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How To Fix Your Rear Defroster

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How to Repair a Broken Rear Defroster Line
If you think about it, your rear defroster is a pretty amazing accessory to your vehicle. For decades, drivers were forced to drive without any view out of their rear windows if the weather caused their windows to fog. Sure, there was the warm air blowing from the defrost vents at the base of the windshield, but this had little, if any, effect on the back window at the far end of the cabin. If you had kids, you could paas a cloth to the back seat and give orders to keep the rear window clear. Car seats were optional in those days.

Then along came that curious grid of wiring across your back window. A button on the dash activated the system, and right before your eyes you saw the fog disappear. Ice would met, snow stayed away. It was a small miracle. Some cars actually tried versions of this on the windshield, but it proved a bad idea. But the defroster became standard issue for rear windows, and the world was a better place. That is, until something put a little nick or scratch in one of those delicate lines across the glass. Then, the system stopped working. It was widely accepted in the car business that a car more than 5 years old would likely have an inoperative rear defroster.

The days of having to live with a non-functioning grid of defrost lines are over. The latest defroster repair kits are amazing, addressing almost every possible problem that can arise in your system. The first step is always troubleshooting. You need to figure out why your defroster isn't working. The complete repair kits come with diagnostic tools like a special test light, too. Before you start repairing, you should check your fuse to be sure it's not a simple blown fuse problem. The two most common problems with rear defrosters are a break in the conductive lines and the deterioration of the spades that connect the grid to your car's wiring. Both of these can be repaired, and we will cover the repairs on the following pages.

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