windshield defroster - poor design? - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default windshield defroster - poor design?

it’s been cold here for the last couple of days (-15 c), and i’m noticing a problem with my windshield defroster - it doesn’t reach the corners.

the slot at the bottom of the windshield is blowing warm air, but it’s about 20 cm short of the corners on each side, presumably to make room for the front speakers. this leaves a triangle of condensation on each side, where the heater doesn’t reach.

it’s kinda odd that all the engineering talent at subaru can’t seem to design a decent defroster, despite the best efforts of the marketing department.

i’m thinking of improvising a small deflector, like maybe an oversized drinking straw, to spread the warmth.

has anybody tried something like this?

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Old 01-28-2019, 09:07 PM   #2
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If you have the cold weather package (heated mirrors), turn on the rear defroster. There's an element in the base of the windshield to help keep the wipers from icing up.
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:58 AM   #3
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I don't think it has been done, but if such an improvement is implemented, some pictures of the setup would be much appreciated.

I would imagine an ideal way to ensure optimal implementation would be to verify its effectiveness by using steam or something else to verify how the airflow is affected.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:09 PM   #4
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i do have the heated mirrors, but i see no effect from the wiper heater. if it exists, it's probably not designed for extreme cold. (no, i don't live in the arctic, but we usually get a week or so of -20c or lower every winter.)

which brings up my other pet peeve (for all makers): it's usually cold enough to need the rear defroster for several months of the year, so why does it reset to "off" every time the engine is turned off? if it was "on" yesterday, the odds are more than 100:1 that it will need to be "on" today as well. it's easy to forget to turn it on, until you notice that it isn't working.

is there any way to set it to just stay on, across restarts, until it's turned off? or to hack the switch? it really should be just a "summer/winter" setting.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
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Not only does it start with the heater off, the heater only runs for 15-20 minutes, then shuts down.

Back in the old days (80s) my Vauxhall had a rear heater that was on a toggle switch, so you could leave it on.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:24 PM   #6
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I'm having the same issue. Not only does it take FOREVER to fully heat up and defrost my windshield (the heat doesn't blast hot dry air like some of my past cars), but it leaves a triangle in each corner of untouched frost.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:29 AM   #7
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and just because i like griping about winter - why don’t any of the car companies hire engineers who have experienced cold conditions?

every car i’ve owned for the last 20 years, including the crosstrek and my ‘02 legacy, have assumed that i want outside air to defrost my windshield. wrong! at -20, recirc air usually has a 10 “head start” over the stuff outside, and does not have humidity problems once it’s heated up a few more degrees (heating lowers humidity). the purpose of the exercise is to heat glass past the dew point, not to blow fresh air. and running the a/c is an old wives’ tale, which does zilch when things get really cold, except reduce the effectiveness of the defroster. (have you EVER seen excess condensation dripping from the a/c in winter?)

if i wanted a car designed for the tropics, i probably wouldn’t have bought a subaru...
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:11 AM   #8
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Got news for you. Colder air holds less moisture than warmer air. So when outside cold air is brought in and warmed up, it is drier, and will more quickly defrost the inside of your car.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:16 AM   #9
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you’re absolutely right, the relative humidity goes down. (but it still contains exactly the same amount of moisture.)

but that isn’t what defrosts the windshield - warming the glass does. exactly the same way the rear defroster works, except that’s done electrically, on most cars.

colder outside air isn’t faster, it’s slower.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:23 PM   #10
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Just a note. It is possible to disable the timed shut off of the defroster.
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