Florida Car has no Rear Window Defroster


OK - OK - so I got a nice 91 Corolla from elderly owners in Florida who apparently never drove it: my parents. It has a few minor problems: speedometer failed - see other discussion. But mostly its in great shape! Oh yea, there’s no rear defroster.

Anyone had experience with after market defroster kits they sell, or other advice?


I tried one once. It sucked. The grid lines were wide, and the connectors on either side were bulky, and not wide enough to get to the edge. It worked, don’t get me wrong, but was an obvious DIY job that looked kinda redneck.

To get a good looking job, you’d need to get a factory rear window with the defroster grid etched on. Then, the wiring would be a snap, and it would look decent. But would definitely cost more.


I put one in my Dad’s 75 Ford Pinto, I agree with Bustedknuckles comments 100%. The only thing I could add was the DIY defroster didn’t work for long (connectors broke off the window).

Ed B.


Why not try one of those small car heaters (they are kind of like a hair dryer which plugs into your cig lighter). They have a small fan and heating element which blows warm air . . . has a flat bottom which makes it stable enough to place on the rear deck . . . Wal-Mart sells 'em for about 20 bucks. Good luck! Rocketman


There is another type of defroster or defogger. It’s just a fan that blows air onto the rear window. It doesn’t work as well as the heated grid but it clears a foot and a half of window. It’s not much fun to install either. I have seen aftermarket ones that plug into the lighter. Those probably heat too. You see them in J C Whitney or Lillian Vernon catalogs.


Either replace the window with one with the factory grids and wire it, or give up. These aftermarket things are generally not worthwhile.


I agree with the others that the aftermarket kit doesn’t work well. I tried one in my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon and it was never satisfactory. I finally bought a 12 volt fan and mounted it on the package shelf. It worked well enough to clear the rear window.


I’ve used the defogger stuff you use for ski goggles on the back window of my old buick (from the days before defrosters) with some success.

I also think its unlikely that the car didn’t come with a defroster-- they’ve been required in Canada since the late-60’s and most foriegn carmakers just make a single North American version of a car. Could it be that the rear window got bashed out and someone put in a cheap replacement?