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Relay maybe . free wiring diagrams here http://www.bbbind.com/free_tsb.html Enter vehicle info. year , make , model an engine size . Under system click Body & accessories ,then under subsystem click on rear window defogger . Click the search button then the blue link .Looking at the diagram you will see three fuse's , a relay ,lighting control module , defroster switch . The switch is a input to the lighting control module , the lighting control module will supply a ground to the control side of the rear window defroster relay ,energizing the relay sending B+ power to the defroster grid.
Check obvious things first, fuses. Pull out your manual and look for locations. Second, there should be 2 wires going to the grid on the rear window defroster. Make certain they are still plugged in and the tabs have not been broken off, frequently happens at car washes when washing rear window. Third, take a close look at the grid of wire on the glass, looking for scratches. If scratched, you may be able to repair with a rear window defogger kit from your local auto store
It could be a bad rear defroster control switch or relay, it could be a loose or damaged connector somewhere in the defroster circuit, or it could be a damaged or defective defroster grid on your rear window. The easiest way to check to see if you have a circuit problem or a grid problem is to check for voltage at the connectors to the defroster grid at the rear window area. These connectors may even be located inside the trunk just below the rear window. If there is power there, then the circuits are OK and the rear window will most likely have to be replaced to fix it. If there is no power there, then the circuits must be traced to locate the cause of the failure...Most likely a burned-up switch and/or connector.
During the restoration of our '92 Lesabre, we had an auto glass guy come out to remove & hopefully replace the same glass in the rear window section(the window trim had disintegrated and we bought new stuff to replace it with, but it wouldn't fit unless the window was removed). What was discovered when the window was removed... was that the defroster interface on the sides of the glass was basically disconnected from the glass: the solder contact patch where the power & ground wires interfaced with the defrosting wires was corroded. It fell off once it was pulled on. In our case we had the whole rear window replaced.
What may be possible for you to do is pull back/off the rear pillar trim that covers the defrost wire & connectors and re-melt the solder with a 80-150 watt soldering iron(assuming that is where the problem is). I suppose, before buying and/or firing up the soldering iron, get the rear trim that covers the left & right edges of the rear-glass removed to find out IF the connectors & the long vertical strip they attach to are indeed attached to or detached from the glass. Oh duh, the vertical strip that the power wires connect to on either side run from top to bottom of the defroster array and are the portions that solder to the glass.
If it results in soldering, I'd suggest you use either a resin/flux core electrical solder or use a flux paste brushed over the solder contact areas & use solid electrical solder.
If I wasn't so busy with other parts of the car I would have gone after the soldering myself... but being as pre-occupied as I was that's why we opted to have the whole window(which includes the defrosting array & connectors) replaced. I hope things work out for you regarding this... shoot me back if you need any other info/follow-up.
I have had this same problem with my 2000 Sebring Convertible. I was told that the rear defrost is often a problem in convertibles and hatch-backs. My problem is very obvious though. When I turn the rear defrost on - the light does turn on (as if it was working), but the power does not get through. There are small 'clips' on each side of the window that hold the wires. After time and putting the top up and down, the clips can come off. My passenger side clip is currently hanging - very visible. Many mechanics are afraid to fuss with putting it back on for fear that they cause more damage than good. Look on the sides of the rear window and you may see the problem. Good luck.
you need to make sure the wires are on the glass on each side and there is no broken wires in the glass there is a repair kit at a auto store to fix if you have a volt meter test it and that way you can find the problem look for breaks in the wire in the glass and do not for get the wires on each side of the glass.