Buying a vehicle equipped with a panoramic roof, isn’t it exposing yourself to more heat in the passenger compartment in the summer and reducing the strength of the vehicle’s structure? Let’s get to the bottom of this thorny issue.
Panoramic roof: definition
The panoramic roof replaces the roof, i.e. the roof of the car, where it can occupy the entire surface from front to rear. Made of tempered (heat-treated) or laminated glass (a plastic film inserted between two sheets of glass), it is tinted to insulate against solar heat. It can be fixed or with an opening, and the control can be manual or electric.
Advantages of the panoramic roof
Undeniably, the reason it’s chosen is the panoramic effect that frees up light and space in the cabin.
If it is open, it allows a better communion with the environment (draught, scents, etc.).
The aesthetic side is also a significant plus, both inside and out.
Disadvantages of the panoramic roof
The inconveniences are exposed before the purchase of the vehicle, but they are often perfectly assumed by the owner of the vehicle, too happy to take advantage of its panoramic roof.
Increased temperature in summer
This is the main disadvantage of the panoramic roof: the large glass surface favors a feeling of warmth that is often localized at the head level. To counteract this effect, the motorist compensates for it by making more intensive use of the air conditioning.
Good to know: In addition to the progress made on materials, manufacturers are also working on the airflow of the air conditioning to reduce this inconvenience.
Their other line of work is the use of tinted glass:
– glass can be tinted throughout and absorb infrared rays;
– a metallic layer can be applied to reflect the rays.
Soundproofing of the vehicle
Outside sounds are less well filtered by the glass than by a metal roof.
Good to know: The solutions provided by the manufacturers are:
– laminated glass roofs that filter sound better than tempered glass;
– work on vehicle wall materials for better sound absorption through the use of leather, sound-absorbing foams, fabric felts, etc.
Glass is much heavier than sheet metal (an average of 30 kg of excess weight is required).
Good to know: In order to limit this excess weight, the manufacturers have worked on the structures at the roof level to reinforce them and limit the thickness of the glass.
They also compensate for this excess weight by using lighter materials (aluminum, plastic, etc.) for the other parts of the vehicle.
Fitting a panoramic roof as an aftermarket solution
This option is simply impossible: the constraints linked to the rigidification and reinforcement of the vehicle structure make it out of reach of car maintenance professionals.
On the other hand, the installation of a sunroof (of much smaller dimensions) can be done: the intervention costs on average $500.
Good to know: this operation must be carried out by a professional experienced in this exercise (usually a bodywork specialist is competent in this field), as a poor installation will result in water tightness problems.
Replacing a panoramic roof
This operation is carried out by an auto body builder or glazing specialist. The costs, ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, are generally covered by insurance (beware of the excess, which can be high).
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