Ford Escape Rear Defroster Not Working: Causes & Fixes

Looking for the best fix to a rear defroster problem? Then you’re on the right page.

Fogged up windows in the winter season can mess with your field of vision and definitely affect your user experience. Luckily for you, you can whip up your rear defroster and get rid of the fog without any extra effort on your part.

However, if you notice that the fog won’t just go away, it could mean that there is something wrong with your rear defroster. This could be something that requires an easy fix or would have you replacing a certain component.

Whichever one it is, you will find all the right fixes for Ford Escape Rear Defroster Not Working in this guide.

ford escape rear defroster not working

Ford Escape Rear Defroster Not Working: Common Causes

  • Wires that connect to the rear defroster tabs are detached or broken.
  • Rear defroster fuse is blown.
  • Dashboard switch for the rear defroster system has failed.
  • Relay for the rear defroster system is defective.
  • Rear defroster internal wiring is disconnected.
  • Wires that connect to the rear defroster tabs on each side of the heating element are detached or broken.
  • Tabs that attach to the rear defroster wires on each side of the heating element on the rear glass are broken or separated from the heating wire grid.
  • Damage to the rear defroster grid.
  • Damage from sun exposure and age.

Ford Escape Rear Defroster Not Working: How to Fix

Check the Fuse

The rear defroster fuse works just like every other fuse and could blow due to over-current. You should check the fuse (you can locate it using the owner’s manual) to see if the metal element inside is blown. If it is, then replace the blown fuse with a new one of the same rating.

Check if this works. If it doesn’t, you can try out other fixes. However, if the new fuse blows again, then you should take the car to a mechanic.

Fix the Rear Defroster Switch

If the dashboard switch that controls the rear defroster fails, you won’t be able to activate the system. To check and confirm, you would have to let a mechanic handle this one.

Fix the Rear Defroster Relay

Check your owner’s manual for the location of the rear defroster relay. If it is loose, you can push it back securely into place. This should fix the system and get the rear defroster working. However, if it doesn’t, then you need to call a mechanic.

Check the Rear Defroster Internal Wiring

You can handle an internal wiring problem yourself, but your best bet is to call a mechanic for this one. The mechanic will track down the problem by checking the internal wiring that connects the various parts of the rear defroster system. Such faults would cut off the electric current from the heating elements in the rear windows. When fixed, everything should work out just fine.

Fix Broken or Detached Connecting Wires

The rear defroster system has wires that connect to the tab on each side of the heating elements. If they are broken or detached, the defroster won’t be able to work and heat up the glass.  To remedy this, you need to locate the wires and confirm if they’re detached or broken. Detached wires can be reattached by joining the connector on the end of the wire to the corresponding tab on the rear defroster.

Fix Detached Rear Defroster Wires

For the rear defroster to work, current needs to flow through the tabs on each side of the heating element on the rear glass. If they are disconnected from the heating wire grid, this won’t happen. You can find replacement tabs or you can go ahead to reattach the existing tab to the grid with a special adhesive with conductivity properties. This attempt might be too much to handle for the average driver, so you should let a mechanic fix it if you consider it too difficult.

Look for Damage to the Rear Defroster Grid

Maintenance practices like using an ice scraper on the rear glass, rough cleaning of the inside of the glass, or everyday occurrences like shifting cargo from the trunk could easily damage the rear defroster grid. If you notice that the rear defroster is only cleaning part of the rear glass and not all of it, this could be a sign of damage to the defroster grid lines.

You would have to make a visual inspection of the grid lines using some form of lighting or in a well-lighted area. You should be looking for gaps in the lines where the power has been disconnected. If you notice one, then you would have to purchase a repair kit at an auto parts store or online. The repair kit should come with a tape to mask off the area of interruption and also, apply an electrically conductive paint that will stick to the glass.

Fixes for Natural Issues

Over time, continuous use and exposing the rear defroster system to the sun can cause them to lose their conductivity. Pieces of the gridline may also flake off and cause interruptions in the electrical flow. Such issues can be solved with any of the fixes above, or in more serious cases, sent to the mechanic.

Final Thoughts

While there are some problems with rear defroster systems you can solve on your own, you should let a mechanic handle the system if it proves too tough for you. In some of these fixes, you will have to get a repair kit to make some adjustments to parts of the rear defroster grid.

If you’re purchasing online, do ensure to check out the reviews on the repair kit and its components if they would suit the fix you want to perform. It would be wiser to purchase from an autoparts store where you will have the chance to check the components of the repair kit before finalizing your purchase. However, both options are great places to get a repair kit.