Sunroof deflectors install on your vehicle's roof in front of the leading edge of the sunroof itself. The rounded, upwardly-curving shape they possess redirects air so it flows up and over the sunroof opening instead of into the vehicle. Because of that built-in curve, most deflectors extend over and effectively cover approximately three to six inches of the sunroof opening at the front - blocking sun glare that would normally beam directly into your eyes.
In this article, we'll discuss the installation process for universal-fit sunroof visors that use double-sided adhesive tape to stay in place. (NOTE that in this article, we use the terms "deflector" and "visor" interchangeably.) Should a product manufacturer's instructions differ from what we've written here, please follow their procedure. "Universal fit" simply means that a deflector is not designed for any specific make or model, and will fit around any sunroof opening with good clearance when the correct size is chosen.
The sunroof deflectors we'll cover in this article are attached with double-sided tape to the painted section of the roof. The tape itself is made by 3M™, and its foam middle section allows lots of flexibility during temperature changes - especially over irregular surfaces. Installation is extremely simple, because the tape comes with a protective backing that's peeled away just before final installation.
In some cases, your deflector piece will come with the tape already applied to it - so you'll only need to peel and stick the side that goes against the roof. We've worked with this tape, and we can say it's extremely easy to use considering how effective it is. It's also no surprise to us that many automobile manufacturers also use it on their assembly lines to attach trim pieces.
It's important to note that in order to achieve proper fit, the deflector you install must be wider than the width of your sunroof opening from one side to the other. Ideally, there should be a minimum of one inch on each side, meaning the visor should be 2 inches wider. After retracting or removing your sunroof panel, measure the width of the opening from the top. Do not measure from inside the vehicle, as interior ceiling trim may yield an incorrect reading.
Once you've measured, select a visor width that is at least 2 inches larger than your sunroof width. For example, look at the attached chart above. If your sunroof measurement is 33", do NOT select the 33.0" size, as that will not provide at least 1 inch on each side. The 34.25" size may look like it will fit, but in fact will only give you about 5/8" on each side. The most appropriate choice here would be the 35.5" width, which will give you 1 1/4" on each side of the roof opening.
Unless otherwise specified, universal fit sunroof deflectors are manufactured to fit factory-installed sunroofs and are not recommended for aftermarket sunroofs.
Start by cleaning the painted part of the roof where the adhesive tape will be applied using carwash soap and water. Dry the area thoroughly. If supplied, use the alcohol pad, or if not, use isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth to remove wax and other contaminants that might prevent the tape from adhering properly.
Place the deflector where it will be mounted, making sure there's equal distance on the sides and between the front edge and the windshield. Take your time and measure carefully. Once you've determined the optimum position, mark the corner edges with masking tape for future reference in later steps.
Peel a small portion (about 2") of the backing strip away from the tape at both ends of the deflector. Make sure these loose ends are on the outside of the visor when you put it in place on the roof.
With the tape peeled at the ends and accessible to you, position the deflector on the roof using your masking tape marks as a guide. Gently press on the ends so the exposed adhesive keeps the deflector in place. Adjust the position of the deflector until you're satisfied, again making sure it's even from side to side.
Once the deflector has been lined up, grab onto the backing strip ends and pull until they've been completely removed. As you peel, apply pressure along the way.
When all the backing has been removed, rub your hand back and forth over the deflector in order to continue applying pressure to all areas a little longer. Once bonding is complete, test for proper adherence by attempting to wiggle the deflector. It should not flex. Follow any guidelines the manufacturer specifies about not washing or driving the vehicle for a period of time after installation.
Congratulations! You're done! We're confident you're going to get a lot of enjoyment out of the deflectors we offer - no matter which one you choose. Additionally, it will attractive and functional for a long time to come. With your new deflector in place, you will find yourself using your sunroof more than ever!