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When the car is running, I turn on defroster, the car dies. What causes the car to suddenly dies?

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Is this the read window defroster or the windshield defroster? By die do you mean the engine stops running? I suspect a bad electrical ground with the ignition system I so.

Posted on Dec 13, 2014

  • John Jacobsen
    John Jacobsen Dec 13, 2014

    The windshield defroster.

  • John Jacobsen
    John Jacobsen Dec 13, 2014

    The engine shuts off with the battery light coming on. Does that help you out

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Check your alternator. Defrosters are heavy volt drainers so if the engine dies when you switch it on it suggests not enough current is being generated to keep the ignition system primed. So look at slack belts, loose connection and HT leads. Then test consistency of power output from alternator.

Posted on Dec 13, 2014

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I have a 2001 monster Carlo 3.4, was driving and car was running fine all the sudden started losing speed and went to pull off free way and it died. Won't start, Silence when I try to start it.


IF you try to start it and turn the key and get NOTHING. The most likely cause of everything is: The alternator died and quit charging the battery. The battery died while you were driving because there was no alternator charging it. When the battery died, all the ignition signals stopped.

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1 Answer

Why does turning on rear defroster on kill the car?


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Car stalls when ac or defrost on


Sounds like the compressor is dragging the engine down. The compressor runs in ac and defrost mode. You might try unplugging the compressor to verify.

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Finding the idle goes up n down/die out when using Defrost


Sounds like a vacuum problem. Do you have a seemingly hard brake pedal? If you do chances are your brake booster is leaking vacuum. If not check your vacuum lines. Your heater system is controlled by vacuum.

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1 Answer

2000 escort zx2 dies when ac or defrost is t turned on... Kills the battery. Had the battery tested and was all good. Re- charged the battery, tested alternator by taking negative off: was fine. Turn the...


It's your alternator that may be the problem. Your thinking of the battery is wrong because everything on a running car is run off the alternator. Only if the alternator dies will the car continue to run off the battery-but not for long if any accessories are used. So the alternator runs everything AND recharges the battery until it is needed again to start the car.
Your alternator is barely keeping up with running the car, and is not apparently doing much to recharge the battery. Have the alternator tested.

I would not say for certain it is the alternator-there may be a problem in your a/c circuit. But first test the alternator...BTW, Kinsha, pulling off the neg. cable to check an alternator is as old school as me, but on modern electronics it is considered bad practice-electronics don't like little surges or peaks of power. Buy an inexpensive digital multimeter-it is fun learning as you go.

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Engine dies when you turn fan on in one of the defrost positions, no problem when fan is turned on in one of the heat settings. What would cause this ? and can it be corrected ?


Defrost also work's a/c compr. could be a/c compr putting to much load on engine, make sure engine is running on all cylinder's, also have a/c compr check with a/c gauges.

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1 Answer

Engine runs rough, or dies when the defroster is turned on!


get your heater core checked out. the heater core is right by the blower motor and if its busted it will blow the smell into your car.

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