How to Repair a Car Door Seal

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Where have the greatest advances in the automotive world been made in the last 30 years? Power, fuel economy, longevity, reliability or emissions, maybe? Nope -- the greatest leaps in auto engineering the last few decades have been in sophistication and refinement -- making cars quieter, more civilized and easier to live with. Wind noise through leaking weatherstripping is one of those problems that didn't even seem to exist back then, because the rest of the car's noise drowned it out. Now, though, leaking door seals -- even if they don't allow water in -- can quickly become an irritating reminder of how far we've come.

Things You'll Need

  • Weather stripping, specific to your car
  • Weather stripping adhesive
  • Weather stripping remover
  • Check for any screws you may need to remove in the old stripping and remove them. Lightly peel the old stripping from the frame, pulling the rubber studs from the holes carefully.

  • If the stripping is old and hard to remove, apply a weather stripping remover over the seal, allowing it to soften for easier removal. Remove any leftover adhesives that remain in the door frame, and be sure the area is clean and free from debris.

  • Check to be sure the new weather stripping matches the old. Dry-fit it before using adhesive. Apply a small amount of adhesive on both the strip and surface of the frame on one end of the seal. It's a good idea to start on the top corner with most hardtops and convertibles.

  • Start in one corner of the window, making sure to match up the studs, and lightly apply the adhesive to frame and strip. Push the rest of the stripping into place as you continue around the door frame, continuing to apply adhesive as you go along. Do not stretch the rubber as you go, and be sure the corners are lined up properly.

  • Press the weatherstripping firmly into place, and install any screws and fasteners you took out. Give the adhesive the recommended amount of time to set before you close the doors.

Tips & Warnings

  • For door seals that have small air leaks, use a clear silicone sealer to seal in the cracks.
  • Be careful not to misalign the weatherstripping. This will cause problems down the line such as window warping -- a problem that occurs after time from repeatedly forcing a window closed over a misplaced piece of rubber.
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