How to Fix Loose Auto Body Side Molding

Whether it’s rubber or vinyl, side molding on late model cars is notorious for peeling off. Here are step-by-step DIY instructions to reattach it before it ends up on the highway.

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Fix Your Car's Loose Body Molding

Fix Your Car’s Loose Body Molding

Maybe you’re one of those people driving down the road with your rubber or vinyl side molding flapping in the wind. Well, for less than $20, you can fix this problem once and for all- before your expensive molding strip ends up in the back of the highway cleanup crew’s truck. At the auto parts store, pick up adhesive remover and molding tape. Then all you’ll need is denatured alcohol, a plastic putty knife and clean rags.

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Clean Old Adhesive off the Car's Molding

Clean Old Adhesive off the Car’s Molding

Saturate a cotton rag with adhesive remover and clean the old adhesive off the door. Do this in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside on the driveway. Scrape the old adhesive with a plastic putty knife and continue applying remover and wiping until the old adhesive is gone. Then further clean the surface with denatured alcohol to remove residue. Don’t use abrasives. What you want is a smooth, blemish-free surface for the mounting tape.

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 Clean the Car's Molding

Clean the Car’s Molding

Thoroughly clean the back side of the molding by saturating it with adhesive remover and rubbing and scraping the old adhesive away. This can be a stubborn job, but take your time and stick with it. When the surface is free of adhesive, wipe it with a clean cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.

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Apply Molding Tape to Car

Apply Molding Tape to Car

Apply the double-stick molding tape to the areas that will contact the molding. Press the tape firmly along the length. For wide trim, use two strips as shown.

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Expose the Car Molding's Sticky Surface

Expose the Car Molding’s Sticky Surface

Peel the protective film off the tape to expose the sticky surface. Be careful not to touch it with your fingers or let any debris get on the tape.

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Apply the Molding to Car's Body

Apply the Molding to Car’s Body

Carefully position the molding, starting at one end, and then slowly push it onto the tape. The tape grabs firmly, so take your time. Once the molding is in place, push it firmly with a rag. Use a back-and-forth motion across the molding to bond the entire length.

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