How to Repair a Defroster

Written by c.l. rease
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The rear-window defroster on your vehicle uses an electric current to keep the view free of condensation, frost and ice. Scratches in the conductive paint and broken defroster tabs are common reasons for defroster failure. The materials required to fix both problems are readily available and inexpensive. A successful repair of the defroster requires proper preparation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Window cleaner
  • Rag
  • Defroster repair kit
  • Voltmeter

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  1. 1

    Spray window cleaner on the rear window of the vehicle and wipe the window with a rag or newspaper. Inspect the defroster tab. Crack the vial contained in the defroster repair kit. Apply the adhesive in the vial to the window and the back of the defroster tab supplied with the repair kit. Hold the defroster tab against the window for one minute. Slide the connector for the defroster onto the repaired tab.

  2. 2

    Start the vehicle. Turn on the rear defroster.

  3. 3

    Place the black and red leads of a voltmeter on each defroster grid. When the voltmeter reads zero, you have found the broken lead.

  4. 4

    Apply the masking tape supplied with the defroster repair kit above and below the broken line in the defroster grid. Shake the container of conductive paint for 30 seconds.

  5. 5

    Spray the conductive paint over the gap left between the top and bottom sections of masking tape. Remove the masking tape from the window. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes before using the vehicle's rear-window defroster.

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