Moldings are a cosmetic black rubber trim that usually run along either the top or the top and sides of your glass. Contrary to popular belief, they play absolutely no part in holding your windshield in your car. Many older vehicles had windshields held in with rubber gaskets but those are different from moldings and are very uncommon in modern vehicles. Moldings are added to vehicles by designers to aid in appearance.
Your vehicle will fall into one of 3 categories in terms of moldings:
First, you may not have any at all – that’s not uncommon. Not all vehicles have moldings and this is increasingly common on newer vehicles. Since they are an appearance-only addition by designers, they sometimes choose not to use them. However, if a vehicle was designed to have a molding, it should continue to do so or issues like wind noise can occur.
Second, the windshield for your vehicle may come from the factory with a molding pre-applied. Many moldings are attached in the manufacturing process and if that is the case for your vehicle, you will receive a new molding as part of the windshield at no additional charge.
Third, your vehicle may have a molding that does not come pre-applied to the new glass. The existing molding on your original windshield can often be saved and reused but this is not always the case. Most versions stay attached to your glass with a combination of a mechanical hold and adhesive. Removing them from the existing windshield can result in them stretching or tearing. If a new molding is required, they fall into two categories:
- Standard “wrap” moldings. These are the common sizes and styles of molding stocked by automotive glass shops in large quantity. Combined fit most vehicles on the road and are quite cost effective. You can have a fresher look without too much cost. Most replacement moldings at Windshield Surgeons Auto Glass are between $15 and $36.
- Specialty or packaged moldings. Sometimes a manufacturer will design a vehicle with a very unique molding. In most cases if a car is designed with a especially unique molding it will be one of the ones installed on the windshield from factory. However like everything there are exceptions that don’t. If your vehicle is one of these and needs a new molding, it will come individually packaged and ready made for your exact vehicle. While most packaged or specialty moldings are quite affordable, there are notable exceptions that can be very expensive. They can range from $25 to $800 depending on your vehicle.
It is important to note that a new molding generally looks better and “fresher” than one saved from an existing vehicle. If your old one can be saved, it is up to you to decide whether you want us to reuse it or apply a new one anyways to complete the new look. If it cannot be saved, we have no choice but to replace it for you.
If you have any questions about moldings or any other glass feature, don’t hesitate to ask one of our staff members. We are here to help!