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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

When I close my sunroof (2006 outback 2.5i) it does the following:
  1. Moves towards the front of the car
  2. Lifts up the back of the sunroof
  3. lowers the back of the sunroof. However, mine drops it about an inch below the roofline instead of flush

Here is a video of it (8MB and please ignore the trapped kid! :)):

Also, I'm not sure if it is related but when I press the "1" button to open the sunroof it only lifts it about an inch. I swore it lifted it much higher before. Here is a picture of it

Thoughts on why it won't close flush?


On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
28,063 Posts
if you hit the link next to the question mark in my signature, and actually type out something one time.

no one need look back at your previous posts,

or try to identify your car from the roof rack,... (in a game of "name that car")

2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
725 Posts

Dead center of the headliner in the rear of the cargo area is an oversized round plastic plug. Pull it down, and you'll see where an allen key can be inserted to manually crank the sunroof sections open or closed. This is an override in case of motor failure. But you may find that you can crank the entire system closed, but I caution you ... if you feel resistance to doing so ... don't over do it and strip the sunroof cable drives or motor gears. Then try opening and closing the sunroof using the switch. This is one possible solution.

A 2nd one would be to reset the sunroof computer by disconnecting the battery for several minutes, reconnecting it, and then trying the switch again.

A 3rd would be to use the video link below, and remove the sunroofs (front and rear) from your car, and then using the switch power it open and closed to see if you can spot any broken pieces that are jamming the mechanism. I've done this long ago on my 02 with the dual sunroofs and its easy. The rear sunroof is like the video (4 bolts) but the front one has two scissor mechanisms on the rear edge of the front sunroof glass. Pop off the plastic finishers and undo the two bolts or screws underneath. Then the front sunroof glass just lifts up and hinges forward towards the font hood, but is still attached at two front hinges. At this point you can power up the mechanism as suggested.

Note: in the video he lifts out these "V" shaped flat shaped wedges at the rear fastening points of the rear sunroof. They are spacers to level the glass with the steel roof when the sunroof is closed. They MUST go back in the same location after reassembly! The front sunroof may have 2 or even 3 under each fastening point as well. My 02 did.

If after all of this you still find the issue exists .. you may have stripped the geared whips that run down each side of the sunroof channels inside of tubes. They move forward or back and pull/push the two sunroofs open and closed.

Back when my 02 was 4 years old, I totally removed the entire sunroof assembly from the car, out the tailgate to repair it (new drive mechanism for the front sunroof scissor lift). It was easy, but time consuming, because so many things have to be removed just to get the headliner out. I'm not going to rewrite it here ... but if you search under my sign in name, you'll find several posts where I explain how to get the system out, and replace it with a used one from a wrecking yard (cheap to buy, considering Subaru will want $2500 to do the job).

Good Luck!

SOLVED: Subaru outback moonroof won't close moonroof - Fixya
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