Interested in Auto Body Schools? Here’s What You Need to Know About the Exploding Sunroof Problem

auto body repair courses

In the past few years, a peculiar phenomenon has been on the rise across Canada, specifically incidents where sunroofs spontaneously ‘explode’, shattering to pieces and giving drivers and passengers alike a scary surprise.

So, what’s behind these startling incidents? Auto makers have reported a variety of causes, from manufacturing malfunctions to accidental damage from debris. No matter the reason, the fact remains that complaints regarding exploding sunroofs have increased by more than 100% in the past decade, from zero reports in 2007 to over 100 by 2016, and rising.

At this rate, there’s a chance that you may run across a car or two with a shattered sunroof during your career in auto body repair. Read on to find out what you should know.

Auto Body Professionals Should Know Which Models Are Most Affected

Although the sunroof phenomenon appears to not be confined to one particular auto maker, there are a few that have been reported more often.

Overall, the Hyundai Sante Fe has received the most complaints regarding shattered sunroofs, followed by the Nissan Murano, BMW 3 Series, Kia Sorento, and Mazda3, among others. Although the issue is a prevailing problem for Canadian drivers, it has also been reported in other countries and vehicles around the world, including the United States.

Exploding sunroofs present a risk to drivers and their cars, as well as to road safety in general, as many drivers have the natural reaction to swerve into other lanes of traffic when their sunroof explodes. This means that you may be fixing more than just a broken sunroof—including possible collision repairs. Auto body repair courses can prepare you with the skills you need to carry out your repairs and give customers better peace of mind.

Students at ATC can use their training to repair damage caused by exploding sunroofs
Students at ATC can use their training to repair damage caused by exploding sunroofs

Understanding the Cause of Damage Is Important in Auto Body Repair Courses

The core of the skills you learn in auto body schools revolve around properly addressing and repairing the damage that comes into your garage. In order to know how to fix something, however, it helps to know how it was broken first, and whether or not you can repair it in a better way that prevents the same thing from happening again. As mentioned before, the exact cause behind the exploding sunroofs is still up for debate. There are, however, a few leading culprits that you might want to be aware of.

Auto manufacturers cite accidental damage as the main source behind the shattering sunroofs. Although automotive safety glass has been designed and tested to withstand the conditions it may face on the road, even minor damage can lead to major complications, including a shattering sunroof that may seem like it occurred without any visible cause.

Auto body repair technicians can ensure that their repairs make cars safer for customers
Auto body repair technicians can ensure that their repairs make cars safer for customers

Tempered glass, which is commonly used in automotive manufacturing, is prone to spontaneous shattering due to a number of factors—particularly internal stress, which can be caused by minor debris. Manufacturing defects, including impurities in the glass, can add to the internal stress in a sunroof when the crystals expand at higher temperatures, leading to a spontaneous shattering, particularly after a car has been parked in direct sunlight during a hot day. Until the exact cause of the shattering sunroofs is determined, it’s best to make sure that the safety glass you use as a replacement is of high quality. You might even want to recommend that customers park in the shade for the time being!

Are you interested in starting a new career in auto body repair?

Contact Automotive Training Centres for more auto body repair career info.

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