Roof moldings are decorative trim pieces that run along the roofline to cover up the seams between body panels. They serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, protecting passengers from sun glare and giving the vehicle a sleek, finished look. Over time, though, moldings can become damaged loose, or you may simply want to remove them to install roof racks or other accessories.🌡️
While the prospect of prying off moldings may seem daunting, rest assured that with some basic DIY skills, it’s perfectly doable. This guide will cover everything you need to know, from must-have tools to safe removal techniques, tips on accessing hidden clips, applying heat if needed, and properly reattaching your moldings once the job is complete. 🧰
So, if you’ve been putting off that roof molding project on your Honda Accord, read on! We’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle it yourself. Let’s get started!⛽
Easy Roof Molding Removal Process
Here is a quick rundown of the key steps involved:
- Gather necessary tools (pry bar, trim tools, screwdrivers, heat gun, etc.)
- Locate and remove any plastic cover pieces
- Find molding clips and fasteners and detach them carefully with pry bar
- Apply controlled heat as needed to loosen the adhesive
- Slowly pry molding away from the roof on one side
- Continue detaching clips and prying, working along the full length of molding
- Once completely loose, lift molding up and off of the roof 🚙
Why Remove Roof Moldings?
Before jumping into the removal process, it helps to understand why you might need or want to take off those roof moldings in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons:
Over years of exposure to the sun, rain, tree sap, and other elements, moldings can become faded, brittle, warped, or simply look worn out. Removing them provides the chance to replace old moldings with new ones that look crisp and refresh the overall appearance of your vehicle.
Even if intact, moldings can sometimes come loose at the edges or attachment points. This not only looks bad but can create wind noise or be hazardous if pieces come off at highway speeds. Taking them off allows you to reattach them securely or replace them if the clips are damaged.
Install Roof Racks
If you want to put roof racks, luggage pods, or other cargo attachments on your roof, the moldings will likely need to be removed first to access mounting points and provide a flush surface for proper fitting.
Improve Wrap Coverage
For those looking to wrap their vehicle, removing roof moldings can significantly increase wrap quality and efficiency, allowing the film to be applied in hard-to-reach areas under ridges and gaps.
Taking moldings off provides greater access to the roof for tasks like cleaning out leaves and debris that may collect in channels under trim pieces or making repairs to any body panels or seams underneath.
So, while moldings serve an important function, there are times when removal is necessary. Just be sure to use care when prying them off to avoid damaging clips or the vehicle body itself.
Step-By-Step Roof Moldings Honda Accord Removal
With your supplies gathered, here is the detailed process for taking off roof moldings on a Honda Accord:
📍 1. Locate And Remove Plastic Cover Pieces
The first step is to get access to the clips and fasteners holding the moldings on. Carefully examine the edges and ends of the molding trim to find any removable plastic cover pieces that may be hiding attachment hardware.
Use your pry bar tool to gently pop these covers off and set them aside for later reinstallation. Just be cautious around windshield corners to avoid damaging the glass.🔨
📍 2. Detach Clips Along The Length Of Molding
Once you can view the underside of the moldings, you should see plastic clip fasteners at regular intervals securing them to the roof. Use your pry bar to gently lift up at the edge of the molding near each fastener until it releases its hold.
Slowly work your way along the full length of the molding, detaching one clip at a time to avoid cracking or stressing the trim piece. Sharp upward motions combined with gentle back-and-forth wiggling should allow you to pop each clip free while minimizing the risk of paint damage. Just watch out for any electrical harness clips that may also be integrated.😅
📍 3. Check For Hidden Screws Or Bolts
Some vehicles may have a few screws also helping secure sections of the moldings down, often near the windshield or back glass. If you encounter resistance detaching certain areas, examine closely for any flathead or Torx fasteners that will need loosening with a screwdriver.
Removing these first will then allow you to easily release the remaining plastic clips once the screw tension is relieved. Just be sure to keep any hardware you remove handy for reinstallation later.🔧
📍 4. Apply Controlled Heat If Needed
In some cases, especially with older vehicles, the moldings may have an adhesive strip or caulking helping bond them to the roof for an extra-secure hold. Over years of exposure, this can essentially “weld” the moldings in place.
If you are still struggling to lift edges or detach stubborn areas after removing all visible clips/screws, try warming the adhesive with a heat gun. Set it to low-medium temperature and wave it evenly along the underside of the molding for 30-60 seconds at a time.
The gentle heat will soften the bond and allow you to pry up and peel away that section more easily using a plastic trim tool. Just don’t overheat any one area to avoid burning the surrounding paint or the moldings themselves.🔥
📍 5. Slowly Lift Moldings Away From The Roof Surface
Once fully detached on at least one end, you can begin safely lifting the roof moldings fully off the vehicle. Gripping as close to the edge as possible, slowly pull back at a 45° angle, working along the length of the roof trim piece.
Maintain an even, steady pressure, wiggling occasionally if needed to separate any remaining adhesive. In most cases, the entire molding should be released cleanly from the roof in one complete strip.🚗
With the molding removed, inspect the newly exposed roof section and clean away any debris, old caulk residue, or dirt buildup with a cloth and adhesive remover. Now is the perfect time to handle any necessary repairs before beginning reinstallation.
Handling Special Cases
While roof moldings generally follow similar attachment methods across Honda Accord model years, you may encounter a few special scenarios worth noting:
Stuck Windshield Moldings
The area where the roof molding wraps around the front windshield corners tends to use extra adhesive and can be tricky to detach without damaging the glass. Use extreme care here, possibly cutting away old caulk strips first before attempting to pry.
Aftermarket “In-channel” Moldings
Some owners opt for secondary aftermarket moldings that are installed inside the roof rain channels for added accessory mounts or style. Removing factory moldings first provides the easiest access for removing or modifying these as well.
Gran Touring Roof Options
Accord Touring and higher trims have an extra chrome side strip along the roof in addition to the main upper molding. Be prepared to detach multiple trim pieces if your particular model has these body extensions.
Reattaching Roof Moldings
Once any underlying repairs, cleaning, or accessories installations are complete, it’s time to put those freshly detached moldings back where they belong.
Follow Reverse Sequence
In most cases, simply reversing your removal steps will suffice to reinstall roof moldings properly:
- Clean all old caulk residue from the roof and molding edge surfaces
- Position the trim piece evenly and press it onto the roof starting on one end
- Firmly engage plastic clips back into place along the length
- Reinstall any screws or bolts into their original holes
- Press fit plastic cover caps over reattached hardware
- Seal edges with fresh caulk strip if desired
As long as the molding’s original fasteners remain intact during removal, this should go smoothly and keep your Accord moldings securely on for years to come!
Replace Damaged Clips
However, if any clips break or fastener sockets get stripped out, stop by your Honda dealer to purchase replacement hardware sets before attempting to remount your moldings. Trying to glue problematic areas rarely holds well long-term. OEM clips maintain that reliable grip.
And there you have it! With these comprehensive techniques, you can now tackle molding removal projects with greater ease, access those hard-to-reach spots for cleaning or repairs, and refresh your ride’s appearance over time.🚘
Here’s to taking on those long put-off DIY jobs with new motivation! Let us know if any other tricky tasks on your Honda have you stumped. Happy wrenching! 🧑🔧
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Any Special Tools To Remove The Roof Moldings?
You can remove most roof moldings using basic tools like a trim pry bar, screwdrivers, protective gloves, and eyewear. Some especially stubborn moldings may require a heat gun or Utility Knife To Cut Through The Old Adhesive.
How Can I Avoid Damaging My Car When Removing The Moldings?
Work slowly and gently when detaching clips to minimize any paint scratching on the car body. You can also use painter’s tape around work areas for extra protection. Avoid using force and stop if something seems stuck.
What’s The Easiest Way To Access The Clips Holding On Moldings?
Look carefully along the roofline for any plastic cover caps at the ends of moldings. Prying these off carefully with a trim tool will reveal hidden clip hardware underneath so you can detach the entire length more easily.
My Molding Feels Welded On. What Should I Try?
On older Accords, the moldings may have adhesive sealant that has essentially bonded them permanently over time. In this case, apply indirect heat from a hair dryer or heat gun to gently soften the material before prying.
Do I Have To Remove The Whole Windshield Molding Strip?
Not necessarily. The section wrapping the windshield is often more delicate and secured with extra adhesive. You can usually leave this corner piece intact if needed for projects focused on the main roof section alone.
How Do I Ensure The Moldings Stay Secured When I Reinstall Them?
Thoroughly clean all old adhesive residue off the mating surfaces, firmly press the molding back into place, and replace any damaged clip fasteners with new OEM versions for the most secure hold. Adding fresh caulk sealant prior helps, too.
Removing those aging or problematic roof moldings on your Honda Accord no longer needs to be an intimidating prospect. As we’ve covered, while requiring care and patience, the basic process boils down to:
🔹 Gathering necessary pry tools, heat guns, and protective equipment
🔹 Locating and removing any plastic hardware caps
🔹 Slowly detaching clips working along the molding from one end to the other
🔹 Applying gentle heat if extra adhesive won’t release
🔹 Finally, peeling moldings away and accessing the roof area underneath
Reinstalling cleanly then simply involves thoroughly cleaning all mating surfaces, firmly pressing moldings back into place on their clips, replacing any damaged fasteners, and adding fresh caulk sealant if desired for an extra-tight seal on those pesky problem areas.🚗
- Major 2017 Honda Accord Problems Issues Reported by Owners
- Are Honda Accords Comfortable?
- Behind The Scenes Of EX-L: What Honda Accord Owners Need To Know
- Are Honda Accord Good Cars? Breaking Down the Pros and Cons