment to have one installed, simply contact Canada Auto Glass & Sunroofs today.


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