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BMW and Mercedes & Mini Remote starts | Getting what you want

BMW X5 remote startRemote Starts | Imagine being able to connect to, communicate with, and control your family's vehicles each day to improve their performance and protect your safety.

For all the owners of BMW, Mercedes, and Mini who have wanted the added convenience of a remote start? Your time has come.

Mercedes remote startIt seems kind of odd that a car with so many technology wonders you can’t have remote start like everyone else. Well, some of the built in technology is going to help you. We are talking about telematics, the latest generation of computing that allows many wired and wireless functions that improve your driving experience. This is a good thing.

remote start MiniThe simple version is the cars ability to communicate with many systems within the vehicle. In this case, the factory key fob can be initialized to remote start your vehicle.

  • So what are the advantages of all this?

For one the majority of the system involves the factory wiring and system. This also means using your factory key fob to start your vehicle.

  • What are the up and downs of using the factory key Fob remote start from DickandRicks?

First, you get the reliability of an OEM installation.

Second, you get all the performance of OEM, and the product we use to integrate into your Mercedes, BMW, and Mini will not have any affect with your cars warranty.

Third, by all appearances, our remote systems look / act like a factory remote start system.

What is the down side?

For many people it is range of operation, you are stuck with what the factory provides you in this area, usually only a couple hundred feet. Again, what matters is your preferences on performance.

If you choose to have extended range, it will require you have a another remote on your keychain which is an aftermarket fob. This gives you these additional amenities. This remote fob will also give you the functions the functions of the door locks also at an extended range.The fourth is notification that the car is running without locking it.

  • Do we offer a product / installation warranty? We offer a limited lifetime warranty on the product(s) we sell, and warranty of our craftsmanship throughout the time that you own your vehicle.

For those who want to ramp it up one more notch, this system also has an add-on to access these features via cell phone app. This is an additional cost thus giving you the freedom of starting your car from anywhere your vehicle and cell phone has a signal.

Mercedes Remote Start

BMW remote start

Mini Remote Start

In addition, there also many other options that could be added like geo fencing, where you can set an invisible area that warns you when the car leaves it. On the dashboard, the system can also tell you about maintenance items and recalls.

Remote car starters for BMW, Mercedes, and Minis are now OEM capable, adding value to your driving experience. 

 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

When I get spills in my car | Acid Spill repair help

acid spill helpAcid Spills | How many times have you been to the store and bought products like drain cleaner, deck or wood cleaner?

Only to find out one of the bottles has been leaking on the ride home. Or another scenario, you’ve had to buy a replacement battery and have put the old or the new one in your car or SUV and got to your destination and discovered it has tipped over and has begun to leak on to your interior.

These are only a few examples that can happen and a small handful of chemicals can not only damage your interior, metal and wiring, but your health too. When something like this happens chemicals are still active and also in the air.

To put into perspective, when you get inside your car and shut your doors, roll up your windows, you just crawled into a beaker or bottle with chemicals and just put the cork in the top. And just like your car, those chemicals have no where to go and you and your family inside that sealed car with those chemicals.

Acid Spills, what do you do now?

Now thats just the first part, the other half is what is it doing to your car? So if it is hard on your body, what do you think Sulfuric Acid (Battery Acid) is doing, (by the way this is also used in drain cleaner).

So what do you think is in deck cleaner? Sodium Hypochlorite, (Bleach) or Sodium Hydroxide (Lye). Not to mention if you mix Ammonia with Bleach you get a poisonous gas.

acid spillsLet’s focus here on the damaging properties of Sulfuric Acid. This product eats carpet, clothes( which the damage usually will show up after washing) and metal. Yup, left long enough it can eat through your floor, guess what else is on your floor. Your wiring! Although your wires are encased in plastic, that doesn’t account for the connectors, splices and small nicks in the outer coating.

What about Bleach or Lye?

It may not ruin metal in the short term, but over a the long it can also eat through metal. As for liquid laundry detergent, if it is in concentrated form, it can also turn your floor carpet to goo, it’s not meant to be used that way.

Now, just think of what it can do to your car, what do you think it can do to your body?

My guess is the same as the car but far worse.

  • So what can be done when a spill happens?

First be careful what you treat it with, you might have an adverse reaction of 2 or more chemicals.

Second, try to clean up what you can safely, with the thought in mind that the towels or rags you use will no longer be any good. Everything that comes in contact with spilled chemicals will have an adverse effect.

Third, don’t count on ‘good enough’ to carry you through after a spill.

All these chemicals are great when used properly, the problem with acid spills is that they are in highly concentrated form and that is where many hidden problems begin. What you can’t see underneath is more damaging to wiring, electrical connections and components from chemicals than just the carpet and insulation.

  • Our history with acid spills and repairing to OEM performance

We have seen many cars that appear to have been cleaned up by homeowners only later they find out electrical problems have led to them to our shop because the problem has caused much more damage.

After we get the damaged cars, give them a proper diagnosis, disassemble, cleaning, reassemble, and returned them to OEM performance, we have found that the chemicals have done more damage due to time and improper initial cleanup.

acid spills helpBecause of our extensive experience from diagnosing, to a OEM performance repair, reality is that until you get underneath and look at all that is affected, you won’t know what the longer term negative effects will be.

  • Final thought on acid spills:

Make sure to consult a professional on what to do next, remember, time is not on your side in this particular instance.

Help with Acid Spills

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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BMW Z4 Convertible Top | What to know before you seek repairs

BMW Z4 top replacementBMW Convertibles are known for precision fit and performance, and that can make things complicated when it comes to convertible top repairs.

Precision fit leads to a smaller margin for error not only on the product but in the installation as well. Sometimes the size of the top creates a situation where the smaller tops have less room for error then there would be with a larger convertible top installation.

The BMW Z4 is no exception, this why it is ever so important to get a quality top, and installation from people that fully understand how to get a proper fit.

Now, the top doesn’t have to come from BMW to fit properly. There are quality aftermarket convertible tops that offer fantastic performance and lasting value.

The point being, if you get a top from a manufacture that doesn’t do their diligence in the manufacture process to work well with the structure that holds it up, that top will look out of place / stand out as a improper fitting replacement.

  • Ever see a wrinkled, ill-fitting top on a BMW? If you don’t get it right, the opportunity for it to pour rain into the back is not something you want to have happen.

There is a reason that BMW top repair is expensive, they are not Honda’s, BMW’s require parts that are specifically designed with exact tolerances. Get cheap replacement parts, and the performance / longevity suffers.

  • If you want mediocre installation where lowest price is your target, then we are not the shop for you. We are proud of the work we do on our customers cars, and it shows.

BMW Z4 Convertible top replacement | These cars also have many of the same features or products that you see in all soft top convertibles. Items like cables that hold the top down tight above the side windows and parts called straps, or pads that hold the roof bows in place.

If these items are worn, broken or torn it is critical they are replaced. Remember, this is a BMW, they may over build, but they don’t put in parts that aren’t necessary. So just installing a top, meaning the outer covering is only part of the job. If the components are not fully matched, this may result in the top not working correctly to having to take it all off and start over.

BMW Z4


This can especially true with the parts that are between the headliner and the top. Many if not all need to be addressed first before the outer or the inner parts, meaning the top or headliner are installed. The most common mistake is often that when you purchase a top that everything will come in the box, it will not.

Z4 convertible top replacement

One quick example, say your top was vandalized and the top was cut. If the headliner was cut, chances are everything in between also might been in the way of that knife. Another thing to consider is do you have the correct tools and mechanical ability to take this task on. The use of a proper staple gun is needed (and I am not talking about roofing gun or a hand stapler).

  • Remember that these fasteners are going to get wet and if you use of the wrong kind of fastener, it will result in the top coming off prematurely.

BMW convertible top repairThe main idea is if you decide to take on a project like this yourself make sure you fully understand what you are getting into and have a well thought out plan. We have worked extensively to fully understand BMW convertible tops (the good, the things to look out for, tough areas, and how well it all comes together for professional fit and performance) Otherwise, you are better off not starting and taking it apart, half finished, and lead to more headache than you had budgeted.

BMW Z4 top replacement

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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Safety first for Repairs | Lane monitor and adaptive cruise Systems

safety systems repair autoSafety Systems Repair | Carmakers are always trying to improve your driving experience, some of those efforts are in the form of comfort.

Like Bluetooth and heads up displays, and then there are others that provide safety, and there are those that improve the actual driving experience.

Such items as lane change monitors, or adaptive cruise control. Designed to keep you safe and relieve some of the stress of driving by keeping track of the area around your vehicle.

A pretty great technology when it is working properly, and for many, it will be easy to become dependent on it.

  • So who should be aware of this technology that has been incorporated in to your vehicle?  (Especially when repairs are necessary)

The easy and quick answer is the owner / driver.  Having a clear understanding of how it works and be able to use it effectively is subjective, so how about the people that work on the car? Sure, they can look things up, and ask other mechanics. Do you want to rely on second hand analysis to provide safety when you need it most?  

This is a topic that over the past few years, repair shops are running thin on knowledge / experience with improved technology. Most shops would rather plug in, read a code, replace the part, bill a pre-determined amount, go on to the next vehicle.

Is there a one size process / methodology for making sure everything is working properly? No.

Here is the real answer to today's high technology safety systems repair: 

Anyone who works on your car will end up working on a sensor, camera or a related system and be totally unaware the effect they will have on this safety feature. That can lead to devastating results, what I mean is a failure of any of these OEM safety systems can result in a bad outcome in the event of an impending crash.

  • Systems only work as well as they are implemented to do so. Tampering with them without the proper knowledge and training (to make sure they are operating at OEM specifications) leads to poor safety performance.

Every body shop, mechanic, interior (upholstery), and safety systems repair shop should have extensive knowledge, training, and experience in getting your car back to you with OEM safety performance. This is not always the case these days.

Here is a short list of technology parts (that all work together) that are influenced by a sudden stop in front of you or impending danger from the side:

  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System)
  • EPS (Electronic Power Steering)
  • SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) aka airbags, ECM or PCM (Engine or Power Control Module) plus there's a whole host of sensors that also provide input to these Modules.

Every one of these safety systems parts have specific procedures that need to be followed if any the direct components are replaced, removed or adjusted.

This may also involve the use of a scan tool, targets, reflectors and also need to be placed at the appropriate spot to make accurate adjustments. Let go, avoided or set up incorrectly can lead to diminished performance or system shut down when you might need them the most.

Getting repairs right | Nevertheless, the first step is awareness of how the whole system works, the second might be knowing when you are over your head. This is where education will keep customers and yourself safe.

Advanced Safety Systems Repair

Once owners / drivers have grown accustom to to these driver assist systems, they will assume they are working much like when you flip a switch, a light goes on in your house.

safety systems repairBecause these systems have sensors and cameras from one end of the car to the other, anybody who works on it may affect the drivers experience. There will come a time when under-equipped shops will either do repairs improperly, or not be able to provide customers the expected service, and those cars are returned to service on the road, don’t be one of them.

Cars and Trucks have become dramatically safer for the driver and occupants, but not without the cost to the repairs, and for the consumer to make a educated decision on who they trust their families and safety to.

 

photo by freescale.com

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Understanding Sunroofs and Sunroof Repair | Helpful Tips

Sunroof helpful tipsSunroof Repair Help | Just like every other option or accessory that is installed at the factory.

Sunroofs in today's automobiles have been designed to do much more than past models. In the case of today’s advanced sunroof there are many differences.

Many roofs of the past were very basic, from a manual pop up roof, to a power slider that only went forwards and back. The size of the glass has also changed dramatically, we now have glass panels that cover the whole roof as well as multiple sliding panels.

Now add in features like one-touch where the sunroof will either go all the forward or back just by depressing the button once. Along with that feature is anti-pinch that will reverse if an object is in its way so not to hurt someones neck or hand if it is in the way.

  • For many, this one-touch technology has been around for a while, so what can happen if an event like your battery goes dead or you replace your battery?

Chances are you will need to re-initialize your sunroof, and maybe many other features as well (like the power windows). Today’s automobile has greater reaching safety and comfort, and that comes to you with responsibilities.

  • At this point, you operate your sunroof, it still opens and closes, but it acts erratic.

Is it broken at this point? Not necessarily…

You need to take it one step further and retrain the car. When you perform the initialization process, you are letting the car know where all the way forward and back stop positions are located and if it hasn’t got the correct information or doesn’t know, it will remove these features.

These options in automobiles were built to go into a default mode to protect the passengers from getting hurt.

Sunroof Repair | Is this the only issue you can have with a sunroof?

Far from it, if you break the glass, care is needed to remove the broken shards from the track. This can cause the sunroof to stop or to keep it from closing.

  • In some case it can provide so much resistance on the glass and tracks that the anti-pinch will prematurely kick in and the sunroof glass stays in the open position.

Items like broken or bad drive cables can cause the glass panel or panels to not move correctly, or move out of sync. Usually age and having old or too thick of grease can lead to this problem. The grease will thicken with age and dirt is also a common issue, so it is a good idea if you plan on re-greasing your tracks to clean as much of the old lubricate out first before applying the new. Too much grease is just as bad as too little, be careful here.

Sunroof help

Parking under a tree with the roof open can also have devastating effects on the life of your sunroof. Leaves and twigs do not fair well in the tracks and combined with the grease you got a future mess on your hands.

Being mindful of these things can keep you from being in a awkward position where it is starting to rain and your sunroof will not close.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Convertible Top Technology | The evolution of today’s Convertible

convertible top performanceConvertible Top Performance | Most people who own a convertible want operation and performance to be that of a push of a button (or as few steps as possible) to let the world open to their driving experience.

Through time and increases in ‘the experience’, the convertible top has evolved from mechanical only operations, to full closed loop electronics that help smooth out the (mechanical) experience.

So what is meant by evolution? I see it meaning many different things, some having to do with how the top performs or what is required to understand or work on them when they have problems.

Or it could be the high expectations of the consumer convertible market. Once the consumer sees something that improves their experience, it becomes expected, there is no going back (look at smartphones).

Today’s convertible is much different than years ago, opinions / expectations are important with varying degrees of answers or requirements.

convertible topLet’s start with the most important component, the consumer:

Most people just want to get in the car and retract the top on a beautiful day, enjoy the sunshine and feel the wind blowing along with the sensation of the freedom that is granted with no roof. And in most cases, this is exactly what is going happen, but there are times when it doesn’t all go as planned.

  • Convertible Top Tip | A little insight on the owners part will go a long way to saving money on potentially expensive repairs.

It is recommended that you watch the function of your top each time you use it. I repeat ‘Watch the function of your top each time you use it’, it will help you understand what proper function is, and then when it starts acting up, you can identify ‘where’ it is acting different.

This is a mechanical item and it can malfunction (especially over time). When problems arise and the top stops or binds, don’t force it. Do not make this the norm, it may close with your help once or twice, however, postponing this (because it is convenient, leads to $)

  • Convertible Top tip | Refer to the owner’s manual.

Many convertibles will have a procedure for emergency closing or opening. Before you use it again, have it looked at by a professional, if you don’t you may escalate the problems and cost to fix your top.

This advice fits both old and new cars as they are both mechanical items that work only when you are pushing a switch or that’s how it should work.

This is all simple logic and common sense but it gets more complicated when it is time to repair them. The older ones that just go up and down are a little easier because they have limited wires, cylinders and switches.

Now, add to the process your roof breaking into 3 sections, folding, the trunk opening and multiple panels moving at once and you haven’t got a just a convertible top, you have got an orchestra.

And just like any orchestra if one section is out of sync, you will end up with poor results. Is it impossible to get repaired without the car dealer? No, but that requires knowledge and the correct tools on the shops part. If you understand hydraulics but don’t how to diagnose electric circuits….. don’t start, you might get lucky, but often you make the problem worse.

 

Got questions on top replacement?

 

Since you can’t see electricity flow through wires or tell if a sensor or switch is working by just a visual, you will need to tools to fill the gap. At the very least you will need a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter) and have some knowledge of how to use it and what the test results mean.

Optimally, a scan tool will be your best friend, this will only get you trouble codes or sometimes called DTC’s (Diagnostic Trouble Code), but it will have extend functions to assist you in your diagnosis.

O.K. you have a scan tool that will give you trouble codes, but you still need to know what to do with those codes, meaning what they mean and what steps are needed to solve the problem.

Now that’s the electrical side and then there's the mechanical side, which some cases is caused by electrical part meaning something did work in order and caused parts to get bent or broken. This is the area you always need to question why.

  • How did it happen and will it happen again?

When the weakest link is not known / properly identified & repaired, it will not get better on its own.

describe the imageJust remember every moving or mechanical part or system can malfunction and cause problems, it’s what you do after this happens that will make a difference.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Automotive Technology Trends | Leaning forward for what’s next

auto tech trendsAuto tech trends | There’s a growing divide between knowing and being ready for what’s next. Being Pollyanna about it isn’t going to cut it….read on.

If you're a body shop owner, mechanic, or work at a dedicated brand repair shop, the evolution of today’s systems is growing at a faster pace than any other time in history.

I hope you are looking forward into the future, especially if you plan on working / repairing the many systems in the car that will navigate the vehicle. Let’s face it, the reality is that human input / error is being eliminated by every manufacturer.

If you had planned on your existing scan tool carrying you into the future on it’s own merit, good luck. Today’s scan tools are the interface to a vehicles computer system, it is much like your notebook computer, soon it will ‘take’ a couple of updates and then it will be obsolete.

When you are fixing todays cars you should be planning on how to fix what is coming tomorrow.

Safety systems, looking ahead; for this post, I’ll focus on steering, cameras and radar control systems, all connected together and designed for safety and comfort.

In essence what will the car do when when it is required to save the occupants from impending danger. Because computer closed loop systems can react in milliseconds compared to humans, they will save lives, only if they are working based on OEM programming and specifications.

The only way this will happen correctly after a repair and/or modification to the car as a whole will be if repairs are made, including proper programing and calibration of the automated driving system.

Many of these systems require the repair facility to relearn distances and parameters with targets, reflectors, OEM scan tools and in some cases, an alignment rack.

automotive technologyIf done incorrectly or not at all, this will result in poor or non performing adaptive cruise control, malfunctioning lane monitors and parking aid or emergency braking to have no or little reliability.

It would be like walking across an intersection blindfolded, just like a driver that cannot see the danger coming until its too late.

The 1st step into solving this problem is being educated enough to know when something is wrong (long before it affects the time for getting it back to the customer / or cycle time) or if repairs are being done correctly.

This can go a long way in terms of reputation management. One other quick note just because you work on cars doesn’t mean you are skilled or educated to work on everything on the car.

Some shops get hung up thinking they can do it all, only to figure out that they can repair somethings well and other things mediocre. Yes, your main target market may be good for consistent flow, but it will only take one or two long cycle times on a vehicle owned by someone with strong social media skills to incur damage.

  • Do you want something that involves your safety system repaired mediocre or by guess? …….Not me!

As cars do progress in terms of safety and convenience, the more will be expected of the technician and the shop (with demand growing every year).

This market impact will limit the shops ability to serve their customers.

The fact that there's so many systems tied together and dependent on each other, should alone send a word of caution to anyone that doesn't understand the problem what they can do wrong.

  • Does this exclude everyone except the dealership?

No, but it will demand due diligence on the part of all parties involved, the shop owner, the technician and the vehicle's owner to find a place of repair that they can trust.

As human error is being phased out, the control and performance will be put on safety systems built into the vehicle. That equals a high level of competence to be put on the shops servicing vehicles we all drive. What you don’t know can hurt others in the event of a crash.

  • How will you as the consumer know?

Ask questions, Lot’s of questions. Check them out on the web, see what they write about, get referrals, and make sure to ask if they use ‘OEM only’ scan tools for your specific vehicle.

Got a question about your vehicle?

As for the shop that is curious (as it is part of our ongoing training), you can never do enough research and digging to find out what equipment it takes to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Without the correct knowledge / and training, you will spend money in areas that will take your cycle time in the wrong direction,

  • Why do we know this? Because many shops call us after they have done repairs only to find out that they cannot re-initialize and get safety systems to be operational (as in OEM ready) before returning vehicles to their respective owners.
 photo by techtimes.com

 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Automotive Repair Technical Trends | Are you ready for the future?

Automotive Repair, being ready for the future | This is a question I been ask many times, and have asked it a few times myself.

  • So the main question is, ‘what is the future of automobiles?’

Someday this will be old news, but the big push right now is more fuel mileage and a car that does more driving for you while keeping you safe.

With that comes responsibility for what happens after those improved vehicles have some miles on them, need repairs, and become part of the mainstream system for maintenance.

  • So how is this accomplished?

Repair TrendsOver the next 10 years you will see engineering and technology on steroids.

Here you have the racing Corvette (left) compared to the street version (right).

There are plans to make cars lighter with many different type of metals along with composites such as carbon fiber, already found in exotics such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini, and our home grown Corvette (to name a few). Proven on the race track for many years, costs and manufacturing processes are now allowing it to filter into automobiles driven every day.  

All this with the core idea of protecting the occupants in the event of a crash.

So whats inside? | Automotive Technology Trends for Shops

The list keeps growing with different features that have one thing in common, what can it do for the people sitting inside? If is not safety, it is convenience, and just like the rest of the car these amenities keep growing in numbers.

  • Just when you thought ‘where can they put another airbag?’ this list keeps growing; A quick example is the airbag on both sides of the backrest in the new Chevy Traverse.
  • Or rear seat belts that have airbags built in to them like some Ford and Mercedes models. Technology is pushing forward, even to having the airbag drop out of the headliner.
  • Now the electronics don’t stop with airbags, the concept of V2V (vehicle to vehicle) is on it’s way. To further explain this we are talking about one car talking to another to better judge the situation (not the subjective situation) and improve the outcome.

There are many benefits to this and some pitfalls as well.

A couple of the benefits include preventing a crash with the car in front or to the side of you. It could also monitor traffic conditions, collisions, poor driving or hazards events and much more.

So down sides are:

The hackers, if they can hack big corporations, they get into your car and remember they will be talking to more than your door locks, if Onstar can shut your car down because it got stolen, so can the hackers.

And don’t forget the DIY / auto shops who try to disable and/or work on these systems (learn as they go) without the proper techniques / sequence / information. They will find a major headache to have it put back to road worthiness (some vehicles will not ‘reset’ and drive until properly re-initialized with the right equipment / process).

  • So what does this require of the repair shop?  

The quick answer is a lot of knowledge, training and the proper tools. Knowledge will keep you out of trouble and guide you through a repair. It will also help understand when there is a problem and prompt you to get the trained help you will need.  Basic shops will struggle with this.

Now it's all fine and dandy to have the tools and in this case we are referring to scan tools. Just like any other tool, understanding that particular tools performance capabilities as well as you need to know how to operate it to get the most out it thus achieving a positive end result.

 

Got a question about your vehicle?

 

This part may sound like the simple part but, don’t let it mislead you, understanding many different brands of scan tools can be a challenge.

  • So what could happen if the procedures needs to save someone life are done incorrectly?

Let’s hope you will never have to answer that question. Technology has ramped up with shorter lead times to market, the industry that will be expected to repair and keep up must follow suit. We are ready, are you?

With that said we have come full circle as to what is expected or what to expect.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Toyota / Lexus Sunroof | Before it costs you $2000, read this

If you own a Toyota or Lexus and you have sunroof problems, you have one advantage over the others.

Your sunroof for the most part is rebuildable, where many others require you to replace the whole sunroof mechanism.

This is a huge benefit when it comes down to the actual cost of a repair.

The temperatures are slowly dropping as fall is going to turn to winter, so why or how is it that a sunroof would get stuck open in the colder months? In the northern region when it hits 40 degrees it sometimes feels like summer, thus the increase in sunroof related problems. Unfortunately as it gets colder, the water that runs past the tracks will freeze instead of being routed to the drains.

Lexus & Toyota Sunroofs | If this happens, don’t force that roof closed, warm up the interior of the car up before attempting to close it, your wallet will thank you.

Remember, many parts that move and operate your sunroof are made of either plastic or lightweight metal. The motor is a lot stronger than the parts they are designed to operate.

toyota sunroof motor

Having parts frozen can also cause the anti-pinch to work incorrectly. This is evident when closing the sunroof, and it seems to hit a spot and suddenly reverse and open back up. In which case warm it up and retry the sunroof again.

  • This may take a couple of hours or even overnight under certain conditions.

Sunroof problems | Be patient with your sunroof, hurrying this process can cost a lot of money. If this doesn’t resolve the problem it is a good idea to seek professional help.

Toyota Sunroof help

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Forcing it closed can break more items and cause more damage in the sunroof. And in the end it may make it more difficult to repair.
  • Often times, a roof will malfunction because of debris in the tracks, this will cause the cables and possibly the motor to get damaged.
  • FYI: Some cables are made of plastic and look and act more like a ribbon with teeth on it, it rides on a plastic gear mounted on the motor, much like the old typewriters.

When these get jammed up, the ribbon will double up and can destroy the teeth on the gear as well. Replacement of these parts is necessary (in most cases) for proper function.

toyota sunroof cablesThe biggest problem with this type of a track system is the sunroof glass can get caught half open and be extremely difficult to get closed. This may require serious effort to close your roof which could take several hours. We have extensive experience in almost every aspect of the Toyota / Lexus sunroof, some repairs are caught early, others not so much.

The best advice I can give you is to seek help from a professional (with specific experience in these sunroofs). This could take a $200.00 job and turn it into a $2000.00 job if the right care and process is not implemented.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

I need Sunroof Help | Product Recall on Sunroofs

Sunroof RecallSunroofs are wonderful, sometimes they give us trouble | Product Recall on Webasto / Hollandia

As more and more sunroofs are on the market, the chances of the consumer owning one has increased exponentially.

There are two distinctive types; the first being factory, and second deemed as aftermarket. The factory sunroof is made and designed by the manufacturer with specially designed headliner and roof panels.

  • Factory Sunroofs | In essence, the roof is made and installed to OEM factory standards and design. This roof is easily identified from the outside, you will see the metal from the roof roll into the opening with out a trim trim of any kind on the roof itself. Some other characteristics; if the roof needs repair or replacement, the headliner that designed to accommodate the interior roof and the sunroof. This is quite important as all components are designed to work together.

Furthermore the sunroof unit and or frame will unbolt, and in most cases be removed. Depending on the brand, they can also be rebuilt with parts ordered from the dealership.

Some of the rebuildable ones include Toyota, BMW and Mercedes, others may allow just parts, and if it involves a serious overhaul, a whole sunroof carriage may be needed. At times they may be expensive to fix but are the most reliable, well engineered and a quality product.  

  • Next are the aftermarket sunroofs, these were designed with the expectation that they would be installed after the car was made with a roof not designed for a sunroof. In order to install them, the roof and headliner both need to be modified to accommodate the sunroof fixture. The primary housing or sunroof carriage is bonded to the inside of roof skin panel. The headliner has the center cut out and to provide for the extra space of the housing and then recovered.

FYI, in many cases depending how the person modifying the headliner installed it, it may not be removed in the future without damaging it, this is a big downfall of the aftermarket sunroof.

In order to finish off the newly created opening in the roof, a trim ring is installed in the opening which can be easily identified from the outside.

There are two main remaining companies one is called Signature sunroofs or Inalfa, and the other
one is call Webasto or Hollandia. Both offer you the ability to add a sunroof to a car that doesn’t presently have one.

Sunroof aftermarket manufacturer not delivering a quality product.  Beware:

One quick note about Webasto / Hollandia, they presently have a voluntary safety recall on there series 700 and 900 sunroofs.  There have be reported cases of the sunroof blowing out and possibly damage surrounding vehicles as the car is in motion, or can have an enormous about of water leaking into the car. http://sunroofcheck.us/  


Another problem may result in severe water damage to the interior of the vehicle that is was installed. This is something that Webasto will not outwardly tell you that they are responsible to cover the cost of repair, they inturn try to get your insurance company to pay for this, beware!


Sunroof repairWe feel that it is our best interests to our primary customers that they are aware of product defects and companies that do not stand behind their products.  

 

Sunroof help

Pursuant to 49 CFR 573, Webasto Product North America, Inc. (“WPNA”), has given notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety.

Administration (“NHTSA”) of its intent to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

If you need help identifying your sunroof or you are ready to get it repaired free of charge, please call 1-888-749-8632 to find out how to get your sunroof serviced

or visit www.sunroofcheck.com for more information.

dickandricks.comWe want our customers to be well-informed, please weigh all the options in getting what you want, we are not happy with this manufacturer and their dealings and do not recommend this product at this time.  

photo by sunroofcheck.com

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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