Ask the Doctor
by Walt Gorman
This month’s column is devoted to answering questions about cold-weather repair. To begin, let me say that, yes, we must warm a cold windshield, just as we must cool a hot one or dry a wet break before we begin a repair.
Q: What is the best way to warm the glass? Some technicians tell me they use a heat lamp or a small butane torch.
A: The best method is to use the vehicle’s defroster. Move the setting up gradually until you hit the halfway point or, at most, the three-quarter mark. The heat from a torch or even from a heat lamp pointed over a small area could easily cause the break to run and/or soften the PVB layer.
Put your injector in the vacuum mode and place it on the break before warming the glass. This will prevent melting frost from seeping in, and it will start the evacuation of existing moisture.
Q: How can I keep the glass warm?
A: A blanket or heavy towel will help retain the heat. Also, keep your resin warm in your pocket and your tools near the heater inside the vehicle.
Q: I find in cold weather that my bridge often pops off because the cleaning solution that I spray on the suction cups freezes.
A: The solution (and, yes, that pun was intended) to your problem is to use cooking oil or mineral oil.
Q: Should I use a thinner resin in cold weather?
A: Many technicians do, but I prefer to use my regular resins and take the extra time to inject them.
Walt Gorman is the owner and founder of A-1 Windshield Repair in Seekonk, Mass. He also runs a training school for windshield repair technicians.
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