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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
naffleck
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: sacramento
Posts: 5
My Ride: 2000 328i
Rear defroster troubleshooting on wagon

What's up defroster experts... looking for some advice on troubleshooting a non-working defroster on a 2003 325iT

I found this pretty stellar video which goes through troubleshooting the defroster from checking the fuse (and fuse bus), relay, and actual window.

I checked the fuse and bus, and skipped the relay (it's cold out and will have to wait for the weekend) so I just hooked up my test light to the ground on the battery and tested each strip on the rear window hatch with the car running.

The test light lit up on the top two strips (top meaning, as if the lid was closed, the upper most strips). The test light lit up BRIGHTLY (not a faint glow). I also saw some blue "sparkage" at the end of the 2nd strip where it connects back to the strip "bus". However.... all strips below the 2nd do not light up the tester at all.

Is the continuity in the circuit disrupted to all the strips below if one goes bad, or is this maybe a different problem? I doubt every single strip except the top two are bad, so maybe I'm missing something here.

Thanks all.

Nate
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
naffleck
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: sacramento
Posts: 5
My Ride: 2000 328i
Total e46fanatics failure in providing help.

I believe I have a bad ground connection at the window since the light stays bright along the two working strips. Going to pull apart this weekend to see if connection is bad at window.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
z69ss
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: new jersey
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Sounds like a bad window. You can also try turning the radio on A.M. and putting the defroster on. If the radio loses signal, than it's a bad window.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
naffleck
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Location: sacramento
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My Ride: 2000 328i
These two strips read 12v all the way across



I have tested for continuity, and get a reading across every single strip using this ground.



Yet, when I turn on the defroster, I get no voltage across any other defroster strip except those top two? Not sure where to go next.

Nate
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
naffleck
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My Ride: 2000 328i
Ok... also... the radio signal does degrade (more static) if you turn on the defroster.
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