If weatherstripping tears, becomes separated from its channel, or wears out, a water leak and/or wind noise from around a door may occur.
To determine whether noise is coming from one of the doors, use two-inch-wide duct tape to seal the seam between the body of the vehicle and one of the doors. Drive the car. If the noise has disappeared, the weatherstripping around that door should be treated as described below. On the other hand, if the wind noise is still there, strip off the duct tape, seal another door, and repeat the test.
To determine whether defective weatherstripping is responsible for water leaking into the vehicle, aim a garden hose at the door nearest the spot where water is found. Stand about three feet away and spray the seams between the door and the body for at least 15 minutes. Check to see whether there is water in the vehicle. Then, move on to a section that hasn’t been sprayed. You have to be patient. It can take a while for water to work its way into the vehicle through a gap in the weatherstripping.
When it becomes obvious that air or water is leaking around a door, inspect weatherstripping for tears. Repair a slit with silicone rubber sealant, which is available from hardware stores.
To determine whether weatherstripping has separated from its channel, pull gently on the piece over its entire length. If weatherstripping comes out of the channel, wipe the channel clean with a rag and apply rubber cement or liquid butyl sealer to the underside of the weatherstripping and to the channel. Then, press the weatherstripping back into the channel. To put pressure on the weatherstripping until it adheres to the channel, use spring-type wooden or plastic clothespins as clamps. Place the clothespins one inch apart.
To determine whether weatherstripping has simply worn out, place a crisp dollar bill at a spot on the weatherstripping and close the door. Try to pull the dollar free. If there is no resistance, weatherstripping is worn in that spot. Be sure to test the entire length of weatherstripping.
If weatherstripping is worn, pull it out of the channel. Clean the channel with a solvent. If you discover rust, scrape it off with the tip of a penknife. Then, lay a length of double-sided polyethylene foam tape in the channel. This product is available from auto parts and hardware stores.
Dampen a rag with mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol and wipe down the underside of the weatherstripping. After it is dry, press the weatherstripping back into the channel. The thickness provided by the double-sided polyethylene foam tape will compensate for the wear that has taken place.