Skip to content

I Didn’t Just Waste 3 Hours For Nothing, Did I?

July 10, 2015

Two seemingly unrelated events happened last week. 

First, my sunroof got stuck open. 

Pushing the close button simply went 

(click, click, click)

Second, the Autumn monsoons arrived a month early. 

This presented a problem, as you might imagine. I’m not sure if I solved it properly or not. 

For the past six months, I’ve had a junked Lexus sitting in my driveway. It’s even up on blocks. It’s sort of a high-rent redneck look. However, as readers of this blog are aware, I’ve been restoring/repairing/fixing up a Lexus and pulling parts from the junked one. 

Last Sunday, as the threat of rain loomed, I went back to the Lexus-well one more time. The manual explained that there were several pieces that could go wrong with a sunroof. (Apparently they are kind of finicky.)  

The motor could fail, the relay could fail or the circuitboard could fail. 

To be safe, my neighbor and I decided we’d replace all three. I priced out the repair, $1000 minimum to have it done professionally. In fact, the DIY (do-it-yourself) sites warned people off trying to fix sunroofs themselves. 

Ha! They didn’t have a spare parts car. Getting the parts out of the spare Lexus was easy. I’m not planning on saving the ceiling fabric. 

  It was no trouble to gather the parts. 

  The circuit board is inside this little plastic holder.

  This is the new relay. 

  And here’s the motor. As you can see, scratch a Lexus and underneath you’ll find a Toyota with illusions of grandeur.  

Getting those parts into my car without ripping out the ceiling fabric was a trick. It involved two of us, sitting in the front seat with our wrist bent backward as we reached up inside the ceiling. Lots of little screws to attach and electrical attachments. 

All together it was about three hours from the time we started pulling parts out of the old Lexus until we were finished. And it worked. The sun had long set when we were to the point where I asked my neighbor and his adult son if they wanted to go out and test it. 

Sure, let’s go.

 We had fixed the instrument panel earlier. I was enjoying the ability to see all the dials without squinting. 

Yeah, that’s very cool looking.

And you want to see something else cool? Watch this!

(click, click, click)

I swear I’m not doing that on purpose. It’s really broken again.

Every system engineer has been there. You have a persistent error that you finally think you have fixed. And then, after hours of work, it immediately breaks again. 

It’s frustrating. And worse than frustrating, my sunroof was stuck open again. 

It was then that we realized we may have been too smart for our own good. 

You know the one thing we didn’t swap out?

The switch?


It literally took less than 5 minutes to swap out the switch. 

The lightbulb even worked. And so did the sunroof. We just stared at each other. I ventured a weak cover statement.

I’m positive all that other stuff that we just spent three hours changing out was probably broken too.

Yeah. I’m sure it was.

He didn’t sound convinced. And neither did I. 

Sometimes it pays to try the simple things first.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss
Facebook (
LinkedIn (
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply