Defroster Tab Repair Questions

Answers to frequently asked Frost Fighter defroster repair questions

Re-attached the metal tabs of rear window defrosters using the highly conductive Frost Fighter tab bonding kit to avoid the high cost of glass replacement. We offer solutions to every rear window defroster repair challenge.

Answers to the most frequently asked Frost Fighter questions as tracked by our Customer Service staff.

Top Defroster Tab Repair Questions

My vehicles defroster does not work, now what?

If the defroster only partially works then it normally means you have a damaged defroster grid. This damage can be repaired with a Frost Fighter GRID Repair Kit. If the defroster does not work at all then it could be a separated main power tab. Use the Frost Fighter TAB Repair Kit to reattached these tabs.

Why isn't the silver adhesive conductive right away?

Both the grid and tab repair kits require the material to be fully cured for maximum conductivity and adhesion. The curing process forces the tiny silver particles together resulting in improving electrical conductivity. Warming the repair with a hair dryer or heat gun is recommended.

I used a Permatex Kit and my defroster still does not work. How is Frost Fighter better?

Lets just say we get a lot of customer calls with this question. Frost Fighter Kits use a very high silver loading for the best possible electrical properties. This means that your tab will bond to the defroster and make a good electrical connection in one operation.

How do I find the right defroster tab for my vehicle?

Normally tabs are not damaged when they come off the rear window defroster defroster. If one tab is broken or missing take a look at the tab the is still on the defroster and compare it to the tabs we have on our website here.

A good idea is to take a picture with your cell phone and then go to the link above to see which of the Frost Fighter tabs best matches the tab the is still on the window. This matching is more for aesthetics and is not supper critical as the blade of the tabs are all the same. If both tabs are missing all is not lost. frequently there will be a witness mark left on the defroster that shows the footprint of the tab. Use this foot print to select the Frost Fighter tab with the same footprint.

The tab damaged the defroster when it came off. How can I repair?

Defroster Tab ready for bonding It is common for some of the defroster to be pulled off with the tab as it comes off. Repeated repair attempts can further damage the defroster. Here is what to do. Using masking tape mask off an area that covers the damaged area on the defroster and incorporates some of the undamaged defroster. Add a second layer of tape on top of the original making tape so there are TWO tape thicknesses around the bonding site.

Follow the illustrated instruction on the tab kit for mixing and apply some of the silver adhesive to the masking area and, using a smooth edge of the mixing pad, “squeegee” the adhesive into the masked off area using the masking tape as a guide to set the depth of the silver paste. Make sure the bonding area is smooth and even and then dip the tab foot in the adhesive and position it on top of the bonding area while wet.

Next, hold the connector in place (light pressure with screw driver or plyers) and using a hair dryer, heat lamp or other heater warm up the bond site for several minutes until the adhesive starts to lock down. Then keep the area warm (100-130 F) for at least 30 minutes and your back on the road.

Someone glued the defroster tab back using regular glue, five minute epoxy/super glue/competing product and my defroster still does not work. Why?

These adhesives (yes even a competitors) are not electrically conductive or at least conductive enough and in some cases insulators. The main defroster tabs must be ELECTRICALLY connected to the defroster so the glue must be highly conductive. The 2000 Tab Kit is just the ticket here. It is very common to see defroster tabs bonded back to the defroster using a non-conductive adhesive expecting it to make an electrical connection to the defroster. There must be good electrical continuity between the defroster and the tab for the defroster to work.

Other Defroster Tab Questions

I have never repaired a defroster tab or grid, is it hard?

Repairing defrosters is easy! Save the high cost and down time of glass replacement by repairing your defroster. Frost Fighter kits are shipped fast, come complete including step-by-step illustrated instructions and have been making defroster repairs a snap since 1986.

What makes the Frost Fighter Tab Bonding Kit conductive?

Silver makes the difference. The Tab Bonding kit uses about 80% silver to make the most conductive bonds available ideal for reliable high amperage defroster repair.

Are Frost Fighter defroster repair kits expensive?

When compared to the cost of back glass replacement which starts at several hundred and goes to over a thousand dollars for SUV or Mini-Van glass, the Frost Fighter kits provide an excellent value – epically since most insurance does not cover glass.

Damage from window tinting application or removal

Tint is the bane of all defrosters as it sticks to both the glass and the defroster and if removed can pull off the conductive elements on the defroster, damaging it sometimes irreparably. See our Clear View Defroster FAQ for more.

Seperated Defroster Tab Masking off buss bar on defroster Defroster tab bonded back to defroster

Can I use heat to cure the Tab Bonding Kit?

In fact it is critical to heat the repair when curing. Use a hair dryer, heat gun or electric heater, heat lamp or other heat source to keep the bonding area warm during the repair and cure period. Heat to between 100 F and 130 F (warm to hand) for at least thirty minutes for the best results.

Can't I just solder the defroster tab back on?

Here is what we have found. Soldering tabs back to the defroster takes a good deal of experience, the right tools including a powerful soldering iron and the right mix of flux and solder. While we provide an Experts Tab Solder Kit we highly recommend using the 2000 Defroster Tab Bonding Kit. There are no special tools and no danger of glass breakage from spot heating with the 2000 tab bonding kit.

The metal defroster tab is broken. The base is still stuck to the defroster. What now?

Removing defroster metal tabThere are three options here. One, try and pry off the tab base that is still stuck to the defroster. Flat blade screw driver and needle nose pliers can be helpful. Removal may damage the underlying defroster but this can be repaired easily by light sanding and masking off a square overlapping the defroster and damaged area then applying the 2000 Tab Bonding adhesive. Option two, bond a new tab from the Uni-Clip Kit to the defroster near the broken tab. Three, sand, file or grind the tab base still on the glass flat and bond the replacement tab over the top. See our Technical Bulletins for more on how to remove damaged tabs.

In each and every case use the Frost Fighter Tab Bonding Kit to reattach a new tab from the Uni-Clip Kit to the defroster.

One of the defroster tabs was lost - what now?

If one or both of the main power tabs was lost when the tab separated from the defroster then use the Frost Fighter Uni-Clip Kit to replace the missing clip. The clips supplied are generic and will work on all makes and models.

None of the tabs I see on your website match the ones in my car. Will the Tab Bonding Kit still work?

Defroster tab and connector replacement Yes! Any tab properly bonded to the defroster will work. Frost Fighter defroster tabs include four of the most common designs for Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, GM, Chrysler and many others. See the Defroster Tab/Clip information.

I want to replace my entire defroster, do you have something?

Yes! The Clear View Kits are complete rear window heaters that are easy to install. These kits match the look and performance of factory installed defrosters, melting snow, ice and clearing mist in seconds for safe winter driving. These high performance defrosters melt snow and ice and clear mist instantly. See the Clear View Defrosters Made Easy.

What is the shelf life of the defroster tab and grid products?

The shelf life of the Frost Fighter Grid and Tab defroster repair kits is one year unopened. Keeping these kits in a cool place like a refrigerator is a good idea and will extend their shelf life.

How long does it take to complete a repair?

The grid repair can be done in under five minutes with the required drying time of thirty minutes. The tab repair can be done in just over five minutes with curing times of up 30 minutes with heat.

How many repairs can I do with a kit?

Frost Fighter Kits are designed to deliver 3-5 repairs per kit but it depends on the extent of the damage.

Chrysler Sebring Convertible Defrosters

We get a lot of calls on Chrysler Sebring convertibles and defrosters which are normally clip/tab separation issues. Back glass for this vehicle is very expensive, but the good news is all you need is the 2000 Tab Kit to fix the problem.

My tab fell off when I heated it to cure,did I get it too hot?

Defroster metal tab being bonded in placeThe silver tab adhesive, as it heats up initially (just after you apply it) gets thinner and less sticky for a few minutes. This may lead the tab to fall off the defroster. You can tape the tab on the window or pin it in place with a screw driver while heating with the hair dryer.

In about 5 minutes the adhesive starts to cure and then locks up hard in 10 minutes after the heat is applied. Keep up the heat for 30 minutes and your on your way.The silver tab adhesive, as it heats up initially (just after you apply it) gets thinner and less sticky for a few minutes. This may lead the tab to fall off the defroster.

You can tape the tab on the window or pin it in place with a screw driver while heating with the hair dryer. In about 5 minutes the adhesive starts to cure and then locks up hard in 10 minutes after the heat is applied. Keep up the heat for 30 minutes and your on your way. Heat curing makes a much stronger and more conductive repair!

For more information on defroster repair see the Fix It Troubleshooting Guide. Looking for Grid FAQ or the Main FAQ? Defroster question? Ask Doctor Defroster

For tab related products, please see our Tabs and Connectors, Tab Solder Kits, and Tab Bonding Kit.