If the seal around your car windshield has started leaking, you may not have time to have it repaired by a professional before the next rain storm hits. If so, use the three-step guide below for temporarily fixing the seal so your interior stays dry until you can take your car to the shop.
Step 1: Remove The Damaged Seal Around The Leak
The first step is to remove the damaged seal where the leak is located. This is important because the patch used in the next two steps will adhere better to the bare glass and metal. If placed on the rubber seal, it may not be as effective because the damage is still present. To remove the seal, you will need a utility knife and a small flathead screwdriver.
Find where the seal is leaking on the inside, then find the corresponding spot on the outside. Make a small cut in the seal an inch above and below the area where it is leaking.
Do not use too much pressure when cutting because you risk cracking the glass. If needed, make several shallow cuts until you reach the bottom of the seal.
Once you have made your cuts, use the flathead screwdriver to pry the end up on the piece you will be removing. Pull up enough so you can grasp it with your fingertips or a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Starting at the top end, pull the seal towards the other. Once it has been removed, go on to the next step.
Step 2: Apply Epoxy In The Seal's Groove
Now that you have removed the old seal, it is time to start filling it in. This is done in two layers. In this step, you will be applying epoxy glue as the first layer.
Once it hardens, epoxy becomes a sturdy plastic barrier. When placed on the glass and metal, it prevents water from seeping into your car.
Starting a little past one end of the groove you need to fill in, use the applicator to spread the epoxy in a thin layer. Stop slightly past the other end of the groove.
Allow the first layer to dry for 10 minutes, then apply a second thin coat. Once you have let this set for an additional 10 minutes, go on to the next step.
Step 3: Caulk A Layer On Top Of The Epoxy
Once the epoxy layer has dried and set up, you will be applying a layer of caulk on top of it. The caulk protects any bare metal from moisture and prevents the epoxy from chipping off during impact with flying debris while driving. For this step, you will need a caulking gun, a tube of silicone sealant, and a disposable glove.
After preparing the caulking gun by inserting the tube inside, discard a small amount into the garbage. This will release any air in the tube that could cause an uneven application.
Once your gun is ready, place the tip at the edge of the remaining seal and apply a thin layer inside the groove until you reach the other edge. Put the glove on your dominant hand and use your fingertip to smooth out the caulk by running it along the top.
After letting the caulk dry for a half an hour, apply another thin layer. This will help you make sure no small cracks remain, giving you added protection from the rain.
Although the above steps should stop your windshield from leaking around the seal, it is meant only as a temporary measure. You may want to contact a service or site like http://msglassoutlet.com that specializes in auto glass replacement so they can inspect the damage and discuss your options, from repairing the seal to completely replacing the windshield.