As your vehicle gets older, the rubber seals around the doors can become weaker and stop working as efficiently. They can dislodge themselves, become unstuck from the door frames and start to leave a space between the door frame and the rubber seal itself. Broken seals are more annoying than they are dangerous, and for this reason, they often fall to the bottom of the to-do list. If the doors are not sealed properly, hot and cold air can come through into the inside of the car, as well as excess noise, all of which make the inside of the car a less pleasant place to be. More importantly, faulty seals let in water, which can cause a lot of damage to your car’s interior.
Fix your seals at home
It doesn’t have to be expensive to fix your door seals at home, but there is a common misconception which often trips people up. As a quick fix, people often try to glue their door seals back in place, as they think that they were glued in the first place and that the reason they have fallen off is that the glue came unstuck. This is not true. When you first buy a car the door seals are simply held in place by pressure. The problem with rubber is that it is very susceptible to changes in temperature and it expands and contracts as it gets hotter and colder. This means that it changes shape quite often, and can become a different shape to the frames it is supposed to be attached to.
Why does the seal dislodge?
When the rubber shrinks as it cools it can pull away from the frame, usually at the corner. Rubber and metal cannot be glued together easily, so regardless of how much adhesive you apply, you will not be able to fix the seal to the door frame using glue alone.
How to repair the seal
The solution is actually a very simple one. You need to stretch the door seal back to its original size so that it fits back on the frame again.
- The easiest way to do this is to start by finding where the seal is attached to the frame (you may have to remove a plastic cover from the bottom of the door frame to find the seam).
- You need to cut straight through this seam with a Stanley knife or a heavy duty pair of scissors.
- Once the seal has been cut you should find it easy to push it back into place, stretching it into all of the corners.
- You will then need to take an extra piece of door seal (you’ll be able to buy a section online or rescue a piece from a workshop or a scrapyard.
- Cut a piece of the seal which is about 2cm longer than the gap which will have appeared where you cut the seal on your door.
- Push the new piece of the seal into the gap and hammer it into place with a rubber mallet if necessary.
You should find that the pressure is enough to keep the seal in place for a good few years to come, without the need for any glue.