Should You Get a Model Y Roof Shade? [Read This First]

Should You Get a Tesla Y Roof Shade? (Read This First)

One of the most popular accessories that many vendors are selling for the Tesla Model Y is a roof shade to help block some of the sun coming in through the Model Y’s glass roof. Without something to block the ultraviolet light coming through the roof of the car, the inside of the Model Y can get unbearably hot in warmer climates.

Tesla Model Y roof shades are a good idea for anyone with a Tesla in hot summer temperatures since they can help keep the cabin temperature cooler, which requires less power to run Cabin Overheat Protection. Further, if you live in a sunny climate with high UV index, having a roof shade will protect the cars interior upholstery from fading over time.

Tesla Model Y roof shades are about $40, but for many people who live in blaring summer temperatures, they’re well worth the cost. Read on to learn more about the Tesla Model Y roof and why a roof shade might be a good investment if you own one.

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Advantages of a Tesla Model Y Roof Shade

There are many reasons why Tesla Model Y roof shades have become popular along with the growth of the model brand. Here are a few benefits of using a roof shade with a Tesla Model Y:

  • Light-weight materials: The light build of the Tesla Model Y roof shade makes it easy to use ad store.
  • Multiple options: These roof shades come in several options, such as mesh and opaque.
  • Lower temperatures: Using a roof shade can dramatically reduce the temperature of the car interior by over 30 degrees! This lower temperature can make a huge difference in comfort during the summer and warm climates. Especially when parked in the sun.
  • Cabin durability: Extreme high temperatures can have a detrimental effect on the materials inside the vehicle cabin, causing the upholstery to fade and dry-rot more quickly than if the materials were kept in the shade. Consistently using a roof shade can help keep the inside of the Tesla looking new for years longer than if the interior wasn’t protected.

For about $40 in most cases, anyone can purchase an aftermarket roof shade that can add significant comfort to their Tesla Model Y cabin. Depending on how hot it gets in your climate, it can be well worth the money.   

Disadvantages of a Tesla Model Y Roof Shade

Even though buying a Tesla Model Y roof shade comes with several benefits, there are some drawbacks to buying one, too. Here are some of the disadvantages you may run into if you purchase a roof shade:

  • Aftermarket product: Because almost all Tesla Model Y roof shades are aftermarket, this means that there isn’t the same guarantee of quality that there would be if you were buying an accessory directly from Tesla.
  • Can’t adjust while driving: Once the roof shade has been installed, it can’t be adjusted or uninstalled with a remote function or a button. Instead, the driver will have to pull over completely to install or remove the roof shade.
  • Sagging roof: Some users report that some Model Y roof shades have an issue sagging as low as 6 inches in the middle of the car roof. This sagging can cause a visual obstruction through the back of the car and can detect from the sleek aesthetics of the vehicle’s interior. Some aftermarket roof shades may sag worse than others.
  • Flimsy clips: Some Model Y roof shades are reported to have delicate and difficult-to-fix clasps that can make installation more difficult than necessary. Poor quality clips can reduce the convenience of being able to easily install and remove the roof shade.
  • May not be as effective in cooler climates: A roof shade can make a dramatic difference in cabin comfort for Tesla drivers in hot climates, but in cooler climates, a roof shade may not be as useful.

Even though there are some disadvantages to using a roof shade in your Model Y, the advantages of shading the cabin generally outweigh the drawbacks of installing a roof shade. Compared to the cost of the Tesla itself, spending $40 or so to test whether it improves your Tesla’s cabin isn’t much money to invest for some major benefits.

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Do You Need a Tesla Model Y Roof Shade?

Whether or not a Tesla Model Y roof shade is worth the purchase depends on how badly the roof shade is needed. The main reason that roof shades are so popular on the Model Y is that the car’s roof is made of glass, and in hot climates it can get pretty hot. Having a roof shade will keep the car cool when parked in the sun for extended periods of time, and will double as protection for the upholstery from UV damage.

What Causes a Tesla Model Y to Heat Up in the Sun?

The cause of a Model Y, or any other vehicle interior, heating up in the sun is due to a scientific phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. (Source: University of Wisconsin)

This effect causes UV light coming in the car windows to radiate off the car interior as heat, but the heat cannot pass back through the glass from the inside. This trapped radiation can then cause the car’s interior to get unbearably hot over a short time.

Within an hour, a car left at 94 degrees Fahrenheit can reach up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit, with surfaces in the car such as the dashboard and steering wheel reaching up to 157 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can imagine, these extremely high temperatures are not good for any electronic components inside the Model Y’s cabin. (Source: Live Science)

Luckily, all Teslas come with a feature called Cabin Overheat Protection. When enabled, the car will auto-detect when the interior cabin reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and turn the air conditioning system on the keep the temperature at or below 105 degrees. The only issue is that this feature uses the A/C system, which uses a lot of energy. If your car is getting too hot, too often, you will notice some battery drain from the use of Cabin Overheat Protection.

The use of a Model Y roof shade will keep the UV rays out, it keeps your car cooler longer. Meaning Cabin Overheat Protection will be running the A/C less frequently, using much less battery.

» MORE: A Guide To Tesla Sunroof UV Protection

Alternatives to Buying a Tesla Model Y Roof Shade

For Tesla owners who would rather not buy a Model Y roof shade, there are a few alternatives that could help to relieve extreme high temperatures inside the vehicle in hot weather. However, each of these alternatives comes with its own drawbacks.

Parking In the Shade

One of the easiest alternatives to buying a roof shade is to commit to park in the shade on hot days. However, the downside of this solution is that not all parking lots have shaded areas.

The advantage of parking in the shade is that it helps protect the interior of the vehicle by reducing the greenhouse effect. It also has the added benefit of helping protect the exterior paint job of the car since direct sunlight can help the pain to dull and oxidize over time. 

Tinting the Roof of Your Model Y

The Tesla Model Y roof comes pre-tinted with UV protection, however some owners choose to apply an additional layer of ceramic tint to it. This acts as a permanent roof shade that you can still see through.

Although window tint is not legal in all areas, roof tint is, so you won’t have to worry about the laws. If you plan to tint your windows as well, then it’s a good idea to check your local laws. Having a professional install ceramic tint to your Model Y roof will cost about $150.

Using a Windshield Shade in Your Tesla Y

If you don’t want to purchase a roof shade for your Tesla Y, another option for reducing extreme temperatures in the car’s interior is to use a windshield shade instead. These shades have the benefit of being easier to remove than the roof shade. While a windshield shade will not completely shield the car’s cabin from hot weather, it will at least help.

Even though a windshield shade will help reduce temperatures on the parts of the car cabin most strongly affected by the greenhouse effect, such as the dashboard and the steering wheel, a windshield shade alone is not as effective as a roof shade in searing temperatures.

Can You Order a Tesla Model Y Without a Glass Roof?

For Tesla owners who live in extremely hot climates, the question has frequently come up over whether the Model Y can be ordered without a glass roof.

The answer is, the glass roof is the only option on the Tesla Model Y, and there is no option to opt-out of it.

How Much Sunlight Does the Tesla Model Y Roof Let In?

Even though many potential Model Y owners are concerned with the interior of the vehicle getting too bright or warm due to the glass roof, the UV-reflective layer in the glass roof does a good job of acting as a tint to help darken the car’s interior.

While it wouldn’t be considered as shaded as a car with a solid roof, users report that the car’s roof is tinted enough to gaze through comfortably without squinting or shading your eyes.

Further, you won’t feel like you are sitting in direct sunlight when in the car. In fact, it feels similar to a standard roof vehicle, just with a better view.

» MORE: What Is the Difference Between Tesla Models?

What Other Tesla Models Have a Glass Roof?

All Tesla models come with the signature glass roof. On some models, like the Model X, the glass roof is even more impressive because it goes all the way from the windshield to the rear window nearly seamlessly.

The panoramic glass roof is a standard feature on all Teslas, so you won’t have to pay extra for it.

Why Do Tesla Model Y Glass Roofs Turn Orange In Morning Dew?

An odd observation that Tesla Model Y owners have made is that occasionally, the glass roof of the car will turn a burnt orange color during morning dew that almost makes it look like it has developed rust. So what’s the cause of this weird glass color?

The answer lies in Tesla’s glass technology. Unlike cheaper panoramic glass roofs, which may not even incorporate UV protection, Teslas roof glass contains a layer of UV-protective material that helps reduce the amount of heat being transmitted into the cabin of the vehicle. This is the orange color that you see in the roof sometimes. (Source: Car Throttle)

This high-tech glass somewhat reduces the need of Tesla owners to use a roof shade or other accessories to cool the car’s interior. Because of this state-of-the-art UV technology, many Tesla owners in temperate climates may not even feel the need to use a roof shade.

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Tesla drivers may be divided on liking the all-glass roof design of the Tesla Model Y if they live in a hot climate, but one of the major advantages of buying a Tesla is that these vehicles are chock full of technology that effectively counters challenges to their design.

If you’re one of the Model Y owners who live in a hot climate and want to keep your cars cabin temperature cooler, and protect the upholstery from UV damage, a roof shade may just be a good investment for their Model Y for $40. You may also consider tinting your roof with ceramic tint for $150, or just simply parking in the shade when possible.

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The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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