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Discussion Starter #1
My rubber seals on my '09 cabrio's hatch glue themselves to the body. This usually occurs after the car has sat for a while and the hatch not opened. If I pull hard enough while triggering the latch, the seals unstick. To compound the problem, I have rheumatoid arthritis, and it's painful to put that much of a load on my fingers.

I've never had a problem with my coupes, but then, after you lift the window, you can get a much better grasp on the top of the hatch.

I've scrubbed down the sealing surface with soap and water and alcohol; treated the seal area with WD-40, brake cleaner, petroleum jelly, talcum powder, and a few other items.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Cheers and thank you, Bob
 

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I think you want something like dielectric grease (very light coating) to keep them from sticking....:shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks John.

I'm not familiar with that grease. I've tried vegetable oil and mineral oil ... no good.

Between different non-sticks, I clean carefully.

Also tried PAM silicone spray.

Cheers, Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I will try those. I did try silicone right at the beginning.

Until about 1980, I was an electronic tech then engineer. We had heat sink grease, but I didn't run into dielectric grease. I did try white lube.

Since none of the '09 coupes that I've owned had sticking problems, I wonder if the Cab had a bad batch of sealing rubber.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Cheers, Bob
 

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The more grease you put on a rubber gasket door/trunk seal, the stickier it will get because the petroleum is breaking the rubber down is why.
Put some talcum powder or baby powder made with cornstarch in your hand and rub the seals with it. Hopefully the rubber has not been degraded too far by the petroleum products you have already used.
The silicon spray is a good idea too, if it is 100% silicon with no solvent carriers. But don't get it on your window glass, as it is very very difficult to remove.
 

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I vote for silicone spray. Probably help to try to align the hatch as well. Should be aligned with the top edge of the side panels, at the top and the latches adjusted so it doesn't go in too far forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you both.

I went several years with no attempt to coat the seal at all. Initially, I tried adjusting the latch. It was not compressing the seal, and when it unlatched, the hatch did not move at all.

The first thing I tried was silicone cooking spray which I had used before on race car fuel tubing and seals. The next thing was talcum powder. I tried some 1" teflon tape, which was older, and worked for a while, but in the heat, the tape adhesive came loose.

Cheers, Bob
 

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Bob, use this Honda weather stripping grease. Long lasting. Unlike most silicon spray. Most Honda dealers, in KC metro carry it. Works on any make vehicle. I've used it for years.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Steve,

I just checked, and the sealing rubber appears to be dry and in good shape, not tacky to the touch despite the various 'release' agents that I've tried.

I've attempted to clean the area with soap and water and denatured alcohol each time after failed applications.

I've ordered some of the dielectric grease that Jwight suggests, and found the Shin Etsu silicone grease on ebay, so will try that if the dielectric doesn't work.

FYI - I've kept a thin hardwood stick in my dash pocket, and once unlatched, pry carefully in the upper crack between the hatch and the body. I can hear the seals unglue themselves. I'm gentle, and so far the smart panel paint shows no marks.

When I find something that works, I'll post it. I can't believe that I'm alone in having this problem.

Cheers, Bob in KCMO
 

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Now that I have a moment to think about it and recall, I do remember noticing a stickiness when the rear hatch or glass was opened. My hatch would pop open though when the remote or electronic switch were activated. I guess it didn’t really bother me and I did not do anything for it, because it never made squeaky noises when driving like my wife’s C-MAX Energi’s large rear hatch has in the past. The dealer had to replace the rear plastic panel and seal in that case, but the silicone spray I found in Big Lots specifically for seal squeaks did work after two applications and cleaning of the metal mating surface. (I wonder if I can find it and post a pic, sadly I’m disorganized....)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks JZChen,

I emphasize that this is the lower hatch/trunk on smart Cabriolet ONLY. The problem is that when the seals stick, your only grip is with fingertips on the release/license plate brow area, since you need to open this before lifting the soft top. On the Coupe, you lift the glass first, so you have a full hand grasp on the top of the hatch.

Probably more of an issue due to painful arthritis in my hands.

Cheers, Bob
 

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I see. I hope the dielectric grease works. That is a controversial additive to spark plug boots/contacts. Probably a good idea to try one idea first and seeing, lest you have a solution and a bunch of products on your hands. Your condition is really sticky, it seems. I'm afraid I agree with valvestem that oil related products likely make it worse, so stay away from WD-40 and other petroleum based stuff. Did you notice if it is not aligned well/pressed too far in? Like I noted there was a stickiness, but it always popped out some. I spent a really long time trying to align my coupe (sorry I didn't realize the difference), due to a water leak. (Turns out there was a gasket the ones who installed my rear spoiler didn't replace for the wiper). They fixed the leak, but left my glass/hatch misaligned again. (I didn't bother touching it lest it leak and be my fault, and now my smart is RIP)...

Definitely something going on here. I recall something unusual about the latches on mine, there was some sort of felt like material wrapped around the latch where the latches clasped. It made it a little more difficult to adjust the hatch (bottom portion). Not sure if that helps any, but they were there. Definitely try to adjust the hatch position. I can remember in some positions it would stick, and others it would not.

It should be equally centered between the fenders and aligned with the height of the fenders. The left and right rear panelling needs to be opened to adjust the latches.

Adjust the 4 lower bolts that hold the hatch first and tighten:. 43 Nm, loosen upper latch rings and adjust, tighten to 32 Nm.

Jesse
 

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Thanks JZChen,

I emphasize that this is the lower hatch/trunk on smart Cabriolet ONLY. The problem is that when the seals stick, your only grip is with fingertips on the release/license plate brow area, since you need to open this before lifting the soft top. On the Coupe, you lift the glass first, so you have a full hand grasp on the top of the hatch.

Probably more of an issue due to painful arthritis in my hands.

Cheers, Bob
I find the lower hatch on my cabriolet sticks but I've tracked it down to the plastic cover that hides the door rails. Mine doesn't always close properly when the rails are stored and this causes the plastic cover to stick out slightly on the left side and that seems to jam my hatch when I try and open it.

That product from amazon sounds interesting, I would want something that is a rubber restorer since drying out the seal would likely cause it to eventually disintegrate.

Here's something from a group of radio controlled car fans that discusses using silicon oil and not Armor All. https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/in...e-oil-is-great-for-rubber-and-armor-all-isnt/
 

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I find the lower hatch on my cabriolet sticks but I've tracked it down to the plastic cover that hides the door rails. Mine doesn't always close properly when the rails are stored and this causes the plastic cover to stick out slightly on the left side and that seems to jam my hatch when I try and open it.........
I have never had the tailgate stick on either my 2008 or my current 2009.
Doesn't matter if the top rails are in the tailgate or not.
Here are a few pictures of my current smart tailgate closed with and without the rails in it. I even have the front plate, registration and proof of insurance stuck underneath the foam holder. I wonder why yours doesn't close tight?:shrug:
 

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I have never had the tailgate stick on either my 2008 or my current 2009.
Doesn't matter if the top rails are in the tailgate or not.
Here are a few pictures of my current smart tailgate closed with and without the rails in it. I even have the front plate, registration and proof of insurance stuck underneath the foam holder. I wonder why yours doesn't close tight?:shrug:
Could have something to do with the foam coming loose, when I got the car those foam strips were sitting loose in the bin. Took me a while to figure out where they went and how they were supposed to be oriented. What I find is that if everything isn't just sitting right the left side of the cover doesn't fully snap shut and this causes problems later when trying to open the tailgate as that plastic cover seems to ever so slightly jam where the locking mechanism sits.

When I don't have my rails in that bin I don't have the jamming problem as often.
 

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Could have something to do with the foam coming loose, when I got the car those foam strips were sitting loose in the bin. Took me a while to figure out where they went and how they were supposed to be oriented. What I find is that if everything isn't just sitting right the left side of the cover doesn't fully snap shut and this causes problems later when trying to open the tailgate as that plastic cover seems to ever so slightly jam where the locking mechanism sits.

When I don't have my rails in that bin I don't have the jamming problem as often.
Mine are loose too. They aren't glued down, you can see in the pictures I have my proof of insurance, registration and front licsense plate stored under the foam. I don't remove them when I store the rails there.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Again, thank you.

However, I emphasize that this involves the seals sticking to the mating surface on the hatch itself.

Oddly, the seals themselves are dry and not tacky once I get it open, and the hatch will open and close easily once opened ... for a while! However, if I don't open the trunk for a week or better, especially in the right weather conditions (heat, humidity ??), it will often stick.

If I had a proper grab handle, it wouldn't be much of a problem ... just an annoyance. as mentioned, my same year coupes are not a problem as I can grab the top of the hatch with a full hand. If they stick, I don't notice it.

Cheers, Bob
 
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