Repairing heated windshields is a frequent topic of discussion and we would like to touch on some key notes that may allow technicians to feel more comfortable when doing these types of repairs. One frequently asked question is whether these types of windshields can be repaired without causing damage to the heating system. Currently there are three different types of heated windshields which can all be repaired www.windshield-repair-forum.com.
The first type has a multi-layer, metallic coating applied to the inner surface of the outer lite of glass. Electrical connectors are attached to the upper and lower edges of the glass in order to warm the coating, which then heats the glass surface. This type of coating can be found in PGW’s Sungate WeatherMaster™ windshield and is similar to the coating in the Sungate™ solar control windshield. These windshields are repairable but a white ring may be apparent around the damage if air makes contact with the coating on the inner surface of the outer lite. In previous articles we have discussed the white halo that can appear around damage in this type of metal-oxide coated glass. The windshield heating system will continue to work in areas around the repair after it has been completed so long as it was working prior to the repair. Check the operation of the heating system and document its status before beginning any repair work.
The second type of heated windshield is produced with micro-fine wires inlayed into the PVB layer. Quickclear™ and Instaclear™ made by Ford are two examples of these types of windshields. Quickclear™ windshields are manufactured in Europe and Instaclear™ was the American offshoot of the same windshield, but is no longer sold in the U.S. General Motors manufactured a heated windshield called Electriclear™, but ceased making them after many malfunctions and recalls. The fine wires in the PVB should not be affected by a repair, considering the PVB would have to be penetrated to render the heating system defective. Always be sure to inspect the damage and inform the customer prior to the repair if their heating system does not work properly.
The third type of heated windshield has a conductive line across the bottom of the glass that heats the windshield wipers. Many vehicles have this feature, including the Chrysler minivan DW1225 and DW1226, as well as most Subaru’s. This heating system is on the inner lite of the glass and resembles the defroster grid on the back glass of most vehicles. Performing repairs in this area can be done without causing any additional damage to the heating system. Damage on a grid line due to initial impact may cause dysfunction in the heating grid. Repairing this damage will neither cause harm to, nor fix the heating grid.
Approximately 10% of windshields are heated. Land Rovers and buses are the most common vehicles that can be seen with heating wires in the PVB, but the majority of heated windshields are heated in the wiper park in the lower quadrant of the windshield. Heated windshields can cost up to $230.00 more to replace than a standard, non-heated windshield. Repairing these types of windshields is much more cost effective than replacement, and your customers will be ecstatic with the cost savings by choosing to have it repaired.