What is the problem? The kit will have an adhesive template to stick over the break, but you can use ordinary masking tape just as easily. 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. Most modern cars use a timer circuit to turn the grid off after a reasonable length of time. If it’s wintertime, you’ll need to work in a heated garage, and have the vehicle inside long enough for it to warm up to at least 65˚ F. Again, clean the area with alcohol. Defroster grids draw a lot of current (10 to 20 amps), and if the fuse is undersize, it won’t last. Let me know what you find. 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. Does your AC work? The dealer repaired things but it turned out that it required a battery charging an then a reset of the ECU module. Grid Power Test: Check whether power is getting to your defroster grid. 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. If those aren’t available to you, you’ll have to find the problem the old-fashioned way. The lines on the rear window are electrical. The vehicle was taken to big star Ford (located at 17717 south fwy, manvel, TX 77578, (281) 607-9341). If the window is large, it may help to have another pair of hands. Here are 12 common problems, or steps to go through, in order to troubleshoot the car defroster properly. Couple that with the extra demands on the battery for starting in cold weather, and there may simply not be enough alternator capacity to keep the battery charged adequately. Step 4. This damage can be repaired with a Frost Fighter GRID Repair Kit. The defroster grid is a series of parallel wires that run from one side of the rear windshield to the other. Now what? Checked the fuse, ok. 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. Work fast, because excess heat may crack the glass. 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). Check the connections from the wiring harness to the grid. It was a dark and stormy night. There are two reasons for this. You have two repair options here: soldering and gluing. Allow it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes and remove the mask. The heat from the grid added to the heat of the sun may crack the glass or contribute to deterioration of the window’s rubber gaskets. Even a credit card can damage it. The rear window defroster is electrically powered. Disconnect the wire closest to the passenger … Share it with us! Buy a defroster repair kit at any major auto parts store if you find breaks. If you find a break, you can repair it. State-of-the-art components and easy-to-follow instructions with photographs are included. I also have the slider, and curiously enough the defroster only partially worked. Rear defroster now working. This should allow you to pinpoint the break. 2015 F150 XLT Rear Glass Defroster Partially Working. There are two reasons for this. Rear defroster doesn't work and light on the center console doesn't even turn on. A diagnostic procedure would be to jumper the relay’s terminals to see if the relay is bad. It works, just doens't put much heat on the window to remove the frost I had this am. This project was originally published in the January 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics. Solution:The average car owner can attempt to repair this. If you aren’t confident about your soldering skills, or aren’t ready to take a chance on cracking an expensive piece of glass, there’s another way. 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. great info, i hope i never need to repair mine. Good question on rear window defroster repair. No new parts. Mustang Forums. The fuse or breaker did not burn but the part did. Z. ziyeloho New Member. Make sure the rear defroster switch and the ignition key are turned on. Your rear defogger is probably performing like it's supposed to - they just doesn't work very well unless you run the AC compressor in conjunction. The compound-curve style of rear window is several hundred dollars, and a large hatchback’s backlite on, say, a Camaro, can easily top a grand or more. Grid Breakage Test: If power is getting to the grid, your defroster problem probably is due to a break in the painted grid. If the switch is bad, you’ll be able to jumper the switch and get 12 volts beyond there for diagnosis. The element is imprinted onto the glass and some of your conductors must be cracked. 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. Rear Defroster. Don’t try to bypass the timer. On trucks with the electric rear window, pressing the right hand knob turns on the heated exterior rear mirrors. Use the Frost Fighter TAB Repair Kit to reattached these tabs. But the defroster became standard issue for rear windows, and the world was a better place. 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. Attach the clip end of the test lamp to the driver's side metal tab or some exposed metal part of that wire. By using LiveAbout, you accept our. 2003 Jetta GL TDI. Rear-window defrosters draw a substantial amount of current—10 to 20 amps depending on the application. Depending on the manufacturer, all or just the part after the break will no longer work. Sedans will require you to crawl into the back and poke your head into the area above the rear deck. Defroster GRIDS. 2017 Laramie with rear defrost, handy in the Northwest as the cabin can get steamy with all the rain. Oct 12 2016, 1:21am. I was on my way to work 7am. If the light comes on, you have power. 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. It may take a third hand to hold the tab against the grid while you solder it. The defroster comes only on the solid rear window. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. They are very easy to scratch, and will not work properly if the scratch breaks the continuity along the wire. Take out the defroster switch and see which wire leads into it and which one leads out to the grid. Trace the current path from the fuse, to the switch, to the timer, and on back to the window. But you may need to replace the timer—which may be integrated into a larger box of electrical controls buried under the dash. That's it. If you have the electric sliding rear window, you can't have the defroster. Don’t cram stuff into the back, and don’t let the load shift backward in your miinivan so that it touches the glass. Set your voltmeter for the 20-volt scale, and attach a couple of postage-stamp-size pieces of aluminum foil to the leads. Provides a low-cost, high-quality repair for damaged rear window defogger grids and tabs. Approximately 1 mile from home I turned off the defroster while sitting at a red light and heard an extremely loud pop. 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). Don’t use window cleaner, as it may leave a residue of wax or silicone. The switch is bad if the defroster works while both wires are jumped. This will be easier on hatchbacks, minivans and SUVs because you can open the back up and look at the lines against the sky. If it doesn't, check for a bad fuse and replace it if necessary. Danger! This means that it’s possible for boxes, furniture or any other hard object one might place in a car to scratch the wire. The rear defroster system draws a lot of current, so this is fairly common. How to Test Your Car's Accessory Socket or Cigarette Lighter, What to Do When Your Car Won't Start or Turn Over, What to Do When Your Swimming Pool Lights Don't Work, Troubleshooting Common Condenser Fan Problems. 6 years ago Rear-window defrosters draw a substantial amount of current—10 to 20 amps depending on the application. 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. Inspect your rear window for breaks in the defroster lines. 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. Then, the system stopped working. If the dangling wire has a connector on the end, chances are it has worked its way loose from the painted grid. Paint a stripe of the kit’s conductive paint across the break. A break in the grid pattern could have been caused by an impact that left a scratch or missing section in the paint. Somewhere in the circuit there will be a relay to switch the high current necessary for the grid’s operation. First check the connection tabs toward the left and right sides of the painted grid. 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- . Replace the fuse with a new one of the same rating, and check whether this fixes the problem. Damage can be caused by objects rubbing across the glass, … Age: 38 Posts: 1,110 Likes Received: 779 Joined: Oct 13, 2017 Location: South Idaho. Sometimes a break in the painted circuit or another problem can be spotted with a visual inspection. How your defrosting system works. 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. Otherwise, you’ll need to drag out the trusty DC voltmeter and hunt for it electrically. If the defroster does not work at all then it could be a separated main power tab. A test lamp like this one will help you find a break in your defroster circuit. The dealer stated that they never heard of the failure. If the light comes on, you have power. It hardly works. First, check the obvious: Is the fuse okay? If the defroster only partially works then it normally means you have a damaged defroster grid. Make sure the rear defroster switch and the ignition key are turned on. Without the AC, mine barely makes a mark in the fog. Mix up a sparing amount of epoxy and hardener. This may or may not be integral with the timer. Hi everyone! Dealer easily replaced the glass and all good. a couple of weeks ago I noticed that my rear window defroster is no longer working. Mask the glass with tape to keep from getting epoxy smeared on it. 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. 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. Any break in the line and it will stop working. That is until something put a little nick or scratch in one of those delicate lines across the glass. Clean the surfaces with alcohol and use 60-40 rosin-core solder. Add to this installation att the dealership or a glass shop—it’s definitely not covered by insurance. The second reason is simpler—the grid will overheat if it’s left on too long. 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. Repairing the grid is simple. ... Good work Sir!! You can simply lay the aluminum-foil tabs on the glass and press lightly with one finger to make connection with the grid. The good news is that you might be able to troubleshoot the problem and fix it yourself without heading to the service department. 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 +. Dec 28, 2020 1 0 0 54 Belle Plaine. Most modern cars use a timer circuit to turn the grid off after a reasonable length of time. Although the epoxy will set up rapidly, don’t attempt to reattach the wiring until it’s had 24 hours at 65˚ F or more to cure and achieve its full strength. on Introduction. It did not work on the drivers side fixed piece of glass. Those little lines on the rear window are made of conductive paint applied directly to the glass, making the defroster compact and durable. The contact owns a 2014 Ford F-150. I looked around and did not observe anything unusual. It was snowing lightly and I briefly turned on the rear window defroster to melt the snow. Did you make this project? It can be repaired with a special kit containing soldering paste (an epoxy glue full of metal so it will conduct electricity) that you can find at an auto parts store. Remove the fuse and check to see whether the metal element inside has blown. The Defroster. Grid Power Test: Check whether power is getting to your defroster grid. There’s usually a metal strip laid on the glass under the silk-screening. If you have several grid lines that are damaged, simply repeat the process. Suppose your defroster grid doesn’t work at all. 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. Typically there are several ways rear window defrosters fail. If not, or if the fuse blows again, call a mech… Check your connections. 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. 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. Now move one tab to the center of the grid and measure again. If it lights up, the grid is getting power. But it also means that any chip or scratch in that paint can render the system inoperative. But sometimes, in the midst of winter, they don't work. Issues can range from a blown fuse to a bad blower speed controller. You can test this with the defroster test lamp or an automotive circuit tester. On the drive to work I noticed only 1/3 of my rear glass is defrosting properly. Disconnect both wires from either side of the defroster grid and touch one end of your tester to each wire. First Time I've used the rear window defrost. A worse scerio: The rear-window defroster grid has packed it in completely, requiring you to either drive blind (bad idea), or resort to scraping the rear window clear with your trusty wooden-handled snow scraper (really bad idea). If you know how to solder and have a high-capacity soldering iron or gun, solder the tab back on. The Permatex Complete Rear Window Defogger Repair Kit contains everything required for making professional-quality repairs in just minutes. 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. Touch the grid every three inches or so to find the break. Clean the area of the break with alcohol and a fresh, untinted paper towel. The only repair is a window replacement. The car defroster is an essential safety feature, especially during those colder months. You don’t want to have to replace the glass to effect this repair. Attempting this repair in the middle of winter in your driveway will not get you the desired results. 14 minutes ago #1 I'm having an issue with my rear defroster, it doesn't work. If you found nothing wrong visually, you can buy an inexpensive tester designed for rear defrost systems. The car is usually in my garage but that's another long story. any ideas? Disconnect both wires from either side of the defroster grid and touch one end of your tester to each wire. Check your owner’s manual for the location of the rear defroster fuse. You might be able to get hold of a good second hand one, but have it checked out first. The rear defogger in my 2001 Buick Park Avenue doesn't work. Nov 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM #9. Your back window likely has lines through it, those lines are part of an electrical system. I am having the same problem where my Heated Mirrors both work but not the rear defrost. It’s easy for the terminals at the grid to become damaged. Consult the factory shop manual or the Popular Mechanics CD-ROM for your car for a detailed diagnostic procedure. Reconnect the wire and see if you're back up and running. 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. Does any one have a wiring diagram for the rear defrost , the wire is green that hooks to the rear glass Re: Rear defroster not working. You can find more great projects at Popular Mechanics DIY Central. 2,510 Answers. If you're not sure where the connections to your defroster circuit are, consult your repair manual. About: The official instructable for Popular Mechanics magazine, reporting on the DIY world since 1902. If you must clean the rear glass, scrub gently, and in the direction of the grid, not across it. So electric slider and defroster are mutually exclusive. If the voltage is fine, the problem is somewhere in the wiring or at the grid. This damage is repaired with the Frost Fighter Grid Kit. I haven't had a chance to inspect each line for damage but at a quick glance they looked all good. Grid attached to the glass everywhere, but simply no defrosting action at all? 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. You may be able to find the break by simply inspecting the silk-screened grid along its length. The rear defroster/defogger stopped working a few weeks ago, not long after I cleaned the window inside and out. before I book an 'under warranty appointment' with the worst dealer in existence. Suppose your grid has several lines that don’t heat. Many auto departments in large stores, and almost any dedicated auto parts store, can sell you a repair kit. Let us make this perfectly clear: Do not try to scrape hard frost from a rear window equipped with a heater grid. power slider also works fine. Overall Power Test: First determine whether your defroster is getting any power. Next, begin touching the other wire of your test lamp to the painted circuit. If you find a break in the circuit, move the test wire back and forth until you know exactly where it stops working. 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. Replace the switch with a new one. Snow has covered the entire car to a depth of several inches. Look for a bad switch, relay or timer. Since I work for a company that makes defroster repair kits, defroster repair accessories and aftermarket defrosters I talk to a lot of customers with this issue. 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. The smallest break or crack in the grid can cause the defroster to fail so careful visual inspection is needed. Try these repairs yourself, and save money and be safe this winter! Sozzy12 FRF Addict. Thread starter ziyeloho; Start date 14 minutes ago; Forums. Rear defroster fuse:If the fuse for the rear defroster is blown, the defroster won’t get power. 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. If a solder connection has failed, you might see a loose, dangling wire that obviously should be connected to the grid. Its test lamp will illuminate with the slightest bit of power running through it, which is useful in troubleshooting the defroster lines. The resistance wires are silk-screened, essentially painted, onto the glass. It sounds like a tab came off the defroster which is a common reason for defroster failure. The idea of running electric current through a circuit to generate heat and clear up your car's rear window arose a few decades after automobiles took to the roads. They heat up when the rear defroster is activated and begin removing the condensation immediately. If the blower motor is malfunctioning, the defroster will not work. This Instructable will help you identify and repair some of the most common rear-window defroster problems, as well as tell you how to avoid further damage to your defroster. A broken or disconnected tab can keep your rear defroster from working. 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. This is especially likely if your defroster works on part of your rear window. Imagine accidentally leaving it on during a long trip on a summer day. I've replaced part number 25623688, but it fried again as soon as I put the defroster on. While driving 35 mph with the rear defroster activated, the rear windshield shattered without warning or an impact. These days, with the touch of a button, those lines on your back window heat up to melt away fog and frost. The voltage should read 12 volts if the break is between the tabs, less if the break is outside of the tabs. Sometimes these connections are soldered in place. Start at the fuse and trace the wiring. Broken Grid: The most common issue with a rear defroster is physical damage to the heating grid running through the rear window. Both play a part in getting moisture off the inside and outside of your windows. The dealership and most auto parts stores can sell you a special electrically conductive epoxy to bond the tab back on. Start by measuring the voltage across the entire length of the grid. The average defroster grid heats up to approximately 85° Fahrenheit and is very effective in clearing fog and ice from the rear window. The defroster is a part of both the cooling system and the air conditioning system. If that doesn't resolve the situation, look at the small lines of the grid itself. For this you’ll need a schematic diagram, or considerable experience in troubleshooting wiring problems. Old wiring or a blown fuse can cause a disconnect. The blower motor itself can also go bad and need replacement. 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