Fun fact…every single car has approximately 30,000 parts, if you drive a higher end vehicle, you’re looking at maintaining closer to 40,000 parts and components. There are a lot of bits to look after, from the tiniest screws to the lifesaving sheet of glass that is your windscreen. One integral part of your vehicle that is often overlooked is your glass seals for your windscreen and windows. Keeping your seals in good health can be the difference between a safe and comfortable interior and safe and sound windscreen, or a frightening repair bill.
What is a glass seal exactly?
Windscreen and vehicle window seals are black rubber strips around the edging. They’re not only there for aesthetic reasons, they have the important job of keeping the glass firmly in place and protecting your interior from the elements. In our harsh climate, they are at risk of wearing down – particularly on older model vehicles. The rubber seals are fixed to the windscreen frame with an adhesive sealant, some of which can be more susceptible to breaking down over time than others.
Different types of glass sealants
The type of adhesive seal applied plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness and longevity of the seal. Typically windscreens are bonded with a strong adhesive glue or silicone. Because of our volatile climate, silicone is not always a sound option. As it heats and cools it expands and contracts, you don’t really want the adhesive responsible for holding your windscreen in place to be so malleable.
Similarly there are different levels of quality glue adhesives also. Cheap glues or the wrong type of adhesive can put you in serious danger. It’s important to apply an appropriate Grade A adhesive and ensure it dries properly before driving your vehicle.
What to look for when a seal is broken or wearing away
If you’re experiencing a water leak through your seals your certainly have a problem. Sometimes however, an inefficient seal is not so obvious. Look for cracks or brittle spots in the rubber. Even the smallest hairline crack can cause a leaky windscreen and lessen the integrity of this all-important lifesaving glass. You might also find areas of rust around the seals, or the bond could be peeling off in areas. Does the rubber feel like it’s loose and lifted? When you wash your car check there is no water entering the vehicle by hosing around the seals. Just apply a low water pressure rather than full force. If there’s a leak it will actually occur faster than if you’re blasting the water as it will bounce right off.
If you suspect your seals are in need of some TLC you should arrange to replace them immediately. Not only could you risk damaging your interior in a downpour, if your seals are compromised the windscreen is susceptible to cracks and other damages that can lead to a costly windscreen replacement, much more than the affordable option of repairing the seal.
Repair or replace windscreen seals?
If your rubber seal is in too poor condition you won’t be able to effectively repair it. Similar to windscreen damage, if it’s minor enough a repair will be sufficient. If the problem is more severe a replacement may be in order to ensure your safety. As always, the quicker you act on a repair, the less likely you’ll need to replace or experience damage elsewhere.
Can you DIY repair windscreen seals?
Yes you’ll find there’s a YouTube video for just about any minor repair. But replacing your windscreen seals properly to ensure your safety is quite the process.
1.It’s advised to do this procedure in a warm environment as cool weather can cause the rubber to contract which will make your life difficult.
2.You’ll need a bunch of tools. A cutter, pliers, adhesive remover and nylon brush for cleaning.
3.Rubber seals may be soaked with an adhesive remover before being pried off
4.You need to carefully lift and remove the old seal with pliers
5.The area must be thoroughly scrubbed clean, and all remnants of the old adhesive removed completely. This is to ensure the replacement seal will fit perfectly.
6.To ensure a clean slate the area many need to be lightly sanded to remove all residue
7.You need to ensure you’ve chosen a top quality appropriate adhesive
8.Start refitting your window seals on a corner and then work your way around the frame, when you’re satisfied it lines up perfectly, evenly apply the adhesive being careful not to add too much that it spills out onto the glass.
9.The adhesive must be completely dry before driving. This could take anywhere from 1 – 4hrs depending on the conditions and adhesive used.
10.If you’ve replaced window seals, ensure they’re completely dry before opening your windows, otherwise they might fall right off.
Seems like a lot of fiddly work for what is an inexpensive repair to have done professionally. How can you be certain you’ve done it properly? We recommend consulting with your windscreen technician specialists for peace of mind your repair or replacement will be done efficiently, under warranty and to Australian standards.
Who would’ve thought they’re so important?
While they’re not a glaringly obvious safety feature, windscreen and window seals are one of the most important of your 30,000 vehicle parts. They should be high on the list of maintenance checks and treated with urgency if they become damaged. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re safely sealed, always consult a professional.
Novus Auto Glass are the windscreen repair experts. Specialising in windscreen fixing, windscreen replacements, glass restoration and other services, Novus can help you get back on the road. Call 13 22 34 to bring Novus to your door.