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Old 02-26-2009, 10:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Windshield Wiper Motor

Hello,

This morning when I started my car, the windshield wipers were not working, I can activate the wiper fluid but the wipers just seem dead, there's not even a sound when I try to run them. I'm guessing the motor may be dead. Is there any resource online I can find that will help me replace, I can probably get the part relatively cheap, I know a parts manager at the dealer I got the car from, I just rather replace it myself if possible. I live in the pacific northwest and it rains almost daily here so it's pretty urgent. Has anybody done this before and if so, is it feasible for a moderate car knowledge person to do the work?

Thanks

Z
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombgief View Post
Hello,

This morning when I started my car, the windshield wipers were not working, I can activate the wiper fluid but the wipers just seem dead, there's not even a sound when I try to run them. I'm guessing the motor may be dead. Is there any resource online I can find that will help me replace, I can probably get the part relatively cheap, I know a parts manager at the dealer I got the car from, I just rather replace it myself if possible. I live in the pacific northwest and it rains almost daily here so it's pretty urgent. Has anybody done this before and if so, is it feasible for a moderate car knowledge person to do the work?

Thanks

Z

First I would check the fuse, because if the motor is dead they usually make a lot of grinding noises right before they go out. Also check the wires, Because if the motor is bad what caused it to go bad? (I don't know about you but I don't like to just swap parts and not find the true cause of failure).


As for changing them out open the hood, remove the bolts on the cowl. remove the cowl, you should see the wiper motor. Just disconnect the wire harness and remove the wiper motor bolts. and it should be pretty easy to remove the motor and install the new one.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyaaw! View Post
First I would check the fuse, because if the motor is dead they usually make a lot of grinding noises right before they go out. Also check the wires, Because if the motor is bad what caused it to go bad? (I don't know about you but I don't like to just swap parts and not find the true cause of failure).


As for changing them out open the hood, remove the bolts on the cowl. remove the cowl, you should see the wiper motor. Just disconnect the wire harness and remove the wiper motor bolts. and it should be pretty easy to remove the motor and install the new one.

I hope this helps.
Thanks for the feedback, you're right about the fuse and wires, I need to check those 1st. I appreciate the help I was able to locate the motor with your help, from the looks of it, it's a pretty easy swap job but I'm gonna peek at the fuses.

Thanks again,

Z
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by zombgief View Post
Thanks for the feedback, you're right about the fuse and wires, I need to check those 1st. I appreciate the help I was able to locate the motor with your help, from the looks of it, it's a pretty easy swap job but I'm gonna peek at the fuses.

Thanks again,

Z
No problem, I'm glad i could help. If you have any other questions let me know.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by pyaaw! View Post
No problem, I'm glad i could help. If you have any other questions let me know.
I replaced the fuse (even though it didn't look like the old one had blown out) but that didn't solve the problem. I'm not really sure what to look for as far as the wiring, I do know last night we had freezing weather and the wires for this device are practically outside of the engine (poor design imo) it's possible snow or ice made contact. Are the wires themselves replaceable, I didn't actually remove the canopy that protects the wiring and the motor and have a look because I had to go to work. What are some signs that will let me know the wiring has gone bad and not the actual motor?

Thanks

Z
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombgief View Post
I replaced the fuse (even though it didn't look like the old one had blown out) but that didn't solve the problem. I'm not really sure what to look for as far as the wiring, I do know last night we had freezing weather and the wires for this device are practically outside of the engine (poor design imo) it's possible snow or ice made contact. Are the wires themselves replaceable, I didn't actually remove the canopy that protects the wiring and the motor and have a look because I had to go to work. What are some signs that will let me know the wiring has gone bad and not the actual motor?

Thanks

Z

well you will have to have a multimeter to test the wires. If you have a multimeter you want to test the ohms(if you are not familiar with the term the symbol looks like the Greek Omega, and you are checking resistance). a good wire has 0 to 0.5 ohms of resistance.

step 1: Disconnect the battery. Disconnect the harness at the wiper motor. Put one of the leads on a wire (I am not sure how many wires are connected to it, but you will keep that lead on the wire till you check all the other wires). With the other lead connect it to the other wires one at a time, hold it on the wire for about 10 seconds.

Expected result:
---wires ok: open circuit (there is no resistance between the wires, the meter will not read any numbers at all, it may say OL, OPEN, etc...) go to step 2

--- wires not ok: there is resistance (it may be really high or as low as 0.3) see step 4



Step 2: Check all wires resistance to ground. To do this you will have to find a good ground to the frame (not the battery). Keep one of the meters leads on the good ground. Take the other lead and just like before put it on every wire and check the resistance (remember there will be one ground wire usually black or green). Write down which one is ground you will need it in step 3.


-----wires ok: only one wire is grounded. It is a good possibility the motor is bad. But you will need to check the switch itself, see step 3

----- wires not ok: there is resistance to ground see step 4


Step 3: Reconnect the battery, but keep the wiper motor connector disconnected. Put the multimeter in DC Voltage mode. Take the black lead on the multimeter and put it on the ground wire found in step 2. Take the red multimeter lead and put it on one of the other wires. Hold them in place while you have someone else turn the key to on(engine off but accessories on) and turn the wipers on. Check all positions of the switch with each wire you are looking for 12V or so.

------Switch is ok: there is Voltage at every wire. Replace the Motor.

--------Switch not ok: there is no Voltage at the wires. Replace the switch.


Step 4: To repair the wire, you will have to either find the bad spot in the wires and replace that small section of wire or replace the whole wire.

To replace the section of wire (the easier thing to do): find the bad section, Disconnect the Battery, cut the section of wire out. Get a new section of wire (16 or 18 gauge), you have 2 choices either solder the wires together and seal it with heat shrink or electrical tape, or use Butte Connectors(these are the easier ones to use, just remember to use a lighter and shrink the ends to seal them).

To replace the whole wire: Find the bad wires, Disconnect the Battery, disconnect the wire at the fuse box, remove the wire from the connector, Install the proper pin for the connector on the wire end, run the wire the same way as the old one, put a wire shield around it to protect it, and put the proper end on the other side of the wire to connect it to the fuse box. This is the HARDER WAY.

If you have any Questions let me know. you can get a cheap multimeter at any auto store or from craftsman (a $30-$50 meter will do as long as it does Ohms and DC Voltage)
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyaaw! View Post
well you will have to have a multimeter to test the wires. If you have a multimeter you want to test the ohms(if you are not familiar with the term the symbol looks like the Greek Omega, and you are checking resistance). a good wire has 0 to 0.5 ohms of resistance.

step 1: Disconnect the battery. Disconnect the harness at the wiper motor. Put one of the leads on a wire (I am not sure how many wires are connected to it, but you will keep that lead on the wire till you check all the other wires). With the other lead connect it to the other wires one at a time, hold it on the wire for about 10 seconds.

Expected result:
---wires ok: open circuit (there is no resistance between the wires, the meter will not read any numbers at all, it may say OL, OPEN, etc...) go to step 2

--- wires not ok: there is resistance (it may be really high or as low as 0.3) see step 4



Step 2: Check all wires resistance to ground. To do this you will have to find a good ground to the frame (not the battery). Keep one of the meters leads on the good ground. Take the other lead and just like before put it on every wire and check the resistance (remember there will be one ground wire usually black or green). Write down which one is ground you will need it in step 3.


-----wires ok: only one wire is grounded. It is a good possibility the motor is bad. But you will need to check the switch itself, see step 3

----- wires not ok: there is resistance to ground see step 4


Step 3: Reconnect the battery, but keep the wiper motor connector disconnected. Put the multimeter in DC Voltage mode. Take the black lead on the multimeter and put it on the ground wire found in step 2. Take the red multimeter lead and put it on one of the other wires. Hold them in place while you have someone else turn the key to on(engine off but accessories on) and turn the wipers on. Check all positions of the switch with each wire you are looking for 12V or so.

------Switch is ok: there is Voltage at every wire. Replace the Motor.

--------Switch not ok: there is no Voltage at the wires. Replace the switch.


Step 4: To repair the wire, you will have to either find the bad spot in the wires and replace that small section of wire or replace the whole wire.

To replace the section of wire (the easier thing to do): find the bad section, Disconnect the Battery, cut the section of wire out. Get a new section of wire (16 or 18 gauge), you have 2 choices either solder the wires together and seal it with heat shrink or electrical tape, or use Butte Connectors(these are the easier ones to use, just remember to use a lighter and shrink the ends to seal them).

To replace the whole wire: Find the bad wires, Disconnect the Battery, disconnect the wire at the fuse box, remove the wire from the connector, Install the proper pin for the connector on the wire end, run the wire the same way as the old one, put a wire shield around it to protect it, and put the proper end on the other side of the wire to connect it to the fuse box. This is the HARDER WAY.

If you have any Questions let me know. you can get a cheap multimeter at any auto store or from craftsman (a $30-$50 meter will do as long as it does Ohms and DC Voltage)
Wow thanks for the level of detail! I will try this tomorrow or this weekend, hopefully it doesn't rain or snow again tomorrow :/

Z
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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my wiper motor blew out early this winter. it was probably my dumb fault(ie i might have flicked the switch to turn them on while they were frozen to the windshield)...but anyways, the motor at carquest/autozone is like 80 bucks with a core charge, so its not that expensive. my girlfriends dad used to be a mechanic, so he helped me swap it out and it really wasnt hard at all. once you get the cowl cover off, its fairly simple and straight forward....just make sure you keep the part that its connected to in the same position or close to it. also, make sure you find "park" before you install the arms back on, you dont want to turn them on and have them bend or break from going too far up or down.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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just one thing to add. if you have to take the wiper arms off, remember there apox. location on the windshield so they keep the same movment. if not you might end up with them going to low or right off the edge of the windshield. you can put a piece of tape on the windshield next to the blade to help you remember where they sit. there on tight, dont be afraid to pull kinda hard to get them off. and try to make sure the inside fins are lined up before you push them back on. hope this helps
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had mine go the same way. No noise or anything, just dead. It is not too hard to replace, a few screws and a few bolts, should take about 30 mins at most
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