Random Windshield Wipers
For about 2 months now I have been having a problem with my windshield wipers. Basically, they would not stay off. When I had the switch off, they would come on randomly. At first I thought it had to do with when I was taking left hand turns, then it appeared that accelleration caused them to come on, then I finally realized that it was completely random. Sometimes they would go slow, sometimes they'd come on full blast. It was driving me crazy.
So, not long after it started, I thought- it must be the switch. So, I disconnected the switch from the harness (under the steering column), and started the car. The wipers stayed off!! I then took my car for a ride, and about 2 minutes into the ride- with the switch disconnected still- they started going crazy again. Defeated, I returned home and pulled the fuse (can't have them going all the time in dry weather).
I then spoke to an engineer friend of mine about the problem. He wasn't sure what would cause this other than the switch, but hypothesised that there would be some kind of "park sensor" or "park switch" that would give the motor power until the wipers were parked when they were turned off. If that were faulty, it may give power randomly. He doubted that you could buy the part without buying an entire new motor as they would be integrated. I did research and found someone who was a mechanic who backed up his hypothesis. I didn't have $100+ for a new motor, so I've been going without a fuse in the block for over a month.
Today, I finally decided to take everything apart and have a look. I thought it may be a shorted wire, and if I could find that I could fix it and avoid replacing the motor. The wires all looked perfect. I then disconnected the harness from the motor- and noticed a brownish slurry inside the connectors. I thought it was some kind of dielectric grease. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I returned here and found another thread- where another member had a similar problem and bought a new motor. However, near the end, he mentioned (off hand) that there was "rusty water" in the connectors.
Thinking that I'd have to buy a new motor anyway, so what the heck- I took some rubbing alcohol and splashed it (not too much now) onto the connector housing in the motor, dumped it out and repeated until most of the rust was out. I then took a Q-Tip and finished up to get the last little bit. I gave it a little while to dry and plugged it into the car. With the car on, I could not get the motor to turn on without the switch being on. I tapped it, shook it, wiggled connectors, everything. When I turned the switch on- everything worked perfectly!!! I reinstalled, taped the connectors up with electrical tape to prevent future water from getting in and re-tested and it worked perfectly again!
I have not driven the car yet, but this has driven me crazy for the last few months wondering what it could be. I was worried I was going to spend $100 and not fix the problem, so I was going crazy trying to diagnose and nobody seemed to have a solution to the problem. Well, I think this may be it. Maybe I'm overly optimistic now, since it hasn't been tested for a few days, but it looks great so far. If the problem comes back, I will let everyone know.
Sorry for the long thread, but my frustration may have finally come to an end and I wanted to share this to help others who may have a similar problem since I could not find the answer anywhere online.