Window tint: Rear window film does not flush completely against

Remove Windows Tint Rear Defroster

Remove / June 15, 2016

Minivans are sooo handy. You can cram most of the Free World in the back. Like, for instance, that 8-ft. aluminum ladder you just bought. You didn't even have to tie the back door shut-there was just enough room to close the hatch with the ladder resting on top of a pile of stuff. And it rode across town without incident. Except that it shifted backward a couple of inches, into the window and the electrical spade lug that carries current to the de­froster grid, neatly popping it free of the glass. To add to the injury, the grid is scratched in three places, clear down to the bare glass, causing an open circuit that will leave a 6-in.-wide swath of frost across the window come wintertime, right at eyeball level.

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These electrically conductive, heated grids on the rear window are literally painted onto the glass. They're reasonably tough, but it's possible to damage them by letting cargo rub against the glass, or by scraping off a window sticker or the tinting film. Even a credit card can damage the grid, so limit anything that touches the glass to a clean rag and some window cleaner.

Bad news: A new rear window can be more than $400, including installation. Good news: You can fix it yourself for less than 10 bucks. Really. Start by going to the auto parts store and picking up a rear-window defroster-grid repair kit and/or a defroster tab repair kit, depending on the damage you need to fix.

Window Prep

Begin the repair process by using your soft cloth and window cleaner to thoroughly remove all dirt, dust, dog drool, ice cream smears and greasy handprints from the rear window. Clean it inside and out because you need to be able to see through the glass to discern the breaches in the grid. More im-portant, you need to give the conductive paint or adhesive a clean surface to stick to. Where's That Scratch?

We removed this Escort tailgate from the car to make the photography easier. You can pinpoint hard-to-see scratches in the grid by chasing the voltage drop with a multimeter.