Completing Your Car Window Seal Repair in a Few Easy Steps (2023)

Completing Your Car Window Seal Repair in a Few Easy Steps (1)

Making a car window seal repair remains one of the most vital forms of maintenance you perform on your vehicle. Water may cause a significant amount of damage to your car’s interior and the electrics, so you must fix the cause of the leak. Furthermore, you don’t want your pride and joy smelling damp.

While the world deals with the pandemic, many of us may feel nervous about visiting repair shops, so you may wish to tackle the job yourself. Making a car window seal repair may prove more straightforward than you think. Follow our guide, and with a few simple tools, you can save yourself some money and an unnecessary trip.

Car Window Seal Repair

One of the most common areas where water may penetrate is the windshield. You might only notice the leak when it rains, or you go through a car wash. Similarly, if you have a car roof window, you could find water seeping through faulty seals.

Remove any old, brittle seals and clean the area thoroughly before using fine grade sandpaper to prepare the exposed metal. Cut the new seals to size and use weather stripping adhesive to fix the seals into place.

With a few essential tools, you may efficiently complete the job and save your health in the process.

The dreaded mold

Mold remains present at all times in most environments but cannot grow without sufficient moisture, so it remains harmless. However, once mold spores receive a supply of moisture, say from a leaking window, the spores burst into life and start to grow.

If you find mold growing inside your car, then there is moisture present. If the growth remains unchecked, the mold may infest any upholstery and carpets within the vehicle. And while driving, you sit within a small, closed environment, so as you breathe, you inhale mold spores.

Lung damage

Mold exposure may trigger various unhealthy and dangerous conditions, especially in those who may find themselves allergic to mold. Long-term mold exposure may cause severe damage to your lungs and result in asthma conditions, including symptoms like coughing, wheezing and nasal congestion.

Constant exposure to mold may result in long-term health problems. A leak in your car may encourage mold to grow, and if left unchecked, the colony might infest upholstery and carpets. So if you detect a leak or see mold, it may well be time to perform a car window seal repair.

How to Perform a Car Window Seal Repair

While it may take a little patience, our simple guide can help you easily perform a car window seal repair.

Find the cause

Water ingress may be the result of various faults. A hole in the car’s body, a faulty windshield, or the air conditioning vents represent viable culprits. Plus, a defective heater core may result in water dripping into the passenger area. So, eliminate the obvious causes first.


Check the windshield and window seals

Time and constant exposure to sunlight and adverse weather conditions may cause the seals around the windows to crack and become brittle.

Use a bucket of soapy water to help you find the location of the leak. Pour the soapy solution over the windshield around the trim. Ask your partner or a friend to aim an air jet towards the inside windshield edges as you pour over the soapy water.

The jet of air mixes with the soapy water to form air bubbles at the leak location. Upon further examination, you may find that the seal has deteriorated and needs replacing.

Replacing the Seals

While replacing the seals may sound a bit daunting, a little patience and some handy instructions quickly see the leak repaired and the seals as good as new.

Remove the old seals

Start by easing the head of a flathead screwdriver under the seal to begin loosening it. The aim is to separate the rubber seal from the metal of the frame, and you must take care to perform the task gently so that you don’t damage the window.

Once free, you should be able to peel away the remaining trim. If it’s brittle, it may snap, in which case, repeat the stage with the screwdriver until you have removed the entire seal.

Clean and degrease

The next stage involves removing any adhesive and rubber residue. Use a solvent cleaner and scrub the area with a rag to remove as much residue as possible. It would be best if you cleaned back to the metal, which may take some time. However, if you don’t clean the area properly, the new seals won’t take.

Completing Your Car Window Seal Repair in a Few Easy Steps (2)

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(Video) How To Restore Weatherstripping Trim On Your Vehicle!

Once you feel satisfied with the cleanup, dry the area with paper towels.

Circular motions

For the adhesive to stick, you need to sand down the metal to form a grip. Use fine-grit sandpaper, working in a small circular motion, though you mustn’t sand beyond the seal’s area because you don’t want to ruin your paintwork.

This step may seem laborious, but it’s worth taking your time to achieve a good finish. The job’s success depends on the preparation, and the cleaner the area, the better the seal. Finish off this stage by washing away any dust residue and drying the metal with a paper towel.

Sticky situation

When it comes to applying the new adhesive, you must use a weather-stripping adhesive to achieve a permanent fix. Cut the weather-stripping adhesive to size first and fit them to the window before applying the glue.

Completing Your Car Window Seal Repair in a Few Easy Steps (3)

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(Video) How to Repair a Windshield Chip or Crack

Use a thin layer of glue where the seals sit against the metal. As the glue starts to dry, apply a bead to the inside of the rubber.

It remains essential that you lay down an unbroken, continuous stream of the adhesive to prevent the risk of any further leaks. An even, unbroken line of glue ensures excellent adhesion for the new seals.

Fitting the new seals

Allow the weather stripping to achieve tackiness, which may take around 10 minutes. Once the adhesive reaches a tacky state, then you may begin to fit the new seals into place.

Take this stage slowly, placing the seals into place as accurately as possible, pushing the seals onto the weather stripping adhesive firmly as you work. The idea here is to aim for a firm bond by expelling any air trapped between the rubber and the metal. By squeezing the rubber as you go, any trapped air should disappear.

Completing Your Car Window Seal Repair in a Few Easy Steps (4)

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(Video) How to remove mold/mildew and oxidation from your cars window trim with two basic cleaners!

Finishing touch

Once you feel confident that the seal sits firmly in place, it is worth going around the seal again. Move around the completed seal with your fingers, pressing down firmly as you move to expel any remaining air. The action also ensures that the seal between the rubber and the metal forms an ultra-tight fit. All your hard work with the preparation should ensure that the seal remains that way.

You have just completed a car window seal repair.

The final test

It may take a few days before the glue and sealant cure properly. Once you feel confident that enough time has passed, check the repair’s validity by repeating the soapy water and air test.

If you detect leaks after you have worked through these stages, then be aware that you may have to repeat the process.

Though not ideal, using a little weatherproof silicone sealant in a caulking gun may provide a temporary fix until you feel able to take the vehicle to a professional repair shop.

Car Window Seal Repair Explored

Many of us find our budgets stretched as we find ourselves living through extraordinary times. The last thing we want is a sudden expense when it comes to our vehicles. While window leaks may seem trivial under the circumstances, the resultant damage may give rise to health problems.

If the mold gets the chance to establish itself in your car, you may find yourself in close contact with the spores. Inhaling the spores may lead to lung damage and severe conditions such as asthma. So, you may need to perform a car window seal repair.

Once you detect the leak’s source, by using a few simple items as flathead screwdrivers to remove the damaged seal and fine-grade sandpaper to clean down the metal, you can repair the problem.

While the process may feel laborious and time-consuming, it is worth taking your time to ensure that the adhesive and seal’s preparation and application are correct. And once the new adhesive cures, the result is a weatherproof, leak-proof seal.

Completing Your Car Window Seal Repair in a Few Easy Steps (5)

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry making business and sells his creations online. You’ll find more of Sean’s helpful automotive advice at Radar Detector Guides.

Last update on 2022-11-30 at 08:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



What do you use to seal rubber on a car? ›

Once the rubber seals have been cleaned and freed of contaminants, protect them against moisture, heat and frost with a silicone lubricant. Not only does this ensure a long life, but it also keeps them looking their best all year round!

How do you fix a leaking car door seal? ›

Reseating a Seal

First, examine the entire periphery of the door to see if you can spot any gaps where the seal itself is attached to the frame. Once located, make sure that the seal isn't frayed or cracked near the gap itself, but just dislodged. Next, use weatherstrip adhesive to reseal the strip to the frame.

How do you fix a gap in a window seal? ›

Fill small cracks and gaps with caulking. Fill larger cracks with foam backer rod of the appropriate size by pushing it into the gap with a putty knife, then apply caulking on top of it. Still larger gaps and holes can be filled using aerosol cans of expandable foam.

Can you repair broken seal windows? ›

While you could remove the pane of glass, find the break in the seal, clean the inside of the panes, have the argon glass replaced, replace all of the seals and reinstall, there's plenty of room for error.

Can you replace the seal around a window? ›

Better Repair Options: You don't have to replace the entire window frame if your seal fails. Instead, simply swap out the old panes and seal with a new unit with hermetically-sealed panes, and you're good to go.

What is the best way to attach rubber to rubber? ›

Cyanoacrylate adhesive, commonly known as super glue, is generally the best adhesive for rubber bonding. You only need a very small amount and the bond becomes very strong and rigid almost instantly. If the joint falls apart after curing, it may be due to the type of rubber you are using.

What do you use to seal rubber around windshield? ›

Silicone sealant can be a great quick fix for minor cracks around the edge of a windshield and gasket.

Can I use WD-40 on rubber seals? ›

Actually wd 40 is bad for rubber anything. Just ask any air soft gun hobbyist. They avoid it to lube their guns because it destroys rubber seals. The best option here would be a silicone based lube.

Are car door seals easy to replace? ›

5 Installing new door rubbers is not a very difficult job and with a bit of care and attention it's a task anyone can achieve. Progressively work your way around the door and make sure that you press down directly on each clip to ensure each one is fully seated in its hole.

How much does it cost to fix a car window seal? ›

At the repair shop, you could typically expect a car window rubber seal replacement to cost somewhere between $30 and $120, depending on labor costs where you live.

How do you seal a gap? ›

Gently press the foam rod into the foundation gap. The foam backer rod will act as a support for the caulk that you will add to the joint. Fill and smooth the joint-apply the polyurethane caulk over the foam backer rod and use the spoon to smooth out the polyurethane caulk that you have applied to the foundation gap.

How do you close a gap in a window frame? ›

So here's the step-by-step process of fixing a gap between the window sash and frame.
  1. First-hand Cleaning. ...
  2. Inserting Backing Rod. ...
  3. Apply a Masking Tape. ...
  4. Preparing Caulk and Placing Cartridge. ...
  5. Application of Sealant. ...
  6. Keep it Clean. ...
  7. Paint Your Frame.
18 Aug 2022

What happens when a window loses its seal? ›

When a window seal fails, moist air seeps in between the glass panes and condenses on your windows, causing window fog. And while the fog may eventually go away with weather changes, now that the seal has failed, the problem will keep coming back.

What causes a window seal to break? ›

At night, the window cools and draws in air and humidity. This cycle, known as solar pumping, puts the window seals under stress and causes moisture to become trapped in your home windows. Once your window pane is fogged with moisture, your window will quickly degrade, and you will have to replace it.

What happens when seal breaks on window? ›

The most common sign of a broken window seal is visible condensation. The failure of the flexible seal can cause humid air to enter between the panes and cause the fog you are seeing. The fog may lessen or worsen depending on weather and humidity conditions.

What is the strongest rubber adhesive? ›

In general, cyanoacrylate instant adhesive is the best choice for bonding rubbers. More commonly known as super glue, this product cures in just seconds and lets you know quickly whether or not the bond will hold.

What is the strongest flexible glue? ›

In an independent adhesive strength test, Adiseal was found to be the best adhesive. It was a lot stronger than all the other products that were tested. In the wood to metal adhesive strength test, Adiseal flexible adhesive was way stronger than anything else.

What is the strongest glue for rubber to metal? ›

When gluing metal to rubber a cyanoacrylate based adhesive, like our Super Glue, would be ideal, as it provides a flexible, but incredibly strong bond.

How long does car window sealant take to dry? ›

The adhesive must be allowed to dry for at least one hour before you can drive away. After an hour the windshield can handle normal driving. However, the urethane is not secure enough to keep the windshield in place in the event of a collision for at least 8 hours, so drive carefully and go straight home, if possible.

What is the best sealant for rubber? ›

Adiseal is a great product to bond rubber to many different materials and it is also a great sealant for rubber as well. Adiseal will provide a good, long lasting, flexible and waterproof seal.

Can You Use Flex seal to seal a windshield? ›

Press the nozzle and caulk the outline of the windshield. If you get Flex Shot Clear in any unwanted areas, just wipe it away with a paper towel. Let the caulk dry for 48 to 72 hours before reapplying the weather strips back to the windshield.

Can you use vinegar on rubber seals? ›

Vinegar is sometimes used as a fabric softener or for getting rid of stains and odors in laundry. But as with dishwashers, it can damage the rubber seals and hoses in some washing machines to the point of causing leaks.

What oil do you use for rubber seals? ›

The solution is: Use silicone lubricant for o-rings and seals to be safe. Silicone lubricant is waterproofing and lubricating. It costs $10 for a small tube and is available at all auto parts stores. Be safe, use silicone grease on your o-rings and rubber seals in pressure washer wands, hoses and pumps.

Can you glue the rubber seal on a car door? ›

When the rubber shrinks as it cools it can pull away from the frame, usually at the corner. Rubber and metal cannot be glued together easily, so regardless of how much adhesive you apply, you will not be able to fix the seal to the door frame using glue alone.

How long do car seals last? ›

At a minimum, you should expect your transmission rebuild seals to last as long as the unit's original seals — that is, for about 100,000-150,000 miles.

Is it worth replacing window seals? ›

The best way to stop cold air from entering your home is simply to replace your window seals. If your seals are more than 10 years old then they will almost definitely need replacing. Doing so will drastically increase the efficiency of your home.

Who can fix the seal around a window? ›

If the window is under warranty, call the manufacturer to fix a broken window seal. Depending on the quality of the window, it may be guaranteed for anywhere from three to 15 years, and if the seal fails within that time, the manufacturer will often provide a new IGU.

What is the car window seal called? ›

Automotive weather stripping is the rubber material that forms a seal around your vehicle's doors, windows, trunk lid, windshield, and other areas, such as the roof rails. Depending on the location, the seal might have an O or U shape. Window sweep seals, called beltlines, have a felt-like edge to help keep out debris.

What is the rubber seal around a window called? ›

A window gasket, also known as a window seal or seal gasket, is something that is fitted to your window frame to prevent the entrance of draughts and water to your home.

What is the best adhesive for car door seals? ›

3M Black Super Weatherstrip and Gasket Adhesive is designed specifically to bond rubber gaskets and weatherstripping to metal surfaces. This flexible, high-strength adhesive helps ensure a tight waterproof seal on car doors, trunks, sun roofs and more.

Can I use Gorilla glue to fix my car? ›

Gorilla takes epoxy to the Gorilla Tough level. With its superior solvent and water resistance, Gorilla Epoxy adhesive is incredibly strong and durable for household and automotive repairs alike.

How much does it cost to get window seals fixed? ›

The national average cost to repair a window seal is $70-$120. Repairing a glass window seal could mean several things. You may need to replace a window sash (the part of the window that holds the glass and framework around the glass) with damaged panes letting air inside the panes.

Can you replace the rubber seal on the inside of a window? ›

Can window seals be replaced? You can replace window seals in your uPVC windows and doors. Doing so is very easy and doesn't require any tools. You will find you can remove and install most window seals with just your fingers.

What is the rubber seal around a car window called? ›

Automotive weather stripping is the rubber material that forms a seal around your vehicle's doors, windows, trunk lid, windshield, and other areas, such as the roof rails. Depending on the location, the seal might have an O or U shape. Window sweep seals, called beltlines, have a felt-like edge to help keep out debris.

What happens when a window seal breaks? ›

The most common sign of a broken window seal is visible condensation. The failure of the flexible seal can cause humid air to enter between the panes and cause the fog you are seeing. The fog may lessen or worsen depending on weather and humidity conditions.

How often do window seals fail? ›

Double or triple-pane windows filled with argon, krypton, or other fill gas can be expected eventually to leak up to about 1% per year, according to some industry estimates.

Are broken window seals covered by insurance? ›

Yes and no. If the window seal was broken by a covered peril, such as a vandal trying to break in, your policy will cover the damage. But it won't cover broken window seals due to lack of maintenance or general wear and tear because homeowners insurance only covers damage that's deemed to be accidental and unexpected.

How can you tell if a window seal is bad? ›

There are a few signs of window seal failure that you should keep an eye on.
  1. Foggy Windows. Foggy windows aren't to be confused with normal window condensation. ...
  2. Drafts Around the Windows. ...
  3. Irregular Temperatures. ...
  4. Damaged Window Frames. ...
  5. Windows that Are Hard to Open and Close.
29 Oct 2020

How do you seal a window without replacing it? ›

6 Ways to Insulate Windows without Replacing Them
  1. Install Window Inserts. Window inserts offer excellent insulation during those frigid winter months while being cost-effective compared to full window replacements. ...
  2. Bubble Wrap. ...
  3. Traditional Caulk. ...
  4. Insulated Glass Units. ...
  5. Thermal Curtains. ...
  6. Draft Stoppers.
20 Dec 2021


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