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Thread: Windshield Defrosters

  1. #1
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    Default Windshield Defrosters

    My 'new to me' truck has a buster heating and cooling system, it works but something inside the dash is broken and I can't get the air vented up to defrost my windshield. Right now I don't have the money to pay a mechanic to mess with it, and I'm new to the DiY truck repair game. So I'm wondering if there's a product out there that people have found works to defrost the inside of a windshield during cold weather.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzard View Post
    My 'new to me' truck has a buster heating and cooling system, it works but something inside the dash is broken and I can't get the air vented up to defrost my windshield. Right now I don't have the money to pay a mechanic to mess with it, and I'm new to the DiY truck repair game. So I'm wondering if there's a product out there that people have found works to defrost the inside of a windshield during cold weather.
    Moving to the South worked for me.
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  3. #3
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    There is a small 12v heater that plugs in the ciggy lighter slot.
    They are small enough to sit on the dashboard.
    I've seen them at farm stores like Atwoods, Orscelins, and Tractor Supply.
    Walmart might have them too.
    Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
    There is a small 12v heater that plugs in the ciggy lighter slot.
    They are small enough to sit on the dashboard.
    I've seen them at farm stores like Atwoods, Orscelins, and Tractor Supply.
    Walmart might have them too.
    I've seen those, and all the reviews I've read about them say they are horrible. But then again, the internet is full of trolls and those who like to complain. Has anyone had any good experiences with them?
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  5. #5
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    I had one once, same problem with the air lovers in the dash too. The one I got drew about 25 amps from the ciggy outlet, cleared about a 4x4 (inch) of the windshield. What the real car defroster has an advantage is it runs the AC to dehumidify the air it blows on the windshield. If there is no AC, it takes the drier air from the outside. If you think of how it works, you are evaporating the moisture by, raising the temps, then blowing this more humid air back on the cold windshield, which condenses it. Sort of like chasing its tail.

    At least that was my experience up here in cold New England winters. I ended up fixing the defroster myself. Frustration sometimes does motivate

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzard View Post
    I've seen those, and all the reviews I've read about them say they are horrible. But then again, the internet is full of trolls and those who like to complain. Has anyone had any good experiences with them?

    I currently own 2 of them. I bought them from Harbor Freight.


    The box says it is a 12 volt heater, which it is. But you have to take things into consideration. Will this little heater make your vehicle nice and toasty when it is 10 degrees out? Absolutely not. Will it take the chill off when it is 40 degrees? Yes, but barely. Does it work well to defrost a windshield, enough to be able to drive? Yes, but not the entire windshield unless you move it as you are driving to get the parts that are not defrosted.


    So in short, does it work in a pinch? Yes. Does it work fantastically? No, but what can you expect for something that costs less than $20?



    edit: You need to make sure your cig outlet in the vehicle is in good shape, otherwise this might cause fuses to blow for the cig outlet. It pulls about 15 amps of current which explains why it just does an ok job and is not fantastic at what it does. 15 amps X 12 volts = 180 watts. even if the vehicle is running at 14 volts you are still only looking at 210 watts which is not much power for a heater.


    I used one in my Chevy S10 when I could not get the heater to work and I didn't want to mess with it (blend door was broken). I had a one hour commute in the morning. So this little heater was my primary source of heat for the entire cab of the truck (regular cab). If it was 40 degrees out, I was able to take my jacket off after the little heater was running for about 30-45 minutes but it was still chilly in the cab. When it was cooler than 40 degrees, I had to keep my jacket on the entire time regardless of how long the trip was. So I would use it to defrost the windshield, or to warm my hands.
    Last edited by 91CavGT; 10-26-2016 at 12:50 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Hazzard, what kinda vehicle?

    Also don't recommend the Lil cig heaters. Had one in a 2ton international till got the blower motor fixed. Can ya get by, maybe but fixing the real problem will be cheaper overall.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    I currently own 2 of them. I bought them from Harbor Freight.


    The box says it is a 12 volt heater, which it is. But you have to take things into consideration. Will this little heater make your vehicle nice and toasty when it is 10 degrees out? Absolutely not. Will it take the chill off when it is 40 degrees? Yes, but barely. Does it work well to defrost a windshield, enough to be able to drive? Yes, but not the entire windshield unless you move it as you are driving to get the parts that are not defrosted.


    So in short, does it work in a pinch? Yes. Does it work fantastically? No, but what can you expect for something that costs less than $20?



    edit: You need to make sure your cig outlet in the vehicle is in good shape, otherwise this might cause fuses to blow for the cig outlet. It pulls about 15 amps of current which explains why it just does an ok job and is not fantastic at what it does. 15 amps X 12 volts = 180 watts. even if the vehicle is running at 14 volts you are still only looking at 210 watts which is not much power for a heater.


    I used one in my Chevy S10 when I could not get the heater to work and I didn't want to mess with it (blend door was broken). I had a one hour commute in the morning. So this little heater was my primary source of heat for the entire cab of the truck (regular cab). If it was 40 degrees out, I was able to take my jacket off after the little heater was running for about 30-45 minutes but it was still chilly in the cab. When it was cooler than 40 degrees, I had to keep my jacket on the entire time regardless of how long the trip was. So I would use it to defrost the windshield, or to warm my hands.
    The heater works fine, being warm isn't the problem, the problem is, I can't change the output. So while I can get heat or cool air, I can't get it to angle up for the defroster to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alredneck View Post
    Hazzard, what kinda vehicle?

    Also don't recommend the Lil cig heaters. Had one in a 2ton international till got the blower motor fixed. Can ya get by, maybe but fixing the real problem will be cheaper overall.
    2001 Chevy Silverado 2500hd
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzard View Post
    The heater works fine, being warm isn't the problem, the problem is, I can't change the output. So while I can get heat or cool air, I can't get it to angle up for the defroster to work.



    2001 Chevy Silverado 2500hd
    Yeah, you are going to have to move it around to defrost the windshield. It will work just not too well. You might could also get a clip on 12 volt fan and aim it at the windshield to help defrost it.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  10. #10
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    Go to the parts store and buy a DC powered fan, it has done the trick for me in the past and doesn't have nearly the draw of the heater.

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