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  #1  
Old 02-19-2004, 04:04 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Windshield wipers stuck in "up" position when not used? Why?

A strange thing happened with my car's winshield wipers last weekend.

They were working just fine. Right before I shut them off, I heard a mild "pop". Upon shut-off, instead of laying down, the wipers sprang back into an upright position, and rested there.

So now I drive around with the wipers in my field of view, rain or shine. The wipers still operate normally when needed -- they just won't tuck back down anymore when not in use.

The "pop" I heard made me think perhaps some kind of "wire" hook was pulled out of a small ring or some similar assembly. I'm hoping perhaps I can repair it myself.

Has anyone had this happen to their vehicle? Did you have to bring it to a shop for repairs, or is it a reasonable home job?

FWIW, the car is a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2004, 04:10 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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In general, windshield wipers have a cam connected to the motor, which activates a switch when the wipers are in the fully down position. This tells the control circuitry to shut off the motor at this point if the control switch for the wipers has been turned off. It sounds like this cam either became skewed (do the wipers top in the same position each time?), or jammed in the down position, keeping the switch depressed (or the switch itself has jammed in this manner).
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Old 02-19-2004, 04:17 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
... do the wipers top in the same position each time?
Yes, they do. Same position every time they are switched off. Each wiper blade is nearly vertical when they are disengaged.

When they are turned on, as in a rain storm, they apparently work just fine.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2004, 05:11 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Sounds like a parking peg in the wiper motor broke off. Replacing the motor will almost certainly fix it.
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2004, 08:32 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T
Sounds like a parking peg in the wiper motor broke off. Replacing the motor will almost certainly fix it.
Thanks, Gary T. Is that a home job? I consider myself sufficiently handy for small jobs where the parts are easily accessible.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2004, 09:41 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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On most cars it would be within the scope of doing it yourself. I'll check my estimator book tomorrow to get a clearer idea of how involved it is for that particular model.
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:57 AM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T
On most cars it would be within the scope of doing it yourself. I'll check my estimator book tomorrow to get a clearer idea of how involved it is for that particular model.
Thaks for your help!
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:47 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Estimator book "time" is 1.0 hour. A little more involved than most designs, mainly because access is under the windshield cowling. Here's the procedure from the manual:

Disconnect battery ground cable. (I wouldn't bother with this myself. Though there's an always hot wire to the motor, it's recessed in its connector and the chances of shorting it are very small. Disconnecting the battery strikes me as an unnecessary precaution, and it requires resetting the clock and radio presets. Be aware that if for some reason the replacement motor is not in its normal park position, it will go there as soon as the wiring is connected to it.)

Remove rear hood seal. (Usually held on with plastic clips or press fit onto a sheet metal edge.)

Remove wiper arms. (Before doing this, see my note below. On domestic cars, they usually slide down onto their splined pivots and are retained with a sliding plate. Look for a little tab at the base of the arm next to its pivot, pry it away from the center of the arm to allow removal. Wipers need to be flexed up away from the windshield to take their spring tension off the arms. Then pry the arms up off their pivots.)

Remove cowl vent screens. (Probably held on with screws.)

Unplug harness connector from motor. Remove wiper motor.

Unsnap and remove wiper linkage cover. Lift locking tab, and pull clip away from shaft to disengage linkage from operating arm on motor. Remove motor.

To install, reverse procedure.
______

Before removing the arms, note or mark their positions After you have the cowling off, put the arms back on in the exact same positions. What you need to do is reset the arms and their linkage back to their normal park position at the base of the windshield (just push on the wiper blades), because that's almost certainly how the replacement motor's arm will be aligned. You might be able to do this at this point, or it might not be possible until the linkage is disconnected from the motor.

What we're trying to do here is avoid having to reposition the arms on their pivots, which is a trial and error procedure making sure they go up high enough but not too high, and park properly. By duplicating the arm placement on the spindles, you save yourself some pain-in-the-butt fiddling around.

Once the motor and its wiring are installed, with the linkage connected, test the wiper operation. If all is well, again note the wiper arm position on the windshield and remove the arms so you can reinstall the cowling screens. Double check wiper operation.

The hood may have to up and down numerous times throughout this for access and clearance.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2004, 11:56 AM
Rocketeer Rocketeer is offline
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Let me just clarify what Gary T said. After you put in the new motor, but before you attach the wiper arms, turn the wipers on, then off. Now you know that the motor is in the Park position.

Now attach the wiper arms in the their parked orientation. You can usually use the marks in the dirt at the bottom of the windshield as a guide.
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