Rubber trim cracking on Jetta

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Time to trade it in guys (kidding). I believe I’ve seen another MKVII Jetta owner with this problem either on here or Vortex, couldn’t find the thread. I know my mother in laws Jetta has this cracking also. I noticed it on hers first, and paid special attention to my wife’s car in the way of keeping this area clean and “conditioned” with a uv inhibiting spray wax. I noticed yesterday while washing the car, that it has started cracking as well.

At this point the cracks are small, but I wonder as the car ages if they will get to the point where they allow water intrusion. When the door closes it pushes slightly back on this rubber strip forming a seal. I suppose the constant pressure of the door pushing back on this area eventually causes it to split. Unfortunately it is part of the quarter panel glass so the whole unit would need replacement. Maybe this would be a good candidate for an end of warranty replacement.

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It wouldn’t hurt to have the dealer check it out. That is really premature for a 2021 car.

All seals compress some so I would guess that it’s a material issue. VW might had a TSB on it.
 

gregk24

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It wouldn’t hurt to have the dealer check it out. That is really premature for a 2021 car.

All seals compress some so I would guess that it’s a material issue. VW might had a TSB on it.
It would appear it is a materials issue. MIL's Jetta is a 2019 model built in late 2018. So it appears to have been going on for at least 3 years. I'll probably keep an eye on it then bring it up toward the end of the warranty period. Also something to consider is I recently had the windows tinted. I'd have to pay to have the rears re-tinted again on my dime.
 

gregk24

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I just checked my 21 and nothing. But it was built in August 21. What's your build date?
Hmm, let me go check. It was built 05/21. I thought I could avoid the issue by applying a UV protectant but apparently not so. If you don't mind, give it time and recheck. I am curious if yours will suffer the same fate. So far, it is happening only on the door we use most. The other one has not cracked, yet.
 

gregk24

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I think the tint guy cut them trimming the tint.
No, because I can see where he did cut lol. Also, my MIL's Jetta shows the same cracks, but worse and hers has never been tinted. These also appeared after tinting. 100% confident it was not from that, though it is a good suggestion!
 
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I condition my door/window rubber seals with 'Shin-Etsu grease' HONDA part # 08798-9013. It's a white colored light grease in a squeeze tube like a tube of toothpaste. I bought several tubes years ago to use on my Honda Pilot, but of course it can be used on any vehicle, I'm using it on our family's 3 Toyotas. It's specifically designed for protecting/conditioning such seals.

Also, there is an ongoing trend in auto manufacturing to make everything biodegradable or via eco-friendly substances/processes, so many materials/paints don't last like they used to back when little thought was given to future recycling of worn out vehicles. For example, newer cars use much more plastic under hood/engine parts which are no where near as long lived/durable as their metal predecessors, but longevity/durability is being sacrificed for lightness/cheap to produce.
 
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It would appear it is a materials issue. MIL's Jetta is a 2019 model built in late 2018. So it appears to have been going on for at least 3 years. I'll probably keep an eye on it then bring it up toward the end of the warranty period. Also something to consider is I recently had the windows tinted. I'd have to pay to have the rears re-tinted again on my dime.
It's debatable if that would be considered a warranty issue, more of a wear and tear issue, at least that's how I'm predicting the dealer will view it when the time comes. That being said, my dad's 2001 V6 Camry seals still look brand-new, but we are talking about a Toyota, which is what I'd expect from a quality Japanese car, but it's amazing his 21 year old sedan looks in much better shape than do your door seals. I did treat his seals with a special Honda grease a few years back to rejuvenate/refresh them to keep them new looking.
 

gregk24

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The cuts are on the outside, tint goes on the inside.
He is referring to tint shops laying the tint over the desired window to cut it to the proper shape. That is common practice, however not the cause of this cracking. I polled the MKVII Jetta crowd on another site and it turns out this is happening a lot, and it gets worse, and many have been warrantied. It also sounds like some have been sent to body shops as at least some dealers can't remove the windows and re-install themselves.
 

gregk24

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It should be made clear to everyone,


Shin-Etsu grease is for Japanese vehicles.

Gummi Pflege is for German vehicles.

😉
I've seen "Gummi Pflege" pop up in a few threads. Is it good stuff? I'd like to apply something often as VW's seem to have poor seals when compared to other makes. I'd like to keep them in good shape for as long as possible.
 
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