3 Crucial Ways to Care for Your Car’s Weatherstripping
How to prevent the rubber lining around the doors and trunk lid from cracking
Those rubber door seals around the edges of your car doors are crucial in keeping rain, sand, frigid wind, and moisture from seeping through the gaps into the cabin. If that rubber lining gets damaged or deteriorates, the atmosphere in your cabin will be the same as it outside — whether that’s hot and humid or cold and icy.
To prevent that from happening, here are some ways to care for your car’s weatherstripping.
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1. Wash the weatherstripping
Keep the rubber strips clean by washing them regularly with car-safe soap and warm water. Dip a rag or sponge in the bucket and scrub any dirt off the lining. You should do this on a regular basis at the same time you wash the rest of your car — which should be seasonally. All it takes is a couple of minutes and a tub of soapy water.
2. Reattach any loose lining
Keeping the car’s weatherstripping securely in place is crucial so it performs properly and keeps the moisture out of the cabin. When cleaning the weatherstripping, inspect it to ensure it isn’t coming loose anywhere. If it is, reattaching it is simple. You can buy a tube of weatherstrip and gasket adhesive from a manufacturer like 3M for only a couple of bucks. Follow the directions on the tube to adhere the rubber to the metal panel again.
3. Wipe it with silicone
To prevent the rubber from drying and cracking in the future, cover it with silicone. This will protect it from the heat, preserving its sponginess and lubricating it.
Silicone will also prevent the car’s weatherstripping from freezing during the winter. The lubricant keeps the water from sticking to the rubber and freezing when temperatures drop. A thick coat of silicone keeps the car doors from sticking to the frame and freezing shut.
Cans of silicone spray only contain a marginal amount of lubricant, so a better way to apply silicone is by using a paste. Buy a tube and apply the silicone goop directly to the stripping, rubbing it in thoroughly.
Performing these tasks on a regular basis will keep the weatherstripping from permanently damaging and needing to be replaced.
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Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.