ATC Blog

How to Repair your Defroster Grid Lines

Defroster grids on vehicles can be easily damaged, but instead of going to a repair center and paying hundreds of dollars to have someone fix them for you, you can easily repair them for much less.

The defroster grids are the skinny lines that run across your rear windshield, and their job is to remove any fog or melt any ice in the winter by generating heat to give your premier visibility. However, a damaged defroster grid can severely affect your visibility and put you in danger.

To avoid an added trip to the service center, pick up a cheap bottle of conductive paint, some isopropyl alcohol, and a roll of masking tape and follow our tips for repairing a broken defroster grid line.

Check the Fuse

One of the main problems with a defroster grid that won’t work is that the fuse blew out. Before even starting your repair of a presumably broken defroster line, check the fuses to make sure you don’t just need to replace one of them, which is much easier than repairing your grid lines. However, if your fuses aren’t blown out, follow the instructions below to repair your defroster grid line.

Identify the Broken Line and Clean It

To identify the broken line, you can watch your defroster in the morning to see which section is failing to properly work or you can check each line with a voltage tester. Once you find the broken defroster line, make sure you turn off your defroster. Turning it off before you begin cleaning and repairing it is important for many safety purposes.

Once have turned off your defroster, you can clean the area around it. Remove debris or dirt and clean the area with the isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth.

Prepare the Line

With your masking tape, tape the upper and lower ends of your line to keep it straight, hold a broken part together, and protect the glass around the line. You’ll paint over this line, and you don’t want to get any extra conductive paint on the glass that surrounds line.

Apply Conductive Paint

Before applying, thoroughly shake the conductive paint. Using the brush that comes with the paint, apply a thin line across the damaged line. Wait 5 minutes then add a second coat of conductive paint onto the line. Wait another 5 minutes, remove the masking tape, and turn on your defroster to make sure it works.

The conductive paint will rejuvenate a faulty defroster grid line. When your defroster grid line is scratched or damaged, the electrical current is broken, so the conductive paint repairs the overall electrical current. The right type of conductive paint can be found at any automotive repair store.


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2 thoughts on “How to Repair your Defroster Grid Lines

  1. Sara Killinger

    My back windshield has been damaged and I’ve been afraid that repairing it would cost significantly more since it has defroster grid lines. The defroster hasn’t worked properly for the past few months and I’ve been uncertain what to do. I’ll take your advice to check the fuse before getting the crack in my windshield repaired to find out if that’s the actual problem before replacing the entire window.

  2. Veronica Marks

    I’ve never heard of conductive paint. I will have to tell my husband about that because the defroster lines definitely aren’t working as well as they used to on our minivan. Can you find that kind of paint at any auto goods store?

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