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2003 Baja, N/A, auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at Outbacks and would like the wiper heater/deicer feature. There's a couple I've looked at that have the button but I don't see a grid on the windshield. Does that mean the windshield has been replaced? Or do you not always see a grid?
 

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I think the original factory-installed windshields for most years (but perhaps not the latest) had visible wiper heater grids. With many aftermarket (replacement) windshields, the grid is often not visible.

The button for the heater should have a light that comes on when the heater is on. This will indicate whether or not the power circuit for the heater is working.

To check the operation of the heater itself, use an infrared temperature "gun". Measure the temperature of the glass in the wiper park area then turn on the heater for just a few seconds -- 10 or so (so as to not overheat and stress the glass). If the heater is working, the temperature will start to rise. That's all that's needed to confirm the heater is working.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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Depends on the year. Newer ones have no visible grid, and most aftermarket ones are not visable.
 

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2003 Baja, N/A, auto
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright so I'll just have to hit the button to see if there's still one there. Thanks guys.
 

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BTW the new cars the rear defroster is also the switch for the heated mirrors and wiper patch. Not sure why given front defrost button would make more sense LOL. But thats how they are set up.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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I live in snow country and the wiper heater isn't a must.
I completely agree -- it's not a 'must' but when it's snowing and the roads are slushy and there's traffic... I'll take any advantage I can to stay one-up'd on the conditions.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i/CVT/Graphite Gray
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I'm curious if some of you are saying the wiper heater "isn't a must" due to climate variation..

I have always gotten by without it, but the way the snow is in New England almost any heavy storm will freeze up your wipers to the point you have to periodically pull over and clean them...

Is it a colder/dryer snow in some regions that doesn't ice up so much?

Without having a wiper heater I would often use a strategy of keeping the windshield cold so the snow wouldn't stick to it..
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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I love my wiper deicers. I've had my windshield replaced once and the new one was OEM Carlex glass so the grid was visible. It's also visible up to at least 2009. My mom's '01 Limited sedan has the switch, but it must have aftermarket glass--no grid. I haven't checked to see if they work or not...the switch does light up.

You can always accomplish about the same thing by quickly flicking your wiper stalk toward you so they rest above the defroster, but the deicers eliminate that step.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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876 Posts
I'm curious if some of you are saying the wiper heater "isn't a must" due to climate variation..

I have always gotten by without it, but the way the snow is in New England almost any heavy storm will freeze up your wipers to the point you have to periodically pull over and clean them...

Is it a colder/dryer snow in some regions that doesn't ice up so much?

Without having a wiper heater I would often use a strategy of keeping the windshield cold so the snow wouldn't stick to it..
That's the whole point of the wiper heater -- you don't have to pull over and clean the ice/snow off the blade. Cold air on the windshield means your A/C compressor is running too (since the defroster is on), so not only are you sucking HP you're probably getting pretty cool yourself.

I'm in Minneapolis. It occasionally snows here. My old Jeep was good in the snow, but I'd have to reach my arm out the window and snap the blades against the glass to clear off the ice and crap.

In my Outback, I just... drive. When the going gets really tough, I'll turn on the heated mirrors, the heated seats, the heated windshield wiper strips, make sure I'm good and comfortable, and turn on some good tunes. No stress; I'm comfortable. I'm not worried about losing visibility due to ice buildup affecting the wiper sweep or my rear visibility. The only thing I wish I had was some headlight washers, as the spray from other cars eventually reduces the throw from my lights.

I can't imagine a better place to be during a snowstorm than in my Outback with the cold weather package.
 

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No doubt conditions - Eastern cold states they get ice and dusted with snow. Western states they get piles and piles of snow - a little ice and some rain.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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Since I've had my Outback I've never had to "unstick" my wipers from the windshield. Jump in the car, start it up, turn the defroster on full, hit the button for the heated wipers, mirrors, and heated seat, and rear defroster. Clear the bulk of the snow off. Jump in, hit the washers (I have RainX deicer in mine) and off I go. No problems.
 

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Someone mentioned "aftermarket" windshield wiper heaters.

What are you talking about? Is this added on windshield heater stips you glue on inside the glass and wire a button into the dash to turn it on?

If something like this is available as an add on kit I'd love to buy it.
 

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I've been thinking about this a bit and I think the route I'm going to go is to plumb a coil into the reservoir tank with coolant, so the window piss stays fluid, warm even. Next would be to put a small heater element next to the nozzles to keep them from icing.

As far as icing on the wipers themselves, you're mostly screwed. short of running a heater element through the wiper blade directly, once the temp gets to the brutal levels, there's just not much you can do.

Additionally, I like to put a pint of 91% isopropyl alcohol in the reservoir to drop the freezing point a bit more. It also has the nice benefit of killing any pathogens in your reservoir. I'm not 100% on the validity, but I've heard of people in more temperate areas developing sickness that "may" stem from bacteria thriving in the window piss petri dish.
 

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Just be careful when fooling around with the windshield deicer, I cracked my windshield one morning due to turning it on as well as the defroster to full heat. Walked outside to go to work and noticed a horizontal crack spanning a portion of the lower front windshield.
 
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