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What is the best way to treat door seals to prevent the doors from freezing in winter?

I noticed that the doors on both of my vehicles are a bit "sticky" this time of year, where the temperature is above freezing during the day, but drops below freezing overnight.

The seals on both vehicles are in good condition, so I don't want to use a product that's going to harm the rubber.

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This question would benefit from a little more back story. What type of vehicle and where are you seeing the worst freezing? Both of those will help others just like you find this question (and our stunning insights ;-). – Bob Cross Dec 13 '11 at 2:40

4 Answers 4

If you're getting enough moisture into the seal/door interface, the seals are already failing. It's time to replace them. However, if you want to hold it off for a little while, vaseline is fine. It'll slowly degrade the seals further, but well, they're already done for at this point...

Best thing to do is to use silicone lube on the seals occasionally before moisture starts getting past and freezing. That'll help extend the life of the seals.

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Essentially, you want to displace the potential condensation that will form after the air inside a warm car cools down. The best suggestion that I have heard is silicone based grease or sprays. Those will discourage the water from sticking around and, later, becoming ice.

Anything that might react with rubber is definitely not recommended. This includes solvent-type sprays like WD-40 or common household Vaseline. Either might seem like it's helping until you notice that your door seals are disintegrating rapidly.

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I thought of WD-40 - does it really affect the rubber? – chris Dec 13 '11 at 13:49
Yes, it will eat the rubber over time. Best to use something neutral like silicone. – Bob Cross Dec 21 '11 at 14:08

i'm told nonstick cooking spray works well also, but don't know if it will affect the seals...

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Brake fluid revises rubber to its elasticity. Use sparingly on door seals so as not to get on you clothes.

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You don't want to get it on the paint, either ... which is why I wouldn't use it on the door seals. It will strip the paint off the other side where it is sealing against the door. – Paulster2 Aug 6 at 10:06

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