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2016 2.5i Limited deicer


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I recently purchased a certified 2016 Legacy 2.5i Limited and drove it in a storm for the first time. I had the rear deicer switch on and the front defroster on as I was driving. There was nothing on the windows when I started out as I keep it in a garage. Within 5 minutes, the wipers were icy and I had to pull over and manually clean them off, as well as brush off the back window. Is this normal or is my deicer not working?
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The deicer for the windshield throws heat to the lower part of the windshield where the wipers rest. It's only of some benefit if the car is warming in a stationary position, if the conditions are not extreme. It's designed to free your wipers if they're frozen in position mostly.

 

Similarly, your back window defrost will keep de-fog interior condensation and icing if given enough time. It is not designed to melt snow off the windshield.

 

Some cars I've had would have hot enough element in the rear window to melt quite a bit of snow, not the Legacy.

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So this would mean that I can't drive when it is snowing? That is what I was doing in order to get my son to work. It would seem to me that it should work at least well enough to enable driving in the snow.
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I did have the defroster heat cranked, the ice jam was below that area. The dealer service dept took a quick look and said the drain may be clogged. I'm bringing it back for a closer look next week. I will look into winter blades also. Thank you for the suggestion.
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The rear window deicer could make things worse when it's snowing.

 

 

And even the front window defroster can cause trouble. If it's cold enough outside you don't want the snow to melt on the windscreen and just let the wipers brush it off instead.

 

 

Sometimes it's tricky to get the balance right - some defrosting on the windscreen to prevent mist from building up but still keep the temp below freezing.

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I suspect your garage is unheated, so the car's glass was quite cold.

 

There's a limit to how much the electric defrosters can do. The rear will eventually defog condensation or melt frost inside the lower 2/3 of the back window (the upper wires are an antenna) and I find that the front electric deicer can help warm the wipers to make them more flexible. But they both need help from the heater. Set at a fairly high temperature and given enough time to warm the interior of the glass you can melt a dusting of snow off the rear window. The heater, set on defrost is quite capable of keeping the front windshield and side windows clear of ice and snow.

 

I find that even at sub zero (F) temperatures after about ten minutes I have to reduce the heater to below 70F (20C) or it's too hot. By that time, all the windows are clear of snow and the falling snow is melting as it hits.

 

We're now told not to warm up the engine for very long before driving. But in really cold weather, you need heat from the heater to keep the windows clear. You could get into a car with relatively clear glass but if you start up too quickly and your warm breath and body moisture hit the inside of the cold glass you can get almost instant fogging and zero visibility that won't clear until the heater starts putting out some heat.

 

Don't forget to set the air to come in from outside (not recirculated) or you'll never defog the glass. Set the HVAC at auto defrost and it will automatically disable recirculate and run the A/C compressor to help defog the condensation inside.

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As others have just posted, there is a limit to what any car's front and rear defroster can do. You cannot fight the laws of physics and weather.

Clearing snow and ice from the lower windshield area where the wipers are, is very important. Severe ice jams and impacted snow can make your wiper motors work harder and potentially fail and/or damage your wiper assembly.

 

Each winter storm is different with snow vs ice/freezing rain, and outdoor temp.

Cold temps with blowing snow can simply blow right off the car and your windows are clear.

But right at the freezing mark, slushy snow or ice pellets can encrust your car in ice and it's a different strategy to clear it.

I think many drivers simply "set it and forget it" when they push the front and rear defrost buttons in ANY weather condition, and assume it *should* all work perfectly every time.

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