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Old 11-03-2021, 06:18 PM   #1
whitedavidp
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Default Strange Window Wiper Behavior

As it is now winter in the PNW, it is time for a new windshield wiper problem that exceeds my experience/knowledge. Perhaps you can help?

1983 242. Replaced the wiper motor last year in October. Has seemed pretty "normal" since then.

But yesterday I noticed that things are strange:

1. When I press the lever up for long intermittent, I get 3 strokes at the long interval and then the wiper moves as if I pressed the lever down for slow regular speed. This continues until I press the lever down to stop all wiper activity. But it does the same thing when I press the lever up again. Seems consistently repeatable.

2. It used to be that if I just tapped the lever down (but not so far as to turn on slow regular speed, the wiper would do one full stroke up and down and then stop in the down position. Now, the wiper stops as soon as I release the pressure on the lever. This can be mid-stroke, full open, etc.

3. If the wiper is in regular, slow speed and I press the lever up to stop, the blade stops instantly - regardless of where it is in the cycle. It used to always complete the cycle and return to the full down position.

Is this a wiper relay problem? A problem with the lever? Or a motor issue? (Or something else entirely?)

Thanks

-Edit-
I have been pointed to Art's page here (cleanflametrap.com/wiper.html). So I have some more testing to do. Cheers

Last edited by whitedavidp; 11-04-2021 at 11:20 AM..
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Old 11-09-2021, 02:56 PM   #2
dl242gt
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I'd suggest you are looking at more than one issue. Seems like when you request intermittent wipers you are getting the swipes as if you ran the window washer pump. So, that would be a relay issue to me. The wipers not parking is part of the motor. There could be debris in the motor stopping the park function from working.
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Old 11-09-2021, 03:02 PM   #3
whitedavidp
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Hi and thanks for the info/suggestions. While the issue was going on, I did not test the washer function. Damn!

Since it was not raining the other morning, I did a bit of exploration on my wipers. I put a test light onto the contact plug on the black/white wire and then connected the light to a good ground as suggested by Art. With the car running, the wipers worked perfectly normal and the test light went solidly on and solidly off. No flickering. I removed the test lamp and it remains working just fine. I have no idea how to interpret this except maybe a shaky ground wire connection? Will have to see if it happens again. Cheers
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Old 11-09-2021, 03:48 PM   #4
John242Ti
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You might have water in the intermittent wiper relay, which is behind that metal plate under the carpet to the left of the clutch/brake pedals. Frequently winds up being tucked down in there with the harness plug end upward, so water from a windshield leak (or water coming through where the hood cable goes through) winds up draining into the relay.

I'd check to see that the relay is dry (shake the relay after disconnecting it and make sure no sloshing noises are heard). If not, replace it with one from a 700 or 940 series car, then zip tie it to the underdash harness, so it's no longer in a spot where it'll get wet. If it is dry, the problem is somewhere else, but I would go ahead and zip tie it to the harness, so you can avoid getting water in it, especially during Thursday night and Friday of this week (atmospheric river is pointed in our direction during that time period).
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Old 11-09-2021, 03:50 PM   #5
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Yeah, the relay sort of hangs down from the wiring harness, and will fill up with water dripping down or running along the wires. From the factory, the fix was to bend the relay up and tape it to the wires it's hanging from, so it would be pointing downward and not collect water.
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Old 11-10-2021, 04:52 PM   #6
whitedavidp
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Having survived the atmospheric river so far, I will check the relays for moisture. I have never noticed any dripping or other water intrusion on the car's left side. But that doesn't mean it hasn't begun recently. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2021, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedavidp View Post
I put a test light onto the contact plug on the black/white wire and then connected the light to a good ground as suggested by Art. With the car running, the wipers worked perfectly normal and the test light went solidly on and solidly off. No flickering. I removed the test lamp and it remains working just fine. I have no idea how to interpret this except maybe a shaky ground wire connection? Will have to see if it happens again. Cheers
I had one that refused to work right unless a test light was connected. It had too many issues to sort out at that juncture, and I think it's in a junkyard now.
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Old 11-11-2021, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikep View Post
I had one that refused to work right unless a test light was connected. It had too many issues to sort out at that juncture, and I think it's in a junkyard now.
Hi and thanks. While not encouraging news, I am hoping that I can avoid getting/installing another motor. This one is really only one season old. But it was a refurb unit. So who knows? If a custom ground wire is what's needed to fix the problem long term, that might be within my ability.
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