Is windshield molding just decorative?

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2,153
Location
New Hampsha
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Had my windshield replaced today and for the most part it looks pretty darn good. There are a couple areas on the side molding which look like they don't seat 100% with some tiny gaps. I remember when I first went in the place to ask them about replacing my windshield I asked them how close would it look to how it does now. He was upfront and said that I had to remember that this is a replacement windshield not one installed at the factory so they will get it as close as possible. All that being said I remember when I went to Safelite and asked the same question, the tech there told me that the molding/trim is decorative and he could put the windshield in place without any trim and it wouldn't leak. What say you guys? The plastic pieces at the bottom of the windshield seem a little loosey-goosed. They are not sitting hundred percent but they're locked in. (Not sitting as tight as they were before I brought it in) I suppose that's an easy swap if I ever wanted to do it. The only reason I'm being a little eagle eyed is the car only has a little over 2000 miles on it. I'm sure that will wear off pretty quick
 
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5,680
Location
Atlanta
The windshield is glued in with urethane. The tech is right they could leave the molding out and it wouldn't leak.
 
Messages
2,153
Location
New Hampsha
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I was actually able to fix the molding on the side where the slight gap was by believe it or not using the corner of a dollar bill lol. There was a section where it looked like it was folded under and not up against the pillar. By starting at the bottom of the window and slowly running the corner of the bill up to the fold I was able to "pop" the portion out that was folded under. It took multiple passes in maybe 15 minutes or so but now it looks almost factory. Maybe hard to visualize what I'm describing but I think it looks pretty good now The only thing that looks like junk now is my inspection sticker, they murdered it taking it off and putting it back on. They did use an OEM window and even has the Honda logo on it
 
Messages
718
Location
New York
The molding is usually just decorative. They usually cover up gaps between the windshield and pillars or just panels of the body, especially where seam sealers and welds are visible. These days they try to make car look sexier by decreasing the gaps so that they can "naturally" cover the gaps without using separate plastic/rubber molding. For example just making the windshield larger so no molding necessary on the sides. If the fit looks "off" it might be due to clips not having seated in or something like that. The other is the windshield was installed off so now the geometry doesn't match where the trim expects it to be, but that's unlikely.
 
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734
Location
Under the hood
Originally Posted by Nick1994
It won't leak without the trim or with crooked trim, but it could whistle on the freeway.
I've experienced this first hand and it drove me crazy enough to have the shop redo the job. Modern bonded windshields aren't sealed to be body via the molding, but it still has to be installed properly.
 
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