How to Service a Sunroof in a Ford Explorer

Install a New Rubber Seal


Unfasten the screws that secure the interior trim and headliner. You should have full access to the sunroof on both the interior and exterior of your Ford Explorer.


Loosen and remove the screws and bolts that fasten the sunroof to the top of the truck. Set them aside so you can reinstall the sunroof later. Disconnect the power from the rear of your sunroof.


Pull the sunroof up and away from the truck. You may need the help of another person for this task, to avoid damaging the sunroof or the truck.


Use the plastic scraping tool to lift off the old rubber seal. Clean any excess rubber or adhesive from the channel, then and check the channel for rusting. If you see rust, paint the channel with Rustoleum to prevent further decay.


Install the new rubber seal into the channel, beginning with the outer lip and then moving to the inner lip. Inspect the seal for bumps or wrinkles. If you find any, lift the seal out of the channel and reinstall it. Keep doing this until the entire seal sits evenly inside the channel.


Place the sunroof back on top of the truck and reconnect it using the screws and bolts you removed earlier. Keep checking to make sure it's level. Remember to plug the power source back in so your sun roof will fully function.


Return the headliner and the interior trim back into position.

Maintain Your Sunroof


Inspect the exterior of your sunroof of your Ford Explorer on a monthly basis. Look to make sure it's evenly seated, not lifting at one corner. Lifting indicates it's time to clean and lubricate the tracks.


Check the draining tubes for your Ford Explorer. Two drain to the front of your vehicle, typically beneath the fenders. The other two drain to the rear of your vehicle, usually behind your tail lights. Use compressed air to blow out any debris, dust or clogs.


Access the tracks and seals of your Ford Explorer's sunroof by removing the interior trim and letting the roof cover drop. You don't need to completely remove it, just let it hang. Use compressed air to remove debris, then lubricate the tracks with 3-In-One lubricant.


Lubricate and clean your rubber gasket. Wipe them off with a lint-free cloth, then use the lubricant outlined in your owner's manual. If your seal is stiff or show signs of excessive wear, replace it so your sunroof doesn't leak.

Tips and Warnings

  • Have a dealer inspect your sun roof to ensure it's properly assembled if you have a 1990 model or older. If the sunroof was repaired, it may have been reassembled incorrectly. Ford issued a technical service bulletin for this issue.
  • Never use WD-40 to lubricate the tracks on your sunroof, as it's water based and will cause damage and leaking.
  • Unless your Ford Explorer is under warranty, you will be charged for repairs recommended under a technical service bulletin
  • If you properly maintain your Ford Explorer's sunroof, you can enjoy the open air in good weather and eliminate leaks and squeaks. It's generally recommended you clean and inspect your sunroof's rubber seal at least twice a year.