How To Fix A Leaking Windshield

by | Dec 22, 2020

A leaking windshield is an issue that can go unnoticed when a car isn’t experiencing severe weather. What is unmistakable is the mold and mildew that can and will form in your car due to an untreated leaking windshield over several weeks or months. 

A leaking windshield is not an issue that is uncommon, in fact about 30% of insurance claims are made involving this component of the vehicle. Windshields leak mainly when the rubber and sealant that attaches them to the vehicle deteriorates. When this happens you can have quite a headache fixing the damages of a vehicle with water damage. 

Once you notice that a windshield is leaking, you’ll want to cover the car immediately or keep it in a garage until you get the problem resolved. Removing mold and mildew in your car can be quite a chore and in some cases the damaged fabrics will need to be removed completely, so try to avoid getting a leaking windshield wet. 

How To Fix A Leaking Windshield

You can fix a leaking windshield yourself with the proper materials, or you can take your car to a professional to have the sealant replaced. Replacing the sealant on a windshield is simple enough that just about anyone can do it themselves, however if you don’t have the want or the time, getting this done at a mechanic will cost you on average  about $270  between parts and labor. 

Fixing Your Windshield Yourself

If you are the type of person that loves to save money with various DIY projects, your car can be a great place to put those skills to work! Replacing the sealant on your windshield can is pretty simple:

  1. Remove the sealant currently holding the windshield to the car
  2. Apply a new sealant
  3. Test your work

Step One: Sealant Removal

Removing your old sealant is simple enough, though the chemicals you must use to dissolve the sticky substance aren’t something you want to breathe in. You’ll want to do this in a well ventilated area and wear a painters mask.  Be sure to protect your eyes and skin as well using proper protective gear.

After removing the exterior trim around the window, you can use a paint thinner or adhesive remover to soak out the sealant and clean the area under and around where the trim was. 

Step Two: Applying New Sealant

You want to be sure to use an appropriate windshield sealant and one that doesn’t contain any form of silicone as this material expands and contracts in hot and cold temperatures. 

After you have removed the existing sealant, be sure to dry the area of application thoroughly before proceeding. Apply an even layer of sealant around the windshield being sure to even out any lumps with an index card or old credit card. 

Allow the sealant to dry then replace the trim. 

Step 3: Test your work

After you’ve allowed the sealant to dry, you’ll want to check the effectiveness of the job that you did. You’ll only need one thing, water. Take your car out onto your driveway and hose it down thoroughly (be sure all windows and doors are closed first!). Then check to see if there is any water coming through the sealant of the windshield. 

What are the signs of a leaking windshield?

There are a few signs to look out for if you are wondering if your windshield is leaking and you haven’t simply left your sunroof open. Signs of a leaking windshield include:

  • Window fogging
  • Mildew smell
  • Mold growing inside your vehicle
  • Damp or wet upholstery or carpeting
  • Rust

Severe Consequences Of a Leaking Windshield

Well a bit of wet carpeting may not bother you much, but over time the consequences of a leaking windshield can become more severe. Over time moisture in a vehicle can lead to corrosion and electrical problems as well as mildew smell destroying the resale value of your car. For these reasons and the damage that mold and mildew can have on the respiratory systems humans and pets alike you should be motivated to get your leak fixed. 

How To Know If A Leaking Windshield Is Your Issue

There are a couple tests for finding out where exactly your leak is coming from and identifying the windshield as your culprit

The Soap Method

This method uses soap to not only identify if the windshield is your problem, but what section of the sealant is compromised. First you’ll soap up the exterior of the car windshield using a soapy sponge. Next, use some form of compressed air or a hair dryer to test the integrity of the sealant around the edges of the interior of the windshield. The air pressure will cause bubbles to appear on the exterior of the windshield if you have a leak. 

Using Water To Find A Leak 

The next method is pretty foolproof. You’ll want to put the car in your driveway and use a hose to spray down the windshield while a friend or family member sits inside the car and looks for water coming in. 

What If It Isn’t The Windshield?

There are a few ways that water can get into the interior of your car. They are:

  1. Leaking windshield
  2. Air conditioning vents
  3. A hole in the actual body of the car 
  4. A cracked windshield

While it is typically pretty simple to identify a leaking or cracked windshield as your issue, give your car a quick once over to determine if your leak is coming from a visible hole or damage from the exterior of the vehicle. You should also make sure the air conditioning vents aren’t your issue by checking to see if there is water escaping onto your dash from the vents. 

How Much Does It Cost To Get Your Windshield Leak Fixed At A Mechanic?

Going to a mechanic to reseal your windshield on average will cost you $275 between parts and labor with the overall cost ranging from $200- $400. 

We hope this article has answered all of your questions regarding your leaking windshield and that you feel more prepared to handle such an occurrence now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics. 

Protect My Car provides consumers with extended auto warranty plans that have real coverage for vehicles that are no longer covered by their manufacturer’s warranty. Whether your vehicle was purchased new or used, if your manufacturer’s warranty is about to expire, or has already expired, an extended auto warranty plan can save you thousands of dollars in repair bills. Since the majority of vehicle repairs happen 3-5 years after the original purchase date, which many times is outside of the manufacturer’s warranty coverage period, leaving you responsible for paying the full repair bill. However, when you purchase a policy from Protect My Car, you could pay as little as $100.00 for your major repairs. That’s a lot of savings!

Resources:

https://only1autoglass.com/Blog/entryid/1269/is-your-windshield-leaking-heres-why-and-what-you-should-do
https://findanyanswer.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-replace-the-seal-around-a-windshield#:~:text=Accordingly%2C%20how%20much%20does%20it,all%20depends%20on%20the%20vehicle.

Get A Free Quote

Disclaimer: By submitting this form I am giving Protect My Car consent to contact me by email and/or telephone which may include artificial or pre-recorded calls and/or text messages, delivered via automated technology at the telephone number(s) provided above even if I am on a corporate, state or national Do Not Call Registry. I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. For sms messaging text stop to stop. Msg and data rates may apply. Max 10 messages per month. The Protect My Car privacy policy governs our data collection policy. Protect My Car does not offer or sell Vehicle Service Contracts in AK, CA, HI, MO, OK, or WA.