Rear defrosters stopped working 2012 Camry - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 7th Generation (2012-2017) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 2012-2017

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post #1 of 6 Old 06-25-2019, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Rear defrosters stopped working 2012 Camry

I know I just made a topic about the backup camera already, but since I FINALLY decided to make a post about that, I figure what's one more topic about another issue that's been plaguing me for a couple of years? Seriously though, I promise this is the last topic for today. I'm not trying to spam the boards.


That being said, this problem existed a lot longer than my backup camera issue so I'm almost positive the 2 are unrelated. When I first bought the car (certified used back in 2014), the rear defrosters always worked poorly, and then one day they just flat out stopped working. I'm positive the car was in an unreported accident before I got it, though I won't get into why I know that, however I believe that's why there were issues with the rear defrosters.



I pulled the side panel off of the passenger side of the rear window, and while there was a loose connection, tightening it up didn't work. Frankly, now that it's hot out, i'm not sure how I would test if it's working or not. I have a multimeter but I have no idea how to use it, so I don't think that'll do me much good, unless someone can explain to me like i'm 5 how to test with it.



Does anyone have any advice as to what to check and how to test if it worked or not? This past winter is frankly the last winter I would like to deal with a frozen back window. Thank you!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-26-2019, 07:28 AM
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Not sure how to check in the summer, but have you checked to be sure the fuse is good?
When you push the defrost button, does the light come on and stay on for awhile, or does it not even come on?





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post #3 of 6 Old 06-26-2019, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dz302 View Post
Not sure how to check in the summer, but have you checked to be sure the fuse is good?
When you push the defrost button, does the light come on and stay on for awhile, or does it not even come on?
I'm not sure which fuse to check, but yeah when I push the button it stays on for a while. Nothing happens back there though unfortunately. I don't know if a wire is loose, or plugged in wrong, or if one of traces on the back window is damaged. I don't think the traces are damaged, but I'm not 100% sure.

What bugs me is how it tapered off into not working, as in it just worked crappier and crappier until it stopped, as opposed to just like working great and then stopping suddenly. I don't know if that changes things.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-26-2019, 08:33 AM
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My two cents for reading the symptom is that the defroster trace finally burned through into an open condition. I would try to measure the continuity of the window trace close to the connector on the window. Having not looked at it, I can't say how easy this would be, but that would be where I'd start after checking the appropriate fuse. Good luck!

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-26-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LazerBoi_64 View Post
My two cents for reading the symptom is that the defroster trace finally burned through into an open condition. I would try to measure the continuity of the window trace close to the connector on the window. Having not looked at it, I can't say how easy this would be, but that would be where I'd start after checking the appropriate fuse. Good luck!

If that's the case, I might have to fork over the money to a dealer or shop to diagnose and fix it for me, because I'm hoping to save some money to have my windows tinted this summer, and I don't want to tint the back window, only for them to have to retrace it or something.


I'll keep you all updated if I find out what the issue is.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-26-2019, 12:31 PM
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"...unless someone can explain to me like I'm 5 how to test with it."

Turn the knob on the multimeter to CAP. Then press the function button, if equipped, to "sound". You should see a symbol in the display that looks like a sideways WiFi icon along with a large "OL" (Open Lead) in the readout. Now, touch the two uncapped probes together and you should hear a beep and the OL goes away. Sometimes the readout will give the resistance which should be close to 000.0 (zeros). If your multimeter is different, do a Google search on the make and model and see if there are instructions on how to do a continuity test.

Now take it to your car and do NOT turn on the defroster. Disconnect CAREFULLY the 2 leads to the window trace and now do the continuity test on the leads to the window trace. If you get a "beep" or the OL goes away, the element is fine and you need to look elsewhere for the problem.

Good luck.
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