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Rear defroster don't work, when I push the button for it the light comes on but the window don't defrost

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
  • 991 Answers

Broken or open circuit in wiring between switch and rear window. Check continuity of the rear window heater wiring circuit.

Posted on Apr 20, 2015

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
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The HRW (heated rear window) is very vulnerable to all sorts of damage and wear, especially with vans, estate cars and hatchbacks where not only the load can easily scratch the elements or knock the terminals but the supply cables in most designs are constantly flexing and subject to breakage.
Constant cleaning can literally wear the elements away and make them so tired and high resistance that although there is continuity the current consumed is insufficient to produce heat.

The first step is to use a test lamp to ensure current is reaching the screen when it is switched on and to carry out the test at the screen terminals. If current is present the problem is the screen.

If there is no current check the fuse. A good screen consumes a lot of current and shouldn't be left switched on if not needed. If left on for long periods considerable heat can be generated here and melt the plastic of the fuse and the holder.
Some systems are operated by a relay connected to the ignition light so the engine must be running to operate the HRW which helps avoid a discharged battery.

Posted on Apr 20, 2015

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  • Master
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Fan is not working

Posted on Apr 20, 2015

6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 45 Answers

SOURCE: Rear defrost is not working

Take your vehicle to the garage who would inspect the car circuit.

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: rear defroster on 2002 alero does not work

I found this on another site... it seems like a credible post so I thought I'd share... I'm going to check it out next weekend.

"Just an FYI. The rear defroster issue is due to a bad Antenna Buffer Module / Antenna Module. The power to the rear defogger goes through a module that separates the antenna amplifier signal from the 12 volt power to the defogger. The defogger elements also act as the antenna. The module is behind the rear pillar right behind the rear passenger door. The inside plastic has to be gently pulled off, the seat needs to be folded down to get the lower part of the trim off. One screw at the bottom, unplug the wires... (two connect to the window grid, mark which one is which)... and the module is free.
The module may require re-soldering of the pins joining the main power connectors to the internal circuit board. If you feel you can do this (or have a friend do it for you), go for it... else get another module from the dealer to replace it."

This is the most credible of the several posts that I've seen talking about this module. I know its there... I saw it yesterday when I was working on the car.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

michigan man
  • 3533 Answers

SOURCE: Rear window defroster

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.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009

cooper0365
  • 347 Answers

SOURCE: 2005 impala. Rear window defroster is not working

they have a fuse and a rely make sure the wire end is on the conector on the window

Posted on Oct 02, 2009

  • 41 Answers

SOURCE: Rear defroster doesn't work.

rear defrosters are an apllied film of semi metalic strips and if you get you windows tinted often the tint man accidentally nicks these strips cuasing the defroster to malfuction check for breaks in the srips

Posted on Dec 14, 2009

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1 Answer

What is the fix for a rear defroster that doesn't work?


when you push on the rear defroster button does it light up if so then you will have to use a test light and check for broken window grid wires on the rear window. you ground one end of the test light and using the other end start at one side of the window that lights it up then follow the grid line from one side to the other at 2 inch increments, the light should light up but get dimmer as you test the length of the grid, then go to the next grid line and repeat. when the light stops lighting this is were there is a break in the grid is and needs to be repaired. you can get window grid repair kits for this.

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There is usually a relay involved in the rear defogger circuit. I would check for power on the wire at the window connector with key on and defroster button on. If power there, the window grid may have a break. If no power, will have to work back in the wiring diagram.

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I have a 2003 dodge neon..and the rear defroster doesn't work..it has a button for it..and it just shuts off and back windshield doesn't clear at all...even if I keep turning it back on it...


Yeah, I'd think it would have lines, too, unless some new way of doing it that I'm not aware of. Maybe the rear window was replaced with a window without the defrost option. There should be a small two wire connector coming out of the back shelf near lower driver's side of rear window. That would be the defrost connector to the window lines (that aren't there,lol).
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I have a 328i convertible 1996. i bougth a hardtop, but i can not find the swich fot the wiring for defrost rear window and interior lights....if youcan help me...thanks


when you push the defrost button on your dash near heater dials it will work rear window, it is wired up when you engage the roof locks.

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under dash check fuse #36 7.5 fuse, light will come on but no defrost of rear window

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Jeff, If you have already checked the fuses, check the wires attached to the defroster Grid. You may be able to see them inside the rear window. Make sure they are still connected. You might also want to check in the trunk the wires may run into it, and might have peen pulled apart when you put somthing in the trunk. As a last resort take a continuity tester and check the grid itself to make sure it hasn't failed altogether. Un plug the wires b-4 you test it to avoid a false reading.

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1 Answer

Rear window defroster


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.

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1 Answer

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there may be a defrost window/ liftgate fuse under dash or in the engine compartment check that first/ you can also check the plug in for the defroster it just pull out and clean with steel wool/ after that if that does not work then the actuall switch is bad switch the button that is/ if you have questions let me know Please rate my response thank you very much

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Look at the connectors to the rear window heater grid, test them for power and poss broken connection to grid.

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