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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Perhaps you can answer a question regarding the lubricating of the seal with silicone grease. The owners manual mentione "weatherstripping" ...
  1. #46
    JackB is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Perhaps you can answer a question regarding the lubricating of the seal with silicone grease. The owners manual mentione "weatherstripping" when suggesting coating with SG and does mot specigically mention the sunroof. The sunroof seal however feels more like plastic. I have not had any issues with my sunroof on my '09 and was about to spread some SG on the seal but thought I would check to be sure this was a wise move considering everything still looks new with the seal.

  2. #47
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Quote Originally Posted by JackB View Post
    Perhaps you can answer a question regarding the lubricating of the seal with silicone grease. The owners manual mentione "weatherstripping" when suggesting coating with SG and does mot specigically mention the sunroof. The sunroof seal however feels more like plastic. I have not had any issues with my sunroof on my '09 and was about to spread some SG on the seal but thought I would check to be sure this was a wise move considering everything still looks new with the seal.
    Okay, depends where you're feeling. The glass panel is encapsulated in a polyurethane overmold around the edge. The actual seal seats into a groove on the outside edge of this polyurethane. On the front glass panel, the seal goes all the way around the glass panel perimeter, but for the rear glass panel the seal is not present on the front edge. If the front edge of the rear panel is what you are touching that feels more like plastic, that is not a seal. The rest of it which should be compressible by a little less than a quarter inch is the seal.

    If you go to a particular spray lube manufacturer's web site you can find information about chemical compatibility, but you'd also need to know the seal material and I'm at home right now and don't recall for certain the material for these seals. Within the manufacturing process, any lube containing silicone is allowed, so based on that I think it is safe to say that the seals do not come out of the factory with silicone grease. However, the reason for this is that silicone will contaminate a paint system. It doesn't mean that a silicone grease is incompatible with the seal material.

    (Just to clarify, I wrote this at home yesterday evening but forgot to hit the submit button until this morning)

    Okay one more point to add since I didn't actually get to the part as to whether silicone grease spray on sunroof seals is okay. I've been hearing that the owner's manual says you should do this, and my understanding was that it includes the sunroof seals. I haven't actually read the owner's manual verbage myself, so I will see if I can check that if I get the time. But as far as I know, the way I've heard it in conversations with other engineers here and at suppliers is that the lube procedure in the manual applies to sunroof seals.

  3. #48
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Specific to the sunroof the owners manual states:
    Dirt and debris may collect on the
    sunroof seal or in the tracks that
    could cause an issue with sunroof
    operation, noise or plug the water
    drainage system. Periodically
    open the sunroof and remove any
    obstacles or loose debris. Wipe the
    sunroof seal and roof sealing area
    using a clean cloth, mild soap, and
    water. Do not remove grease from
    sunroof.
    For general vehicle care it states:
    Weatherstrips
    Silicone grease on weatherstrips will
    make them last longer, seal better,
    and not stick or squeak. Apply
    silicone grease with a clean cloth.
    During very cold, damp weather
    frequent application may be
    required. See Recommended Fluids
    and Lubricants on page 10‑7.
    In 10-7 under weatherstrip conditioning it states:
    Weatherstrip Lubricant (GM Part No. U.S. 3634770, in Canada 10953518)
    or Dielectric Silicone Grease (GM Part No. U.S. 12345579, in
    Canada 992887).
    I did a search for GM weatherstrip lubricant and they listed among some of the applications that it can be used on t-top seals, so I'll make the disclaimer that I'm not specifically stating an official position on behalf of GM, but in my opinion it seems reasonable to conclude that this grease is okay for sunroofs.

    I'm also going to read between the lines that the suggestion that dielectric silicone grease can be used implies that the seals are not intended to act as an electrically conductive pathway, and as such it is better to use a grease that is not going to conduct electricity. This seems to make sense, based on general engineering principles, because a glass panel moving past the headliner could have the potential to generate a static electric charge, and the electrical path for disippating it would be through the metallic connections of the frame to the roof panel where it is away from where it can be touched, while if the seals were carrying current there would be the possibility (even if it is remote) that someone could touch it and get shocked.

    (I'm conscious of static charge buildup from previous engineering work I've had that is from an industry other than the automotive industry)

    Or I could be reading into it too much, and dielectric silicone grease is relatively inert and won't deteriorate seals.

  4. #49
    Delta is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    that weatherstrip lube is like $70 for an ounce...

  5. #50
    MoFex's Avatar
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta View Post
    that weatherstrip lube is like $70 for an ounce...
    I have been using Zymol rubber conditioner on my other cars with good results. Two days ago I applied it to the sunroof seal. I do not believe it will hurt.

  6. #51
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta View Post
    that weatherstrip lube is like $70 for an ounce...
    In short, my personal experience is that GM branded (For that matter, any OEM whether it's Mopar or Ford or anyone else...) maintenance products are priced substantially higher than aftermarket alternatives. The owners manual states silicone dielectric grease, and the chemical composition of such grease regardless of brand should have the same level of not being chemically incompatible with the seal material, and you should be able to find that for much less.

  7. #52
    blankster is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    I have some MOPAR bushing lube that I used on a 300C I owned before the CTS. I've been using that with success on some of the seals around the side glass seals. As a habbit tend to lube all seals/rubber stops/hood bumpers 2 or 3 times a year (especially in November prior to winter). I also will use a CRC silicone lube or similar and will use up a can doing 3 cars. The ones at the door bottoms receive special attention. I recently sold a 1992 Corvette where all the seals/weatherstrips still looked like new which is huge on those cars since replacements (GM parts) could cost up to 2K or more. Regarding the sunroof, I will coat the sunroof seals by hand (silicone or the bushing lube) and spray some silicone around the seals of the fixed portion and wipe off the residue after it has a chance to be absorbed. Regarding my sunroof - I'm coming up on 2 years of ownership and no issues. In fact no issues with the entire vehicle.

  8. #53
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Just a quick update, I am starting to contact posters that have responded here, but the site limits private messaging to 2 messages sent within 60 minutes. Anyone I haven't contacted yet, bear with me or feel free to send a PM.

    I noticed that everyone that posted that they had wind noise indicated they have model year 2008 Cadillac CTS vehicles. It's not clear when the issue started, aside from some posters that indicate they bought their vehicle new and soon after buying the car they noticed the wind noise issue was present.

    So some further info that would be of interest would be:
    If you've had service performed, was it within the waranty period or after?
    Is your vehicle typically stored inside a garage or outdoors, particularly during peak sunlight hours? (Any other information about weather exposure would be helpful as well)

  9. #54
    loosend is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    I bought my 2008 in June of this year as "certified" used vehicle that luckily is still under the B to B warranty until May 2012. I also had/have the same wind noises as described here at highway speeds and the creaking noise when going over bumps. The two straight seals on each side and the gutter seals were replaced initially along with a glass adjustment but did nothing to help the issue. I took it back and the glass was adjusted again--still no change in wind noise and squeaks. I could easily make it squeak by pressing upward on the front glass panel. Then, in August, I ended up with a flooded car with an inch of water in the rear footwells and in the trunk due to the drain hoses not functioning properly and took it to a different dealer. They serviced the drain hoses but didn't specify what the problem was and replaced the perimeter seals. The wind noise is barely noticable now and there are no squeaks coming from the sunroof, although the rest of the interior still have multiple squeaks and creaks as the temperature changes. I'd like to add that the rubber (I think you called it polyurethane) that surrounds each glass panel (not the replacable perimeter seals) are cracked and dry rotted but the dealer won't replace the glass panels. It doesn't look very nice but they say its normal from the sun and weather. I am very concerned the car will flood again with a very heavy rain like before as the drain lines are under-sized for the amount of water they are expected to evacuate and an expensive vehicle should afford its owner alot more confidence. Thanks for your interest.

  10. #55
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    I'm not posting this as any comment about a particular customer's experience, but I thought I'd offer this video as insight into some of the kind of testing that vehicles go through, in particular at GM, but I believe it's probably fairly typical.

    Specifically note the water booth, this should be one of the kind of tests that a design problem with the drain hose not being adequate size would be caught. It's Camaro but same tests, you can also see the car going through the twist ditches which tests the car under conditions that twist the body as I had mentioned earlier.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zBgTxiUOQw

  11. #56
    JackB is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    I think it was my misunderstanding regarding the plastic type material that I mentioned above. That piece is fairly large, tubelike and is what the glass rides over top of on both sides. I will check the actual edge of the glass to lubricate. It does bring up the qustion of whether that larger tube type strip should be lubricated??

  12. #57
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    My understanding is that the smaller seal on the edge of the glass is the primary seal for keeping wind and water out and that seal is secondary, it shouldn't hurt to lubricate that. I think mostly that one functions to keep any water that gets into the water channel from splashing into the passenger compartment, but the general idea behind lubricant is to keep seals from drying out which would potentially be a source of squeaking.

  13. #58
    blankster is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Quote Originally Posted by JackB View Post
    I think it was my misunderstanding regarding the plastic type material that I mentioned above. That piece is fairly large, tubelike and is what the glass rides over top of on both sides. I will check the actual edge of the glass to lubricate. It does bring up the qustion of whether that larger tube type strip should be lubricated??
    I silicone anything with rubber in the sunroof assembly. Also I apply wax to the inside edge (painted portion) of the car where the sunroof seals touch. Again I do this several times a year. Removing any dirt/grit from these seals will also reduce noise.

  14. #59
    WillK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Quote Originally Posted by blankster View Post
    I silicone anything with rubber in the sunroof assembly. Also I apply wax to the inside edge (painted portion) of the car where the sunroof seals touch. Again I do this several times a year. Removing any dirt/grit from these seals will also reduce noise.
    Certainly that's all good preventative maintenance. Dirt on the seals is something which is known as a potential source of squeaking, and left long enough can roughen the surfaces to the point where cleaning might not eliminate any squeaking. If the sunroof was to get to that point, seal replacement might be the only way to eliminate some squeaks.

  15. #60
    louiefl99 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Hi, I'm an engineer, tell me about your sunroof

    Quote Originally Posted by WillK View Post
    Just a quick update, I am starting to contact posters that have responded here, but the site limits private messaging to 2 messages sent within 60 minutes. Anyone I haven't contacted yet, bear with me or feel free to send a PM.I noticed that everyone that posted that they had wind noise indicated they have model year 2008 Cadillac CTS vehicles. It's not clear when the issue started, aside from some posters that indicate they bought their vehicle new and soon after buying the car they noticed the wind noise issue was present. So some further info that would be of interest would be:If you've had service performed, was it within the waranty period or after?Is your vehicle typically stored inside a garage or outdoors, particularly during peak sunlight hours? (Any other information about weather exposure would be helpful as well)
    My lease expired while I was still in the bumper to bumper warranty, so nothing out of pocket. I live in southeast Florida and my cars are garaged at night / weekends and parked outside at work during the day. Never seen temperatures below freezing.

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