Usually there are plastic "rivets" with a thin wide head that goes into
a hole in the gasket (which is hollow to allow it to squash) and a
compressible stem that goes into a hole in the door. The gasket holes
can get torn over time, especially in climates where frost or ice can
build up in car door openings and prying open your door can rip the
holes in the gasket.
One solution is to find a salvage yard that either parts out their cars
or lets you into their yard to take off parts. That's how I found
replacement gastkets for all doors that were very cheap but still in
good condition. Totalled cars can be relatively new, so the gaskets
haven't gotten much wear. The problem in removing the gaskets to
prevent damaging their holes is that the studs or rivets that hold them
to the door get damaged. I bought a set of retainer studs for each
door, and that cost more than all the gaskets. It's possible when
working under nice conditions to remove the gasket by flexing sideways
to stretch the hole to get off the retainer stud's head and leave the
stud in the hole in the door, and then do the same to put the
replacement gasket on the stud's head. Even if you choose to try to
reuse the torn gasket, you'll still need to get the stud head inside the
hole so the gasket is against the door instead of spaced away from the
door by the stud. Even a stud in a torn gasket hole is better than
removing the stud and not having one in that position at all.
The problem is that the gaskets could stick again due to icing. After
putting in the replacement, I would periodically wipe the door frame and
door edges to clean them (since car washing doesn't touch that area) and
apply wet a rag to wipe silicone lubricant along the doors, frames, and
Also to prevent tearing the gasket holes if the gaskets still happen to
stick to the door frame, I applied a dab of adhesive between each
retainer stud. The used gaskets weren't in perfect condition, and I
figured to have something a bit more robust to hold them in place. They
have adhesive specifically to hold those gaskets to the door; however, I
didn't save any, so I don't know what I happened to have used. I asked
at a car parts store and used what they recommended. You don't want
some high-temperature adhesive used for engine gaskets. In fact, you
want an adhesive that is usable from 120F (for those really hot days
your car sits in the sun) down to subzero temps during the winter when
it needs to still be pliable to hold onto the gasket which still moves.
My only recollection was that it was butyl-based adhesive. Might've
been similar to this stuff: http://tinyurl.com/yy5osvck . I bought
several tubes because I replaced gaskets on several doors. Passengers
often just yank on a door to open it when siezed by ice instead of
gradually working it open, so even the rear door gaskets got damaged.
If you're doing just one gasket and only a portion of it, like along the
bottom, a smaller tube should be enough (http://tinyurl.com/y2d7t5kd ).
Just make sure to thoroughly clean the door and gasket and then wipe
with isopropyl alcohol before applying the adhesive. However, you might
consider doing all doors by applying the adhesive between every retainer
stud for every gasket on all doors. Sorry, I never had to work on this
again, so I don't know if that adhesive can be scraped off to reapply
should the gasket get even more abuse.
When looking at the door gaskets that haven't been pulled away from the
doors, you should be able to tug on them to see if they come away from
the door. Don't tug too hard, just enough to see if you're tugging at a
retainer stud or between them. Could might also be able to slide a
plastic knife between the gasket and door to see where are the studs and
see that the gasket is not glued to the door. The manufacturer makes
them replaceable, so they need to be removable.
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