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January/February  2004

Tech Tips
helpful hints

Ask the Doctor
by Walt Gorman

Q. My question is not exactly technical, but I need some ideas on how to keep my sales volume up during the cold months. The shorter daylight hours are bad enough, but, in addition, I canít do repairs until about 10 a.m. many days because of the moisture in the breaks. I spend this time waiting for the sun to dry them out. Of course, some days they never dry out!

A.Well, we cannot stop the sun from going down so early, but we can get more jobs done by drying out the breaks ourselves, instead of waiting for the sun to do it. This would give you time to do a minimum of ten extra repairs a week.

The old method for drying breaks out was to put 99-percent isopropyl alcohol in the break and heat the windshield from inside the vehicle with matches or a propane lighter, while drawing the maximum vacuum possible with your injector. One drawback to this method is that the amount of heat required to evaporate the alcohol/water mixture could soften the polyvinyl butyral. To avoid cracking the windshield by applying heat in one spot on a cold windshield, it is wise to run the heater and warm it gradually.

The safest and quickest way to warm the windshield gradually is with one of the dryers made especially for this procedure. You will recover the small cost of this tool very quickly because of the extra jobs you can do. Additionally, you will complete better-looking repairs and reduce your chances of cracking a windshield. 

The moisture, no matter how great, can be removed by the proper combination of heat and vacuum. The vacuum should be 20 pounds or more. Just be very careful not to apply too much heat.


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