How To Dry Out Car After Leaving Sunroof Open in Rain

Use a towel to soak up the water. Use highly diluted baking soda on the seat and carpet. Try using a fan or dehumidifier as well. Assess the damage done to the electronics and do not start the car until you are sure the electronics are safe. Wipe and blow water from the electronics if needed. 

Leaving your car outside in the rain is not much of an issue. But if you leave the sunroof open, it can cause quite a few complications. 

So How To Dry Out Car After Leaving Sunroof Open in Rain?

This just skims the surface of what you have to do. This article has the answers you’re looking for.

How To Dry Out Car After Leaving the Sunroof Open?

Here is what to do if you leave your sunroof open in a rainstorm 

Step 1: Closing the Sunroof

In the event that the sunroof was left open while it was raining, you will need to move quickly. First, make sure the sunroof is completely shut. Perform this step before continuing with the next set of instructions.

It helps in-

  1. First, stop any further rain from getting into the automobile.
  2. Second, we need to determine whether or not the electric system is still operational.

Step 2: Not Starting The Car

Think about the amount of time the sunroof has been kept open while it was raining outside. If It was open for a longer period of time, then rainwater might have gotten into the car electronics. 

This is something you need to think about before starting your car. if there is a significant amount of water in the vehicle, you should not start the engine.

Step 3: Checking For Electrical Damage

Leaving the sunroof open and having water enter the car can cause damage to the electronic components.

Water damage can make the navigation screen, GPS, radio, or other electrical components malfunction.

Keeping the engine switched off during inspection makes it more difficult to determine whether the electronics are working or not. Starting the engine may cause the wet electronics to malfunction completely or even short circuit. 

Looking at the dashboard is one thing you can do. The touchscreen or gauge may appear to fog up if there is water inside. 

If there is actually water inside the dashboard, you need to be extra careful. The best course of action is to go to a professional. Working on electronics by yourself can be quite risky. 

Step 4: Removing the Seats

The majority of the water will be absorbed by the seats of the vehicle. So seats must be removed and dried before being put back in position.

If not, mold and mildew will begin to form on the seats of the vehicle. It is a result of the warm temperature within the vehicle with in-conjunction with the presence of moisture. This might also take place if the seats are not thoroughly cleaned after use.

It is recommended that you deodorize the seats after you have removed them. A DIY solution is that baking soda should be used for this, and it should be sprinkled over the seats. 

Then you have to let the baking soda sit for a couple of hours. Alternately, for even greater results, let it sit out overnight if at all feasible.

After that, you may wash it off and then proceed to dry the seat. You will be able to eliminate odors as well as stains if you use this.

Step 5: Using a Vacuum Cleaner

The automobile seats really need to be cleaned. This has to be done both before and after soaking in a baking soda-water solution.

First, dust, grime, and debris may be sucked away with a dry vacuum cleaner. The accumulation of such on the chairs is plausible.

To get rid of any remaining moisture, a second vacuum is performed. The baking soda should be washed off so that there is no trace of it left behind.

There are claims that vacuum cleaners emit cancer-causing particles. [1]

Step 6: Using a Towel to Soak Up The Surface Water

A puddle of water is likely to form on the floor of the vehicle. It depends on the amount of water inside the car. As soon as possible, you should begin draining this water.

Water that sits in one place for an extended period of time may corrode a car’s floor. Or it might even make the carpets smell awful.

Odor poses a more immediate danger than rust in this scenario. Unlike seats, carpets may be a pain to clean. So you might want to get help from a professional.

However, If you insist on doing it, though, it’s far less difficult once the seats are removed from the way.

Remove the carpets and dry them with towels before mopping. Use a baking soda solution and pour it over the carpet. Wait a while; preferably the night. The carpet may then be brushed to remove the dirt and unpleasant odors.

Usually, there is foam or similar material under the carpet that soaks up water and they must be dried ASAP. Soak up the residue water under the carpets. 

Step 7: Increasing Ventilation 

There are limits to what can be accomplished with only a dry vacuum. Increasing the amount of ventilation in your vehicle is a far more effective technique. It is to ensure that the inside of your vehicle is completely dry.

It will be of great assistance if you leave the windows or doors open for some time. It will give the necessary airflow that is required to dry out the automobile and to prevent humidity from forming. A fan can help increase ventilation as well.

In case, for some reasons you face difficulties opening the sunroof of your vehicle, there are ways to solve it.

In the absence of proper ventilation, a foul stench and the growth of mold would result.

Step 8: Using a Dehumidifier or Fan

There is a possibility that the natural ventilation is not sufficient for you. So, you may use a fan or a dehumidifier to improve the ventilation.

The dehumidifier removes moisture from the air by ingesting it throughout the process of its operation.

Putting a portable dehumidifier in the vehicle will help reduce moisture. Turn it on, close the doors and windows, and allow it to operate. This is among the more expedient methods available to you for drying out your vehicle.

Humidifiers can dry out your skin as well. So be careful. [2]

Step 9: Replacing the Cabin Air Filters 

Following the completion of the preceding stages, there is just one more thing that needs to be done. It is recommended that you change the cabin air filter in your vehicle if it has one.

The cabin air filter ensures that the air that is contained inside the vehicle remains clean. It does this by acting as a filter, removing dust, grime, and other contaminants from the air. Inhaling them might trigger an allergic response in some people.

If this filter becomes wet or humid, it will cause more difficulties than it will fix. This is due to the fact that a damp air filter will attract mold like a magnet.


Close the sunroof ASAP, check the electronics and remove the seats for better accessibility. Use a vacuum, towel, and humidifier. Replace the air filter if present. 
Dry Out Car After Leaving the Sunroof Open Infographic

How To Dry Out Car Switches After Leaving the Sunroof Open?

Your car’s switches are electrical components that may get wet. Let’s see the process of dealing with the wet car switches.

Step 1: Wiping Away The Water

Remove any extra water that may have accumulated using a microfiber cloth, towel, or paper towel. You want to avoid getting the water farther into the switches. So it is best to try to soak up the water rather than shifting it about.

Step 2: Blowing The Electric Switch With Dry Air

Compressed air will dry the switch rapidly, preventing water from sitting in the contacts and generating corrosion. This will prevent the switch from failing.

There are small cylinders of pressurized air available in the market, you can use them. This is to evacuate as much moisture from the switch as you possibly can. 


You want to give a wet switch enough time to dry completely before using it again.

The use of a wet switch enables further penetration of any standing water that may be present. Additionally, if the switch is used while it is wet, there might be a short circuit in the switch as well as the wire, which can result in a shock or even fire. 


Wipe the water, do not use the switches while wet and use compressed air to dry.

What Happens If I Leave my Sunroof Open in the Rain?

Let’s see how water can damage your car.

Electrical Faults

When automobiles are wet by water intrusion, the electrical components are the most susceptible to damage. Car electrical problems after rain are very common. Sealing the sunroof permanently helps minimize any damage to your vehicle caused by water. 

Headlights, turn signals, interior lighting, and dashboards may all have malfunctioned. That is if there is even a little issue with the vehicle’s electrical system. 

It is possible that even the navigation, the speaker and radio, and the air conditioning may be damaged. They might become sluggish. even to the point of being totally useless.

It is possible for the electrical wiring and plugs to get wet even though the vehicle itself is dry. These are located in the center console region of the car. This may result in a potentially dangerous electric shock or fire.

You surely want to prevent an electrical shock that may be fatal to you. So you should avoid touching or coming into contact with any electrical components until they are fully dry.


A significant number of the components found within are made of metal. These things have the propensity to rust.

Any serious damage caused by rust is not very common. If you quickly dry out and dehumidify, the interior should not have any rust issues. 

But if the moisture stays, even one instance of the interior getting wet can cause rust in the metallic components. 

Damaged Interior

The inside of the vehicle is yet another component that is vulnerable to suffering serious damage. Particularly the leather upholstery that was on the seats of the automobile.

These materials have the ability to take in water. Depending on how severe it is, you may have to wait a few days. That is to get them entirely dry before you can use them again.

Mold may begin to form on wet surfaces, such as automobile seats. In addition to that, the smell may be rather irritating.

The leather covering, however, becomes stretched out and droopy. This is maybe the greatest harm that can be done.


Leaving the sunroof open during rain can damage the electronic components and the interior. It may even cause rust in the metal parts of the car.

How Long Does It Take for a Wet Car to Dry?

Carpets and leather seats take the longest to dry. It’s best to let the carpet in your vehicle at least 24 hours to dry, but it might take much longer. Utilizing a humidifier in conjunction with fans may help speed up the drying process.

Leaving the Sunroof Open Drain Battery?

Leaving the sunroof open itself will not drain the battery. However, because the car is not fully locked, it is possible that certain features are still active, and that may result in draining the battery.

Can I Just Air-dry My Car?

You can, but it is a bad idea. Leaving the car out in the sun to air-dry causes water stains to appear on the paint. This may make it seem worse and may cause irreparable harm to the finish.


And with that, we know How To Dry our Car After Leaving Sunroof Open. You will need to act quickly. 

Getting the car dry as soon as possible is really necessary due to the damage the rainwater may cause. Detailed instructions on how to proceed may be found in our article. 

Good luck!

Written By

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Gary Wright

Hi, I'm Gary Wright, an automotive industry specialist. I'm an installation, repair, and maintenance specialist of automotive sunroofs, moonroofs, and panoramic sunroofs/moonroofs.

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.