New

Best Windshield Sealant: FAQs and Reviews

Having a bit of trouble with your windshield? The best windshield sealant can solve many problems, such as a small leak or a tiny chip on your windshield. Why pay a dealer, who may charge hundreds of dollars to reinstall or replace your windshield?

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

Windshield Sealant Name

Quality

Price

Rating

C.R. Laurence (CRL) Windshield Sealant

A++

$

 Permatex Windshield and Glass Sealer

A

$

3M 08693 Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive

A-

$$

Griot’s Garage 11033 Glass Sealant

A-

$$

Windshield sealant FAQs

1. So exactly what is a windshield sealant?

The answer lies in its name—it’s a sealant. It seals the windshield from intrusion. Nothing gets in. Basically, it’s to protect the windshield from any leaks. Part of the windshield’s job is to keep you and the passengers in your vehicle protected from the elements, such as the rain. A windshield sealant does that, and it can do so in various ways.

Generally, the windshield sealant is a somewhat thick liquid that you pour out of a tube. You apply this to the windshield, and it helps the windshield repel the water so you don’t get leaks. It’s a very cheap product and at its usual volume of fewer than 12 ounces, it’ll cost you less than $20. Obviously, it’s a much more cost-effective solution compared to replacing an entire windshield!

2. How does it work?

Now, this can be somewhat confusing because manufacturers seem to have different ideas. You can have three different sealants that work in three different ways, yet they’re all called “sealants”. So, let’s clarify this.

Sealing the edges. Around your windshield, you usually have rubber edges that bind with the windshield so the water can’t get in that way. The problem is that these rubber edges and the adhesives they use can break down over time. There may come a point when the rubber doesn’t close up properly with the windshield anymore.

With a sealant of this sort, you can find the leaky spots and reapply the adhesive sealant to that spot underneath the rubber edge. It acts like glue binding the rubber and the glass together.

You can also use this sealant when you’re installing a new windshield. You can then make sure that the windshield is sealed tight around the edges with an excellent windshield sealant which binds the glass and the rubber properly.

Sealing the cracks. Let’s say you notice that there’s a very small chip on your windshield. You have to take care of this right away because small chips have this tendency of developing into long cracks along the windshield. When this happens, you’ll have no recourse but to spend lots of money on a new windshield.

The problem is that stuff can get inside the chip and make it worse. Water is a common suspect for this, especially, if it’s cold where you live. The water can turn to ice and expand, and then the chip becomes bigger.

By sealing it in with a sealant, water and debris can’t get in the chip. It also acts as a binder keeping things together.

Sealing the entire windshield. Just as you can apply sealant to your paint job to protect it from the elements, you can do the same for your windshield. For this, you need a water-repellant sealant to help the windshield provide you with the visibility you need to drive safely. Unlike the other types of sealants that act as glue (and which you need to apply carefully), this sealant is wiped on and buffed onto your windshield.

Regardless of how you use the sealant, the number one rule is that you need to first clean your windshield and the target areas very carefully and thoroughly. You can’t have any sort of debris interfering with the sealant.

Then, you must follow the instructions on how your particular sealant can be applied. Usually, the tube has a special applicator when you need to use it for a small area.

3. Are these things only for windshields?

It depends on what kind of sealant you get. Basically, you can use the sealant for various glass components, such as your car door windows. Some have even used a sealant for the headlights.

You may even find these things useful for the windows in your home. You can make sure that there are no leaks around its edges, and that the cracks don’t become bigger. You can use it for other glassware products too, such as vases and bongs.

Windshield Sealant Reviews

Windshield Sealant Name

Quality

Price

Rating

C.R. Laurence (CRL) Windshield Sealant

A++

$

 Permatex Windshield and Glass Sealer

A

$

3M 08693 Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive

A-

$$

Griot’s Garage 11033 Glass Sealant

A-

$$

C.R. Laurence (CRL) Windshield Sealant

C.R. Laurence (CRL) Windshield Sealant-5be9f794c3ee8

This is a butyl sealant, and you’ll need it if your original sealant in the car was butyl too. That’s a good general rule for car part replacements and repair—try to replicate the original as much as possible.

The advantage of butyl over urethane sealant is that it’s quick and easy to use, and that’s especially true for the CRL sealant. Compared to other butyl products, this CRL is considered to be much better.

With this, you don’t need to wait a lot of hours before it dries and you can test its seal. You can test it with water immediately. It’s also quite easy to apply, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. You can also use it for pinch welds (metal to metal welding) and drip rails when you put in vinyl hardtops.

Pros

  • You can water test it right away. No need to wait.

  • It’s easy to apply consistently.

  • It can be used for glass, metal surfaces, and butyl tape.

Cons

  • If you’re new to this, it can get a bit messy.

BUY THIS ONE

Permatex 81730 Flowable Silicone Windshield and Glass Sealer

Permatex 81730 Flowable Silicone Windshield and Glass Sealer-5be9f7964cadf

This comes with a sharp conic applicator, but, that’s not the only reason why this is so popular. Remember how a sealant can be used for the edges or for chips? Well, this one can be used for both purposes.

This flows very easily, and it can get right underneath the rubber edge and into the chip. It then dries clear, so if you use it for a chip, you can still see through it. The resulting seal is very tough, and it’s not just waterproof. It resists the constant vibration produced by your vehicle, the shocks caused by your driving, and even extreme temperatures.

This is very versatile, as it’s not just for your windshield. It can also be used for sunroofs and headlamp assemblies. It can also be effective for materials like steel, rubber, and vinyl. Some people have even used it to seal small cracks in smartphones and fishbowls.

Pros

  • This works very well for leaky windshields.

  • It can be used for sealing the edges, or for sealing a chip from further damage.

  • The resulting seal is very tough, and it won’t be bothered by extremely hot or extremely cold days.

  • It’s easy to use.

  • It can be used for many other materials and car parts besides the windshield.

Cons

  • You really should consider using gloves when you apply this. It can irritate your skin, and you certainly don’t want it in your eyes.

    BUY THIS ONE

3M 08693 Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive

3M 08693 Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive-5be9f79812e24

The 3M brand is one of the most reputable names in the adhesive industry, so it stands to reason they’d have a sealant on this list. This is a urethane sealant that’s designed for high-strength bonding. It’s very secure. It also comes with a special nozzle, so you can apply the sealant exactly where you want it.

One advantage of this over other urethane sealants is that it’s also designed to act quickly. This means you have about five minutes to make adjustments. Then, you’ll need about 48 hours to let it cure—that’s normal for urethane. Some may say that you only need 12 hours for 3M, but it’s better to be sure.

Pros

  • The adhesive power of this 3M exceeds OEM levels.

  • It’s virtually guaranteed to stop leaks, as long as you let it cure properly.

  • It acts quite quickly.

Cons

  • You should cover the areas that you don’t want to be covered with tape. This can be messy and difficult to remove.

    BUY THIS ONE

Griot’s Garage 11033 Glass Sealant

Griot’s Garage 11033 Glass Sealant-5be9f7998ec91

Now, what if you’re not worried about leaks? What if you need a sealant to protect the whole windshield from the elements? If you live where it is cold, and sleet gives you difficulties, then this is the solution to your problem.

This is a sealant that you apply to your entire windshield. You just need to wipe it on, and then you buff it off. For best results, you can do two layers. Some people may find it difficult to buff off, but when this happens, you can just lightly dampen your microfiber cloth.

Once you’ve applied this properly, you’ll find that your windshield rebuffs water very effectively. This can make your windshield wiper work better, while the water-repellant feature improves the windshield visibility considerably.

Since it’s so effective, you can use this for your car windows too, so you can see better through them. Come to think of it, you can also use this for your house windows.

Pros

  • This works extremely well, as long as you apply it properly. This means you have to clean the windshield first, and then you should apply two layers.

  • This can be used for the car windows, or for all windows for that matter.

  • It’s easy to use.

  • You don’t need a lot of it either. You can use this for eight cars (for windshields and windows), and you still may only use half the 8-ounce bottle.

Cons

  • You just need to make sure to use it right. For example, you can’t let it dry for a minute on your windshield, because this will then become almost impossible to buff off.

BUY THIS ONE

Conclusion

Comparing everything to each other on this list isn’t really fair since it can be a matter of comparing apples and oranges. So, you need to take the goal and usage of the sealant into account. Do you need a sealant for the entire windshield so it’s water-repellant? Then you need to get the Griot’s Garage 11033 Glass Sealant—that’s the only sealant on this list which can work this way.

But, what if you need a sealant for a clear and durable seal around the edges, or a sealant for a small chip so it doesn’t become bigger? Then, your best bet is to get the Permatex. The beauty of this product is that it works for both purposes. You can use it for a loose seal around the edge, or for a small chip in the windshield. These seemingly small problems can become bigger, and this small tube does the trick well and economically.