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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new here, hopefully posting in the correct location.
I have a 2015 Subaru Forester.
The hose on my windshield wiper fluid sprung a leak, after I pulled the assembly off to see what I needed to replace I noticed these wires that look like they maybe should be connected to the windshield. Any idea what they are or where they should be connected? They are almost centered at the bottom of the windshield about 6 inches to the left of the connection for the passenger side windshield wiper. Please let me know if I missed any information or if this is the wrong place.
Thanks.
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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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5,038 Posts
... noticed these wires that look like they maybe should be connected to the windshield...
Does your windshield have wiper de-icers, which are copper foil strips under the wiper perches? For my 2008 model, it was included in the Premium Package trim.
If your trim or switches indicate that you should have de-icers, but you don't see the copper strips, is your windshield original, or could it have been replaced with a plain one?
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses! After seeing some images of the deicers I'm thinking my windshield was replaced at some point with a non heated version. I'll have to update it if/when it cracks because that would be nice to have. Should I do anything with the wires, or are they ok to just leave hanging free? They have been just hanging out at least since I got the car about 3 years ago.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,210 Posts
What trim level do you have? Do you know if your vehicle is equipped with the "Cold Weather Package"...?

Check out cars101.com for all the specs on the 2015 Forester. The CWP was standard on the Premium with manual trans, optional with the CVT. Upper trim levels (Limited, Touring) had the CWP standard. It includes a couple of features, including the wiper deicers plus the heated seats and mirror defrosters. And those are not part of the windshield glass but are part of the under-structure.

You can tell if you have them or not by looking at the lowest part of the dash through the windshield, where the wipers rest when they're turned off and parked. There will be some lines (maybe a bit of a coppery color) in that area. But I doubt those wires are for that, as it should be / would be wired from behind/under the dash and I don't think it would go from under the hood at the cowl to go inside.

I tried taking a picture of them on my 2014 Limited, but they are really well "hidden" in the black glass area. But from the web, I found this -

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That comes from this video -

On the older generation(s), the coppery color is much more visible.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... I'm thinking my windshield was replaced at some point with a non heated version.... with the wires, or are they ok to just leave hanging free? They have been just hanging out at least since I got the car about 3 years ago.
If you had a heated windshield, you also have a switch which would energize the bare wires which are flopping around.
It appears that when the windshield was replaced, the harness to the old heated windshield was cut rather than disconnected, leaving you with with half the harness. You can either tape the bare wires or unplug their connector shown in your photo.
If you do get a heated windshield, check whether it comes with a pigtail harness or whether the harness is a separate part you will need to buy.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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I would cap the wires off so they can't cause a short (and blow a fuse, or start a fire)

Just folding it over and wrapping it in electrical tape should do.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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On the SJ - the heated elements are part of the defrost button on the center console - the same button that turns on the rear defroster unit (and mirrors) will also turn on the wipre deicers in the windshield.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the additional information. It should be the 2.5I Premium MT, and I was surprised when I turned on the defroster for the rear window and the windshield didn't start defrosting also. From searching last night, it seemed the location of wiring to attach the heated element was supposed to be in the pillar on the passenger side of the car, which led to the question since mine seemed to be in the middle. For now I'll cap the leads off and if/when the window needs to be replaced in the future make sure to get the heated version and confirm how it is connected at that time.

Thanks again!
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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The front is not a full window defroster - just a deicer for where the wipers are parked when off. It's so you don't have to leave your wipers "up" in the air if you live in cold climates where the wipers could freeze to the windshield. The rest of the windshield would be defrosted by using those defroster vents on the inside of the car - top of the dash.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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On the SJ - the heated elements are part of the defrost button on the center console...
By "part of" I understand they are connected electrically. Probably a with harness from the switch to a connector in the cowl, and then another harness or a pigtail from there to the element.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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231 Posts
On the SJ - the heated elements are part of the defrost button on the center console...
By "part of" I understand they are connected electrically. Probably a with harness from the switch to a connector in the cowl, and then another harness or a pigtail from there to the element.
The same with my 2010 Impreza. There was no separate control for the wiper rest defrosters, or heated mirrors. It all worked with the defrost button, whether you wanted them or not.
 

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2017 XT Limited + Tech
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With my 2017, the windshield de-ice will not activate until it is <4C. That's what the dealer said.
 
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