What Is Belt Molding And Why Is It Important?

When a person unfamiliar with the term “belt molding” hears the term, they may think that it has something to do with one of the engine belts. The truth is, belt moldings have nothing to do with the engine.

What Is A Belt Molding?

Toyota belt molding

Image Credit: Home & Auto DIY

A belt molding is the trim you’ll find between the upper edge of the car door and the lower part of the window. They get their name because they are located near the beltline of the vehicle. Belt moldings are available in several different types of materials:

  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Chrome

When you look at the window on one of your car doors, you’ll find a rubber seal that runs along the entire lower edge of the window. That’s a belt molding. There are two types of belt moldings on each door:

  1. Outer belt: Belt moldings along the outer beltline of the window. This serves as the first line of defense against water, air, and dust.
  2. Inner belt: Belt moldings along the interior beltline of the window. This belt molding helps limit noise intrusion from inside the door, and prevents anything from dropping into the door.

On some vehicles, the outer belt molding is also an exterior decorative component. They can have some “fancy” touches like chrome, colored paint, or stainless steel finish.

Why Are Belt Moldings Important?

Belt moldings are important parts of your Toyota. They protect the inside of the door from dirt, moisture, and air. You need good belt moldings on your vehicle. Otherwise, the components inside the door will begin to rust, and eventually won't work correctly.

Belt moldings also protect your vehicle’s electrical system from moisture. They're one of the few parts on your vehicle (like lower bumper covers) that offer protection from dirt and moisture. There’s a reason there are thick (and sometimes fuzzy) belt moldings that run across the bottom of the window, on both sides. These belt moldings serve as “scraper seals” that scrape the moisture off when you roll down the window. This prevents any moisture from seeping into the car door and corroding the electrical items within the car door. These include the:

  • Door lock switches
  • Power mirror controls
  • Power window switches
  • Power mirror wiring

The Longevity of Belt Moldings

Toyota belt molding set

Belt moldings should last the lifetime of the vehicle. Yet, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes belt moldings can fail due to:

  • Extreme wear and tear
  • Physical damage (tears, cracks, etc.)
  • Damage from theft attempts

The good news is replacing the belt moldings is something you can do at home. All you need to do is order OEM replacement parts and then tackle the project in your garage. We’re authorized sellers of genuine OEM Toyota parts. You’ll save some money with us because all our pricing is wholesale. You would be hard-pressed to find better prices elsewhere.

We have a large inventory of genuine OEM belt moldings and related parts. One of our best sellers is this 4Runner belt molding window weatherstrip. Toyota specifically made this part to fit 2010-2020 Toyota 4Runners. Please contact us if you need help finding the right replacement belt molding for your Toyota model.

Are Belt Moldings The Same As Weatherstrips?

Yes and no. Weatherstrips can be another term for belt moldings. In fact, this part has several different names:

  • Belt molding
  • Weatherstrip
  • Scraper seal
  • Window fuzzy
  • Window felt
  • Weather belt molding
  • Window weatherstrip

Belt moldings aren’t exactly the same part as weatherstrips, though. You can find weatherstrips around the door frame, as well between the door and the window. Belt moldings are only limited to the window area. So you can refer to belt moldings as weatherstrips, but not the other way around.

Written by Jason Lancaster