What to Look For in Windshield Molding
If you start to notice a high pitched sound coming from your windshield when driving at high speeds, chances are, your windshield molding has already dried up and has begun to leak. You do not want to have a leak along the edges of your windshield, especially when it's raining. It's quite easy to replace windshield molding on your own, and you won't have a hard time choosing which type is best for your vehicle with our quick guide.
Windshield molding, or windshield weatherstripping, is made up of a long flexible strip of rubber that seals out water, air, and debris away from the edges of your windshield where it meets your car's body. There are two main types of molding that you could choose from ? universal or custom molding.
Universal windshield molding is the cheaper option of the two since it is made up of one long piece that you'll need to cut yourself in order to fit your car's windshield. You can basically fit this on any kind of vehicle, granted that you have enough of it to cover the entire perimeter of its windshield.
Custom windshield molding is a closed loop product that was already measured and sealed to fit perfectly on a particular vehicle make and model. You won't have to cut this type of molding, you'll only need to push it into place. The only drawback with this particular type of molding is that it would be a bit more expensive than the universal variety.
Buy what fits your budget
Windshield molding shouldn't cost you more than $50, whether it's a universal type or a model that was designed specifically for your vehicle. We recommend that you go for a custom design, to save you the trouble of cutting and measuring the molding yourself. But if you are confident that you could properly measure and install universal windshield molding, then do so, since you'll be able to save a little bit more compared to a custom model.
Also, we strongly advise you to only use molding that was specifically designed for windshields. Do not use any product or material that was made to seal your car's windows, as they might not provide a perfect seal on your windshield.
Windshield Molding: How to Replace It and Keep Your Windshield in Place
Once you've noticed leaks around your car's windshield, then it's probably time for you to replace your vehicle's windshield molding. Windshield molding, or trim, supports your windshield along its edges in order to keep it in place and form a weatherproof seal. Even if your vehicle's windshield is free from any damage, the molding around it can wear out and allow water to leak in when you're driving through bad weather. Go through our guide and we'll show you how to get your windshield molding replaced in no time at all.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Windshield trim removal tool
- Utility knife
- Glass scraper
- Compatible windshield molding
Step 1: You should start removing the trim or molding using a special windshield trim tool. Slide your trim tool under the windshield trim and move it until you locate a windshield clip. You should gently twist your trim tool to loosen the clip from its place. It is important that you work slowly in order to avoid damaging your windshield when loosening windshield clips.
Step 2: Your vehicle's windshield might have a couple of windshield clips around it and you'll have to loosen all of them before you can remove your windshield molding. We recommend that you check your car's manual if it has any information regarding the number of clips on your windshield. Otherwise, you have to work by hand and just move your trim tool across the edges of the windshield until you loosen all of the clips.
Step 3: Once you've loosened all of the clips, you should begin pulling out the molding. You might need to cut a part of the molding so you could get a good grip to pull it out, but once you've tugged it loose, you should be able to take out its entire length from your windshield's frame.
Step 4: If there are bits and pieces of molding stuck on your windshield, you'll need to scrape them off using a glass scraper or with a utility knife. Work slowly so you would avoid scratching the glass or nicking your vehicle's paint near the windshield.
Step 5: From here, you are ready to install some new windshield molding. Place one end of the new molding where your old one was held in place and push it firmly into the groove.
Step 6: You should then work on pushing the rest of the molding into place all around your windshield. Make sure that you work slowly around the edge, so you would be able to fit in the molding properly. If you work too fast, you might miss a spot and you'll have to work all over again.
Step 7: After you have installed your windshield molding, lock in all the windshield clips back into place.
Step 8: You should try shaking your windshield gently, to see if it moves around or rattles in its place. If you think that it is loose, you should remove the molding and install it again. Otherwise, you are good to go!