Nissan Versa: Rear window defrost button not working, no light

Do you have any diy checks or repair suggestions for a rear defrost button not coming on?

a year ago it took some finger pressure on the button for the light to come on
it also helped for the interior to be warm
now no light comes on when the button is depressed, no defrosting of the rear window

is there a fuse I can check? location? under hood or inside?

versa: 2010


There should be a fuse.

Have you checked your owners manual?

I agree with Mike.
However, are you doing the work yourself? If so, you’ll want an “exploded view” drawing of that portion of the dash assembly. You can probably get this from the dealer parts window if you ask nicely. That’ll show you how the thing is assembled, and that makes disassembling it to replace the switch much easier.

If you’re not doing the work yourself, simply bring it to the dealer and request an estimate to replace the switch.

I check the fuses, I can replace a fuse, no more than that

I will have to get it fixed by a mechanic

or I just use a scraper to remove ice buildup from the window


yes I checked the manual on fuses and their location

Also take a close look at the affected window and the wire leading to it. Look for a break in the wiring, connectors, or the grid itself.

Sounds like the switch is contaminated or worn out. Having to press harder or temperature dependence are clues that it may be the switch itself. If you can gain access to the switch, it may be something that can be cleaned with an aerosol spray meant for this purpose but it’s going to require some disassembly to get there…

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no easy way to get to the switch

the winters aren’t bad here, I may just not get the switch fixed


there is no visible wire
the grid is molded in the glass

it must be the switch

It appears to be fairly common failure on these cars if you google it. I found one thread addressing how to replace the control unit here-

The switch can be replaced by someone with the skills and patience to do it but easier to replace unit. Even that takes some doing.

There should be a separate fuse for the rear window defogger, as that circuit is one of the bigger current drains in a car. Suggest to stop by a Nissan dealership and ask them to show you where it is. Bring your owner’s manual along. From your post I’m guessing the problem is the switch itself has failed.

Thanks for the link, there was this comment:

…the problem is a switch that is soldered into a circuit board on the back of the A/C Controller Assembly. There is no practical way to repair this switch nor swap out any sub-assembly. The entire controller (which consists of the 3 rotary knobs and the 2 push-button switches) must be replaced. The switch fails in the same way a single button will quit working on a TV remote control. I purchased a used controller from a junkyard. The online parts manual shows that the original controller has been superseded by a new part number. I also noticed that my old one did not have any orange illustrations on the mode selector, but the newer one I purchased has matching orange illustrations for the fresh air knob and the defrost settings.

so a lot of work to a take the dashboard off, replace the whole unit, not just the switch, not an easy fix

not an easy fix

Easy is relative. I would have no qualms about removing and disassembling that module to replace the switch. Someone who has not done that kind of work before would understandably be quite apprehensive about such an undertaking. By the same token, if it were mine I might just rig up an external switch and splice it into the wiring harness that goes to that module and not have to even touch the module let alone remove it.

BTW- you don’t need to remove the dashboard. You have to pull some of the trim garnishes to access the module. Not hard to do at all if you have done similar work before. It’s all about knowing where to pry and how hard :wink:

There is no practical way to repair this switch nor swap out any sub-assembly.

I certainly do not agree with that statement made by that person in the referenced thread. I only posted the link and supporting info so you could see one path to resolution and that you have company in this regard since it’s a fairly common failure mode for that car.

If you’re pretty certain that’s the problem, replacing the controller with a used one sounds like a good plan. On a 17 year old car those kind of work-arounds are often necessary to get the job done. Suggest to keep the controller you remove. If the replacement part fails later for the same reason or a different one you might be able to find an auto-electric specialist who can replace just its switch. That kind of job is easier if you have the factory service step by step procedure at hand. It’s probably worth your time to search a little to see if you can find it before you start.

Hey guys. Easy fix. Just take all the trim off to the point where the switches are exposed. Shoot a bunch of electric contract clean in and being the switches. Wait a day and bam. Works great. My wife’s versa the rear defroster button would not turn on and the ac would not turn off. After the contact cleaner all works great! Save the $110 part and 5 hours of hell replacing the whole unit.

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I just used Italianhorn’s advice and fixed the issue. I also made a video on it:


This did the trick for me today. Better advice then all the “take it to a mechanic,” advice.

Thanks for the video. Mine is a 2011, so the “innards” were a little different but still did the trick. After all my searching the car over and scouring the internet, this fixed it.

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