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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.
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.
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Once you feel satisfied with the cleanup, dry the area with paper towels.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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 2021-06-15 at 13:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API