I need to repair one line break (2mm) in my rear window defroster. I don't
wish to spend $10 on a repair kit. Is there a way to do this on the
cheap with a little creativity, perhaps? Just wondering.
And maybe the start of an empire.
Actually, I'm sure you can't fix 10 with one kit. You can however
glue 2 rear view mirrors with one capsule of glue. However a little
farther down the aisle, they sell three capsules of the same glue, and
they say it works on glass, for the same price. They just don't say
it works on rear-view mirrors, but it does.
Actually I know it works on rear view mirrors, because I bought the
cheaper stuff and my mirror was still there 4 years later when I got
rid of the car. The first time I did it, it fell off however. Got to
The last one I bought (years ago) had a small cardboard aperture to help
make the lines straight, and a tiny bottle of paint with copper filings
in it. It didn't work worth a damn; after it dried a few days and I turned
on the defroster, the repaired areas smoked and the repaired lines were
still not functioning.
Nazi: a person who is winning an argument with a liberal.
Sounds like you didn't scuff/clean the original lines well enough to get a
good contact, or maybe didn't overlap it enough, and ended up making a
resistor. Last kit I used went on like you described, but it worked fine.
Glass has to be super-clean- no windex, smoke, rain-x, whatever residue can
be there. I used contact cleaner, and didn't have any problems at all.
I had also heard that the kit works. So far, in my '95 Lebaron, all
the lines work.
They say iirc not to melt snow with the heater. Has anyone broken the
window that way? I've used it for snow with no problems so far.
What problems might there be?
Why would they say that. Here in Canada we all use it to melt snow, solid
ice from freezing rain, fog and condensation either inside or outside. Got
to do it if you want to drive anywhere without a long wait.
I thought they said it. Maybe they don't. At the very least, I don't
remember exactly what they say!
Fog and condensation, of course. OK, the reason they would say it is
that all the heat comes from the lines, and if there is enough ice on
the window, it might happen that the glass would get warm right by the
wire, and remain freezing cold halfway between the lines. And then
break, like one can break a glass by pouring hot water in a very cold
Well I drive forward most of the time, so if there is snow on the
window, I go anyhow. :) I remember when there were no side-view
mirrors except on trucks.
Actually it doesn't work that way. Melting ice on the window causes some of
the ice to melt over the line but the melted water runs down to the areas
between the lines helping to melt the ice there. It never gets hot because
the cold water and ice absorb the heat as it melts.
Yes, my wife tried to speed up the melting of ice on her windshield once,
and only once using hot water.
It is not good to drive with the rear window obscured, also that is why we
now have heated side-view mirrors that work the same as rear view windows.
Then you shouldn't say that they said it. Never
saw that written on any car that I have that has a
rear window defroster.
It doesn't break the glass. They tell you to
remove excess snow because it takes a long to melt
it. BTW driving around with the windows blocked
by frost or snow is not only stupid, it is
dangerous and illegal in many states.
If you expect to be doing DIY stuff for years to come, then spring
around $25 for some conductive epoxy, like this stuff:
It'll bridge the break in the defroster grid "slicker than snot on a
brass doorknob" and if you put the kit away in the kitchen freezer it'll
keep for years and years.
Ive got two tiny tubes of the stuff I bought back in the '80s that still
works fine when I thaw them out in my trouser pocket for a half hour
before use. A few of the "non-solderable" things I can remember fixing
with the stuff are:
A field winding termination on the shaded pole fan motor in our last
microwave. It was wound with aluminum wire, not copper, and the start
end of the winding had cracked off its crimped termination, leaving only
about 3/8" of wire exposed. A blob of conductive epoxy kept that motor
running fine 'till the microwave's maggie finally went to heaven.
Fixing a "loose disconnection" between cells on a small solar panel
battery recharger used on camping trips.
Attaching leads to small NiCad battery cells when I didn't have any
tabbed cells handy.
And, just last week, repairing a broken joint between an armature
winding lead and a commutator bar in a small power tool's motor. I
beefed that one up by winding a few turns of thin string soaked with
non-conductive epoxy around the armature to cover that connection, and
all the similar connections around that armature as well.
Happy New Year,
Ya beat me to it, Jeff. But if he isn't into electronics, he can just buy
the 10 buck window kit, and make sure to seal the little bottle carefully,
and put all the stuff in a rolled-to-remove-air ziploc bag in the freezer,
for the next time he scratches the heat stripes. That is where I keep my
superglue, and it lasts for years. Applied carefully, those kits work well-
my van has a repaired stripe that has worked for six years now, and I haul a
lot of crap in that thing.
Perhaps some plain old two-part epoxy and a piece of stranded bare
copper wire bridging the gap. (I suggest stranded as it seems it
would be more likely to contact the existing traces.)
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