When it's pouring rain, your car is a place of salvation away from the downpour of water, but if the rubber weatherstripping is damaged or falling apart, you may find water is leaking into your car. Not only is this a nuisance when you're trying to stay dry and drive in comfort, but the added moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow inside your vehicle.
Weatherstripping around the door frames also helps keep out the sounds of air whipping around your vehicle as you drive. When the rubber seals deteriorate, you may notice you can hear and feel the wind more clearly on the road, and you might have to deal with leaking water when it rains. This can render your air conditioner and heater relatively ineffective, which is a bit more than a nuisance when you encounter extreme temperatures.
You should first try to track down the problematic area. This may or may not be anywhere near the water leakage site, as water can get in through one area and travel around the car to another. Check the seals around the door frames and windows. You should look for cracks, tears and holes. It is also important to feel the rubber material to detect any areas that may be too pliable and soft. This is a sign the material is degraded and no longer able to provide a proper seal.
Thankfully, you have a number of options for replacing the old weatherstripping. You can replace the troublesome area only, or you may want to replace all of it. When one area of the weatherstripping starts to go bad, chances are other areas will follow suit. While it may be more expensive to replace everything all at once, you can save yourself the trouble of repeating the project in the future by doing it in one shot.
When it comes to finding replacement material, you can seek out a factory replacement made specifically for your vehicle or you can choose generic weatherstripping. Depending on your make and model, you may need to seek professional assistance. Newer weatherstripping is much different than that made for older cars, and you may not be able to properly close a door on an old vehicle when you use new material.
It is also important to take a look at the screws and clips holding the seals in place. They may be in rough shape and need to be replaced as well. You can bring the clips to an auto parts store to ensure you get the right replacement parts. If the old clips are in decent shape, set them aside in a safe location so you can reuse them after the new weatherstripping is installed.
When it comes time to remove the weatherstripping, you will need to use an adhesive remover to get all of the glue holding the old rubber in place out of the door frames. If you don't do this, you may find difficulty when you attempt to install the new material and it can be hard to get a good seal. After everything has been removed, you should wipe it down to remove any cleaner before you think about installing the new seals. Next, you can apply a thin layer of weatherstripping adhesive and gently put the weatherstripping in place. You will want to double check everything is lined up properly and straight before you press it securely into place.