Did your rear window defroster die? - Nissan Versa Forums
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#1 Old 11-08-2010, 12:33 AM
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Rear window defroster die?

Here is the progression of this ailment:
1. Sometimes you have to push the defrost button a second time to get it to work.
2. You have to push the d@*n buttom repeatedly, but you finally get it to work.
3. You have to push real hard, and sort-of to the left, and you can get it to work - sometimes.
4. No matter what you do, the defroster refuses to work.

There is no need to pay a bunch of money for an expensive diagnosis. IMO, Nissan cheaped out and used junk components and poor assembly techniques to manufacture a sub-par A/C Controller assembly. Because of a cheap push button switch that is soldered into a circuit board assembly, a new controller will be required. This new controller is the better part of $300, and figure on a couple hours labor. This means you better have an extra $500 laying around, because of a cheap component that probably cost less than a buck.

The controller on my 2008 is, I suspect, an older model. The catalog part number shows an older number that has been superseded by a newer number. We can only hope that the newer number has better components. A very visible difference between my old one and my "new" one (more on that later), is the new one has some matching "orange colored" graphics to encourage you to keep the "Intake Air Selector" on "fresh" when using the defroster.

I just finished this repair today. First, the problem is a switch that is soldered into a circuit board on the back of the A/C Controller Assembly. There is no practical way to repair this switch nor swap out any sub-assembly. The entire controller (which consists of the 3 rotary knobs and the 2 push-button switches) must be replaced. The switch fails in the same way a single button will quit working on a TV remote control. I purchased a used controller from a junkyard.

To swap out the controller involves taking off the top "Instrument Finisher E", the "Cluster Lid C", the "Audio Unit", the "Instrument Finisher D", then removing the "Intake Door Knob", followed by the "Controller Finisher", and finally the "Controller".

The hardest thing to figure out is the 3 control cables, and how to release them. Each cable housing goes into a "socket affair" that has 2 plastic spring-loaded "grippers". These have to be spread apart to allow the cable housings to be extracted. I had success using 2 different types of snap-ring pliers. They both expand a snap-ring when the grips are squeezed, and I needed both straight and right-angle pliers. The cable housings must be inserted completely on re-assembly, or the grippers will not do their job and the cable housing will slide back and forth. It may not be abundantly clear, but the ends of the plastic cable housings are "molded" and will only properly seat if the housings are rotated to 1 of 2 positions (there are flats on 2 sides that forms a bump that is gripped).

The other thing that gave me trouble was the big black electrical connector on the controller. The tab that must be pushed in to release the connector is on top, and almost impossible to depress with fat, stubby fingers. Persistence will get you through.

2 final thoughts: make sure you disconnect the battery cables (negative first please) or you will have an airbag error code when you are done (you have to disconnect the airbag warning light harness). Clearing this code is a PITA and involves considerable research to find the procedure. The second thought is, this procedure should not be performed around children, mothers, wives, and especially "church friends". Failure to heed this warning could result in the diminished perception of your character.




Last edited by Ferrofab; 11-08-2010 at 08:24 AM.
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#2 Old 11-08-2010, 01:45 PM
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Very informative post and I'm glad you were able to diagnose and take pics. Sorta have a howto going on as well. This unit seems to be used in the new juke base model too. Hopefully there isn't alot of failures. The rear defrost is crucial for safe driving where there is plenty of snow and ice.


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#3 Old 01-01-2011, 05:26 AM
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Mine shot craps too, but I just did a quick fix today.

Basically what I did was:

1) remove all the paneling as in: top panel, around the radio, then under the climate controls, then around the climate controls.

2) remove the 4 screws around the climate control, turned it slightly then pulled it about an inch away from the dash, wouldnt really go any further.

3) At this point you can see the main harness for climate controls. On the bottom of the harness there is a white wire(supposedly also at the BCM behind the glove box, but I didnt check)

4) I took a momentary switch, hooked one side to the white wire, and the other to ground. I hid the switch on the under side of the climate controls, basically above the drink holder where you cant see it.

When you now tap the momentary switch, the light now comes on, on the switch, and it works, and times out normally. My switch still doesnt work, but now it lights up, and the rear glass heats up, so its all good, and worked great on the way home from work.
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#4 Old 03-25-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolk1 View Post
Mine shot craps too, but I just did a quick fix today.

Basically what I did was:

1) remove all the paneling as in: top panel, around the radio, then under the climate controls, then around the climate controls.

2) remove the 4 screws around the climate control, turned it slightly then pulled it about an inch away from the dash, wouldnt really go any further.

3) At this point you can see the main harness for climate controls. On the bottom of the harness there is a white wire(supposedly also at the BCM behind the glove box, but I didnt check)

4) I took a momentary switch, hooked one side to the white wire, and the other to ground. I hid the switch on the under side of the climate controls, basically above the drink holder where you cant see it.

When you now tap the momentary switch, the light now comes on, on the switch, and it works, and times out normally. My switch still doesnt work, but now it lights up, and the rear glass heats up, so its all good, and worked great on the way home from work.
Nice, sorry to bump up such an old thread but I am subscribing, I am going to do this probabally next weekend, has anyone else tried it? Is it still working out for you or have you made the actual repair yet?
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#5 Old 04-01-2011, 07:49 PM
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Rear window defroster not working

Hi,

I just got the same problem. I bought my Versa used, it's 2008, 41 k miles, so of course the warranty is expired.

How do you remove the panelling without breaking anything. And what is a momentary switch?
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#6 Old 04-01-2011, 10:58 PM
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Mine still works fine. Had to use it all winter.

I will add, depending on how your switch broke, this might not fix it.

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#7 Old 04-02-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyG-fl View Post
Hi,

I just got the same problem. I bought my Versa used, it's 2008, 41 k miles, so of course the warranty is expired.

How do you remove the panelling without breaking anything. And what is a momentary switch?
I have not removed the paneling yet, but there is a forum in the how to's on how to do it (or at least how to remove most of it, the rest is probabally pretty obvious once you start)

A momentary switch is a switch that only closes the circuit when you are pressing the button (so like a button rather than a switch)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolk1 View Post
Mine still works fine. Had to use it all winter.

I will add, depending on how your switch broke, this might not fix it.
Mine still works but it is like my button randomly decides to work sometimes, I'm guessing your trick is to trigger the relay directly? If this is what it does than it should work for me, I will find out soon.
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#8 Old 09-13-2012, 03:43 PM
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2007 Versa rear window defroster

My wife's Versa has the same problem discussed here. Failed at about 36k km. Also, at about 38k the heater fan speeds 3 and 4 stopped working, i.e., speeds 1 and 2 work, turn the control to 3 or 4 and nothing. I've contacted Nissan Canada about this. They have offered a 20% reduction in the cost of the repair. To me this is not good enough for a failure at such low mileage. I am going to talk to them again and propose a 50% discount which is not really a fair deal either but better than nothing. If they refuse I'm going to attempt to get the media involved. Failing that, I'm going to park the car outside the dealership where we bought it with a sign highlighting these problems.
Owning Toyotas in the past I guess I just got used to some standard of quality. To have a part this expensive fail at less than 40k (25 k miles) is not acceptable.
Stay tuned.
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#9 Old 09-13-2012, 04:20 PM
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Unless I missed it, is this issue happening to the sedans, hatchback, or both?

Bowie
2012 Nissan Versa Hatch Back 1.8 S Red Alert
Tiida/Versa Aftermarket Control Knobs
Universal Arm Rest

*more to come... http://www.nissanversaforums.com/gar...ff-thread.html
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#10 Old 10-06-2012, 02:34 AM
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Unless I missed it, is this issue happening to the sedans, hatchback, or both?
Mine is a 2007 Sedan and it happened exactly as described by Ferrofab in the first post. Thanx to him, I saved a bunch. My dealership wanted $100 for diagnosis, about $375 for the part and estimated 4 hours labour !!! I read this thread over and over; read another thread about radio removal so that I could find out how to remove the covers, radio etc. I wish I had photos to show; It took me less than 2.5 hours (I am no mechanic)...and yes my fingers are sore, but I didn't swear once

First I bought the control base (27510-ZW80D) online for $154+$20 (Shipping) snap pliers (1 straight, and one right-angled). Snap pliers were $4 each. I followed the installation instructions by Ferrofab. It was easier than I thought. I didn't remove the airbag cable. There is a clip to keep it connected while removing the panel. I also didn't disconnect the +ve battery terminal (It doesn't make sense to me, but I didn't anyway).

The Black cable behind the assembly took me more than 20 minutes to remove. There isn't enough room to put your fingers around and at the end of it all, your fingers will be sore. After that cable, everything was a piece of cake. Oh, I wasn't careful with the snap pliers and broke one of the snaping contacts to the cable (I wasn't even supposed to use the snap pliers there...all I needed to do was to push the cables in until it snaps in), so my controller is working with one cable snap right now. I finished my installation and tested it. It works great so far . I will be more careful next time...hope there is no next time

After a 2.5hr job, I feel good and saved myself a bundle.
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