|KYLE’S CORNER – AUTO REPAIR HELP|
TROUBLESHOOTING THE DEFROSTER
Do you know how to solder? If yes, then this is an easy fix. Use a high-capacity soldering iron (or gun), & solder the tab back on. It may take an extra hand to hold the tab against the grid as you solder it. There is usually a metal strip on the glass under the silk-screening. Clean the surface with alcohol and use a 60-40 rosin-core solder. You need to work fast because excess heat can crack the glass. If you aren’t confident about your soldering skills, or are not ready to risk cracking an expensive piece of glass, there’s another way. Most auto parts stores sell a special electrically conductive epoxy to bond the tab back on. If it’s winter, you will need to work in a heated garage and have the vehicle inside long enough for it to warm up to at least 60F. As with the soldering technique, clean the glass with alcohol first. Mask the glass with tape so as to keep from getting epoxy smeared on it. Mix up a small amount of epoxy and hardener. Put some epoxy on the tab, and use something to hold it in place for 15 minutes or so until the epoxy hardens. Use a wooden stick or the end of your finger to smear the epoxy. Although the epoxy will dry quickly, don’t reattach the wiring until it’s had 24 hours at 70F or more to cure and reach its full strength. Unfortunately, the repair won’t be as strong as the original, so you will need to be careful not to damage it in the future.
If the fuse is OK and the tab is attached to the glass but still the defroster doesn’t work, check for a bad switch, relay, or timer. For this you’re going to need a schematic diagram and experience in troubleshooting wiring problems. Start at the fuse and trace the wiring. If the switch is bad, you can always jump the switch and get 12 volts beyond it for diagnosis. But you may need to replace the timer which often is integrated into a large box of electrical controls buried deep underneath the dashboard. Consult the factory auto repair manual.
(Kyle has an affinity for Pale Ale and tooling on his 1956 Chevrolet Nomad Station Wagon.)