Leaky Windshield


#1

I have a 1985 Camry that has recently developed a leak in the windshield. On the outside of the car, there is a black strip that runs over the top of the shield. In the area of the leak, it is clear that the material has degraded, the bottom edge of the strip looks weathered and slightly pourous. It’s generally only a problem during heavy rainfall, and only slightly then, however I’d like to fix it before it gets worse.



Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the proper way to repair this is? Do I need to replace the entire strip? Could the area be patched somehow, say with a silicone sealant?



My thanks for any advice anyone might be able to offer.


#2

Most windshields are installed with adhesive around the perimeter. Then a rubber or other type of trim ring is installed around it. That is likely what you are looking at. Leaks can be deceiving, they are usually not where you suspect they are. A leak at the top of the windshield would result in a stream/drip down the inside of the windhsield from the top. Is that what you have?

I’m all for DIY repairs but this is one area I always go to the experts. Goobering up the exterior trim is not going to fix the problem correctly and will look terrible. If the winshield is leaking, I’d suggest a professional window installer to correct it. It probably won’t cost as much as you suspect and they have all the tools to properly address the problem without risk of damaging the windshield or trim.


#3

I second TwinTurbo’s suggestion to take it to a glass expert. However, I would think any silicone or other sealant designed for outdoor use would work, for instance, a product that could be used on boats. And since you drive a 23 year old car, I’d bet looks aren’t that important to you, and some silicone sealant on the windshield wouldn’t look all that bad. If you can get some in the same colour as the car (I’m betting rusty brown) then even better.


#4

I could be wrong, but I think in 1985 they were still using the rubber grommet around the windscreen and were no yet bonding them on. My 1989 Toyota pickup was a simple grommet installation. No bonding.

I’d agree with the others that injecting a clear 100% silicone silastic under the rubber is worth a try. Squish it down, wipe off the excess, and let it cure. If it doesn’t work, the windsheild can be removed and a new rubber put in place. I’d call a glass place, because it can be a pain unless you’ve done it before. The procedure is in the Haynes manual, but I’d call anyway.


#5

The moulding is called a “reveal moulding”. I might be wrong on the year but modern car windshields are glued down with urethane. I once inspected a car the had a leak all it was, was cowl moulding puckered up up a little and a glass shop very easily sealed it up. Leaks are difficult to find since water wicks up from capalairy (spelling) action.


#6

I once had a similar windshield leak in an '84 Buick. A $2 tube of aquarium sealer from a pet store easily fixed it.


#7

The best way to fix it is to have the windshield taken out and re-set again by a glass shop. You may find that its not the seal though and part of the channel underneath that is rusted through.


#8

This is a 1985, I think it was before Toyota was using bonded windshields on the Camry. I could be mistaken. It’s easy to tell the difference visually. Bonded windshields have a series of black spots around the periphery in a “fading” pattern (smaller spots as they head toward the center until the pattern disappears).


#9

I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice. I’ll invest in a small tube of sealant in the short term, and take it by a glass shop the next time I am able.

My thanks again for everyone’s help.