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Silver 2006 Outback 2.5 SOHV automatic. 99000 miles
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2006 Outback with a rear defroster that is not working. I have power to the passenger side terminal and the ground has continuity. When I follow the trouble shooting steps from the repair manual using the multi-meter I get voltage readings that are constantly fluctuating no matter where I place the positive probe (with tin foil) on the heating element. The volts will go as high as 300+volts. Am I doing something incorrectly? It almost seems like the trim piece rubbed away the heating element where it would connect to the "strip" of conductive material that runs from the positive terminal to the heating element but I can not tell for certain. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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3,280 Posts
It is NOT going to 300 VOLTS.... I suspect your meter is auto-ranging and you are seeing 300 MILLIvolts.

First, learn how to use your meter and take it OUT of auto-ranging and lock it into a specific range appropriate for 12 volt DC work.

Then, clip the negative lead to a KNOWN GOOD ground point and only work with the positive probe.

Start at the wires connected to the glass. One should be +12v and the other 0v (approximate voltages)

If this is good, I would TURN OFF the defroster and disconnect one wire. Then use OHMmeter to validate condition of the glass-heater.

From there, based on above tests, I would fix the problem.
 

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Silver 2006 Outback 2.5 SOHV automatic. 99000 miles
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip on the meter, it is not something I use very often and I didn't think about setting it to a given value. I am more familiar with house wiring not electronics such as this. From prior tests I know I have 12 volts and a good ground and ground wire. I will check it out tomorrow. I think I can see one spot where the prior owner scratched through one of the heating element runs.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean 3.0
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246 Posts
So what was the outcome?? I just created a new thread asking about the wires running through the boot from body to rear hatch. I have a number of wires with broken insulation. Was this the problem?
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
When I had my 05 LLBeaner I had the same issue - rear de-fogger would not work. Dealer could not diagnose anything and they claimed that the power was going everywhere. They suggested to replace the rear window.

So, I took off the plastic frame (obviously the dealer was lazy to do so) and found one of the wires that was to supposed to be welded to the horizontal grids, loose... like Brucep mentioned - you have to track wires all the way to the glass!
So I welded the wire back to the terminal (there are 2 such welds there). Problem solved!

You can't see this nor fix it unless you remove plastic panels to see where these wires are connected and welded to the horizontal grids' terminals on rear window, those brownish lines that run through the rear window.

No need to fiddle with any current multimeters to check the voltage...
 
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