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Water damage potential

a small hole opened up in the silicone seal along the drain channel in my E320 wagon. The interior of the car was flooded with water during a recent rain storm. The dealer/repair shop opened up the panels and found the leak as well as very wet electrical wiring beneath the carpet. They recommend opening up the inflicted areas and cleaning each of the wire connectors to prevent corrosion and potential damage to the electrical system. They also say that the hole needs to be repaired by a body shop in order to weld the plates together to guarantee the seal. It is all a very costly procedure. I need to seal the car, do I really need to clean each connector? Any recommendations?

What “drain channel”?? What panels? Weld the plates together?

I’d be heading for the exits on this one.

front channel from the windshield in front of the fire wall splits left and right to each of the wheel wells. Lots of pieces and sealant along the way… one small piece missing means lots of incoming water.

Has this car been in a wreck??

There are several types of silicone sealer. One is nearly as thin as water, or maybe light weight oil. It hardens in a low oxygen environment. It is often used on leaking windshields. Small quantities can be bought at your friendly local auto supply store. For a larger amount, get the number of the product from a tube at Autozone, and check with an an industrial supply for a half pint or so. What would happen if you poured THAT sort of silicone into the area that is leaking? Be sure to put newspapers over the carpet to catch what comes through. Once it hardened in the seam I think it would keep it from leaking. Follow up with a bead of the thick stuff.

Please define “flooded”. I’ve seen lots of cars that got 2 or 3" of water above the carpet on their floors. After simply sucking the water out with a wet vac, they were fine.

If you think you need to do something for the wiring, CRC makes a contact cleaner. You, or a good detail shop, can pull all the carpet and take the connections that might have gotten wet apart, spray each with the contact cleaner and plug them back in. Dry the carpet ouside, and reinstall it. In all probability this is preventative mantenance for something that won’t be a problem anyway.

thanks, this is helpful. With the carpet pulled up I was able to put my hand in and feel that the wiring (a substantial bundle) was indeed under water. With such a computerized vehicle I reluctantly concede that the preventative cleaning and drying may avoid long term damage to the system.