Cheap and cheerful way of stopping a car door seal from leaking in the rain

The title says it all.

The rubber looks fine, there is no obvious place where the water gets in. It has gotten to the point that I simply put plastic over the seat before leaving the car and remove the plastic when I get back.

It’s just a little bit of dripping, but that can drench the seat over an afternoon.

Since I’m getting rid of the car soon, I’m looking for a quick fix, not a fancy elegant solution. I have pondered spraying or smearing something on the gasket, but I am looking for guidance as to the correct substance.


What kind of condition is the car in? When you say “getting rid of it,” do you mean abandoning it? :wink:

There’s really nothing that makes more sense than simply replacing the seal kit – which isn’t terribly fancy or elegant (or, more to the point, expensive,) for most vehicles, if you do the work yourself.

Larry Mudd is right about replacing the seal kit, However, if you want to go cheaper than that, start out by putting some rolled or folded paper napkin inside the seal gasket (blue shows wetness better than white.) Run water over the closed door, and, after opening, find out where the wet paper is. Lay a bead of silicone seal adhesive over the offending spot. Put a piece of wax paper over the goop so you don’t glue the door shut, and close the door. Four hours later, you should have solved the problem.

The paper towel/napkin technique sounds promising. As many times as I have carefully inspected the seal and tried to identify the entry point, it still eludes me.

As far as Larry goes, it’s a ten-year-old bare-bones “transportation” car that is in fairly good shape, but I am planning on selling it and don’t want to put any more $$$ into it than I have to. You would be proud of me: I had a new muffler and hanger put in yesterday instead of just using baling wire or one of those cheap hangers they sell at Pep Boys. Anyway, unless a replacement gasket costs only $10 or $15 and is painless to install without introducing more leaks than it fixes, I still am looking for a quick fix.

Any other ideas?

[idle question]

Is “cheap and cheerful” a new way of saying “quick and dirty”?


Clean the whole thing with alcohol. Then buy a cheap tube of rtv sealant and apply liberally.

When our car had this problem, our mechanic adjusted the latch mechanism of the door so it would close a little tighter. I have no expertise in cars, or I’d give you a more specific description of what they did. But I thought it was worth weighing in since it’s another possible method of achieving what you want. And it worked for me - no more annoying drips or leaks.

What is rtv sealant?

RTV – Room Temperature Vulcanizing silicone.

Depending on your car, replacing the seal on the door should run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 or $30, and it’s pretty easy to do.

AskNott’s method is clever though – if it were me I might be inclined to try that first just for the MacGyver points.