Body Side Moldings: Protecting Your Vehicle against Dings and Dents
Your vehicle is your investment, baby, and prized possession. You want its condition to be as flawless and pristine as possible. But what if it gets hit by a speeding grocery cart or by another vehicle door at the parking lot? You can't stand all day by your car and protect it from these run-ins. It's a harsh reality of life that the inevitable will happen: your baby will get scraped, nicked, or even dented. So, what can you do to protect your investment? Three words: body side molding.
Why do you need body side moldings? Can it really protect my vehicle? Let this guide help save money from repairs before you drive too far from your home.
The Different Types of Body Side Moldings
Body side moldings are made from a variety of components like rubber, vinyl, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), aluminum, and stainless steel. To completely protect your vehicle from road hazards, here are some types of molding available in the market:
Door edge guards -- These guards help minimize damage when you hit someone or something, after opening the door. They are made from soft rubber materials to absorb shock and prevent damage that may otherwise happen.
Wheel well molding -- This molding covers and trims the exposed area to protect it from scratches and dents. Some truck owners install it to dress up their vehicle or to cover up an existing scratch or dent.
Bumper moldings -- These thin moldings enhance your vehicle's sporty look while giving it protection against scratches. Bumper moldings are made from hard, auto-grade, vinyl materials that measure only an inch high by 1/4 inch thick, making it unnoticeable.
Benefits of Installing Body Side Moldings
External damage like bumps, paint chips, and door dings can be avoided by installing body side moldings. They can also absorb a host of fender-bending obstacles; shield the vehicle's sides, and rocker panels from flying stones or rock chips. Body side moldings can also enhance your vehicle's look to make it more upscale, preserving its integrity and value.
Installing body side molding is the most practical way of protecting your truck or car from the usual scrapes. You can ask around or shop online and purchasing the right type for your vehicle is much easier than before. There are molding kits available for each car model and some have pre-painted colors to match your vehicle. Invest in a good set of body side moldings to keep your mind at ease while you're on the road.
Replacing Your Vehicle's Body Side Moldings
Body side moldings are not just decorative pieces; they protect your beloved vehicle from nasty door dings and even flying rock chips. Others would like to upgrade their car or truck's look to make it leaner and meaner. Whatever the reason is, replacing the body side moldings is an easy job. You just need a bit of patience and care to pull of this project.
We prepared the steps, tips and tools to help you replace your vehicle's body side moldings.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Tools that You'll Need:
- Sharp cutting tool
- A bottle of rubbing alcohol
- Clean white rags
- Masking tape
- Rubber gloves
- WD-40 spray
- Blow dryer (optional)
- Plastic spackle spatula
- Body side molding replacement parts
Tips and Reminders:
- Be careful not to scratch your vehicle's paint and take your time with this project.
- Let the body side molding adhesive cure for at least 24 hours before washing your vehicle.
- Check your replacement parts and make sure that they are compatible to your vehicle's make and model.
- Soften the body molding's rubber and glue by applying heat from a blow dryer to easily remove it.
- Make sure that your work area is free from dust, oils and dirt that may contaminate the side molding's adhesive tape, which will reduce its bond.
- Do not reuse the clean white rag once you've used it to remove the adhesive from the body panel. That rag may contain wax and other contaminants that will affect the new molding's adhesive tape.
Removing the Body Side Molding and Adhesive:
- Wear your rubber gloves and spray WD-40 along all the sides of the body side moldings that need replacement.
- Let it stand for about 10 minutes to soften the adhesive. Wrap a cloth rag tightly over the spackle spatula.
- Separate the body side molding from the vehicle's body panel by inserting the spatula between the end of the molding and body panel.
- Gently push the spatula across the body side molding while using your other hand to peel the molding away from the body panel. Continue running the spatula and peel it with your other hand until you reach the molding's end.
- Put rubbing alcohol on a clean white rag to remove the residue from the double-sided tape and any adhesive bits. Make sure that the area is thoroughly clean before proceeding to the other body side panels that needs to be removed.
- Proceed to the next body side molding and repeat steps 1 to 6.
Installing a New Body Side Panel:
- Line up the body side molding with the vehicle's rear and front bumper for proper alignment. Mark the desired installation area with a masking tape, which will serve as your guide.
- Use a sharp cutting tool to trim the new molding at the body seams and door jams. Make sure to that you leave enough space for the vehicle's door to open properly.
- Check for signs of grease, dirt or oil on the body panel before peeling off the liner from the molding's adhesive tape.
- Apply enough hand pressure when installing the molding on the vehicle's body panel, to avoid any cracks. This also prevents the build up of air bubbles between the molding's adhesive and body panel.
- Slightly tap the new body side molding to ensure that there is good tape adhesion.
- Repeat steps 1 to 5 when installing the other body side moldings.
Installing new body side moldings will take about 30 minutes for an expert DIYer and an hour for a beginner. Take your time and be careful not to scratch your vehicle's paint. Have fun and be safe!