How to Choose the Right Seal for Your Car
Seals are components that ensure that your car's interior won't get damaged by weather and wind. Basically, seals are rubber-like components that are placed in areas in the vehicle that would most likely allow water and water to come in. That being said, it's not surprising why seals are installed around vehicle doors, windows, windshields, and tailgates. If one of the seals in your vehicle is damaged, you need to get a replacement as soon as possible. Before buying a replacement seal however, just read the rest of this buyer's guide.
Different types of seals
- Door seals- As the name implies, these seals are placed in the door panels of vehicles. Two types of door seals are used in vehicles today: sedan door seal and convertible door seal. The former refers to a seal that is attached around the perimeter of the entire door. The latter on the other hand, refers to a seal that doesn't have a metal frame, and it goes around the side of the window glass.
- Window sweeps- These seals are attached to the top of the door and the quarter panel. As the name implies, window sweeps touch the glass when the windows are being lowered. Just like every seal in your vehicle, window sweeps are designed to stop water and debris from getting inside the vehicle's interior.
- Hood-to-Cowl seals- These seals are designed to provide coverage to hood and cowl when closed.
- Trunk and rear hatch seals- Trunk seals cover the inside portion of the trunk when its lid is closed. Meanwhile, hatch seals are attached to the body of the vehicle, sealing the rear hatch when it's closed.
- Hardtop roof rail seals- These seals are meant to protect the top portion of the side windows when they're being are rolled up to prevent water and debris from getting in.
- Windshield pillar seals- If you own a vehicle built before 1958, then there's a good chance that it's equipped with windshield pillar seals. These seals cover the window glass frame, and they're usually found on convertibles and some Corvette vehicles.
Things to consider before buying a replacement seal
- Installation- Usually, seals can be installed using nylon or plastic clips. In some cases, you may need to use a screwdriver because the seal requires screws to be attached.
- Price- Depending on the brand and size, seals are priced anywhere between $19 and $60. Your local auto parts store should have a good collection of replacement seals that you can install in your vehicle.
The DIYer's Guide to Door Seal Installation
Door seals are simple parts that prevent water from reaching the door panels of your car to stop premature corrosion. Aside from that, these seals also work as a cushion each time the doors of your vehicle are opened and closed. If you've noticed that the stock door seals of your vehicle are already broken and damaged, you better replace them right away. Follow the instructions that are discussed below if you want to install a new door seal without the help of a mechanic.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Replacement door seals (They should be appropriate to your vehicle's make and model)
- Seal adhesive
- Seal remover
- Screwdriver (flathead and Phillips)
- Putty knife
Step 1: Remove the old door seal in your vehicle. If there are any screws that need to be removed from the door seal, use a screwdriver to loosen them. Once the screws have been taken out, gently pull the door seal away.
Step 2: If the door seal has become too hard, apply the right amount of seal remover to soften it just a little. If there's any adhesive on the door seal, carefully remove it using a putty knife. Make sure that you do not scratch the door frame.
Step 3: Remove all debris that has accumulated in the door frame area.
Step 4: Put the right amount of door seal adhesive on the replacement door seal as well as the surface of the frame where the new door seal will be installed. Make sure that the new door seal has the same channels and studs so it would fit the door frame of your vehicle.
Step 5: When installing the new seal, place it on the window are first by aligning its studs. Continue doing this until the entire door frame is already covered. While installing the door seal, make sure that you apply the right amount of adhesive.
Step 6: Reinstall the screws (if there's any) to the door frame.
In case there's still leaking after the new door seal has been installed, apply additional adhesive to the gaps of the seal.