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Windshield Weatherstrip

 Shop Windshield Weatherstrip

Installing a Windshield Weatherstrip Like a Pro

Your car's windshield protects you from oncoming debris, dirt, and rain, but it only gives you superficial protection without some weatherstripping. A windshield weatherstrip is a kind of sealant that keeps water and wind from getting inside the car through the edges of the windshield. After years of everyday battle against the elements, this weatherstripping gets weaker and needs to be replaced. Easily doable with a handyman, this installation task only needs about 30 minutes to perform.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Weatherstrip rubber seal
  • Glass cleaner
  • Rags
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape
  • Thin cotton rope (15 inches longer than the circumference of the windshield)
  • Removing the wipers

    Remove the wipers of the vehicle by lifting them away from the windshield glass, making sure that the arms are in vertical position. Remove the fasteners holding the wiper arms, then pull them off the wiper motor.

    Removing the windshield

    With the utility knife, slice the outer part of the rubber seal all the way around the windshield. Make sure that you put long strands of duct tape to hold the windshield to the roof of the vehicle so that the glass will not fall off and you will have time to catch it. Once the rubber seal has been sliced through, gently pop out the windshield, then throw the old rubber seal.

    Cleaning the windshield

    With the glass cleaner and the rag, remove dirt and visible scratches on both sides of the windshield glass. Apply generous amounts of the cleaner. Clean the edges of the windshield thoroughly until smooth, making sure that no grime and dirt are left.

    Installing the new weatherstripping

    Run the new rubber seal around the circumference of the windshield, ensuring that the glass sits flush into the inner groove of the seal. Then, run the rope all the way through the outer groove of the seal, allowing some excess rope to dangle on each end. Position the windshield on the frame, then have your handyman put light pressure on the glass from the outside. Secure the windshield to the frame starting from the bottom of the glass. With you inside the vehicle holding the other end of the rope, pull the rope inward; this action will help the inside lip of the seal's groove to set over the edge of the frame. Continue this until the rest of the windshield is set into the frame.

    Tips and warnings

    • Do not forget to inspect your work afterwards. If there are folds in the rubber seal, right them using the putty knife. Also, push the windshield firmly from the inside to ensure that it is securely framed in, but remember to have your handyman support the glass from the outside.
    • Soaking the cotton rope in soapy water will help it slide well against the rubber seal when installing the windshield back to the frame.

    Windshield Weatherstrip Articles

    • Precision Parts vs. Fairchild Industries: Which Brand Offers Better Weatherstripping? 11 January 2013

      Windshield weatherstripping must provide a tight seal of the windshield glass to the windshield frame, apart from adding a shield of UV protection to the edges of the glass. There are several manufacturers out there offering various features for their windshield seals, but what makes choosing difficult is that there are no comparisons among them. Precision Parts and Fairchild Industries, two competing windshield weatherstrip brands, have been providing good seals for many years. Let us take a look at what each of them really offers.

      Product specs

      Precision Parts offer weatherstrip seals made from automotive-grade rubber with a steel base. It claims that this kind of formula prevents water leaks, rattling, and wind whistles. Promising to prevent the same hassles, Fairchild Industries also uses automotive-grade EPDM rubber for its seals, but the products have a smooth, flocked lining that prohibits rust build-up, aside from molded ends and corners that specifically prevent water leaks and dirt. Both brands offer direct-fit installation, but Fairchild has fresh inners on its weatherstrip seals that allow the glass to slide up and down smoothly into the groove of the seal, thus totally preventing rattling.

      WINNER:Fairchild


      Installation

      Both brands offer direct-fit, easy installation, but Precision has cover joints for its universal weatherstrip seals. This cover joint makes the ends of the cut-to-fit seals cleanly integrated and sealed so that the weather-sealing around the windshield is complete. Fairchild does not have anything to match this feature, however. Both brands offer closed-loop seals that are specifically measured to the windshield circumference of a vehicle model.

      WINNER:Precision


      Price

      The prices of Fairchild weatherstrip seals play around 35USD to 40USD, while those of Precision are around 20USD to 70USD. Despite the higher price of Precision's products, some can be bought at around 5USD if offered at a discount.

      WINNER:Precision and Fairchild


      Warranty

      Precision offers a year of limited warranty for its products, while Fairchild backs its seals with a certain limited warranty.

      WINNER:Precision


      The verdict

      Each brand has its own set of features for its weatherstrip seals, and each takes the score for the first two more important categories. With these comparisons, you should be able to weigh which one could give worth-it products for you.