My 2003 Opel Agila 1.2 does has an old mechanism where you pull out one of the heater controls and the heated rear window comes on, and it does not automatically turn off (by design)

Will I damage the elements if I leave them on for an extended period of time?

  • Since it is designed that way, I'd think it wouldn't matter if it was on for a long period of time. (This is conjecture). I don't have any empirical evidence to the fact, but would assume a manufacturer who has to deal with warranty claims would not make it so it could go out after long periods of use. If they didn't, they'd be paying for a lot of warranty work they wouldn't have needed to otherwise. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 26 '15 at 21:37
  • Don't some cars turn the window defrosters off automatically after a certain period of time? I'm pretty sure they do this, so you should be fine. – Dan Jul 27 '15 at 11:29
  • Mine doesn't. It stays on for hours after – George Jul 27 '15 at 14:06

Unlikely. The window defrosters don't get hot enough to damage anything.

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