Moonroof and Sunroof

It's an age old question: what is the real difference between a moonroof and a sunroof. Remember when your friend got that new car and he showed you his "sunroof" and you laughed and told him that was actually a moonroof? He looked at you with a funny look in his eye and neither of you believed the other and ever since then both of you, with millions of others, have been wondering what is the real difference between moonroof and sunroof!

Many people use the words to mean the same thing and even some car enthusiast use the words interchangeably, but what is the real difference between a moonroof and a sunroof? Is there one? And if there isn't one, why do some manufacturers state that there is a moonroof while others state that there is a sunroof? Is there a technical difference between the two, and if so, why is it so slight that normal people can mistake one for the other?

The reality is that there is a difference between a moonroof and a sunroof, though as time goes on the distinction between the two is lessening. The bottom line is that a sunroof is an opaque piece of metal that is flush with the rest of the car, and is also the same color on the outside of the car as the rest of the vehicle. The roof can be tiled to open just to vent the car or it can slide open to let light in, hence the name sunroof. The opaque nature of the metal keeps the sun from heating the car up while still letting sun in to the vehicle. The sunroof has been around for quite some time and has become more sophisticated with time, often being electronically instead of manually controlled.

The moonroof was first seen on a Ford vehicle in the 1970's, though the moonroof was actually created by the American Sunroof Company. The difference between the sunroof and the moonroof is that it is made of glass. The moonroof can usually be manipulated in the same ways as the sun roof, often from side to side and up and down for venting and it can also be taken all the way off in many instances and stowed away for maximum venting and light exposure. The bottom line is that the moonroof is simply a sunroof that is made of glass instead of opaque metal.

The moonroof and sunroof work in the same way and the object of their presence is the same. The idea is to let in sun and air that is controlled by the passengers of the car. If just a bit of light is wanted the moonroof and sunroof does not have to be moved at all. If more sun is wanted in addition to some air the piece of metal or glass can be lifted slightly to allow for light and air. If more air and light is wanted the entire piece can often be moved to the left, right, or taken off all together.

While the moonroof and sunroof are terms that are used interchangeably by pretty much everyone from the novice to the expert when first developed the sunroof was always made of metal and the moonroof was always made of glass. Technically, this differentiation still exists today, though mot people do not observe the difference in meaning and when someone refers to a sunroof or a moonroof most of us know what they are talking about is a whole in the ceiling of the vehicle, whether that is protected with glass or opaque metal.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. I am looking for a switch for a sunroof. Thank You Ronald Hirth Vietnam Veteran