Sunday, February 16, 2020

DIY - Stopping window squeaks and noises with Gummi Pflege Stift

Since day 1, the drivers side window has squeaked. It is most pronounced when the vehicle moves up and down, i.e. going over a bump or when stopping and starting. Opening the window slightly, makes it go away and also gently pressing against the top part of the glass with the window closed while driving makes it go away too.

I was especially able to determine root cause when driving on a long trip as it became irritating whenever the road surface was not perfectly smooth. So either the seal there was too stiff or metal behind the seal that is causing the squeak of the window on the seal.

I tried removing and re-seating the top part of the driver's door seal and also talked to support. The consensus was that rimless windows are subject to this. Well, I have 2 other cars with rimless windows, my GT-R that is 11+ years old, and therefore has gone through 11 winters and summers, does not exhibit any of these problems. The seals on the Model 3 seem rather stiffer, compared to other cars.

So the solution ended up applying a liberal amount of  Gummi Pflege Stift at $12 from amazon to the door seals in multiple locations.
The key to stopping window squeaks in Model 3
I first tried first applying it to the outside surface, but the issue only went away for a few days. Then I applied it to the inner part of the seals for a complete fix:

Applying to the outer seal is quite easy, but a delicate procedure if you don;t want to ruin the interior fabric.

First get the flow going on the bottle nozzle and get the sponge applicator wet with the liquid. Run the sponge applicator along the seals and let it sit there for a good 20 mins. Super gently wipe any excess using a microfiber cloth. Wipe away any extra that flows anywhere else other than the seals immediately. In the end, it will leave a nice sheen on the seals like so:
Applied a good amount to all outer seals against which window rests
The top edges of the window when rolled down will have some residue, I left that as is, especially going into the winter season for a better seal. But the noise issue came back after a few days. So further investigation yielded that the problem area for the driver's side window was actually this surface of the seal. 
Problem area that was causing the squeak
Turned out that the edge of the window glass was the culprit. Also running the finger along this edge of the seal firmly revealed uneven surfaces behind the seal. So the next step was to re-apply the Gummi Pflege to more surfaces and since the applicator did not fit in the inner edge of the seal. I applied the Pflege it to a small piece of foam, then applied it the four surfaces mentioned to soften the whole seal. I.e. both the inside and outside of the inner part of the seal, and the front and bottom of the outer part of the seal:
Applied Gumi Pflege to more surfaces seems to fix the problem.
I repeated the procedure on the remaining 3 doors and I am happy to report that the Model 3 has been annoying squeak free for about a month now. It has gone through the car wash and through very cold temperatures of 5 F and so far no squeak from the window.

Hopefully this helps others that cannot stand annoying noises while driving and simply turning up the audio is not the best option 😃.