SLK55 leak near driver's side A-pillar - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-02-2013
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SLK55 leak near driver's side A-pillar

So I just got a 2005 SLK55 AMG.

That part's pretty sweet.

Then I took it to an automated touchless car-wash. (I know, I know... you're probably shaking your head right now. But hey, I can't hand-wash it all the time, and it's not exactly out of the realm of realistic expectations...)

It leaks. Specifically, it leaks in two places.

1) I got a few drops of water on the passenger and driver's side about mid-way down the length of the window. I couldn't figure out from where -- I just noticed a couple drops of water on the sill.

2) More importantly, I have a not insignificant leak on what I think is the driver's side A pillar. It seems like water is entering on that side from near where the roof joins and running down the inside of the rubber seal all the way to where it terminates near the fuse box. (Yeah, water near my fuses. I love thinking about that.) If I peel back the rubber gasket on the inside a little bit, I can see the water running down from where it ends near the fuse box cover.

Hmm... this reminds me of my Crossfire, and not in a good way. (German performance, British design, and American interior engineering ineptitude...)

After the requisite freak-out I did a little bit of detective work, and dropped the top part way. The same piece of rubber that I found the water in continues up to the roof catch on the driver's side at the top left of the windshield frame. There's a small tab that looks like it's supposed to tuck behind part of the catch -- and on the passenger's side it was tucked thusly. On the driver's side, however, it was in front of the catch.

Oh, and before people mention it: yes, I've Gummi Pfledged every seal I could find.

So my questions are:

1) Is this a known issue, and am I lucky enough to have something as seemingly important as this be solved by simply tucking some rubber in?

2) Since I know I'm not that lucky, what should I actually be looking for?

Let me know if I left anything important out...

Thanks!
-Rob
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#2 Old 08-03-2013
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There was an old post on this where some reinforcement (plastic insert of some sort) is inserted to firm up the small rectangular flap that is part of upper rubber seal of the main window. However, from your description, it may be the integrity of the rubber seal as it sits on the frame may have been lost, in which case, new rubber seals may be needed. Probably best to have a reputable body shop have a look.

Just a guess on my part.

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#3 Old 08-03-2013
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Maybe this link will help: https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-gen...tml#post119571

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#4 Old 08-03-2013
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It sounds like you've done a LOT of reading. And of course, cut us all off at the pass by already using gummi. Was the gummi application before or after noticing the leak..? None the less, How long have you had it? is this the first time you've noticed the water?

I looked this up, and the repair doc was based on an slk 350 that leaked on the drivers side. Not sure if it will help or not. Take a look.
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#5 Old 08-03-2013
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Originally Posted by slk320chick View Post
It sounds like you've done a LOT of reading. And of course, cut us all off at the pass by already using gummi. Was the gummi application before or after noticing the leak..? None the less, How long have you had it? is this the first time you've noticed the water?

I looked this up, and the repair doc was based on an slk 350 that leaked on the drivers side. Not sure if it will help or not. Take a look.
Ok, well that might answer where the one or two drops are coming from. I'm not too concerned about that though, as it's just a couple drops and I doubt that I'll ever see a rainstorm with the same amount of force as the car wash...

Regarding the clips, I don't think there's been any collapse as far as I can see. Still, might not hurt to pick up a couple if I can find 'em cheap enough.

The seals themselves seem in good condition, post Gummi: pliable, smooth, no visible damage. I suppose I could throw some Krytox on there as well, but I don't think it needs it.

Any other locations to check?
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#6 Old 08-04-2013
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Originally Posted by ThinkRob View Post
Ok, well that might answer where the one or two drops are coming from. I'm not too concerned about that though, as it's just a couple drops and I doubt that I'll ever see a rainstorm with the same amount of force as the car wash...

Regarding the clips, I don't think there's been any collapse as far as I can see. Still, might not hurt to pick up a couple if I can find 'em cheap enough.

The seals themselves seem in good condition, post Gummi: pliable, smooth, no visible damage. I suppose I could throw some Krytox on there as well, but I don't think it needs it.

Any other locations to check?
Have you cleaned and treated the window seals as well as the roof seals? I use both the Gummi Pfledge and Mothers Black-to-Black.


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#7 Old 08-04-2013
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Have you cleaned and treated the window seals as well as the roof seals? I use both the Gummi Pfledge and Mothers Black-to-Black.
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Originally Posted by ThinkRob View Post
Oh, and before people mention it: yes, I've Gummi Pfledged every seal I could find.
Do you know if the leak happens all the time or only with the pressure from the auto car wash? Does it leak when you use a hose over the spot? Maybe if you have someone put a hose over the spot you can trace the leak that way.

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#8 Old 08-05-2013
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Do you know if the leak happens all the time or only with the pressure from the auto car wash? Does it leak when you use a hose over the spot? Maybe if you have someone put a hose over the spot you can trace the leak that way.
I haven't seen it leak during a rain storm, but I don't tend to drive much in the rain.

Sadly, I don't have a garden hose anywhere near where I park or I'd give that a shot.

Do you think I should try Krytox GPL105? From what I've been told it's quite a bit more potent that Gummi Pfledge when it comes to restoration (as opposed to prevention/protection).
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Originally Posted by ThinkRob View Post
.....Do you think I should try Krytox GPL105? From what I've been told it's quite a bit more potent that Gummi Pfledge when it comes to restoration (as opposed to prevention/protection).
I bought a bottle of the MB stuff which is the same IIRC as the Krytox GPL105, and use it 1-3x/ year after cleaning the rubber seals using a damp microfiber cloth. It's not only good to keep the rubber in good "shape" but also quiets down any squeaks.

It is worth the $30 investment for a 30 ml bottle. Incidentally MB service manual says 1 bottle is good for 10 vehicles or 10 applications, i.e., 3 ml per use for the rubber seals.

Stay away from commercial car washes, if this is at all possible.

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#10 Old 08-14-2013
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Originally Posted by etyu View Post
Stay away from commercial car washes, if this is at all possible.
It's not, assuming that I ever want to get the car washed.

I'm also worried about whether this is going to progress into something that happens just whenever it rains.

Is there any way to adjust the seal in that area? I noticed a Torx bolt there, but I'm reluctant to mess with it without knowing what I'm getting into...
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#11 Old 08-14-2013
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Originally Posted by ThinkRob View Post
It's not, assuming that I ever want to get the car washed.

I'm also worried about whether this is going to progress into something that happens just whenever it rains.

Is there any way to adjust the seal in that area? I noticed a Torx bolt there, but I'm reluctant to mess with it without knowing what I'm getting into...
See the PDF from SLKChick, it's only to be adjusted 1mm or so only.

I think it may be from the water pressure of the commercial car wash that deforms the rubber seals a bit abd allows ingress of water.

How about using a self-serve car wash place where one can be careful wit the water hose?

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#12 Old 08-14-2013
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The same thing happened to my new 2013 SLK55 last week. I had to get the roof adjusted (unrelated), and I asked the service department about the water intrusion. They told me straight away that I shouldn't use a pressure wash because the horizontal stream can get through the seals. I'm ok with that, and I don't expect rain to come sideways at that velocity. But it was stressful! :-)
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#14 Old 08-15-2013
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Originally Posted by etyu View Post
See the PDF from SLKChick
The PDF?

Any hints as to where I might find said document?

Quote:
I think it may be from the water pressure of the commercial car wash that deforms the rubber seals a bit and allows ingress of water.
I suspect the same, but I'm worried that as the seals continue to age that a heavy rain might do the same.

Quote:
How about using a self-serve car wash place where one can be careful with the water hose?
I can and will do that, but it's a lot less convenient than the automated ones!
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Originally Posted by ThinkRob View Post
The PDF?
.....Any hints as to where I might find said document?
Post #4 above, are you able to see the PDF attachement with SLKChicky's post?

(Query for moderators/admin: Can non-paying members or members with less than 15 posts see the attachments, like PDF's and photos?)

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#17 Old 08-16-2013
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Got it, thanks!

I can certainly try that, although my leak doesn't really match the one specified in that document (i.e. in my case water's not following the blue arrow in the first picture)

Upon further inspection, I notice that when the roof is closed it seems like on the passenger's side (the one which doesn't leak) the part of the "lip" that's visible inside in the cabin is... I dunno how best to describe this, but, further up? Almost like it sits up higher on the pillar than it does on the driver's side?

(Sorry if that's not making much sense. I'll try to remember to snap a picture of it the next time I go driving.)
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#18 Old 08-16-2013
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Originally Posted by ThinkRob View Post
Got it, thanks!

I can certainly try that, although my leak doesn't really match the one specified in that document (i.e. in my case water's not following the blue arrow in the first picture)

Upon further inspection, I notice that when the roof is closed it seems like on the passenger's side (the one which doesn't leak) the part of the "lip" that's visible inside in the cabin is... I dunno how best to describe this, but, further up? Almost like it sits up higher on the pillar than it does on the driver's side?

(Sorry if that's not making much sense. I'll try to remember to snap a picture of it the next time I go driving.)
Yes sir, a photo would help.

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#19 Old 09-22-2013
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Well the good news is that I know where the leak's coming from.

The bad news is that I have no clue how to fix it.

I'm on my phone now, but I do have some pictures I can upload later. (The forum's upload feature doesn't work on my mobile browser.)

The water is coming in via the section where the front roof seal attaches to the top of the A pillar (about 2-3 inches). There's a slightly visible gap (which both sides have), but if I pull it apart a bit I can see where the water gets in. Tightening that Torx bolt that I mentioned earlier doesn't help.

Now: how the hell do I fix this without replacing the whole roof seal? Is there any reason I can't just get a tube of RTV silicone sealant and go to town squirting it into that area? That'd be too easy, I'm sure...

-Rob
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Until we see the pics it is tough to say.


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