A cold, dreary, and rainy day dampens spirits. It can be made worse if you get into your car and realize your car’s window leaks. It is an annoying problem that you may only notice when it rains or you take your car through the car wash. However, it can make your car smell, get your seats wet, and cause condensation on the inside of your windshield that makes it difficult to see. If you discover a water problem, you may wonder how to stay dry when your car windows leak.
How to Know Your Window Is Leaking
Moisture in the cab of your car can come from multiple places. It sometimes enters through your air conditioner, as coolant leaking from your heater core, or rain coming through a window. There are a few ways to know if there is something leaking that shouldn’t be in your car.
Water leaking through one of your windows can trickle onto your doors, seats, and floor. If you notice a wet area, you’ll know you have a leak. Water in your carpet causes a mildew-like smell that could gross out potential passengers. If left too long it can form mold that may linger for a while. It also could leave stains on your seats or vehicle’s dash and upholstery, and ultimately rust the car’s body under the carpet. Moisture in the wrong places could also cause rust or corrosion in electrical components under your dash or seat. If you suspect one of your car’s windows has a leak, the first step will be to find the leaking point.
Finding the Leak
After you are certain water enters your car when it is unwelcome, use water or soap to pinpoint where it is coming from. If you’ve already ruled out the heater core and air conditioner, pour water over the windows and door seals and look for trickles or streams. The most common areas for the windows to leak are around the seals where they attach to the body. Small cracks, tears, or rips can cause water and air to come inside. You may notice a loud wind noise on the highway in addition to the wet floorboards. If you recently had a windshield replaced, there is always a chance there was a faulty installation and it is leaking around that seal.
There are a few short term hacks that can help you stay dry while your car window leaks. You can always use rain safe gear to stay dry temporarily if you have to continue driving without fixing the leak. You can also use tape and towels to keep some of the moisture away from your seat or feet. However, if the moisture is building up inside your vehicle, it will condensate and fog up the inside of your windshield. This causes visibility problems and can be a safety issue.
Fix the Seal
The best way to stay dry when your car windows leak is to fix the seal. There are many products that you can buy that will seal the leak, even if it is a temporary fix. Many of the products are only $15-$25 and may fix your leaking window for an extended period of time.
Another way to fix the seal is to replace the weather stripping. Buying the stripping will be more expensive, possibly over $100. It will also take more care and effort to remove the old stripping and apply the new one. It is a permanent fix that will stop the water from leaking into your car.
The final and best way is to take your car to a professional. Avoid the hours of YouTube videos and attempts to replace it yourself and take it to someone who is capable and experienced. Window companies, dealerships, and mechanic shops fix leaks to help you avoid the long term effects of water exposure, which, if you're not careful, can be serious enough to earn your car a one-way trip to your neighborhood junkyard.