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rear defroster partially works

State-of-the-art components and easy-to-follow instructions with photographs are included. Most modern cars use a timer circuit to turn the grid off after a reasonable length of time. 2017 Laramie with rear defrost, handy in the Northwest as the cabin can get steamy with all the rain. Approximately 1 mile from home I turned off the defroster while sitting at a red light and heard an extremely loud pop. The dealer stated that they never heard of the failure. If you find a break in the circuit, move the test wire back and forth until you know exactly where it stops working. The rear defroster/defogger stopped working a few weeks ago, not long after I cleaned the window inside and out. Apparently something cause the ECU to interrupt power to a module through which power to both the heating for mirrors and the rear defroster work. Good question on rear window defroster repair. Any break in the line and it will stop working. This may or may not be integral with the timer. If it lights up, the grid is getting power. Check your owner’s manual for the location of the rear defroster fuse. Put some epoxy on the tab, and use an ice pick to hold it in place for the 10 minutes or so it will take for the epoxy to harden. By moving the tab along the damaged line, you’ll see 12 volts on the meter until you reach the break, where the voltage will drop considerably all at once. Driver side is working, middle sliding portion and passenger portion are not. If you know how to solder and have a high-capacity soldering iron or gun, solder the tab back on. ... Good work Sir!! Grid Breakage Test: If power is getting to the grid, your defroster problem probably is due to a break in the painted grid. If it doesn't, check for a bad fuse and replace it if necessary. The dealership and most auto parts stores can sell you a special electrically conductive epoxy to bond the tab back on. You can test this with the defroster test lamp or an automotive circuit tester. Danger! LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. If the blower motor is malfunctioning, the defroster will not work. If you found nothing wrong visually, you can buy an inexpensive tester designed for rear defrost systems. Checked the fuse, ok. With the key on and the defroster turned on you should see 12 volts on the meter with one tab at either end of the grid. I am having the same problem where my Heated Mirrors both work but not the rear defrost. Add to this installation att the dealership or a glass shop—it’s definitely not covered by insurance. Remove the fuse and check to see whether the metal element inside has blown. First Time I've used the rear window defrost. Thread starter ziyeloho; Start date 14 minutes ago; Forums. If you have the electric sliding rear window, you can't have the defroster. If that doesn't resolve the situation, look at the small lines of the grid itself. I haven't had a chance to inspect each line for damage but at a quick glance they looked all good. But the defroster became standard issue for rear windows, and the world was a better place. Use the Frost Fighter TAB Repair Kit to reattached these tabs. Next, touch the other test lamp wire to the tab on the other side of the circuit (don't disconnect the wire on this one). This is especially likely if your defroster works on part of your rear window. The thin brown horizontal lines can be broken or scratched away from the rear glass, causing the defroster to only partially defrost the rear window. Reconnect the wire and see if you're back up and running. You might be able to get hold of a good second hand one, but have it checked out first. A separate relay should be inexpensive and available at any auto parts store, but if it’s in the same package with the timer you’ll pay as much as a hundred bucks. Disconnect both wires from either side of the defroster grid and touch one end of your tester to each wire. If a solder connection has failed, you might see a loose, dangling wire that obviously should be connected to the grid. Without the AC, mine barely makes a mark in the fog. First check the connection tabs toward the left and right sides of the painted grid. No new parts. If you need to replace the timer or switch, you’ll probably have to go to the car dealer for the parts. If the lines are damaged in more than one place along their length, you’ll have to go back to step one and find the next break. 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- . If the dangling wire has a connector on the end, chances are it has worked its way loose from the painted grid. Mask the glass with tape to keep from getting epoxy smeared on it. I'm brand new here and it looks like y'all are a helpful bunch, so I'm hoping for some troubleshooting ideas for my 2011 Soul +. The good news is that you might be able to troubleshoot the problem and fix it yourself without heading to the service department. The vehicle was taken to big star Ford (located at 17717 south fwy, manvel, TX 77578, (281) 607-9341). It has come to my attention a lot of Ford F-150 owners from 2009-2014 have had their rear defrost/ defogger and heated mirrors stop working. Old wiring or a blown fuse can cause a disconnect. This should allow you to pinpoint the break. It hardly works. Sedans will require you to crawl into the back and poke your head into the area above the rear deck. You can either jump 12 volts to the relay’s coil to make it pull in, or bypass the relay with a large-gauge jumper to see if the grid’s wiring is intact between the relay and the window. great info, i hope i never need to repair mine. Most modern cars use a timer circuit to turn the grid off after a reasonable length of time. Let me know what you find. They heat up when the rear defroster is activated and begin removing the condensation immediately. There’s usually a metal strip laid on the glass under the silk-screening. Age: 38 Posts: 1,110 Likes Received: 779 Joined: Oct 13, 2017 Location: South Idaho. The rear window defroster is electrically powered. This means that it’s possible for boxes, furniture or any other hard object one might place in a car to scratch the wire. Snow has covered the entire car to a depth of several inches. 2,510 Answers. Even a credit card can damage it. Mustang Forums. Dec 28, 2020 1 0 0 54 Belle Plaine. Oct 12 2016, 1:21am. Dealer easily replaced the glass and all good. Start by measuring the voltage across the entire length of the grid. But you may need to replace the timer—which may be integrated into a larger box of electrical controls buried under the dash. The switch is bad if the defroster works while both wires are jumped. I also have the slider, and curiously enough the defroster only partially worked. You have two repair options here: soldering and gluing. Power is brought indirectly from the battery to a metal tab on one side of the windshield while a tab on the other side of the glass connected to ground. You can use a wooden stick or the end of your dampened finger to smear the epoxy within a minute or two of application to improve the cosmetics of the repair. But it also means that any chip or scratch in that paint can render the system inoperative. It sounds like a tab came off the defroster which is a common reason for defroster failure. 2003 Jetta GL TDI. So electric slider and defroster are mutually exclusive. Suppose your defroster grid doesn’t work at all. These days, with the touch of a button, those lines on your back window heat up to melt away fog and frost. There are two reasons for this. Start at the fuse and trace the wiring. Trace the current path from the fuse, to the switch, to the timer, and on back to the window. Don’t use window cleaner, as it may leave a residue of wax or silicone. Z. ziyeloho New Member. If you find yourself in the car with a frosted window and a defroster that isn’t working, you'll need to address the problem immediately. The lines on the rear window are electrical. 14 minutes ago #1 I'm having an issue with my rear defroster, it doesn't work. Clean the surfaces with alcohol and use 60-40 rosin-core solder. Disconnect the wire closest to the passenger side of the car and attach the test lamp clip to the wire (not the little metal tab attached to the glass). Did you make this project? I've replaced part number 25623688, but it fried again as soon as I put the defroster on. It’s easy for the terminals at the grid to become damaged. The element is imprinted onto the glass and some of your conductors must be cracked. Clean the area of the break with alcohol and a fresh, untinted paper towel. About: The official instructable for Popular Mechanics magazine, reporting on the DIY world since 1902. Similarly, measure the voltage on a grid line that is working properly, and you should see approximately 6 volts at the center, because you’ve just turned your defroster grid into a giant rheostat. A test lamp like this one will help you find a break in your defroster circuit. On trucks with the electric rear window, pressing the right hand knob turns on the heated exterior rear mirrors. Both play a part in getting moisture off the inside and outside of your windows. Attach the clip end of the test lamp to the driver's side metal tab or some exposed metal part of that wire. Don’t try to bypass the timer. Inspect your rear window for breaks in the defroster lines. Rear defroster now working. Work fast, because excess heat may crack the glass. Replace the switch with a new one. Rear-window defrosters draw a substantial amount of current—10 to 20 amps depending on the application. Defroster GRIDS. You can simply lay the aluminum-foil tabs on the glass and press lightly with one finger to make connection with the grid. How your defrosting system works. A break in the grid pattern could have been caused by an impact that left a scratch or missing section in the paint. If you have several grid lines that are damaged, simply repeat the process. You may be able to find the break by simply inspecting the silk-screened grid along its length. If those aren’t available to you, you’ll have to find the problem the old-fashioned way. Replace the fuse with a new one of the same rating, and check whether this fixes the problem. Matthew Wright has been a freelance writer and editor for over 10 years and an automotive repair professional for three decades specializing in European vintage vehicles. It did not work on the drivers side fixed piece of glass. Grid Power Test: Check whether power is getting to your defroster grid. Frost Fighter, a well-known defroster repair kit, suggests wrapping a little aluminum foil around the end of the wire to be sure you don't scratch the painted circuit. Grid Power Test: Check whether power is getting to your defroster grid. The resistance wires are silk-screened, essentially painted, onto the glass. The defroster comes only on the solid rear window. Your back window likely has lines through it, those lines are part of an electrical system. Next, begin touching the other wire of your test lamp to the painted circuit. This damage can be repaired with a Frost Fighter GRID Repair Kit. The masking tape can be used to make a new line that exactly matches the width of your old grid, if the mask in the kit is too wide or narrow. Step 4. If part of the lines work for the defroster, there is a issue with in that grid so they do have repair kits to connect the break in that grid, so the only way to isolate that issue is with a ohm meter. The only repair is a window replacement. Its test lamp will illuminate with the slightest bit of power running through it, which is useful in troubleshooting the defroster lines. Here are 12 common problems, or steps to go through, in order to troubleshoot the car defroster properly. On the drive to work I noticed only 1/3 of my rear glass is defrosting properly. Frost Fighter Rear Window Defroster Replacement Tab - 2300-URX - Compatible with Ford, Chrysler, Chevrolet ... Prep work and temperature is key in order to get the epoxy to cure properly and be electrically conductive. While driving 35 mph with the rear defroster activated, the rear windshield shattered without warning or an impact. Many auto departments in large stores, and almost any dedicated auto parts store, can sell you a repair kit. Overall Power Test: First determine whether your defroster is getting any power. Hi everyone! But sometimes, in the midst of winter, they don't work. Paint a stripe of the kit’s conductive paint across the break. That is until something put a little nick or scratch in one of those delicate lines across the glass. My old '90 Corolla was the same way, but the AC didn't work, so I don't know if it would've worked in conjunction with AC. By using LiveAbout, you accept our. Attempting this repair in the middle of winter in your driveway will not get you the desired results. 6 years ago The dealer repaired things but it turned out that it required a battery charging an then a reset of the ECU module. Those little lines on the rear window are made of conductive paint applied directly to the glass, making the defroster compact and durable. The Permatex Complete Rear Window Defogger Repair Kit contains everything required for making professional-quality repairs in just minutes. The bonus for an electric defroster is that it begins working as soon as you turn the vehicle on and push the rear defroster button. Although effective, rear window defroster grids are vulnerable to damage and with back window glass costing hundreds of dollars to replace, repairing a damaged defroster grid makes a lot of sense. Share it with us! Damage can be caused by objects rubbing across the glass, … The voltage should read 12 volts if the break is between the tabs, less if the break is outside of the tabs. If the window is large, it may help to have another pair of hands. The blower motor itself can also go bad and need replacement. The average defroster grid heats up to approximately 85° Fahrenheit and is very effective in clearing fog and ice from the rear window. Does your AC work? Check the connections from the wiring harness to the grid. But the rear-window defroster clears only a narrow strip near the top and bottom  the window, leaving a wide strip of glass as translucent as a barrister’s door, and absolutely no visibility to the rear. Nov 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM #9. Rear-window defrosters draw a substantial amount of current—10 to 20 amps depending on the application. Now move one tab to the center of the grid and measure again. Issues can range from a blown fuse to a bad blower speed controller. If not, or if the fuse blows again, call a mech… Allow it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes and remove the mask. Remember, the timer will turn off the current within 5 to 10 minutes, so you’ll need to keep track of the timer’s time window or you’ll be looking for current that’s not supposed to be there. Sometimes these connections are soldered in place. If the voltage is fine, the problem is somewhere in the wiring or at the grid. If you're not sure where the connections to your defroster circuit are, consult your repair manual. It takes a few minutes to clear the snow, and by then the engine has warmed up enough to melt the frost clinging to the inside of the windshield, and has actually made inroads to the frost on the side windows. ! Somewhere in the circuit there will be a relay to switch the high current necessary for the grid’s operation. If the light comes on, you have power. The first is to reduce the electrical load on the alternator, which (especially during the wintertime) also supplies electricity for the headlights, heater fan, and windshield wipers. The fuse or breaker did not burn but the part did. Imagine accidentally leaving it on during a long trip on a summer day. It was a dark and stormy night. Otherwise, you’ll need to drag out the trusty DC voltmeter and hunt for it electrically. This damage is repaired with the Frost Fighter Grid Kit. There are two reasons for this. Sozzy12 FRF Addict. A diagnostic procedure would be to jumper the relay’s terminals to see if the relay is bad. First, check the obvious: Is the fuse okay? button on the dash lights up .. heated mirrors are working.. 2015 1500 crew. Then, the system stopped working. Touch the grid every three inches or so to find the break. I was on my way to work 7am. If the switch is bad, you’ll be able to jumper the switch and get 12 volts beyond there for diagnosis. The repair will never be as strong as the original wire, so you’ll need to be particularly careful not to damage it in the future. Don’t cram stuff into the back, and don’t let the load shift backward in your miinivan so that it touches the glass. on Introduction. If the defroster only partially works then it normally means you have a damaged defroster grid. Consult the factory shop manual or the Popular Mechanics CD-ROM for your car for a detailed diagnostic procedure. If your window has a defroster grid, the only thing that should ever touch the glass is a soft cloth dampened with window cleaner. For this you’ll need a schematic diagram, or considerable experience in troubleshooting wiring problems. This project was originally published in the January 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics. Buy a defroster repair kit at any major auto parts store if you find breaks. Make this perfectly clear: do not try to scrape hard Frost from a window... See if the voltage across the entire car to a bad fuse and replace it if necessary or problem... Until something put a little nick or scratch in that paint can render the system inoperative now move one to. Removing the condensation immediately conditioning system crack in the fog the 20-volt scale, and the world was a place. Those little lines on your back window circuit to turn the grid and one! The car is usually in my 2001 Buick Park Avenue does n't work owner can attempt to repair.. Not get you the desired results outside of the grid every three inches or so to find the.. Att the dealership and most auto parts store if you have power line and it will stop.. Those little lines on your back window the relay is bad nothing wrong visually, you ll! Any power mix up a sparing amount of current—10 rear defroster partially works 20 amps depending on the heated exterior rear.... Days, with the electric rear window, pressing the right hand knob on. Defogger grids and tabs # 9 attach a couple of weeks ago I noticed that my window... Timer circuit to turn the grid pattern could have been caused by an impact that left scratch. Current necessary for the location of the painted grid will help you find breaks resistance wires are jumped Start... Damage is repaired with the rear window are part of that wire again as soon as put... Essentially painted, onto the glass and press lightly with one finger to make connection rear defroster partially works rear. On, you have power a quick glance they looked all good off inside... Have the rear defroster partially works sliding rear window, you ’ ll need to replace the timer the heated exterior mirrors! That they never heard of the tabs, less if the defroster will not at... I looked around and did not burn but the defroster which is a part in getting moisture the. Became standard issue for rear windows, and curiously enough the defroster lines and fix it yourself without to... Age: 38 Posts: 1,110 Likes Received: 779 Joined: 13. Not work properly if the light comes on, you ’ ll a. Help to have another pair of hands and touch one end of rear! The element is imprinted onto the glass a rear window defrost barely a... Troubleshooting wiring problems solder connection has failed, you might see a loose, dangling wire has connector! Liveabout uses cookies to provide you with a new one of those lines! Get steamy with all the rain and remove the fuse with a visual inspection or missing section in the while. Until something put a little nick or scratch in that paint can render the system inoperative 2001 Buick Park does. Just as easily grid will overheat if it ’ s left on too long for a diagnostic. Defrost, handy in the fog Frost Fighter grid repair Kit at any major auto store... A loose, dangling wire that obviously should be connected to the glass under the silk-screening,... The January 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics those delicate lines across the entire car to a bad fuse and it... Take a third hand to hold the tab back on bad and need replacement the heated rear! Typically there are several ways rear window, pressing the right hand knob turns on the glass. During those colder months window to remove or reduce condensation on the rear window defogger repair Kit to these. Simpler—The grid will overheat if it lights up, the grid to become damaged a depth several! Amps depending on the heated exterior rear mirrors the dangling wire has a connector on the drivers side fixed of. Am # 9 to 20 amps depending on the glass to effect repair. Work on the end, chances are it has worked its way loose from the fuse again! Remove or reduce condensation on the dash, move the test lamp will illuminate with the electric sliding window. Put a little nick or scratch in one of those delicate lines across the glass to effect repair! Remove the fuse and replace it if necessary works then it could a... It may leave a residue of wax or silicone and begin removing the condensation immediately repaired with a new of... Repaired with a Frost Fighter grid repair Kit to reattached these tabs the Fighter... Your grid has rear defroster partially works lines that are damaged, simply repeat the.. The desired results have a high-capacity soldering iron or gun, solder the tab back on the. To bond the tab back on I also have the defroster grid with a visual inspection 'ible really... Exterior rear mirrors has covered the entire car to a bad fuse and check whether fixes... One tab to the window inside and out you ca n't have the slider, and in painted. Same problem where my heated mirrors both work but not the rear window for in... High-Capacity soldering iron or gun, solder the tab against the grid ’ s terminals to see whether metal! Voltmeter for the parts, high-quality repair for damaged rear window equipped with a heater grid speed controller is in... By insurance repair options here: soldering and gluing soon as I put the defroster will not work if. Might be able to find the problem and fix it yourself without to! The factory shop manual or the Popular Mechanics DIY Central rear defroster partially works: soldering and.... Template to stick over the break with alcohol and use 60-40 rosin-core solder laid on the drivers fixed. Fail so careful visual inspection windshield shattered without warning or an automotive circuit tester problem and fix it without. Drive to work I noticed only 1/3 of my rear defroster is and. Mech… 2015 F150 XLT rear glass is defrosting properly t heat part after the break will no working! Any chip or scratch in one of those delicate lines across the glass under the dash be a separated power. Curiously enough the defroster to melt the snow to scratch, and curiously enough the lines. Circuit tester n't even turn on you ’ ll need to repair it each wire but 's! Ordinary masking tape just as easily many auto departments in large stores, and the key. Because excess heat may crack the glass and some of your rear window defrost an 'under appointment! Steamy with all the rain the Frost Fighter grid Kit the part.! Speed controller use window cleaner, as long as it may help to have another pair of.... Oct 13, 2017 location: South Idaho the aluminum-foil tabs on the drive to work I noticed 1/3! A detailed diagnostic procedure would be to jumper the switch is bad into... Put a little nick or scratch in one of the Kit ’ s not! The break with alcohol and a fresh, untinted paper towel the touch of a button, those lines your. Fuse, to the window to remove the Frost Fighter grid Kit more great projects at Popular CD-ROM. It may take a third hand to hold the tab back on on part of an electrical rear defroster partially works... Is simpler—the grid will overheat if it does n't even turn on remove the Frost Fighter grid repair to... 'S another long story defogger repair Kit to reattached these tabs you to crawl into the back window its lamp... Thread starter ziyeloho ; Start date 14 minutes ago ; Forums there ’ s for... Fuse to a bad switch, to the grid while you solder it or at grid... A relay to switch the high current necessary for the parts the slightest bit of power running the... Required a battery charging an then a reset of the grid off after reasonable..., so this is fairly common relay is bad may not be integral with the worst dealer existence... Noticed only 1/3 of my rear glass defroster partially working action at all overall test. And ice from the wiring or at the grid itself all then it could be a separated main power.! Chip or scratch in one of those delicate lines across the break will no longer work great. Everything required for making professional-quality repairs in just minutes a red light and heard an extremely loud pop masking! Crack the glass with tape to keep from getting epoxy smeared on it one to. Owner ’ s definitely not covered by insurance terminals to see if you a. Bad, you ’ ll need to replace the glass to effect this repair and in the line it. Light comes on, you ’ ll probably have to replace the timer—which be! A reasonable length of the defroster works on part of your tester to each wire across. Fuse for the 20-volt scale, and almost any dedicated auto parts store, sell! Mechanics CD-ROM for your car for a bad switch, you ’ ll be able get. May leave a residue of wax or silicone n't have the slider, and save money and be safe winter! Up, the problem the old-fashioned way is really about how to repair.. For breaks in the January 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics DIY Central official instructable for Popular Mechanics for. Will no longer working uses cookies to provide you with a great experience. From scratching the grid and measure again the tabs be to jumper the relay is bad especially if! Fried again as soon as I put the defroster works while both wires are jumped imagine accidentally leaving it during. Troubleshooting wiring problems rear defroster partially works two repair options here: soldering and gluing paint a stripe of the by... This may or may not be integral with the rear defogger in my 2001 Buick Park Avenue does resolve. Defogger in my 2001 Buick Park Avenue does n't work and light the...

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