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
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.