Wet Driver's Side Window won't go down

Hey guys,

So, I discovered today while trying to go thru the Walgreens pharmacy drive-thru, that my driver’s side window will not go down when it is all wet from the rain. When I attempt to roll it down, the inside weather stripping actually curls/rolls up and goes down with the window. Unfortunately, I have no way of getting the window down unless it is completely dry now.

I am taking the car into Subaru next week, but it looks like my extended warranty isn’t going to cover ANY of the labor or the rubber trip piece. I have the comprehensive plan, which is like bumper to bumper.

Has this ever happened to anyone? Is this an easy fix? What does the rubber trim usually cost? I am already going to be stuck with the $129 diagnostic fee, ugh! I also took a video of it to show the service advisor.

Any thoughts?

Huh! Water is usually a rubber lubricant. That is a new one. I’m interested in responses here, too, to see if anyone has seen this before!

If it quits raining before you take it in and pay the $129 diagnostic fee where they will tell you the window channel is curling up and coming down with the window when it’s wet, get the window down and spray the channel with some silicone spray lube. (DUH, $129 to tell them what you already know.) If you use the straw that comes with the can, you can spray it along the rubber channel and it will feed down along it into the area you can’t see inside the door. The brand here on my bench is CRC, but there are others. I got it at Wal*Mart.

If the trim will easily come out of its channel in the door, you might also try gluing it back into the channel with some contact rubber cement. Then lube it with the silicone spray lube too.

I guess my question is, why is the window doing this? As far as the silicone lube, wouldn’t that only be a temporary fix? Plus, it would would nasty streaks all over my window tint/window when I roll it up and down or open it half way…

How much would it cost to just replace that piece of rubber trim? My other 3 windows don’t do it.

Someone mentioned to me to clean the rubber seal. I am not sure how I would even do that considering I can’t roll down the window. I’m also really afraid that my tint’s going to be all scratched up

The tint film might be the problem…When the glass gets hot in the sun, the tint and rubber trim sort of bond together…Power windows, right?

Yes, power windows. It’s a 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

What’s weird though, is it works FINE in dry weather - HOT or COLD. It’s when it’s raining out and the window gets all wet on the outside. I don’t really get my window being wet on the outside is causing the inside rubber molding to curl up? I have a video of it, but I don’t know how to post it

Not sure if that will work

sorry, can’t get it to upload from my iPhone

I had a similar thing happen with my previous car (2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse). If there was the slightest amount of frost on the outside, neither window would lower at all. After a few minutes of maximum defrost they would operate normally. I could not find any information online. The Gen 3 Eclipse forum had no members experiencing this and no guesses. The dealership service manager said the glass was frozen to the weather stripping and when a sensor detected this it disabled the motor to prevent damage to the weather stripping. I suspect this was the usual song and dance to get rid of a potential warranty claim. If I was on fire or underwater, I would not be concerned about the weather stripping!!!

I wonder if water could be getting on something associated with the door open/close mechanism inside the door which is effectively making the motor slip. In other words the motor is working ok, but it’s slipping so it can’t move the window. OP, do you hear the motor working inside the door when you press the window switch?

Weatherstripping: It sounds like you got a defective strip or a defective install when the car was built. Otherwise on a 2012 that wouldn’t be happening. I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be covered on a “bumper to bumper” warranty as long as the window has undergone only normal use. In any event, a shop can take the door apart, replace the bad parts with new, and fix it.

OK fine. Don’t do anything to try and fix it yourself even though you asked for advice. Take it to the dealer, pay their up front fee plus another $50 or so for them to reglue the existing weather strip into the door’s channel and spray the window channel with silicone spray. It’s only money. I’m glad it’s yours.

...the inside weather stripping actually curls/rolls up and goes down with the window.

Are you talking about the vertical or the horizontal weather stripping?

I am NOT disagreeing or not trying to do something about this situation, however, I am not very mechanically inclined, and I have NO clue how to remove the door panel. The last thing I want to do is make problems worse than they currently are.

I do hear the motor working. The window goes up ok, but will not go down because the rubber molding gets stuck when it curls up and down into the window channel.

I hate to have to pay Subaru. Is anyone in the Southeast Wisconsin area that wants to take a look at it for me? Would be willing to pay.


OP stated that aftermarket stick-on window tint was installed. For this problem that could be a warranty deal breaker.

When the window tint is applied they roll the inner belt line weather strip under so the bottom edge of the tint film is below the weather strip after it is returned to the normal position. Sometimes they neglect to pull the belt line weather strip back up and the felt edge is turned under and the rubber side is against the glass. This will cause a chatter when raising or lowering the window but I have not found this to stop the glass from lowering.

This can be pulled back up with care not to scratch the tint with a long thin screw driver or hook. I use a hose tool for this. Do not spray lubricants to belt line weather strips, it will streak on the glass each time you move the glass up/down.

You don’t spray the silicone on the glass, you spray it into the vertical window channels at the edges of the glass once it dries out and you can get it open. Is that not the part that’s going down with the wet window? I don’t know how many I fixed that way, but it’s more than a few. Does the window channel need to be re-glued into the door? No problem. Pull it out, put the contact rubber cement on both surfaces, and press it back into place.

It is not necessary to remove the door panel.

If you can’t spray an aerosol can, or wield a tube of glue, you are indeed mechanically declined.

Ok, I sprayed some silicone in the vertical window channels. The interior rubber weather stripping is still wanting to go down with the window, and in the process, the window is getting stuck. I will have to go to AutoZone tomorrow to look for the rubber cement. I’m guessing roll the window down, and whatever part separates on the interior part glue?

I am just not totally sure what to glue. I’m guessing the part that curls down when I roll the window down? I’ll see what I can do tomorrow!

Is your problem with the horizontal interior weather strip?