In many older cars the rubber door seals don't seal the way they should. Often the seals have pulled away from the door frame and leave gaps between the frame and the seal, almost always in the corners. This lets in cold or hot air, sometimes water and almost always excess noise. So many older cars have a noisier, drafty  ride because the seals are not tight.

     Many people think that the reason for the seals not staying in the frame is that they have come unglued. They will often try to glue them back in place but the seals will not stay there. That is because they are not glued in to begin with.  The door seals are held in place by simple pressure. When the rubber seals get older the rubber shrinks, the older the seal the greater the shrinking. As it shrinks it pulls away from the door frame almost always at one of the corners. No matter how much glue you use you will not get the seal to stay in place because the seal is now to small to fit the opening. But there is a simple and very cheap fix for the problem that is permanent. You have to make the door seal bigger.  Its a lot easier to do than you might think.

Step 1: Find the seam where the seal is joined

The first thing to do to fix the problem is find the seam were the seal is joined. This will almost always be located under the plastic sill that protects the bottom of the door frame. Pry the sill up and off to get access. If yours is screwed down then remove the screws. Most have plastic connectors that go into holes in the floor and they are just pressed in place. They should pull up easily.

Once you have that out of the way you should see the place where the deal is joined. It will probable look like it has been glued or fused together.  This is the easiest place to cut the seal. Most of these seals have a metal component running through them to make them rigid and cutting it can be hard. The seam has no metal so you can slice it through with a razor knife or a pair of heavy duty scissors.

After you have cut it you can push the seal back into the door frame corners where it is supposed to be. Sometimes it easiest to pull a section off and then start at the top pushing it back tight working your way back to where you cut it. Now you will be able to see how much your seal has shrunk.
<p>Question...mine is loos from the top, not the corners. It doesn't sound like this will work for me, what do you think? Any suggestions?</p>
<p>Is it OK that there is now a gap in the rubber at the bottom?</p>
<p>If it is a big gap I would try and fill it. Most likely it will not bother anything since it is covered by the plastic sill but it might let a little dust and noise it. Much less than if its pulled away from the frame. So given the choice, in my opinion, its better to have the seal in the correct place with a gap at the bottom than no gap but the seal pulled away from the frame. </p>
<p>I really wish I had known this years ago.</p>
<p>Wow! Thanks so much for putting this together!</p>
<p>SO simple thank you :) seals usually start at 150 - 350 so this is perfect and ill do my Ford Territory this weekend :) </p>
<p>Looking forward to warm weather so I can try this. I think it's a brilliant solution! Thanks for posting.</p>
<p>great article, thank you.</p>
This will perfect for my '84 rx-7. Thanks so much!
<p>you might want to try using a gasket maker like Permatex ultra black so that you can make it look like the seam was joined from the factory </p>
Another way to improve weak door seals (the hollow type) is to feed windscreen washer tubing through the center all around the seal, it works on some modern cars too
Nice one, this is now on my to do list.
good job. nice and clear instructions.
Good to know. Thanks for the tip!

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