What is the best way to replace bad window flashing but keep the window ?

The house was built in 1965 and some of the windows are original wood but most of them are newer vinyl replacements which I'm guessing are about 10 years old. As of late in learning about home ownership, I've noticed that the aluminum flashing looks somewhat sloppy and worn. I wonder because of the way it looks if it's even doing it's job.
Each window has a 4 inch wide strip of aluminum flashing on its perimeter. The sides are just tacked on the outside on the frame without any contact to the window itself and loosely cover up the wood. I can pull them back sideways to look at the original wood underneath which is painted but not rotten thank god. The top piece of flashing starts below the drip edge and corners down much like the side pieces. The bottom piece however seems to be attached to the window on all of them, which is installed as it should be from what I've gathered, but the corners don't meet or reach the side flashing and some of them have tears.
Bottom line question is, is there a way to replace the aluminum flashing so that it performs as it should without removing/replacing the windows ? The siding is cedar shingles.
Thanks, BIll.
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Billbax wrote:

You don't mention staining of the interior wall. If it appears that no water is getting into the wall, I would leave well enough alone. TB
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Billbax wrote:

the most critical thing is to have head flashing at the top, which is tucked behind the siding and directs water to the outside of the trim. the 4" flashing you describe is mainly put on to cover old trim (and are you sure it is aluminum? typically would be coil stock--painted galvanized steel). repairs at this point would involve getting some good high quality oil based caulk and caulking any gaps and also making sure the replacement window is caulked properly. a good lumberyard should be able to order you color matched caulk. i wouldn't go beyond that unless there were signs of water intrusion--leaking windows, rotted wood, etc.
if you really want to fix it right, rip out the old window, trim, and replacement window and install a window with fins and flash it properly. not a cheap option however.
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There is no leakage or stains on the interior that I can see, but some of the caulked seams of the flashing corners have come apart and they look rather sloppy and loosely fit. I see it as a potential problem and am just checking if this existing flashing shouldn't be touched or if there are practical ways to replace it.
I believe the white flashing strips are aluminum as they were installed on the vinyl window frames and are extremely light and pliable.
I'm currently leaning towards leaving in the bottom flashing if possible as they go underneath the windows as they should and giving some attention to the weathered drip sills. The rest sounds as if it can be replaced as-is since it's just attached to the window frame and yeah, I'd love to fix it right but removing all of the windows to get proper flashing installed sounds nuts.
Thanks for the feedback. Bill
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