Rear Defroster Dilemma

10mikeymike10mikeymike Member Posts: 8
edited June 2014 in GMC
I have a 07 Yukon Denali which I purchased new in June of 07. This Winter I 've had to take it back to the dealer 5 times for problems with my rear defroster. The problem began when the soldered connection at the window broke off on the drivers side. I took it back and they re-soldered the connector. A week or so later, it came off again. After another trip to the dealer, they re-soldered it again. Two weeks later it came off again. This time the dealer ordered a new rear window and sent the vehicle to a local glass shop to have it replaced. Within a few weeks it came off again. I took it back and they re-solderd the connector. This morning, I noticed the connector has come off on the passenger side. I can't figure out what 's causing this to happen. Each time I've had the vehicle in, I notice someone stretches the coiled connector wires as if to relieve tension. While I understand the logic, this really isn't the problem since they would only become trensioned if I were opening the window and not the entire tailgate. Since I only open the tailgate and never the window, this can't be the cause. I use the remote start frequently since it's been a cold Winter and the vehicle is left outside. The only thing I can imagine is that when running remotely, there is too much current going to the rear defroster and that combined with the cold outside temperatures is causing the connections to get too hot and become un-soldered. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm really getting tired of taking it back to the dealer.


  • rshtrsht Member Posts: 277
    After reading your post, I had a close look at my 07 Denali, which I open/close the glass portion much more frequently than I do with the entire tailgate (just the opposite of what you do). So far, I have not had any problem with the terminals/connectors on mine (knock on the wood...). I do agree, those coiled wires, although coiled designed to stretch , they do still seem tight with quite a bit of tension on the terminals... Anyhow, when I looked at the heating element terminals, each seems to be constructed with two piece parts (the base, and the male terminal - which is soldered on to the base), the base is where attached (via some kind of PINK colored adhesive) on to the heating element on each side. Its my opinion:
    Try to adjust the angle of the male terminal (where its soldered on to the base) to be a bit more steeper to the glass (make it closer to the glass - lesser degree from the base to the terminal), so there is less "bending" force on where its soldered to the base...

    There are different types of solders (some with more/less lead content) as far as being able to handle the temp changes and the rate of current flow; but, I would assume the dealership would know the exact solder to use.... Besides, you had the entire rear glass with element and terminals replaced, so the type of solder used are all OEM so should not be the issue here. Good Luck!
  • 10mikeymike10mikeymike Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the response. Thanks also for checking yours out. After posting my thread yesterday, I decided to go out and super glue mine back on. I figure Winter's almost over and if necessary, I'll deal with it again next Winter. In the meanwhile, I didn't want to see the wire and connector dangling every time I look in the rear view mirror. After gluing the terminal back on and letting it cure, I reattached the wires. Within a few minutes I touched the base of the terminals on either side of the window. I was amazed at how hot each of them were. I realize they have to generate some heat to accomplish their intended purpose, but I'm now convinced that they may be getting too hot and melting the solder as a result. While I can't confirm it, I also believe that the rear defroster may come on when I remotely start the vehicle. If that's the case, it will probably melt the super glue and/or the solder on the other side very soon and confirm my suspicions. Either way, now I will tell the dealer to look beyond the terminals for the root cause of the problem.
  • rshtrsht Member Posts: 277
    NP. Wow! Hot enough to melt the solder? Ouch! Something doesn't sound quite right...

    Earlier I had a chance to try out my rear defrost and below are my observations:
    1. My rear defrost does not come on automatically when I remote start my Denali, unless I leave it on when I turn-off my vehicle. Even when leave the the rear defrost ON, as I recall, it will turn itself off automatically after approximately 15 minutes or so (did not clock that)...
    2. I ran my rear defrost for about 9 minutes or so, then I opened the rear glass and touched each terminals with my index finger, they were no where close to "hot". Each was only warm to touch and I was able keep my finger on the terminal with no problem...
    I believe you are right to tell your dealer to look beyond the terminals, they need to make sure there is not a short circuit somewhere before attempting to solder the terminals back on again... Good Luck to you!!
  • michelle0677michelle0677 Member Posts: 1
    I also own a 07 Denali with same issue. Were they ever able to fix your defroster or is it an on-going issue ? They re-placed my window and it has fallen off recently, brought it back they re-apllied it. Told them i will be back in a few weeks, I just know. Service told me that they were told not to replace anymore per Detroit that it was customer neglagence Tailgate used daily, window never used I'm afraid of wire falling off.
  • 10mikeymike10mikeymike Member Posts: 8
    No, it was never fixed to my satisfaction. I ended up Super Gluing it back on. It hasn't come off, but it doesn't work anymore. I assume it hasn't come off because there isn't a completed electrical connection and therefore, it's not getting hot. I noticed your reference to Detroit concluding it's customer negligence. Does that mean responsible customers don't open the tailgate? In the 2 1/2 years I've had the vehicle I only opened the window once and that was an accident. When you open the tailgate the window and wires move as a unit. There's a problem in the circuit that's producing in too much current and it's getting too hot. Unfortunately, I'll be trading the vehicle in a few months and that will be long before the geniuses at the dealer figure that out.
  • rshtrsht Member Posts: 277
    Woh, what a reply from your Service Rep. Its my opinion that your Service Tech did not do the repair correctly the first time (caused you window to fall-off), and they couldn't claim the 2nd repair cost to GM/Detroit, so the finger pointing begins... The way I see it, if a product is designed and installed properly, how can that be the customer's negligence unless a customer drives with the tailgate window open or bashed it with a baseball... I just can not believe GM would come-up with a such reply as its absolutely ridiculous..
  • rshtrsht Member Posts: 277
    Have you seen or tried something like what's described and shown in the URL below?
This discussion has been closed.