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Honda’s secret weapon against squeaks and door leaks
Mike Austin on Sep 26th, 2019
Shin Etsu silicon grease tube
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Everybody has their favorite “secret” car care tools and products. It’s the stuff that might not be well known or is a little harder to find than whatever’s on the shelf at AutoZone. For me, one of those items is Shin-Etsu Silicone Grease. Think of it as lotion for the weather stripping on your car’s doors. And it’s not exactly unknown because you can find some at your local Honda dealer’s parts desk.
The ravages of time, temperature fluctuations, and the damaging rays of the sun all conspire to slowly break down the plastic and rubber on our cars. Door seals that start out soft and pliable become brittle, dry, and eventually start crumbling away. Even before things get that bad, older weather stripping lets in unwanted noise and moisture. Shin-Etsu slows this process by conditioning the rubber. If you have an old car, you need to use a product like this once or twice a year. I personally came to know about Shin-Etsu through a Facebook group for my Honda Beat. Honda enthusiasts, if you didn’t know, are obsessive about using factory supplied parts for everything, often with good reason. Which means anything sold at the Honda parts desk is probably good stuff. Such is the case with Shin-Etsu grease.
Prior to my own personal discovery, I hadn’t spent much effort looking for a good way take care of weather stripping. Silicone spray just makes every thing it touches greasy, and I know better than to use Armor All. To me, Shin-Etsu is a miracle product. It goes on easy, turning dull rubber a deeper shade of black with a slight shine. You can see and feel the effects immediately, stopping squeaks and giving peace of mind that your convertible or T-top can make it through the odd drizzle without dripping water down the inside of the windows.
Shin-Estu silicone grease in use white
For my Honda’s top, Shin Etsu is a stopgap against leaks until I get around to replacing the seals.
(Of course, upon sharing my insider knowledge with fellow Hemmings Editor Kurt Ernst, he sent me a link to Gummi Pfledge weather seal conditioner, proving that every country has some special version of every product, and whenever you think you know something about cars you will always be reminded that there is even more you don’t know.)
Stopping drips is exactly the reason why Shin-Etsu is known on our shores. According to a Honda representative, after the Honda Civic del Sol came out in 1992, dealers started receiving complaints about the car’s less-than-weather-tight targa roof. Looking for a solution, the American arm of Honda found an existing fix in the global parts catalog: Shin-Etsu grease. Service departments then made it part of their response to squeaks and leaks. It was also used in a technical service bulletin for the second-generation Odyssey minivan, which was prone to body flexing due to the relatively new – and structurally challenging – feature of dual sliding doors.
Shin-Etsu silicone grease after
Moments later. Shin-Etsu soaks in with gentle application, leaving door seals looking (and working) much better.
The company that makes this product is even more fascinating. Shin-Etsu Chemical is Japan’s largest chemical company and the leading global supplier of silicon for computer chips. It also specializes in rare earth magnets, and produces all kind of other products from anti-smudge coatings to cellulose-based food thickeners. Shin-Etsu grease comes from the silicone division, which in itself makes a dizzying array of products.
As miracle cure, Shin-Etsu grease isn’t limited to door seals. It works anywhere that you don’t want to use a petroleum-based product, such as window regulator tracks. If you want your own tube, the Honda part number is 08798-9013, available at the parts desk or any number of online retailers.
 
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