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Old 03-16-2018, 04:29 PM   #1
ratwhisperer
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Default My wipers don't work! Please help!

So hi! I haven't been on here in a while...

Cinnamon, my 1997 SL1 and I are having a disagreement. Her wipers decided not to work. They gradually failed over several months. They were working fine, and then would randomly start going on their own, and then would start doing all kinds of random extra wipes whenever she felt like it. And then... NOTHING.

So I had something similar happen on another Saturn I used to own, so I figured... wiper motor! Went to the pick and pull; got one for $20, swapped it out.

So here is where we are at. I tested it without putting the wiper arms back on and I could see the little nubbins (I KNOW that is not the technical term, but that's what they look like so...) moving back and forth so I think I'm golden!

And now with the dash cover pulled off I can hear the motor running, which I could NOT hear before. So when I pull the switch I can hear the motor coming on... but after putting the wiper arms back on; they don't move.

Is this as simple as me not putting the arms back on correctly, or could it be something else?

Thanks in advance!

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia - sold 246K
2000 SW2 - Ruby - sold 165k
2004 Vue - Jade - traded in
1996 SL2 - Ursula - sold 223K

Current:
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle - 139K?
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 270K

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Old 03-16-2018, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

Sometimes the wiper arms strip out where they slide over those splines. Are you sure the crank arm is tight on the motor?

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Old 03-16-2018, 05:35 PM   #3
ratwhisperer
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

I think what I've decided to do is just pull the whole thing apart again and retrace my steps of how I put everything back together and make sure I parked the motor correctly, etc... because I pulled the arms off again and now nothing turns at all; so I may just need to exercise more care.

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia - sold 246K
2000 SW2 - Ruby - sold 165k
2004 Vue - Jade - traded in
1996 SL2 - Ursula - sold 223K

Current:
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle - 139K?
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 270K

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Old 03-16-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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Post Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5mh-OrFdnc

See if this is the problem

1995 SL1 234,300 Well Oiled!!
1997 SL1 63,180 Just A Teenager!!
CHECK YOUR OIL!!

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Old 03-16-2018, 06:05 PM   #5
hholbein
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesl2 View Post
Sometimes the wiper arms strip out where they slide over those splines. Are you sure the crank arm is tight on the motor?
+1. I'm assuming with the wiper arms off, can you see the splined posts oscillating? If they aren't moving topside and you can hear the motor running under the cowl, perhaps you popped the motor's bell-crank arm out of the linkage while re-installing?

It's been a few years since I had my motor out (same symptom -- bad motor controller attached to the motor subassembly caused nutso behavior). You might find reinstalling a bit easier in that tight cowl space if you get the motor to stop with the wipers in the 11 to 1 o'clock position.

BTW, when you pull the motor out, it's probably worthwhile to take the linkage apart, clean it up, and lube it properly. It's also a good idea to clean out the accumulated grime in the cowl well and ensure the rubber drain boots at the bottom of the cowl are looking good. After all, as a fellow Oregonian, I assume your wipers are getting a lot of heavy use.

Let us know how you get on.

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Old 03-16-2018, 07:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

Thanks everyone, I'm going to pull it all off again tomorrow and just double check all steps, and I will check to see if the arms are stripped as well. I will let everyone know how it goes. Thank you!

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia - sold 246K
2000 SW2 - Ruby - sold 165k
2004 Vue - Jade - traded in
1996 SL2 - Ursula - sold 223K

Current:
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle - 139K?
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 270K

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Old 03-17-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

Okay here is where we are at today!
So I pulled the whole thing out again (cut myself really good in the process), and I made sure it was parked correctly, the whole bit; tested it. Oscillation was fine. Everything looked great!

Then I put the arms back on again... NOTHING.

And then when I pulled the arms off again, NOTHING.

So I repark the motor, happy day, it works! And then put the arms back on... SAME THING HAPPENS AGAIN.

I thought maybe stripped splines? But why then would it cease to function if I pull the arms back off?

So as long as I don't want wiper arms, I'm golden!

Sigh... :/ What now?!

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia - sold 246K
2000 SW2 - Ruby - sold 165k
2004 Vue - Jade - traded in
1996 SL2 - Ursula - sold 223K

Current:
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle - 139K?
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 270K

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Old 03-17-2018, 02:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

The wiper motor pulse board/regulator needs to be replaced. It should be a smallish box right on the motor and it controls all activity IF the motor is not shot. They are not much money.

Edit:
Rats: I cannot locate that part separate from replacing the entire wiper motor.
But that motor is like $58 at autozone.

Last edited by toggenburg; 03-17-2018 at 03:02 PM..

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Old 03-17-2018, 03:08 PM   #9
ratwhisperer
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

Okay good to know! I will check that out.

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia - sold 246K
2000 SW2 - Ruby - sold 165k
2004 Vue - Jade - traded in
1996 SL2 - Ursula - sold 223K

Current:
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle - 139K?
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 270K

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Old 03-17-2018, 09:52 PM   #10
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1997 SL
Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

If all else fails, look into getting a better ground. I had the same "crazy" wiper thingy happen to my 97SL which started with the windshield wiper washer not working. I think the ground/grounds for the wipers and the wiper washer are in the same location. After I cleaned it all off, all's fine.

Don't know if this is your problem of course, but here's the post to put in a new ground.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=231672

Pic of new ground----
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...5&d=1500736703
and location------
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...4&d=1500736703
Good luck.

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Old 03-23-2018, 08:32 PM   #11
ratwhisperer
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Default Re: My wipers don't work! Please help!

Update! So I had a friend who is a mechanic come look at it. All I was doing was not parking the motor correctly. So dumb. I feel so silly! Once he showed it to me it made so much sense. Well, a little bit of a headache but for the cost of a $20 used motor at the pick and pull I will take it!! Thanks all!!

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia - sold 246K
2000 SW2 - Ruby - sold 165k
2004 Vue - Jade - traded in
1996 SL2 - Ursula - sold 223K

Current:
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle - 139K?
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 270K

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