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Leaking Door Seals

Jimbob

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I've had two Tourers, a pre-facelift and my current 56 plate one. Both have suffered from leaking door seals at about 100k miles and both from the same place. The first car I tried to fix but I wasn't very successful. I've just finished fixing my current car, so fingers crossed it will work better this time.

Both cars leaked after heavy rain, the water can be seen coming into the car from behind the rear door cards, bypassing the door seal. I think the primary cause for this is the felt rubber seal on the outside of the windows gets old and stiff and lifts 1-2mm from the surface of the glass allowing more water than is usual into the door.


A poor photo but you can just make out the gap between the window and the seal.

This is quite an expensive part to replace, about £40 a seal if I remember rightly, so I haven't bothered with that. Instead if the door cards are removed you can see that the plastic sheet that diverts water through the door drainholes comes unstuck at the bottom, allowing water into the car.


Failed seal on my old car - You can see the white sealant has come unstuck at the bottom.


Dirty sealant doesn't stick it any more.

The first fix I did on my old car I needed to do in a hurry so I used the only thing I could find, silicon sealant. Don't do it, it's not worth the bother, it lasts all of a week if that and then the carpet gets wet again. Instead the stuff I used this time was Renault door caulking or boot sealant (Renault Part no. 7701423330). This was recommended to me by a Honda mechanic who said it is better than the Honda product and is what they used when they have to replace these membranes. A roll cost me £7.40 plus VAT and I've only used half on the two rear doors.


Renault magic sealant. (Door/boot caulking)

Remove the door cards
(1) First pull off the triangular black trim piece that fills in the corner of the door, you should be able to do this with your fingers or a screwdriver.
(2) Remove the cover panel behind the door lever with a small flat bladed screwdriver and unscrew both screws behind it.
(3) Carefully remove the silver door handle trim piece with a 5mm flat bladed screwdriver. Carefull as it's easy to snap this plastic bit. If you look underneath you'll see the slot to put the screwdriver in.
(4) Unscrew the two screws behind this silver trim piece.
(5) Get as screwdriver/spatula/fingers under the bottom edge of the door card and pull hard. The card will 'pop' off.
(6) Unplug the electric window wiring loom.
(7) Unclip the whole door lever ***embly and feed through the hole. I then taped this to the window out of the way.
(8) If some of the white plastic studs remain in the door try and remove them and put them back on the door card for re-fitting.
(9) Now you should be able to see the sealant and the membrane. The sealant will probably be pretty dirty. On my old car this sealant was white but on the new facelift it's black.


Old sealant on the facelift car.

Renewing the sealant
Gloves may be useful here as the sealant is pretty sticky stuff.
(1) I used a kitchen spatula to remove as much of the old sealant as possible. Looking at the state of the old stuff I decided I only needed to replace the bottom half of it. I left the old sealant in place on the top half of the door and just made sure it was well stuck down.
(2) Using isopropyl alchohol (Meths should be fine) I cleaned up the door and the membrance and removed all residue from the old sealant. Fairly messy job.
(3) Fitting the new sealant is as easy as unrolling the sealant and laying it in place giving it a press to stick it to the door. There is a handy groove that is stamped into the door showing where it should be layed. It seemed easier to remove the paper backing as you lay the sealant out, otherwise the paper makes it difficult to turn corners.
(4) I overlapped the new and old sealant to make sure there wouldn't be a gap.
(5) Once the sealant is in place I pressed the membrane into it working from the top down.


New sealant in place - you can see the joins halfway up

The new sealant is stiffer than the Honda stuff and it is harder to pull the membrane off. I'm confident this will work well.
 

Dan Robinson

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Excellent write up there bud...

Thanks.
 

vile

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Yep agree a very good write up.My sister had the same in an old Golf and it got recalled to have it fixed.Im sure they called it the men brain was faulty.
 

Reiver

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Yep, a very useful guide thanks.

I do feel the Honda window seals are pretty crap (at least 7th gen). Most cars have the exterior rubber seal tight against the window whereas we appear to have a gully to collect tiny leaves and debris which damages the felt seal. The felt seal in turn doesn't press that tightly against window. I had to use folded paper to scoop out tiny leaves and compost this autumn!
 

Jimbob

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You could be right Pepster, washing the car doesn't normally get to the top of my priority list I'm afraid to say. I do so many miles that a nice clean sparkling car only lasts 5 minutes. Both times I've checked the seals they have been dirty and it looks like that is the reason they've failed. I'm sure it would help if more water/dirt was prevented from even getting in the door though. I've wondered if there may be a way of softening up the felt seals so that they sit against the windows as I'm sure they are designed to do. Although as long as my car stays dry I don't think I'll spend much time worrying about it.
 

Monzta

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Great write up. I had wet carpet by the NSR door. Have cleaned off the old mastic and replaced with butyl tape. Now waiting for some decent rain to see if it's fixed. :)
 
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