We drove Das Boot last night and were stopped at a light in Allentown -- a popular section of Buffalo that is very artsy, when we had another "car moment." Three college kids gave us thumbs up and peace signs while we were stopped at a light. So far, every day I have driven this car, someone has done that. It's really cool. The car looks great from the outside but I knew it was time to attack the interior, so that is what I did today!
The detail shop did not want to clean the interior until the carpet was replaced. I took it to a shop near our house this morning and we went over the rug and dashboard and made notes about the seats. We know there is a problem with moisture, but the seats are solid, except for the driver side. So we will "beef that up" with more foam. It will take a while to get an estimate and to make a plan for what we will do first. My next stop was the locksmith to get another set of keys made for a fraction of what we'd pay at a Benz dealer.
On the way home, I stopped to use a coin operated vacuum that ate my quarters but didn't work. It literally did not suck, which sucked. So I used my own machine at home. I can't even begin to describe what I sucked out from under the seats and in the back. I don't think anyone had ever vacuumed under the rear seats. I'm showing pictures today of my efforts after four hours of detailing the front -- which did not include vacuum time of an hour and a half.
I found the main source of the problem is probably that the rear doors are not sealing well. It rained a lot while the car was at the mechanic and it also spent a lot of time out during the summers. If the doors were not soundly shut, I think that let water in. There is a vacuum system that this model uses for the power locks. I am going to have that checked and also see if we need to work on the door seals. It makes no sense to spend a big chunk of change on carpet and not solve the leak. The windows and the side door will be left open tomorrow and were kept that way today to dry out that section of carpet. The Damp-Rid container will probably be put to use a lot to help with interior moisture.
The back 2/3 of the car still needs to be done, but that is less labor-intensive than the dashboard and front-end. This car was actually too dirty to detail. I was going to buy a package, but I think they would have ended up charging extra. I also hope that this will cut down on labor as there won't be as much clean up for the upholstery shop to do.
This car is going to be a big project and it will probably take a while for me to get it where I want it, but since a new E-Class wagon is 70K, this is the only way I will ever get to own one!