How to Dry Out Car After Leaving Sunroof Open: 4 Easy Steps to Follow in 2023


How to Dry Out Car After Leaving Sunroof Open

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When it rains, the interior of your car may drown in water if you leave the sunroof open. It can cause a significant amount of damage if water interacts with the interior. Then, the question arises – “how to dry out car after leaving sunroof open?”

If you accidentally leave the car sunroof open and if it rains, water will most likely soak the inside of your car. In such a case, you must know how to react immediately before the damage turns more severe. For your benefit, we have included a list of potential results as well as tips on how to dry out your car after leaving the sunroof open.

We know you are desperately looking for an easy and quick way to dry out your car. That is why we will share a few tips that you can apply to minimize the potential damage and dry out your car quickly.  

What Happens If I Leave the Car Sunroof Open?

What Happens If I Leave the Car Sunroof Open?
Photo by Ruhit Ramzan

Obviously, hazardous situations will occur if you forget to shut the sunroof of your vehicle when it rains. Especially during a storm, it won’t take much time for rainwater to soak the interior of the car fully. Aside from that, here are some other occurrences that may happen if you leave the sunroof open while it is raining –

Damage to Electronic Stuff 

If water can somehow come into contact with the electrical stuff, it can do major damage. In such scenarios, you should stay away from any electrical wires or components until your car is fully dried out. Once the car has dried, you should investigate the additional electronic components that involve wires, such as the lights, doors, windows, CD player, and dashboard. 

If the electronic parts get damaged, you should take your car to a service center. An expert can inspect and repair the damage.

Severe Interior Damage

In addition to electronic components, seats, floorboards, and covers can rot when exposed to rainwater. If you find the leather components inside the car completely wet, you should thoroughly dry them out. Otherwise, you may not be able to use them anymore. Worst case scenario, you may have to buy new seats and covers for your vehicle. 

Read more: Are seat protectors safe with car seats?


Most of the parts of your vehicle are made of metal. If you leave the sunroof open during rain, the metallic parts will rust easily. And rust will lead to corrosion, which will cause serious damage to your car.  

In order to prevent corrosion and rust, you should fully dry out your car. After that, we suggest you repaint the entire vehicle or at least the metal areas that were exposed to rainwater.

Collateral Damage

Leaving the roof open can cause serious damage to some important parts of the vehicle, such as the clutch, brake, or accelerator if rainwater gets inside the vehicle. In fact, they are the first to be damaged when water floods inside the car.

Exterior parts will be damaged if the car is flooded. These parts include pistons, cylinders, air vents, gaskets, suspensions, etc. Since these are the moving components of a vehicle, water can damage them quickly. To prevent further damage to your vehicle, you must contact and speak with a specialist as soon as possible.

Encounter Hydro Locks

For modern vehicles, the engine may encounter a hydro lock if you leave the sunroof open and rain water gets inside. Water can soak the engine through the air intake, causing trouble with the pistons and valves. 

When water enters your engine through the air intake, it can cause trouble with the pistons and valves. If something like this happens, the worst thing you can do is replace the engine.

How to Dry Out Car After Leaving Sunroof Open in 4 Simple Steps

If you have realized the damage from leaving the car sunroof open in the rain, you should act immediately to dry out your wet car. Just follow the step-by-step procedure on how to dry out car after leaving sunroof open, and you will be good to go –

Step 1: Remove as much water as possible

Since your car will be submerged in water, you should clear out the water as much as possible. And you have to do this in the shortest possible time. Use a vacuum to suck out water from the critical areas of the car, like the floorboards. While sucking out water, don’t forget to check between and under the seats. 

Quick Hack –You may also park your car on a hill or at a higher place so that the water can easily flow downward. This will save you a lot of time.

Step 2: Use a towel or piece of cloth to soak water

Use A Towel Or Piece Of Cloth To Soak Water
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Seats or carpets won’t dry easily. You have to use a towel to absorb any excess water from those areas. Gently push the towels into the wet area to absorb any water that has accumulated beneath the surface.

Cloth towels are usually preferable to paper towels since they are significantly more absorbent. Having a superior reusing ability, cloth towels can also help to decrease waste.

Interesting to know –For some cars (i.e., Jeep Wrangler), you can easily let water out by removing the floor drain plugs. Although there are drain plugs in other cars, they may be difficult to remove. Don’t forget to secure the floor drain plugs after removing them.

Step 3: Drain out moisture with airflow

You may not touch the leather parts since they will get moist after absorbing the water. So, how can you drain moisture or humidity? It is simple; just use one or two fans to draw air from one side of the car’s flooring and seats to another. 

It is best if there is more airflow. To get substantial air power, direct air beneath the seats with a leaf blower. Keep the fans on for a day or two, while leaving the car’s windows and doors open. This will completely dry away any moisture that is still present.

Pro tip –While the fans are still operating, it would be wise to place a dehumidifier in the garage to remove much of the humidity from the air. 

Step 4: Keep mold or musty odor away

No matter how many precautions you take, there is a potential chance that any remaining moisture may eventually lead to the development of mold or a musty odor. In that case, you can use moisture-absorbing items behind car seats or inside the vehicle. 

This will gradually dry up the interior of your automobile and lower the possibility of unpleasant odors developing. In the meantime, continue to air your vehicle.

Baking sodas are great for absorbing moisture. There are various dehumidifier packs available on the market as well. 

How to Clean the Car After Leaving the Car Sunroof Open in the Rain

How to Clean the Car After Leaving the Car Sunroof Open in the Rain
Image by Ralph from Pixabay

Knowing how to dry out your car after leaving the sunroof open in the rain and how to clean the car as soon as it becomes wet should help. We have outlined some essential steps to cleaning the car after it gets soaked in rainwater.

  • React Quickly: Once you realize that the car sunroof is open, you need to take immediate action. Don’t just sit and wait, go to your car and close the sunroof as quickly as you can. By doing this, you can avoid further damage and keep the electrical system safe from excessive water.
  • Take Out Water Fast: Water coming through the open sunroof will eventually coagulate. You need to remove excess water before it turns into a massive pool and damages the internal parts of the car. You must take quick action prior to it interfering with your car’s mechanical parts.
  • Don’t Start the Engine: Don’t panic and start the engine after leaving the car sunroof open in the rain. It will only make things worse. By turning on the engine at that moment, you will let water flood into the engine through the air vents. It will not only damage the engine but also the transmission.
  • Dry Out the Car: You need to be certain that your car receives enough sunshine. Don’t just leave the car in a shadowed place or in the parking lot where there is no light. To accomplish this, lower the windows and unlock the doors of your automobile in a sunny place.

Just don’t park the car in a shaded area or in a parking lot where there is no light. To quicken the process, use electric or battery-powered fans after leaving the car beneath a tree or other outdoor field.

  • Clean Your Car: When cleaning the automobile after leaving the sunroof open in the rain, you must locate every wet spot. When you find them, clean them right away. For absorbing excess water, use a kitchen towel instead of a normal one. In the event of water becoming stuck inside the cabinet, remember to soak it up with a vacuum.
  • Take Your Car to Service: After leaving the car wet under rainwater, you can consult a repairman. He can determine whether your automobile has any electrical damage. Then, he will fix the damage if there is any. If you can’t locate a professional nearby, you may simply crank up the temperature in your vehicle to counter the drying effect. The AC compressor will absorb the hot air along with moisture and circulate it under the heater box. 

Tips to Quickly Dry Out Car After Leaving Sunroof Open

Yes, you can quickly dry out a wet car with a few tricks. You just need to use specific items for this. Here is how to quickly dry out the car after leaving the sunroof open –

  • When compared to other types of towels or clothing, microfiber towels will help your automobile dry up more quickly. They may be purchased for a fair price at any general or auto supply store. Additionally, washing them is simple.
  • To dry the automobile more rapidly than normal, use blow dryers. For this, we advise utilizing a leaf blower. Untouching the paint surface while drying your automobile is definitely one of the greatest techniques for leaf blowers. However, they can release undesired debris from the ground. Thus, you may also use a standard dryer.
  • Instead of putting anything on the surface, a water blade eliminates water when you draw it over the paint. Most water blades feature a soft silicone tip to ensure no scratch on the paint. Their efficiency is their biggest benefit compared to other drying techniques.
  • You can use chamois to quickly dry synthetic foam or leather. It is sometimes referred to as Shammy. Because of their size, they can cover a significant area. They can quickly dry out a car for having a great absorption capacity.  
  • If no other choice is available, lint-free cloth diapers are a possible drying option. Although they are a less common drying technique, they can be used to thoroughly dry a particular portion of the car. It is best to use two diapers at a time, one in each hand while drying. 

Boyah! You are now able to dry out car after leaving sunroof open.

Final Words 

If you have left the car sunroof open in the rain, don’t get paranoid. It is a frequent blunder that a lot of people make. We have outlined the best suggestions and quick tips on how to dry out car after leaving sunroof open. So, you should take quick action rather than give up hope.

You can start by cleaning the inside of your car, then drying it out using heaters, towels, or even vacuum cleaners. If you care about the electrical components, never turn on the engine or touch any wires when your car is wet. Furthermore, let the professionals clean and fix the hard parts. Before contacting a professional, you must take all essential precautions to avoid future harm.  

If you make it to the end, don’t forget to check out How to start a car with a bad ignition switch and How to test a battery isolator.

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