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wiper problems


Regis

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I'm stumped. The hi/lo and wipe once features work but none of the delay settings in between work. Just stopped working today. If I run the wipers say on Lo speed and then attempt to engage any of the delay features the wipers just freeze where they are. They stay right there until I use Lo, Hi, or twist the stick back to wipe once. With the wipers off I tried the paddle that sprays washer fluid and operates the wipers about 4-5 times but that too only worked as long as I held the paddle forward. Then they would stop where they were when i let off the paddle. I had to engage Lo/Hi or wipe once to get the wiper arms back down. The delay feature has been slow to engage at times in the past year but nothing that couldn't be reset by switching to Lo or Hi speed and then backing it down into delay mode.

I'm at a loss here and would appreciate any advice anyone has that's familiar with this problem.

Hopefully tomorrow, I'll have a short video clip with sound of the situation to further be of help.

Thanks for your help in advance. I appreciate it.

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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Update. So I go out to start recording a video and wouldn't you know it the delay feature on the wipers work. Doesn't that just figure. Not that I'm complaining mind you. Well I'll have to keep an eye on this. Tomorrow is another day and who knows what the wiper gods have in store.

Let's face it, this could and will probably happen again. Could it be a rheostat winding in the wiper/turn signal stalk? What are the usual symptoms of a winding going or gone bad? And if I have to replace the stalk, how difficult is it to install a new one? The wire for the cruise control looks like it might pose a challenge if I have to install the new stalk. Again thanks for any guidance and input.

-kg

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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I don't know all that much about wipers but I would think the problem lies in the delay element. I doubt that is in the "stalk". Rather I would think it is in the circuit board inside the motor.

I replaced the stalk or "multi-function switch" once on an S10 Blazer. I'm sure the proceedure (probably even the switch) is the same. It was a PITA. As would be expected, you need to get into the column down to the switch. A retaining plate removal tool is worth having. Once down to the switch you need to drop the column from the dash mount so you can feed the wire and plug through the conduit along the column.

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I don't know all that much about wipers but I would think the problem lies in the delay element. I doubt that is in the "stalk". Rather I would think it is in the circuit board inside the motor.

I replaced the stalk or "multi-function switch" once on an S10 Blazer. I'm sure the proceedure (probably even the switch) is the same. It was a PITA. As would be expected, you need to get into the column down to the switch. A retaining plate removal tool is worth having. Once down to the switch you need to drop the column from the dash mount so you can feed the wire and plug through the conduit along the column.

Thanks for the reply Larry. Yeah I honestly don't know much about wipers either. This is the first time I've ever had an issue with one. I called Dave the mechanic and he thought it might be something to do with the circuit board or the rheostat winding in the stalk. Am I correct in assuming that a common symptom of the winding deteriorating is the loss of the "clicking" when turning the stalk through the different delay times? My stalk still clicks.... that didn't sound right lol. My gut tells me it's in the circuit board.

If it is the delay element that you mentioned, could you shed some light on what it is that I'm looking for exactly? Like: where is the curcuit board, how do I access it, can the delay element just simply be changed? Thanks Larry.

-kg

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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Well, my stalk doesn't click as I rcall, must be a new feature. I didn't realize that there was a rheostat winding in the stalk. In that case, maybe that is where your problem lies. I though that was all in the circuit board. The circuit board, as I recall, is mounted in the motor housing. Simply remove and disasemble. I am not sure though, if the circuit board can be replaced seperately or not. When I fooled with that #$^% Blazer it gave me fits. I basically replaced the entire wiper system. I still have the motor sitting on a shelf because I was not positive it was bad. Also have a wiper relay for a 80 something Cadillac sitting there to. Need parts :D Bottom line is I would guess the problem lies where ever the delay is. Either rheostat or circuitry but beyond that I can't be of much more help.

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Mine clicks also within the delay section

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Mine clicks also within the delay section

Hmmm, maybe it does. I recall a click to go into the delay feature but then I seem to recall a smooth movement (like a rotating light dimmer switch) to increase the delay. I use Rain-X and use my wipers so rarely that I could well be wrong.

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Since we're on the subject of wipers (in general), I want to pose this to you guys. At lower speeds, say 50mph or less the wipers work great. Once I get up to highway speed, say 65 and up, the wipers start streaking. Doesn't matter if the blades are new or not, always the same thing. And cruising at 74mph on a dark rainy night with oncoming traffic..... fun fun fun. Either of you experience this at all?

:blink:

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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Nah, like I said I use Rain-X so I rarely use them at any speed. I once tightened the spring pressure under the arm to give me more pressure on the windshield. You might try Rain-X. It makes the wipers work better as well. Might take care of your problem.

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kg,

I have just spent some time reviewing the GM service manual regarding the wiper system, and studied the electrical circuit schematics. Based on what I found there, and your description of the symptoms, I believe that the root cause of your problem is the "park switch" circuit, which is internal to the wiper motor assembly. It is possible that your stalk switch is also a contributor to the problem, but I think that it is most likely that the problem is entirely within the motor.

Without a long written technical explanation, the park switch circuit keeps the wiper motor operating by ensuring that a relay inside the motor remains engaged during a sweep of the glass, even after the "pulse delay" electronic circuit has initially engaged the relay to start the sweep. The fact that your wiper blades sometimes stop somehwere on the glass in mid-sweep tells me that the park switch is not functioning reliably. Furthermore, this sort of intermittent operation would affect only the delay mode of operation, not the mist and low/high speed modes that you report are still functioning normally.

The wiper motor assembly is designed to be serviceable. It consists of three main subassemblies: the motor cover (which contains the electronic circuit components), the park switch, and the motor itself. Your specific problem will probably be fixed by replacing the cover and/or the park switch. The cover can be replaced easily on the vehicle, but according to the service manual, replacing the park switch should be preceded by removing the entire motor assembly from the vehicle. Removing the motor requires disconnecting the wiper arms and removing the cowl air inlet grille in order to disconnect the wiper transmission from the motor crank arm. Although I have never performed these procedures on a Cadillac, I have performed them on numerous other GM vehicles, and none of the steps is particularly difficult. However, one unique tool is required to separate the ball joint on the motor crank arm from the transmission. Although there is a special GM service tool for this task, I have been successful using a squeeze-type, scissors-action trim panel clip remover.

Given the number of miles on your vehicle, I think it might be worhtwhile to replace the entire wiper motor. Alternatively, you could just try replacing the motor cover, and if that does not fix the delay mode problem, then you can decide to try replacing the entire motor, which will include a new park switch. I would advise against trying to replace just the park switch, since that change alone may not fix the problem, and changing it may be difficult to perform correctly (the wiper motor has a very complicated internal mechnical assembly). Replacing the motor with the GM service part will allow you to avoid tinkering with the park switch; you will only need to install the new cover on the motor and then install the new motor assembly in place of the old.

The following are the GM service part numbers and the dealer prices for each:

Wiper Motor Cover

22139159

$45.25

Wiper Motor

22110871

$127.98

The prices shown above are the dealer's cost, or what you would be charged (plus shipping) at www.gmpartsdirect.com. The dealer's "over the counter price" to you would be approximately double (plus ~$85/hour labor costs, if the work is done for you at the dealer; I think that the dealer would require 1 - 1.5 hours).

Depending on what you do to fix the problem, please post your results here. (I suppose you could choose to do nothing, since the parts/labor prices are not inexpensive, and the problem does not affect the safe operation of the wipers.)

Good luck!

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Nah, like I said I use Rain-X so I rarely use them at any speed. I once tightened the spring pressure under the arm to give me more pressure on the windshield. You might try Rain-X. It makes the wipers work better as well. Might take care of your problem.

You know that might explain it. I can't remember the last time i put a coat of rain x on. I have a couple bottles including the rain x cleaner for the glass (good touch up in between applications). Need to read up and see if it's ok to apply in the winter.

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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kg,

The wiper motor assembly is designed to be serviceable. It consists of three main subassemblies: the motor cover (which contains the electronic circuit components), the park switch, and the motor itself. Your specific problem will probably be fixed by replacing the cover and/or the park switch. The cover can be replaced easily on the vehicle, but according to the service manual, replacing the park switch should be preceded by removing the entire motor assembly from the vehicle. Removing the motor requires disconnecting the wiper arms and removing the cowl air inlet grille in order to disconnect the wiper transmission from the motor crank arm. Although I have never performed these procedures on a Cadillac, I have performed them on numerous other GM vehicles, and none of the steps is particularly difficult. However, one unique tool is required to separate the ball joint on the motor crank arm from the transmission. Although there is a special GM service tool for this task, I have been successful using a squeeze-type, scissors-action trim panel clip remover.

Given the number of miles on your vehicle, I think it might be worhtwhile to replace the entire wiper motor. Alternatively, you could just try replacing the motor cover, and if that does not fix the delay mode problem, then you can decide to try replacing the entire motor, which will include a new park switch. I would advise against trying to replace just the park switch, since that change alone may not fix the problem, and changing it may be difficult to perform correctly (the wiper motor has a very complicated internal mechnical assembly). Replacing the motor with the GM service part will allow you to avoid tinkering with the park switch; you will only need to install the new cover on the motor and then install the new motor assembly in place of the old.

RDWRIOR,

Fantastic! Thanks for the detailed information....and i actually understood it too lol. Well it seems, from your findings, that I don't need to worry about the wipers completely shutting down. That was my immediate worry. I was just imagining being on the highway, getting sprayed with slush by a semi and all of a sudden..... no wipers...ack!

I'll probably go with the cover first and go from there. The delay on the wipers worked today but not yesterday. Tomorrow.... who knows. I will definitely post any fixes I attempt and the results. Once again thanks for taking the time to look that info up. I think I need to ask Santa for a GM shop manual. :lol:

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's the latest. The delay farted out again and hasn't started working again in over a week. I'm going to put in an order for the wiper motor cover suggested by RDWRIOR and go from there. Thanks again for the parts and numbers you posted.

And Larry I reapplied a coat of the rain x a few days ago and what a difference. I almost forgot what it was like. Besides the usual benefits like increased visibility, the ice and snow just slide right off. Found out that the outer glass temperature has to be at least 40°F for proper application.

Since the rain x application I'm not really missing the delay feature at the moment. But I'll fix it now so that it's there when I do need it.

:)

-kg

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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  • 3 months later...

This update is long over due. This past weekend Dave (mech) installed the new wiper motor cover while I was working on the water leak in the trunk. So far so good. The delay feature seems snappier now and not so sluggish as before. Thanks to RDWRIOR for supplying the part number.

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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