What is the difference between a factory (OEM) sunroof and an aftermarket sunroof?

In effort to help you select the correct part(s), you will need to determine if your sunroof was aftermarket or factory installed.  

A factory sunroof (also referred to as an OEM sunroof - OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer) is a sunroof installed in the vehicle during production, before it is delivered to the new car dealership.  Most sunroofs today were installed at the factory.  These units were designed and built specifically for a make and model vehicle.  Once the vehicle leaves the assembly line, the factory option can no longer be integrated into the roof.  Though, if a consumer or dealer wanted a sunroof added after the vehicle was manufactured, they may commission an automotive restyler to install (or retrofit) a generic unit, designed to function in that vehicle.  We call these generic units "aftermarket sunroofs".

Factory or Aftermarket
Factory and Aftermarket

Factory Sunroofs

Factory sunroofs are characterized by a flush fit to your vehicles's roof, with no extruded trim ring.  Identifying factory over an aftermarket is fairly simple.  Our specialists will typically identify factory installs using our in-house database.

Aftermarket Sunroofs

An aftermarket sunroof (also referred to as a retrofit sunroof) is a sunroof that is installed into a vehicle at anytime after the vehicle was produced.  This installation style requires a technician to cut a hole in the vehicle roof.  To seal and obscure the cut in the roof, a trim ring is installed leaving a raised edge on the roofs surface.  Factory installed sunroofs are designed to be perfectly flush to the roof of the vehicle.  Any vehicle with a trim ring has an aftermarket sunroof.

Due to the variety of aftermarket sunroof manufacturers and their various part/assembly options, vehicles with aftermarkets must be carefully identified.  

Types of Aftermarket Sunroofs

Pop-Up Sunroof - These sunroofs are manually operated and have either a flip up or crank style rear latch.

Electric Spoiler Sunroof - These sunroofs are electronically operated.  The glass slides up and over the roof of the vehicle when opened.

Electric In-built Sunroof - These sunroofs are electronically operated.  The glass slides down and inside the roof of the vehicle when opened.

For more information, help identifying your aftermarket sunroof, or to purchase parts, visit our Part Identification page.