The Dos and Donts of Buying Car Rubbing Strips

Views 1 Like Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Car Rubbing Strips

Many vehicles feature rubber or hard plastic moulding running down the sides. These strips, also known as rubbing strips, serve a vital, protective purpose in the design of vehicles. They help to shelter the impact of accidental dings from the doors of neighbouring vehicles. Some manufacturers produce cars without rubbing strips for purely aesthetic purposes. The downside to this is that these cars are more vulnerable to serious body damage as a result.

Consumers who wish to add rubbing strips to new vehicles or replace worn rubbing strips can still find them in the market. Though not all vehicle manufacturers produce rubbing strips, many providers sell universal models in the aftermarket. Easy to install, one may add or replace rubbing strips to the body of a vehicle without professional assistance.

Websites such as eBay offer consumers an opportunity to peruse several styles of car rubbing strips from sellers all over the world. This provides car owners options to seek out the ideal rubbing strips from the comfort of their homes. The website also opens up options for unique, hard-to-find styles of rubbing strips.

The "Do's" of Buying Car Rubbing Strips

The buying of car rubbing strips requires careful vigilance. Ensuring that the strips are a good fit and that appropriate application procedures are followed is crucial to permitting the operation to run smoothly and the end result to be a pleasing one. Without first purchasing the right strips, moving on to the application process is impossible.

Find the Right Car Rubbing Strips for One's Vehicle

Finding the right match for one's vehicle can make the application of car rubbing strips easier. Though universal pieces may be cut to size, this is a far trickier process. Whenever possible, it is better to get a set of pre-cut rubbing strips that are designed specifically to fit a given vehicle. Many modern rubbing kits come with a strong adhesive, making installation a snap. With pieces that are fitted specifically for a given vehicle, there is far less room for mistakes, as there is no cutting or trimming.

Sometimes a specific, pre-cut moulding set is designed to fit different vehicles from the same manufacturer, so it is often easier to look for a rubbing strip kit by searching for the make, then the model, of the intended vehicle.

Find Rubbing Strips that Accommodate the Correct Sides of the Vehicle

Vehicle rubbing strips must be placed on the correct side, such as left or right, of one's vehicle for proper adhesion and appearance. When purchasing a new kit of rubbing strips, the destination for each strip is usually marked on the piece itself, often with a removable sticker.

If using second hand strips, or working with a kit that is lacking the instructions, one should hold the pieces to the given location on the vehicle to ensure they look right and match appropriately. Because this can be a bit tricky, it is a good idea for the novice to purchase a new kit with thorough instructions, especially if there are no older rubbing strips on the vehicle to use as reference. Adding strips to the wrong side of the vehicle can be a frustrating and costly mistake, requiring the consumer to begin the entire removal and adhesion process over again.

Buy Car Rubbing Strips in the Desired Colour

Sometimes, consumers can find pre-painted rubbing strips designed to match the colour of a vehicle's body. If having a matching shade is important to the consumer, this is a good way to go about it. Trying to paint over rubbing strips, especially as a do-it-yourself project, usually results in a runny mess. The materials that rubbing strips are made out of are not necessarily designed to hold paint well.

The "Don'ts" of Buying Car Rubbing Strips

Just as there are many things that should be done when applying rubbing strips to ensure results, there are a few things that should be altogether avoided. For example, rubbing strips should not be altered by the do-it-yourselfer through painting, unless the vehicle owner is prepared to deal with potentially messy consequences. Rubbing strips should always be applied on a totally clean vehicle surface, free of old moulding, dirt, and debris. Proper installation is critical, as it can prevent permanent damage, keeping warranty and car value intact.

Don't Purchase Car Rubbing Strips without Measuring First

Many types of car rubbing strips come pre-measured and cut to fit a specific vehicle. Others may require the consumer to cut them down to proper size. Either way, before making a commitment to purchase a set of car rubbing strips, it is a good idea to get the correct measurements for the places for the rubbing strips. With proper measurements, it is possible to double-check the length and width of strips to ensure fit.

Application Tips for Car Rubbing Strips

Applying rubbing strips is an easy process for savvy car owners with do-it-yourself mentality. In many cases, the task can be finished in less than 20 minutes. The following Do's and Don'ts can help make the process of applying car rubbing strips go much smoother.

Do Clean the Area Well Before Applying Strips

Many strip kits come with rubbing alcohol and wipes. It is important to use this or a similar cleaning agent to thoroughly clean and remove all dirt, residue, and oil from the surface of a vehicle before attempting to adhere rubbing strips. Failing to do this may interfere with adhesion.

Removing old glue or strippigs can typically be done using a blow-dryer and some sort of glue-removing agent. There are many vehicle-safe glue removers available on the market, and it takes very little to get clear results.

Do Warm Rubbing Strips Before Applying

To make rubbing strips more flexible and easy to work with, many experts suggest heating each piece before attempting to apply. This can be done with a simple home blow-dryer or even by placing the strips near the vehicle's radiator for a brief period of time. This tip not only helps to make the piece itself more pliable, but it also works to soften up the adhesive backing found on rubbing strips to allow for easier application and stronger hold.

Do Not Attempt to Apply Over Old Rubbing Strips or Debris

It is important to never apply new rubbing strips over old strips, dings, or other types of damage. The reason is that the non-flat surface can make it harder for the strips to adhere properly, resulting in a generally messy presentation. Thankfully, removing rubbing strips is a fairly easy process and dings can typically be fixed in short time by a professional auto body mechanic.

Do Not Drive off Before Testing the Strips

It is a smart idea to give strips ample time to dry before attempting to head out on the open road. At times, it may take several hours for the adhesive glue to truly take hold. Always give the pieces a light tug before cranking up and heading out. This helps ensure that all rubbing strips are in the correct place and not apt to fly off at the first sharp curve on the road, laying waste to a day's hard work and ruining the strips.

Buying Car Rubbing Strips on eBay

Finding car rubbing strips on eBay is a simple task of putting appropriate key search terms in the bar located atop every eBay page. Simply type a general term such as "rubbing strips" to uncover a wealth of valuable listings on the website. Once listings have appeared, using various eBay refinements and subcategories can narrow the options to match one's needs. You can also use more specific terms, such as "BMW rubbing strips" to narrow search results.

To find out more about an eBay seller, visit the feedback forum by clicking on the seller's username, typically found on an eBay listing page. This leads you to information about the seller, including reviews from previous clients and an overall rating on eBay. From here, it is possible to send the seller private messages to inquire further about the product that you intend to buy through eBay.

Before agreeing to purchase a product through eBay, it is always a good idea to verify the total price of the transaction. This means not only determining the cost of the item, but also verifying the associated shipping and handling fees as well as shipping insurance, if applicable.


Rubbing strips are thick, often black, vinyl or rubber pieces added to the sides of vehicles to aid in protecting the body. Though rubbing strips are not likely to do a whole lot in a high impact crash, they can help stifle the impact of a cart, bicycle, or rapidly-opened door.

Rubbing strips were once considered a required part of vehicle design, but modern manufacturers have chosen to eschew them in exchange for clean, seamless lines. However, the downside to skipping the rubbing strip is that car doors and runaway carts are left to slam right into the body of the vehicle.

Fortunately, for consumers who have vehicles that lack rubbing strips or have rubbing strips that require replacing, there are many options. Aftermarket rubbing strips are widely available in a variety of designs and styles, and they can be easily applied by the consumer. eBay can help in the process of purchasing these parts, thanks to its user-friendly functionalities and wide seller network.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides