What are the horizontal stripes on the rear window of the car really for?

Many know this, but there are also many who do not know the function of the horizontal stripes on the rear window of the car. Let’s see it together.

Horizontal stripes on the rear window
Horizontal stripes on the rear window – Motori.News

There are so many secrets that are born to us our cars. More than secrets, in reality, we are talking about known functions whose existence we may not know and which end up surprising us as soon as we discover their usefulness.

Many times as a child, for example, I asked myself why the rear window of my dad’s car had those horizontal stripes. I also wondered why the front windshield didn’t have them too: luckily, my father quickly explained to me what they were actually used for.

Many years have passed since that day and, to my surprise, I find that many people don’t actually know what they’re for yet: what their real function is, whether it is a simple aesthetic choice or a functional solution dedicated to a specific purpose. Obviously it is the latter hypothesis and now we are going to see it together.

The horizontal stripes on the rear window of the car: what are they for?

These stripes are usually black, at most brown, depending on the model of the car. They are found on rear window of all cars: a name which to tell the truth today is a bit anachronistic, given that the term “rear window” arose from the need to describe the rear glass of the cars of yesteryear.

Rear window horizontal stripes
Rear window horizontal stripes – Motori.news

Now, due to aesthetic and aerodynamic needs, there is a tendency to modify its shape, thus losing that characteristic moon shape which gave the name. Name that has however remained in common and commercial use, which is often enriched by the word “thermal”.

It is precisely the latter that gives us the answer to understand what we are talking about: the horizontal stripes you see on the rear glass are nothing more than electric coils which, once activated, allow you to defrost or “defrost” the rear window when the outside temperature is too low.

The heated rear window is activated via one specific button available to the driver or passengers and you too will have used it thousands of times to “clean” the rear glass of ice or fogging caused by the contrast between internal and external temperatures or on humid days with heavy rain.

Heated rear window button
Heated rear window button – Motori.news

This is not a very recent invention, but undoubtedly useful. Once upon a time, when this technology hadn’t spread yet, for clean the rear glass you had to get on quickly and patiently with a soft cloth. An operation that was possibly also entrusted to passengers, especially in the case of long journeys.

But be careful because damaging the coils is very easy: for this reason you should never underestimate opening and closing the car boot with care, which usually also raises or opens the heated rear window. You don’t want to go back to wiping it with a cloth, do you?

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