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Tool and Material Checklist:

  • Spring clip removal tool
  • Hose
  • Air compressor
  • Urethane primer-sealer
  • Squeegee 
  • Putty k
  • Window cleaner 
  • Joint sealer
  • Razor blade 
  • Wiper blades
  • Tint 
  • Windshield washer solution
  • Voltmeter
  • Defogger repair kit

Clear, unobstructed vision Is an important part of driving safety~ And although the elements aren't always helpful in this regard (fog or heavy rain, for example), there are definite measures you can take to ensure that your driving vision is never compromised. This booklet covers window tinting, windshield leaks, wiper and washer service, and rear window defoggers.


Tinted windows reduce glare from the sun, oncoming cars, and reflected light. Because they keep out a great deal of sunlight, tinted windows also help your car stay cooler in summer.

To enjoy these benefits, you don't have to purchase a car that comes from the factory with tinted glass. Tint films are available that you can apply to the windows yourself. NOTE: Check the laws in your state concerning tinted car windows: many states prohibit the use of tint on the windshield and the side windows adjacent to the driver and passenger. To apply window tint, follow these steps:

1. Using a scissors or razor blade, cut the film 3" larger than the glass opening. It will be trimmed to size as the last step of installation.

2. Use a squeegee and window cleaner to clean the glass thoroughly. Remove any specks of dirt with a razor blade.

3. Start to remove the protective clear backing from the film by pulling it away at one corner. Do not remove the backing completely at this time.

4. Spray the interior of the window with water mixed with a few drops of liquid detergent.

5. Lay the film on the wet glass so that the partially removed backing faces the interior. While holding the film with one hand, strip away the backing with the other.

6. Turn the film around so that the adhesive side faces the exterior.

7. Position the film so that it covers every edge of the window The film can be moved as long as it and the glass are still wet.

8. Using a wet, soft rubber squeegee, remove the excess water and bubbles from underneath the film. Squeegee as firmly as possible and work from the center outward.

9. Run the squeegee along the edges of the window, then tuck the edges of the film under the weather-stripping.

10. Trim the edges of the film with a razor blade.


Before a leak can be repaired, it must be located. And before it can be located, the molding must be removed.

Removing Interior Molding

The garnish moldings used on the interior face of the windshield or rear window consist of several pieces secured in place by retaining clips. Use a spring clip removal tool to remove the molding. If one is unavailable, a remover can be made from banding strap steel with friction tape.

Removing Exterior Molding

The reveal molding on the exterior of a. vehicle is usually secured by clips that are attached to the body opening by welded-on studs, bolts, or screws. A projection on the clip engages the flange on the molding, thereby retaining it between the clip and body metal. To remove the molding from the retaining clips, a molding removal tool must be used. Do this very carefully to avoid damaging the molding.

Checking for Leaks

Checking for leaks will involve two people. One person sprays the vehicle with water in the suspected area of the leak while the other sits inside the vehicle to see where the water enters. Use an ordinary garden hose (about 1/2" in diameter) and don't skimp on the water. Water pressure should be at such a level that when sprayed from the waist, the water falls to a spot 14" to 16" away. Water should be sprayed for more than 10 minutes from a distance of approximately 8".

Another way to discover water leaks around a windshield is to apply a soapy solution around the outside edge of the window. Then, from inside the vehicle, apply compressed air to the window panel joint. Any gap in the sealant will result in bubbling of the soap solution. Repairing Leaks

Windshield and rear window water leaks can usually be repaired without removing the glass. The majority of leaks occurs at the top of the windshield and the top and bottom of the rear window. On a station wagon, they usually occur on the rear side windows. If several leaks are detected, it is better to seal completely around the window rather than only at the leak points. To repair an adhesive glass water leak, follow these steps:

1. After removing the trim, clean the leak area and blow it dry.

2. Trim off the surplus adhesive that extends beyond the edge of the glass.

3. Blow the area dry again. NOTE: It is advisable to use a solvent to remove any oil or grease that might be present.

4. Prime the repair area with a urethane primer sealer, Let the primer dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions

5. Apply windshield sealant along the cleaned area. Use a putty knife to smooth it out.

6. The sealant should be applied and spread so that it is even with the top edge of the glass and tapered back to the molding. Be sure the sealant is worked into any crevices.

7. While the sealant is still soft, spray the area with water again. Use a very soft stream of water so as not to disturb the sealant.

8. If no leaks are detected, reinstall the trim and remove any surplus sealant from the glass or vehicle.

Glass installed in gaskets usually develops leaks between the gasket and the glass or between the gasket and the vehicle body. Use the following repair method:

1. Use a water spray to locate the exact area of the leak.

2. Clean the area and blow it dry.

3. Apply beading sealer or joint sealer to the area. This type of caulking material n wer hardens; it remains soft and flexible. It is usually packaged in a cartridge with a nozzle. It might be necessary to use a flat, pointed piece of wood to make an opening between the gasket and glass (or car body) so that the nozzle can be inserted to apply the sealant. Place the cartridge nozzle adjacent to the wood piece and move it forward, filling the opening.

4. Remove any surplus sealant with a solvent or enamel thinner.

5. Recheck the area using the water spray method.


You count on windshield wipers for maximum vision in rain, sleet, or snow. Be sure the wiper blades are not cracked, brittle, or separated from the blade retainer. The blades should be replaced at least once a year; they are inexpensive and you can replace them yourself.

Smearing can be caused by any of the following:

• Dirty wipers

• Dirty windshield

• Improperly mixed washing solution

• Worn out wiper blades

• Improper wiper arm spring tension

• Cold weather and dirty driving conditions

To correct the problem, first try cleaning the wipers and windshield. If that doesn't solve the problem, check the washing solution. Next, make sure the wiper arm is applying enough downward pressure on the window. Replace the blades if all else fails. When driving conditions are cold and dirty, be sure to use plenty of washing solution.

Smearing in only one direction can be caused by:

• Extreme cold that stiffens the wipers

• Wiper blades hardened by age

• Wrong wiper blades installed on the vehicle

If it is cold, remove the wiper blades and warm them in warm water. If the problem persists, replace the blades.

Chattering noises can be caused by:

• A bent wiper arm

• Weak arm pressure

• Extreme cold that stiffens the wipers

• Wiper blades hardened by age

• Improperly installed blades

• High-speed driving

To determine if the wiper arm is bent, turn on the wipers, then shut off the ignition when the blades are in mid stroke. Remove the chattering blade(s) and examine the arm tip to see if it is parallel to the windshield. If the arm is not parallel, try bending it with locking-jaw pliers. If the problem is still not corrected, replace the entire wiper arm.

To test the arm pressure, pull the arm about 1" away from the windshield and then release it. If it does not snap back against the glass, the arm should be replaced. NOTE: On some wiper units, the arm tension can be adjusted.

To check the blades, first warm them (if the weather is cold). If they are old and stiff, replace them. And be sure the blades are properly installed.

If the chattering is caused by high-speed driving, you have two options: slow down or purchase blades with airfoils that keep the blades on the window at high speeds.

When the wipers fail to wipe away water beads on the windshield, try cleaning the windshield with a product that removes grease and oil; it might even be necessary to use a wax remover. In any case, be careful not to get any on the vehicle body.

Never operate wipers on dry windows; the abrasive action caused by dirt and other deposits will wear down the blades and reduce their effectiveness. For optimum performance in winter, blades specially designed for snow and ice can be purchased.


Windshield washer fluid comes either ready mixed or in a concentrate form. It cleans the windshield much better than plain water; it also acts as an antifreeze in winter. Keep the fluid in the washer reservoir filled to the proper level at all times. If the reservoir is filled and the washer still fails to operate, proceed as follows:

1. Check to see if the water jets are clogged with dirt by pushing a thin piece of wire into the opening(s) in the end of the jet.

2. Make sure the filter screen in the reservoir isn't clogged. The screen is located on the end of the hose that runs through the reservoir filler cap.

3. Check the system's rubber hoses for kinks, breaks, or loose connections. Replace as needed.

4. Make sure the fuse for the system isn't blown.

5. Inspect the electrical connections at the washer pump and at the switch on the dashboard.

6. Listen to and/or feel the washer pump to determine if it is operating. It is possible for the pump to be working without any spray to be coming from the jets because they are clogged.

7. Remove the rubber hose from the spray jets and operate the washer. If water squirts from the hose, one or both jets are definitely clogged; use a sewing needle to ream out the hole in the jet(s).

8. If the problem still isn't uncovered, the washer pump might have to be replaced.


While the rear window defogger is relatively maintenance free, occasionally a break occurs in the defogger grid. Repair kits are available; a typical kit includes a template, brush, and metallic paint. Wait until the ambient temperature is about 600 to make the repair, then read the kit instructions and proceed as follows:

1. Use a household glass cleaner to thoroughly clean the glass.

2. Peel the paper backing from the template, center it over the break, and press it into place.

3. Apply a light first coat of metallic paint, overlapping the break by about 1/2" on either side. Keep the paint well mixed by shaking the paint bottle before each application.

4. Allow the paint a few minutes to dry, then apply at least three more coats.

5. After the last application, wait 20 minutes before removing the template.

6. Allow 24 hours before using the defogger.

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