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Old 04-07-2019, 03:51 PM   #1
ILVMYGT
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2007 SKY
1998 SW2
Default Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

The symptoms started a few days ago with the Washer pump coming on when the Mist was selected. The wipers ran to the 3 or 4 cycles. Sometimes I could get Mist to work (without the washer pump running) by pushing the stock back a little bit. Now today the washer pump comes on when the either Low or Hi is selected.

A few years ago I lost the #1 intermittent wiper, so I have been using #2 & #3. To me looking at the schematics loosing the #1 intermittent would be a switch problem since the other 2 positions work. Everything has worked OK until the new problem.

I looked at the schematics and think its the switch but am not familiar with the "Front Wiper Control Module." So what do you think? And where is the Front Wiper Control Module located? Maybe I should just wire a separate switch to the washer pump.

...
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:03 PM   #2
hholbein
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

With your loss of intermittent speeds and crazy behavior of the wipers generally, I'd suspect the controller module for your wiper motor is going out. Quite a common problem on these cars. The controller is matchbook sized and is attached to the wiper motor chassis. It can be removed from the motor if you're careful. Try and get a used motor from the JY or eBay.

While you've got the cowl off and the dash cover off, test the voltage at the motor connector for the single signal wire that comes from the wiper stalk switch. The voltage should vary between 3V (i think) and 12V depending on what position the switch is in. The controller reads this voltage and if it's not going nuts, it directs the wipers to do the appropriate.

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Old 04-08-2019, 12:20 PM   #3
hholbein
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

With your loss of intermittent speeds and crazy behavior of the wipers generally, I'd suspect the controller module for your wiper motor is going out. Quite a common problem on these cars. The controller is matchbook sized and is attached to the wiper motor chassis. It can be removed from the motor if you're careful. Try and get a used motor from the JY or eBay.

While you've got the cowl off and the dash cover off, test the voltage at the motor connector for the single signal wire that comes from the wiper stalk switch. The voltage should vary between 3V (i think) and 12V depending on what position the switch is in. The controller reads this voltage and if it's not going nuts, it directs the wipers to do the appropriate.

Another recommendation when you've got the cowl apart and motor out is to thoroughly clean the motor basin it sits in and the rubber drain that dribbles into the engine bay. Lots of fine silt gets in there and it can get clogged up. Also, it's worth taking apart the wiper transmission and regreasing everything with synthetic grease while you're in the hood.

My original controller lost the ability to run the wipers at most intermittent and the regular speeds for several years (the dealer wanted $600 to fix it!), then it miraculously fixed itself for 10 years, and finally it went completely nuts -- wouldn't shut off on command, washers going, etc.

I've noticed the used replacement controller sporadically issues two intermittent wipes vs. 1, so I hope that one isn't going out now.

I see GM switched over to a Bosch unit in the last 2-3 model years. Are those wiper+transmission units plug-compatible with the original units???

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Old 04-08-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
Saturn Night
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1995 SC2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

Had a similar problem, and the wiper motors are known to be problematic. With the symptoms you describe, it does sound like the switch is where the problem lies.

I tried to attempt(keyword here), to pull a used switch off a 1996 SC2(I have a 1995 SC2, so I can ONLY interchange a 1995/1996 SC2 column or switch).

This ended poorly, with me ruining the used steering column and wheel. The switch mounts behind the steering wheel, which requires a steering wheel puller kit.

My situation ended poorly, because I was using a harmonic balancer puller kit(which is similarly-designed).

Since then, the issue has been intermittent, and now I have a new symptom where my right turn signal will not light up on the cluster during cold days. The turn signal works, on the vehicle's exterior, though.

Replacing the wiper motor assembly requires two nuts to be removed on the firewall, so you have to be careful to not damage or break the plastic tabs that hold the upper dash cover to the dash assembly. 1995-1999 upper dash pads have two 7mm/T-15 Torx screws, with little covers over them, in the recess at the upper cover center. The covers for the screws tend to break the tabs easily, so when you pry them up, try to be careful. Expect to snap a tab or two on them.

If you decide to replace the switch, make sure you use the right tools for the job or get some help from a reputable mechanic.

99% of your problems, with any GM vehicle, will be the electrical system.

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Old 04-08-2019, 09:03 PM   #5
ILVMYGT
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

Thanks for taking the time to help. I got a OEM JY wiper motor and it seam to solve the problem. I did check out the wiper switch with an Ohm meter. I got different reading for each of the various switch positions except the intermittent 1. Intermittent 1 was open which explains why it does not work.

I did clean under the cowl. My problem is not silt but fir needles. Got it clean out and got it back together to verify it works. I will finish it tomorrow.

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Old 04-09-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
hholbein
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

Sounds good. I'm glad you cleaned out those needles that made it through the screen and also verified that you also took a few extra minutes to suss out the (mostly) working switch settings. Giving up Intermittent_1 seems like a fair trade for the PITA of removing and replacing the steering column switch!

Let us know how it goes when you button it all up and take it for a toot/drive!

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Old 04-12-2019, 11:06 PM   #7
ILVMYGT
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2007 SKY
1998 SW2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

I took the "Front Wiper Control Module" off the wiper motor and took in apart. There was some water intrusion on the module. It also has several capacitors on the board. Capacitors can fail over time and cause electronic problems, I wonder if replacing the capacitors would correct the problem with the module. It is also interesting that not all the board is covered with conformal coating to protect the components.
20190410_094526.jpg
20190410_094712.jpg

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07 SKY
07 Edge
88 Fiero GT w/3800SCII
89 F250
98 Saturn SW2 for Motorhome Toad

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Old 04-15-2019, 04:11 PM   #8
hholbein
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Windshield Wipers Acting Strange

Thanks for the pics. I'm not at all surprised to hear about the water intrusion and inconsistent coating of the PC board.

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