Your Corner Wrench: Got a sunroof? Keep those seals and drains in check
Gone are the days when you lift a lever in the rear and pop up the glass. Cleaning Products It is very important to use the right products when cleaning your sunroof and its components. Some materials can be very harmful to the rubber gasket that helps keep water out of your car, while other products may be toxic when the car heats in the summer.
As a rule, never use ammonia-based products to clean the sunroof glass or other components. For one, ammonia will cause streaking on glass which is annoying.
When this occurs, it vaporizes back in the air becoming quite toxic to your health. Will you die? In addition to ammonia, never use mineral oil, petroleum jelly or vinyl dressing on the sunroof seal; these products can severely damage and interfere with the sunroof seal. Our recommendation and many Automobile Manufacturers also recommend the use of Isopropyl Alcohol IPA , on a rag and just wipe around the seal. Warm tap water is also a safe alternative.
How to Clean Now that you know what products to use and not to use, we should cover how to use them. For the most part, just use your favorite ammonia free glass cleaner and wipe it off like any other window. For the rubber gasket and seal, just wipe it off with any of the products outlined above then dry using a lint free cloth. If at any point you notice any grease or oil in your sunroof, leave it.
Most likely it is there as a lubricant for the glass to slide and to keep the rubber components from drying out. You may have to open the sunroof or vent it and clean the rear of the seal and slide the glass back to get to the front of the seal. To clean the sides of the seal in an inward sliding glass panel, we recommend using a credit card and folding the rag over the card and sliding the card down into the seal.
When lubricating the seal and the roof is open, now is a good time to thoroughly inspect the seal for any rips, tears and cracking. Water Drain Tubes Some roof systems have drain tubes that are designed into the water management system of the roof.
Although you may not see these in your car, they are very important in saving your vehicle from water damage. Unfortunately, these tubes can become clogged with debris overtime. When this occurs, water cannot drain properly and can leak into the interior of your car. Mold and mildew can also form in your vehicle if the leak is not taken care of, deadly black mold can kill you! It can be fairly easy to unclog these tubes but you should watch an instructional video just to be sure.
However, the basics are that you can use compressed air, no more then 30 psi or you can blow the drain tube off. If the leak is caused by something else though or the clog is too severe, we recommend visiting a professional to either replace or fix the problem. Debris and Jams The main thing to remember when maintaining your sunroof is to keep debris, such as pine needles, leaves, rocks and dirt, out of the sunroof area. These often cause a lot of trouble with your roof system in terms of leaking and breaking.
When the roof is open and you are on a step stool look down in the roof pan assembly. The simplest solution is to take a shop vac and clear out any debris. Hand pick out anything that may be wedged in. Overall, just make sure the track of the roof is clear. A simple thing as a leaf can clog a drain tube and cause a leak. A rock can jam a track assembly and break it, causing a couple of thousand dollars to repair.
Wipe down the track assembly and the moving components with a dry rag to remove any old grease and dirt. You can use an old toothbrush or some cotton swabs as well. We recommend using a silicone paste or a spray lubricant and lubricating the tracks and the sliding components of your roof system. We recommend servicing your roof system annually, so you can enjoy trouble free open-air driving for many years. Request More Information Fill out this form with a description of your issue and we will get back to you to fulfill your needs.
They provided great quality work and excellent customer service, for a reasonable price. Mike and his team are very well-versed in this specialized area of car maintenance and they stand behind their work.
Highly recommended! The front sunroof drain tubes from the factory were actually trapped at the dashboard. John installed two new drains and I have never had another leak! Jesse quickly pinpointed the problem and fixed it.
No leaks now! Great service! My Ford dealer could not pinpoint it after 4 times. We have had a lot of rain, and no more leaks! Wiley HamiltonOntario I had a musty smell in my used car I had recently purchased. My car smells great and no more leaks! Stayrer TorontoOntario I had a big water leak in my brand new truck on the right side. I was so upset, my carpet was soaked! I received my vehicle back at the end of the day as promised, I felt the carpet it was dry!
I lifted the carpet to check underneath and it was dry, all new under pad and fresh smelling. My service advisor informed me it was a skip in the sealer from the factory. I am so happy I had to write! Slater WindsorOntario I had a wind noise on my brand new Charger that my dealer after two attempts could not figure out, it was driving me crazy. I went to another dealer and they said no worries we bring in an outside specialty company. I arrived at the dealership for my appointment as I wanted to drive my car with the technician so he could hear what I was experiencing.
Before you start troubleshooting battery drain problems Make sure you have a fully charged battery. Make sure you have the radio code written down. You may be required to enter the radio code after this test. You may be required to perform a window and sunroof synchronization. If you are going to keep any of the doors open, manually press the door switch. Find a way to secure the switch pushed in. Use a screwdriver to lock the door latch. Manually press the door switch. Find a way to secure the switch pressed.
If you have a fuse box in the trunk, open the trunk but place the latch in locked position. How to troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz battery drain Step 1 Make sure you have a fully charged battery.
If your battery is over 6 years old, you should consider replacing it to avoid further electrical nightmares. You can save on the cost of the battery by purchasing it online.
Turn off the lights. Make sure the dome light is off. Remove any accessories you may have plugged into the auxiliary outlets. Remove the key from the ignition and let the car sit for at least 15 minutes.
This will allow the car to shut off any electronic consumers that stay on for a brief period after the car is parked. Step 2 Locate the battery in the trunk or in the engine compartment.
Remove the negative battery terminal so that we can connect the multimeter in series as shown in the next step. Step 3 Turn on your ammeter and set it to reader currents on the A setting. Connect one test lead to the battery post and the other to the negative battery cable.
You should see a current draw of less than 0. If your read is over this value we need to do further troubleshooting. The reading should ideally be under 0. Step 4 Locate the fuse box in your car. Disconnect the fuses one at a time. As you remove each fuse you should check the amperage reading on the multimeter. If the multimeter reading is still high, reinstall the fuse and go to the next fuse. Continue removing and reinstalling all the fuses one at a time, until you pull one that makes the multimeter reading drop to below 0.
Once the reading drops below 0. Then look up on the fuse chart to find out which electrical system that fuse protects. For example, it may be the fuse for the seat control module. Next, you will need to even troubleshoot or replace the seat control module. You may want that fuse removed until you replace the defective parts that are causing battery drain. Conclusion The vehicle must be resynchronized or otherwise normalized after performing this test or anytime you disconnect and reconnect the battery.
To resynchronize follow these steps: Open and close the sliding roof, power windows. The steering angle sensor must be reset by turning the steering wheel to full left and full right with the engine running.
If your Mercedes-Benz battery dies, read this article to learn how to jump start your Mercedes-Benz the right way. Things to keep in mind You should eliminate these potential problems before you dive into troubleshooting the battery drain problem.
Make sure no interior or exterior lights are left on during the night. Make sure no lights in the trunk are staying on when you park the car.
Check the battery terminals and ground connections. Clean battery post terminals. Use a battery terminal tool to clean the battery posts and terminals.
Older batteries should be replaced due to age and wear. Perform a battery load test and inspection. AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts will do a battery test for free.
You should do a visual inspection of the battery. Make sure the battery housing is not distorted. Make sure that all the caps are still on the battery. Check for any leakage if you have older lead acid battery. AGM type batteries is what newer Mercedes-Benz cars use. Voltage Regulator may be defective and needs replacement. Test the alternator. Make sure it is generating enough amperage. Check that the glove box light does not stay on when the car is parked.
The easiest way to check this is to open the glove box after the car is parked for a couple of hours. Place your hand near the glove box light bulb and feel it if it is warm. Be careful not to burn your hand. Aftermarket alarm system. Aftermarket alarm system are very often the cause of battery drain. They often can discharge a fully charged battery within days. So if you have one of these systems installed check that first. Maybe disconnect it for a few days and see how it goes.
Note that often times they are connected to a live battery source with an in-line fuse, therefore the test performed in this article may not catch the problem. Locate the alarm fuse, remove the alarm system fuse and test the current draw for the alarm. It should be less than 0. Proximity key allows you to walk up to the car and unlock the doors while the key is still in your pocket. A radio receiver in the car continuously listens for wake up signal from the key. As the car receives a signal in the assigned frequency it wakes up to validate the key.
This causes current draw for several seconds. If the car is left parked in high pedestrian traffic areas this could be a problem. It may cause the battery to drain within a couple of days in some models.
Nearly 745,000 Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Recalled Over Loose Sunroof Assemblies
But if you like taking chances, there are a few things to do to improve your odds. First, clean the seals at least once every fairweather season. Dust, dirt, and grit can easily become embedded in the rubber seals that are exposed when the roof is open. These particles can easily reshape the seals to allow gaps, but damp microfibre cloth and very little elbow grease is all it takes to clean them up. If you notice any debris lying in the bottom of the trough, a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment can make short work of the problem.
Finally, a quick shot of silicone lubricating spray can help bring dried out seals back to life. Running about a cup of water in each of the 4 corners of the sunroof trough, with it open, can help verify if the drain tubes are clear or blocked.
Look for the water to drain out from the undercarriage just behind the front wheels and just ahead of the rears; if one appears blocked, a gentle blast from an aerosol can of electronics air-cleaner may do the trick. To resynchronize follow these steps: Open and close the sliding roof, power windows.
The steering angle sensor must be reset by turning the steering wheel to full left and full right with the engine running. If your Mercedes-Benz battery dies, read this article to learn how to jump start your Mercedes-Benz the right way. Things to keep in mind You should eliminate these potential problems before you dive into troubleshooting the battery drain problem.
Make sure no interior or exterior lights are left on during the night. Make sure no lights in the trunk are staying on when you park the car.
Check the battery terminals and ground connections. Clean battery post terminals. Use a battery terminal tool to clean the battery posts and terminals. Older batteries should be replaced due to age and wear.
Perform a battery load test and inspection. AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts will do a battery test for free. You should do a visual inspection of the battery. Make sure the battery housing is not distorted. Make sure that all the caps are still on the battery.
Check for any leakage if you have older lead acid battery. AGM type batteries is what newer Mercedes-Benz cars use. Voltage Regulator may be defective and needs replacement. Test the alternator.
Make sure it is generating enough amperage. Check that the glove box light does not stay on when the car is parked. The easiest way to check this is to open the glove box after the car is parked for a couple of hours.
How To Maintain Your Car’s Sunroof
Place your hand near the glove box light bulb and feel it if it is warm. Be careful not to burn your hand. Aftermarket alarm system. Finish the process by inserting a skinny, flexible, non-puncturing wire into a drain tube, twisting the wire clockwise and then counterclockwise while gently pushing it deeper into the tube.
Make sure to check the length of your drain tubes; the far ends, usually located under the car near the wheels, can be tempting places for insects to build nests that can block the drains and cause leaks. Then close the sunroof and pour water over the glass. If it leaks into the passenger compartment, look for cracks or jagged edges along the sunroof seal, and scan the area around the seal for any excessive water pooling or mold.
Still leaking? Consider taking your car to a pro for a repair. Let It Move Freely If your roof is sticking or seems to be slow, inspect the moving parts if they are visible for cracked or stripped gears, or a buildup of dirt and debris. Turn on your car engine and cycle the roof through the open, closed and vent positions to identify the area where the problem occurs.
If it runs more smoothly after a couple of cycles, clean everything and then lightly and carefully apply a lightweight, heat-resistant grease to any visible moving parts.