How to Reglue Rubber Trim on Vehicles

Updated February 21, 2017

Black rubber and vinyl trim often come loose--especially on older model cars. Regluing this trim is an easy job. You don't need any tools, and the supplies are inexpensive and easy to find at any automotive parts store. It is a good idea to attend to this minor repair job as soon as possible. If a significant portion of your car's trim has come loose, the wind may pick it up and off of your car and deposit it on the highway.

Pull the trim off of your vehicle. Take care and go slowly to avoid tearing or cracking the trim.

Clean the old trim adhesive off of your car. Moisten a clean rag with the adhesive remover and scrub the adhesive until it is gone. Scrape any solid clumps or stubborn areas away with your putty knife. Finally, wipe the area clean of all residue with a rag soaked in denatured alcohol.

Clean the adhesive off of the back side of the trim. Follow the method in Step 2.

Apply the tape to your car. Cut the appropriate length of tape. Stick the adhesive side to the area where the trim was adhered to the car. You may need two strips to secure wide trim. Press the adhesive along its length to remove any air bubbles.

Peel the paper off of the tape to reveal the second adhesive side.

Press the trim onto the tape to return it to its original position on your car. Start at one end of the trim and press it on to the tape one section at a time. This automotive adhesive tape is pretty unforgiving, so try not to make any placement mistakes. Once the trim is in place, press back and forth along its length with your rag to make sure that it is secure.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Adhesive remover
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Double-sided automotive foam tape
  • Scissors
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.