The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-07-2005, 05:42 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 22,510
Help! One Windshield Wiper Stopped Working.

I don't usually post these kinds of questions here but I am really in a jam. I drive a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo SUV. On the way to work this morning, I had my windshield wipers on and the driver's side one just dropped down and stopped working. Now you can move it manually with no resistance.

I need this fixed before Monday. What is wrong with it? Can I fix it myself? How hard is it to fix it?

Thanks in Advance.
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-07-2005, 06:55 PM
enipla enipla is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 8,378
The wiper arm is attached to a short rod coming up from infront of the windshild. This rod is nereled (sp) or groved. It is very posible that the matching groves in the arm itself are stripped out.

Remove the entire wiper arm and check to see if anything is stripped out. Also, with the arm off, turn on your wipers and check to see that the rod spins back and forth.

You may be able to switch the right wiper arm with the left to get by if it is the arm that is stripped out. Did that on my wifes jeep until we could get a new one.
  #3  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:00 PM
deevee deevee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
If the rod is not spinning then the arm that attaches it to the wiper motor is broken or has detached. If this is the case you won't be able to fix it yourself.
  #4  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:35 PM
Gary T Gary T is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 9,537
Almost certainly the wiper arm is attached to its spindle with a nut. It's common for these nuts to work loose, and usually all that is needed is to tighten the nut. There's probably a cap over the nut, which may be hinged to the arm. Remove it or flip it up to get access to the nut. The wiper arm is spring loaded, so first press it firmly onto the spindle so that it's seated, make sure it's aligned properly on the windshield, then tighten the nut securely. While you're there, check the other side and make sure it's nut is tight.
  #5  
Old 10-07-2005, 10:00 PM
enipla enipla is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 8,378
Very good advice GaryT. You may need to work the plastic cap off with a pocket knife. Then tighten down the nut.
  #6  
Old 10-08-2005, 05:06 AM
fortytwo fortytwo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
If the splines on the shaft have become stripped, unlikely but possible, I was able to temporarily "fix" one once with some kitchen foil. By wrapping it around the shaft and refitting the nut, it gave enough bite to get it to work until I was able to change the motor.
  #7  
Old 10-08-2005, 02:32 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 11,271
The actual windshield washer motor pictured here ( it's the part that doesn't urinate on shrubbery..... ) is not difficult to replace. Any auto parts store will have some in stock for many cars- find the one for your car, and follow instructions for your particular vehicle regarding removal of battery leads when working on the electrical system of your car ( search here. I know there was a thread about removing battery leads a few months back ), and you can do it yourself in short order.

That is, if it was the motor itself and not the gnurled/ toothed butt end of the washer arm.

Cartooniverse
  #8  
Old 10-08-2005, 03:13 PM
Gary T Gary T is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 9,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartooniverse
The actual windshield washer motor pictured here ( it's the part that doesn't urinate on shrubbery..... ) is not difficult to replace. Any auto parts store will have some in stock for many cars- find the one for your car, and follow instructions for your particular vehicle regarding removal of battery leads when working on the electrical system of your car ( search here. I know there was a thread about removing battery leads a few months back ), and you can do it yourself in short order.

That is, if it was the motor itself and not the gnurled/ toothed butt end of the washer arm.

Cartooniverse
Uh, little mix-up here?

That's a WASHER motor, not a WIPER motor. And since the passenger wiper still works in the OP's case, it's not a motor problem.
  #9  
Old 10-10-2005, 01:56 AM
Seven Seven is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by deevee
If the rod is not spinning then the arm that attaches it to the wiper motor is broken or has detached. If this is the case you won't be able to fix it yourself.
This happened to my Mirage. The hardest thing about fixing it myself was getting the part. It was quite easy to replace. Only a small amount of swearing involved.
  #10  
Old 10-10-2005, 11:19 AM
AskNott AskNott is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,060
The drive arms of both wipers are linked by a metal bar. Sometimes it's under the hood, but more likely you'll find it behind the dashboard. A little squirming around on the floor with a flashlight will tell you whether you can reach it without taking the dash off.
__________________
"You know what they say about sleeping dogs; you can't trust 'em." --Oliver Faltz
  #11  
Old 09-03-2014, 09:48 AM
thanksamill thanksamill is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
This happened to my Mirage. The hardest thing about fixing it myself was getting the part. It was quite easy to replace. Only a small amount of swearing involved.
Ha - funny.
  #12  
Old 09-03-2014, 09:56 AM
thanksamill thanksamill is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
Almost certainly the wiper arm is attached to its spindle with a nut. It's common for these nuts to work loose, and usually all that is needed is to tighten the nut. There's probably a cap over the nut, which may be hinged to the arm. Remove it or flip it up to get access to the nut. The wiper arm is spring loaded, so first press it firmly onto the spindle so that it's seated, make sure it's aligned properly on the windshield, then tighten the nut securely. While you're there, check the other side and make sure it's nut is tight.
Thank you!! My driver-side windshield washer arm went out halfway home, in the rain, and didn't know what I was going to do today. Thanks for saving me hassle, time, and money.
  #13  
Old 09-03-2014, 10:05 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 25,999
Given that this thread is old, and no new information has been added, I'm going to close it.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
Closed Thread



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.