Weatherstrip Kit Buyer's Guide
Weatherstripping is the process of sealing the gaps or openings such as doors, windows, and trunk spaces.
A weatherstrip is typically made of rubber or silicone.
In automotive applications, weatherstripping has two major purposes: preventing elements from infiltrating the insides, blocking interior air from transferring outside, and reducing wind noise in the cabin.
Weatherstripping is found on the door, window, hood, trunk, roof, windshield, A-pillar, and sunroof.
You should replace or repair your weatherstrips if you notice that light can pass through a sealed gap, water or moisture leaks inside the cabin, there are blemishes on the weatherstrip material, and wind noise becomes louder than usual.
OE weatherstrip replacement kits on CarParts.com cost around $20 to $1,100 depending on the package it comes with
Ever wondered how water doesn’t enter through the panel gaps and inside your vehicle? That’s simply because these gaps are weatherstripped. Instead of leaving these gaps dangerously open to contaminants, car manufacturers seal them with rubber or silicone to rerouting harmful elements such as water and preventing them from entering and damaging internal parts. Weatherstripping is extensively used in the automotive industry, though it’s also used in other livelihood applications such as your home.
What is weatherstripping?
Weatherstripping is the process of sealing the gaps or openings such as doors, windows, and trunk spaces. It is done to prevent any harmful elements from reaching the critical components inside a storage area. A weatherstrip is typically made of rubber or silicone. In automotive applications, weatherstripping has three major purposes: preventing elements from infiltrating the insides, blocking interior air from transferring outside, and reducing wind noise in the cabin.
Purposes of weatherstripping
To block water
In the blocking function, the weatherstrip wards off water from splashing into your car’s critical components. Your car is made up of multiple panels and gaps are found in between them. These gaps, especially in the hood, are large enough to let rain droplets into the engine bay so it is important that there’s a layer of weatherstrip to block and cover the opening.
To seal interior air temperature
In preventing the air from escaping the cabin or the other way around, the weatherstrip acts as pressure sealants. Windows and car door weatherstrips grant you quick changes in temperatures when switching the air conditioner or heater on. Door weatherstripping allows your cabin to maintain your desired temperature.
Contributes to sound insulation
Weatherstrips help in keeping your cabin peaceful and quiet as it seals even the tiniest gap of an opening. It also blocks air from entering the cabin and creating roaring and thunderous noise whenever you’re driving at high speeds.
What are the materials used in making weatherstrip kits?
Weatherstrips come in various designs and materials depending on their functions. Below are the common materials used in making weatherstrips for your car:
Rubber is the primary material used for weatherstrips. They are usually black and can be found on your door jambs, the hood, along the roof, and the trunk of your car. There are three types of rubber weatherstrips known as the Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) rubber, Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), and Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO). Some rubber weatherstrips are mounted on provisions and are held by clips, while others are glued in place using a weatherstripping adhesive.
Silicone weatherstrips are another form of seal that, although not as widely used as rubber, is commonly used in glasses like the front and rear windshields, door windows, and sunroofs. There are also silicone weatherstrips used for doors.
Weatherstripping is extensively used in your car. You may find it in different locations but they all function the same. Door weatherstrip types are often associated with the various locations in your car that they are used for. Here are the areas where you can find weatherstrips:
When should you weatherstrip a car?
Weatherstrips should last long enough if they are properly installed. However, since they’re made of rubber or silicone, they can be easily damaged by force, with sharp objects, or sudden changes in temperature. Should you find yourself suspecting a failing weatherstrip, it is advisable that you pay attention to these symptoms before it completely falls apart.
Light passes through a gap in your door panel
The easiest way you could tell a failing weatherstrip is when you start seeing light rays in between the gaps of sealed panels like your doors and windows. This means that a portion of the weatherstrip may have fallen apart. If light can enter through the hole, so can the wind, dirt, smoke, and other elements from outside your car.
Traces of water flowing despite a fully shut door, trunk, or hood
Wind and dirt entering through a broken seal can be difficult to trace. Another way you could easily pinpoint a damaged weatherstrip is seeing tiny streams of water flowing through and from a gap that is supposed to be sealed. Water or moisture leaks after a car wash or driving in the rain are not normal as weatherstrips should block the water from flowing right through.
Visual blemishes like cracks and chipping
If you fail to notice the two symptoms above, you may still pinpoint a bad weatherstrip through visual observation. Even a small chip, bend, or crack can cause your weatherstrip to fail. Weatherstrips are easy to examine as they are installed in places that you can instantly access.
When the cabin gets too noisy due to wind noise
Weatherstrips may also help with your car’s sound insulation by blocking the wind from barging into the cabin as you drive on the highway. A small hole caused by a damaged weatherstrip can cause air to enter at high pressure, causing whistling or hissing noises.
How much is a weatherstrip kit?
If you begin experiencing these symptoms, don’t hesitate to look for weatherstrip kits in the market and have the old one replaced. Car weatherstrip replacements are easy to find online, with hundreds of options to choose from. CarParts.com offers a wide range of OE replacement parts from some of the most reputable brands in the market. OE weatherstrip replacement kits on CarParts.com cost around $20 to $1,100 depending on the package it comes with. You may buy it in sets and as part of a more complete kit.
Finding the right fit
To save time, you may indicate your vehicle’s make, model, and year on the filter tab under the search menu. You may also utilize the “Refine By” section on the left-hand area of the product page and select from the different categories such as brand, series, and location of installation.