An OpenSky is reborn!


Yesterday my OpenSky decided to pack up and not move it's right side rails. After some manual persuading i managed to get the whole thing closed and ran home to check the forum for similar problems and solutions. Reading well into the night i found out similar problems, be it the motor, gearing or the cables.
The two common things i found in all the posts were "the infamous Audi jig" and a 1500-2000 pounds (euro, whatever...) repair quota. That got me wondering how come you need to change the whole roof for a defective motor, worn plastic wheel or broken cable?
Sooo, after seeing that Kitora managed to INSTALL all by himself an opensky, i decided i will be the second club guinea pig and attempt a repair on my own. ALL IDEAS AND THOUGHTS ARE WELCOME! Hopefully, a successful repair might trigger a wave of courage in other owners that were forced by the jig and the quota to give up on their precious panoramic sunroofs.
I woke up in the morning and thought at attacking the problem from underneath the roof lining. Seeing that tomorrow i must attend a wedding, today would be a scouting session only (required tools: philips screwdriver and torx screwdrivers). Got the camera out and got to work:
-Had a look at the places where screws hold in place the roof, and the only place where i couldn't find any removal solution were the sun blind's clips (Picture 001). Any ideas on removing these?
-I then proceded to removing the other side of the blind support and the screw holding it in place. This revealed the cables going to the vanity mirror switch, which simply disconnected via a plug (Picture 002).
-Underneath the opensky/lighting pannel you can see the motor and two plastic arms held in place by two screws, the arms coming down from the lining. Remove them, but not the ones holding the motor assembly.
-Next the vanity light came off, with a simple push with the screwdriver on the clip located on one side of the cluster (Picture 003).
-The four handles on the roof came off, each being held by two torx screws. Then a slight thug removed them from their places (Picture 004).
-In the back, removing the top part of the lining implied partially removing the back one too, these two parts being hold together by a piece of black plastic (Picture 005). Prize apart the two parts, carefully as not to break it (Picture 006). This concludes the roof lining removal.

Now for pictures underneath the lining:
Picture 007 is shot from the boot area, and it shows the 3 screws holding the opensky assembly to the car's frame.
Picture 008 shows the same area, but the two screws on the right seem to be earthing points. Anyway, all of these bolts are easily removed and put back in the exact same position (not needing any special alignment because their holes are round).
Picture 009 shows the same area but on the left side of the car. Same deal here. The black sleeved channel with the yellow sticker on it holds electrical cables, apparently not related to the opensky system. A close up in Picture 010.
Picture 011 shows the center back bolt holding the frame in place. Still no variable position, just a simple round hole.
Picture 012 shows a slightly pulled back picture of the back left side of the frame.
Now the front part, shot from the passenger's side. Picture 013 shows the right side mounting support and bolts. The white aluminum plate is riveted to the opensky body. The foreground yellowish bolt holds some sort of a rubber plate. The big white bolt holds the frame to the black body plate, via a spacer. The back yellow bolt also holds the opensky frame to the car's frame.
In picture 014 you can see the cables coming from the motor through the plastic tube, behind the spacer described earlier. The third yellow bolt is also visible.
Picture 015 shows part of the engine assembly, with the cable tubes coming from it. Same thing in 016, but the left side this time. The cables seem to be more like a spring type construction?
Front left opensky support in Picture 017.
Rear left opensky support shot from passenger's seat in Picture 018.
Initial thoughts

I have an A2 with the glass sun roof which has gone Kaput. I have tried to understand how to fix it and my preliminary notes are below. However, these are descriptive, rather than practical and I would greatly appreciate any help for fixing this particular piece of technik.

I think this is problem is more common than the Audi guys might let on and might therefore be of interest to a number of other A2 owners.

I find the glass roof is great for letting light in and have it open occasionally in the summer. However, living in England its not really that often.

For a while the roof has worked fine, albeit with a noticeable "clunk" when the second section of the roof was picked up. Nevertheless I felt the "clunk" was probably not a sign of outstanding health and used the roof mainly with just the front section tilted up (i.e. not pulled back at all).

Fine as it goes... until one day the front section did not close (even from just having it tilted upwards). I finally managed to get it closed with the help of my local garage – and then took it to the main Audi dealer to see what could be done.

I expected to hear that it needed a bit of easing and a bit of lubrication, but no... they told me it was going to be a new roof – materials around £1,500 and labour of around £900 plus VAT bringing the total to around £2,750!!

On closer questioning it turns out that there are two steel cables running down the sides of the roof and these pull the roof open and closed. The only thing that has gone is one of these cables... but of course you cannot get this part, you can only buy the whole roof!

Apparently these cables are the weakest link and need to be kept well lubricated to stop them seizing up (then, I think, wearing excessively). Apparently you also need to operate the roof periodically in order to stop this from happening (because when it rains water runs down channels inside the roof itself and this then leads to such problems). Well, Gosh! I sure wish they had told me this when I bought the darn thing!

To get at the mechanism I believe you remove the light above the driver's seat, then insert an Alan key into the motor to disconnect it from the roof mechanism. This allows you to manually move the roof (mine moves quite freely). I need to know a bit more about how this actually works but am not sure I want to become too much of an expert.

Meanwhile back at the ranch... the unit is apparently made by the German subsidiary of a US company called Arvin Meritor. Their details are:

ArvinMeritor LVS GmbH
Albert Einstein Strasse 14
63128 Dietzenbach, Germany
Tel: +49-6074-48330

Apparently they used to sell a repair kit. If they do, and if you can get your local garage to replace it it might be worth doing (I guess). I am going to try and speak to them.

To do the replacement, the roof still has to come out. Apparently you need to take out all the headlining, then the roof unit itself (I gather it is two large box frames). The steel cables can then be got at. There are two steel cables which I think are attached to the sides of the front roof section. The attachment has to be done carefully so that the roof pulls back square. You also need to put lots of grease on the new cables to slow down the inevitable march towards the next time they seize up!

So, please let me know if anyone has had similar problems and if you have managed to fix them without spending something like 30% of the car's value on fixing it. There must be market for this particular repair – its just a matter of figuring it out.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Simon Hulse.


How to guide technical author and custodian
Trex, WELL DONE! for taking this on. I missed this thread somehow.

I always wanted an opensky, if I ever manage to get my hands on one, then I will sure hope to strip it down and see how it all works (my kinda thing that and hopefully shed light on a fix for all that have these issues.




Today woke up groggy from yesterday's party, which means no new progress. I'm quite adamant to fixing the roof, especially since after a bumpy stretch of road, the front glass panel moved upwards and started to hiss like crazy (maybe even allow moisture in as the rubber seal was no longer tightly sandwiched by the panes). This means that you could find yourself one day raining inside, a deffo no-no for me.
Since my problem also involves the dreaded cables, the sliding block on the defective side is no longer holding the roof closed, resulting in the problem mentioned before. This basically leaves me with no option as to go ahead with the opensky make-or-break operation, because rough roads will be fairly often encountered and i don't see myself pushing the roof in place every 30 kilometers.
Before getting to work, i yet still have to find out what are those cables made off, their shape (spring like?) and the way they're operated by the motor?
I've seen that Arvin Meritor opened a production line last year in Salonta, Romania, so i'll try to get in touch with them locally.
I'd like to see a team effort in gathering information on this project, seeing that already many members suffer form these defects, and the ones that don't aren't looking at a bright future (harsh, yes, but i'm speaking from my own experience).:(

PS: Got all the pictures, schematics, opensky manual and even the german repair pdf from previous posts. Any german colleagues into a german-english translation for the attached pdf?


  • Reparatur Seilzug A2 open sky repair.pdf
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Today i tried to understand the reason for the failure described before, and reading the german piece of DIY repair it hit me: i have a broken piece of plastic like the one replaced in the document. That could explain the simultaneous failure of both the front and the back movement (rather than both cables snapping at once) on one side of the roof.
If this is the case, a replacement part is available, and all that remains is to prepare a garage day with my two trusty friends and make a human powered Audi "jig.":D
I would still be in debt to any german speaker for translating the repair brief, because online dictionaries are rubbish when it comes to technical terms.


I would need translated the document attached at post #7, Reparatur Seilzug A2 open sky repair.pdf . I really can't impose a time deadline seeing that you're so kind to volunteer, but sooner is better.;)
I hope i'm gonna be able to get to work in the next few days because i have the annual sea holiday planned in 10 days time.


.... repair of ripped pulling wire in the slot guide

remove both movable lids
position of the parts
1 - slot guide front
2 - "bit at the back"
3 - rear slot guide
arrow - driving direction

move the rear slot guide to the rear. To do this, unlock the "mover" with a screwdriver and then push up and to the rear
remove the "bit at the back" only on the inside; with a screwdriver, remove the bottom cover and pull the lid away towards the inside

move the slot guide to the position where the "bit at the back" was removed
remove the security ring on the rear of the front slot guide
Hit the bolt to remove it (HOLD THE OTHER SIDE!) and now fold the "loose bracket" (2 on the pic) forwards
remove both of the washers
move the cable to the position shown in the picture
now move the front slot guide so it's taken the cable in and has no play
add the replacement repair part and put it on the "floor". You may need to bend the centre section slightly to make it fit.
move the repair part to the rear until the contour fits the slot guide.
drill a 2.5mm hole in the repair part and through the top plate of the OSS, BUT NOT THE FRAME! Remove the swarf!
add a self-tapping M3x4 screw, tighten with 3Nm.
Replace as taken out:
- the bracket back to the rear
- replace the bolt
- replace the security ring
now use the emergency twirler to move it to the closed position
replace the "bit at the back" - first at bottom and then clip in by hand
bring the rear slot guide to the closed position
use a screwdriver to push the "tag" (circled in the pic) and push forward until it's locked.
add the glass sections again.

If there are problems with the cable having jumped teeth, then the two cables may need to be squeezed....


Added to bookmarks for later usage. I'll have to print the translated text and take it to the car and see what's what. Thanks a lot for the effort.


yep, print / take both docs together, as the pics show a lot that's not described. Engineer German... I'm not surprised Babelfish couldn't make head nor tail of it, as it's pretty complex.



I am so unhappy with my recently bought A2 with skylight. Today it stopped working. This is really something which Audi should issue. It is unfeasible that someone has to pay about €2500 for the sunroof!!! especially when the problem might cost €50 or less!!!

I am really disappointed with Audi's parts philosophy...

Please let us make this thread a definitive (and simple) opensky restoration program with simple easy to follow instructions for people who have no idea of cars like me, and who do not want to spend more than 30% of the cars value on the roof mechanism like me.


Next week is garage week for the opensky. Talked to my friend to free up half of the garage and get to work. All i have to wait now is for the part shop to give me a price and an ETA for the replacement part (the metal plates from the german document).


To sum up so far: I have OSS myself and I haven't lubricated it. I haven't had any problems, either, mainly because it tends to get moved once / twice a month during summer and otherwise there's not much rain here (in the winter it's snow and during the summer it's pretty dry). The car's also been in the garage most of the time for the last three years. I will do this shortly.

There's no point in stressing that the "OSS should work!" A 2002 car is now seven years old and things will start to go wrong. There are rumours on the German forum that Audi is considering lengthening the "kulanzzeit" - i.e. the time where they'll give at least part credit on repairs - but that's hearsay and not officially confirmed. So far, the number of problems is pretty high and if you want a trouble-free A2, don't get one with OSS.

I will try and help where I can, I know there's a bunch of guys over on the German forum with issues and many have just accepted that it's a CSS.

The parts philosophy? Is there one? Some parts for the 1.2 are extremely difficult to source, 4 years on. That's a legal issue in Germany, but still. The OSS is a single unit, much like the KSG or the MSG (Comfort unit, engine ECU), and they will also cost you several hundred euros if they go wrong. I'll agree that it's not really on to just have the unit itself, but considering the amount of engineering that has to go into making something take-apart-able - like when I think about speaker mountings I'd really like to have removable - I understand fully when they say "no can do". It's a closed system and you have to hope that they over-engineered. It appears that this is not the case.

There's no easy "I know nothing about cars, please help me fix this" level of fix, either. The instructions given above are for repair guys (for a start, I'd have no idea how to take the glass out, and I'd certainly not want to try and find an M3x4mm self-tapping screw) and I think it is going to be a long and hard road to gather information and then expertise. Do not assume there will be a quick fix.
Reminds me of another thread recently on another forum where someone wanted to add functionality, but had no clue how it works or where to find the connections he needed. And then when he was told "this is the relatively easy way", he did his best to argue it wasn't true. Great way to annoy sources of technical information... It applies here as much as anywhere else: It's one thing to want to learn and have a garage full of tools and experience in maintenance, and it's another to do complicated, potentially extremely expensive jobs. If you don't know what you're doing, then leave it alone and provide the information to someone who a) might understand it and b) is prepared to read it, ask questions, and try it.

Headlining: remove all the visible trim pieces. It should normally be Tx20 screws, the ones holding the grab handles in place are *very* long, around 90mm. There are two for each of the sunvisors, I think; the lights in the centre are clipped in and will come out with some easing (screwdriver / small swiss army knife). I don't think it's clipped around the OSS itself, I'll have to look. Take the frame out, first. You'll need a special tool to fix the frame back in place, because you won't get grip on the top to push it into the clips. I want to take my own headlining out at some point very soon - I'd planned to, anyway - I'll try and document the process.

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