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Repairing And Maintaining Your Car's Window Seals

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Unless they stop working, you probably don't pay them any attention—those inconspicuous black rubber seals that run across the bottom edges of your car's windows. But those rubber strips, your automobile's window seals, do several important things:

  • They keep any type of moisture from seeping into your door, preventing corrosion of your door's working parts.
  • They effectively seal the inside of your car off from any wind or air that might enter. This means on cold days, your window seals keep the cold air out, and on hot days, they keep your air conditioning inside.
  • When you roll a wet window down, the window seals scrape the water off the window, preventing water spots from forming and again protecting your door's inner workings.

If your car's seals have begun to fail, it's a relatively simple process for you or an automotive shop to replace them. Examine your seals—look for dark coloring, no cracks, and a soft, rubbery feel—and if they don't pass the test, follow the steps below to replace and maintain them.

Find Your Fit

Window seals are not one-size-fits-all. Specifications for window seals vary widely by car make and model. You should be able to find the right type and size of window seal for your vehicle at virtually any auto parts store, such as A-1 Glass Masters, by giving a service representative your car's year, make, and model. There are usually several options available to choose from.

Replace The Seal

Before you place the new seals on your car, you must remove the old seals. To do this, doityourself.com recommends using a flat head screwdriver to carefully loosen the old seal from the metal of the door. Make sure you've rolled the window all the way down first. Once loosened, you should be able to manually pull the seal completely off the door. You can also use a razor and a pair of pliers to cut and pull the seal away.

Once the old seal is removed, it's time to install the new seal. Begin with the outside seal, then the inside. Seal kits are available and come with a special adhesive used to adhere the seal to the door. Apply the glue to the rim of the door where the old seal used to be as well as to the part of the seal that will attach to the door. Set the new seal in place and hold until it stays in place on its own. Give it time to dry completely before using your windows.

Take Care Of Your New Seals

Oil-based products can damage rubber, so experts recommend using a non-oil rubber protectant or silicone product on your window seals to protect them over the long run. Regular cleaning and lubrication of your rubber window seals will ensure they stay smooth and tight during any weather and will also keep your seals from sticking to your window.