Mechanics

ELECTRICAL PROBLEM

2003 Mitsubishi Outlander • 4 cylinder FWD Automatic • 106,000 miles

2003 Mitsu Outlander; windshield wipers turn on by themselves, one or two swipes. Wiper fluid sprays without being activated.
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OrtegaJS
February 11, 2011.




Have you recently had the cooling fans replaced with an aftermarket set including the fan module? If so look and see if when the fans activate the wipers activate and the squirters spray at the same time. Turn on your a/c and this will kick the fans on right away.


Tiny
89integrals
Mar 3, 2011.
Just found this thread and have same problem with my 2003 Outlander XLS, 90K plus miles. Bought it in March 2011, so don't know about prior fan module replacement.

My symptoms are: When the AC compressor clutch engages, both cooling fans immediately switch on, and sometimes, but not every time, the front wiper and washer operate once, and the lights (fog and headlights) will flash briefly. There are no codes or any other indications of problems.

My long-time experience with electronics/electrical controls and my gut tell me that it's an electrical noise or voltage drop problem, perhaps due to a poor connection or ground, but I don't know where to begin looking.

Surely somebody has already found the cure.


Tiny
Bottemann
May 22, 2011.
I had one of these at my shop. Turns out that the aftermarket module was creating this problem. The only thing I can figure is some type of electrical noise or some kind of feed back from improper circuitry in the fan module was causing the problem. We replaced the fan module with a factory module and problem was solved.


Tiny
89integrals
May 24, 2011.
Glad to get your reply. It confirms what I found.

I suspected the culprit might be the fan module after reading others' experience, so I dis-assembled it. It had no identifying marks on it, but I found that the circuit board components had date codes from 2007, so I knew it wasn't original equipment.

I discovered that the large 220 uF 35 volt capacitor (C3) in the middle of the board was slightly bloated on the top, indicating it was likely failing. Using an ESR meter, I found it had very high equivalent series resistance (16 ohms), and replaced it. But I installed a larger 470 uF 35 volt cap instead, believing that in a power supply filter more capacitance is usually better.

Before the repair, the wiper would jump slightly nearly every time I started the car. Since putting the repaired module back in service two days ago, I haven't had one instance of wiper or washer action.

Now, I don't know whether going to a larger value capacitor had any positive effect. It may be that the 220 uF capacitor works just fine as long as it's good.

I took a few photos after repairing the board, while re-assembling the module.

Here's one. It shows the new (light blue) cap installed and the bad one next to the board.

FYI. When re-assembling the module, don't over-tighten the screws on the heat-sinks of the two power transistors. You might squash the soft insulators underneath them, and short out the circuit.


Tiny
Bottemann
May 24, 2011.
I see the top of the cap is bloated. Let me know if the larger cap fixes the problem. This would be an inexpensive repair to the consumer if it dosen't damage the cap again. Those controllers are expensive. Could you please post in a couple of weeks if the repair stays stable. Thanks, Alan


Tiny
89integrals
May 24, 2011.
SOLVED! Just a follow-up to my experience indicated in my original post in this thread. It's been a couple of weeks and we have had *no* further problems since I repaired and re-installed the fan control module.

In addition, I've solved another problem with the Outlander that's been a problem over the last 3 months. The engine would stumble intermittently, that is, the engine was missing occasionally. It got bad enough at one point that the check engine light came on. The onboard computer had a "cylinder #2 misfire" code. I checked the spark plug "wire" connected on the bottom of the coil mounted over the #2 plug, and the #2 plug itself, and found a track or trace where the electric spark had been jumping down the outside of the plug's white insulator itself and going to ground. The trace was actually a burn line on the insulator. I swapped the #2 and #3 plugs and coated both plugs and the insides of both plug wires with dielectric grease. Haven't had a misfire since.

And finally, we were hearing a clunk from the front suspension every time we hit any significant bump or pothole. I replaced all four of the rubber bushings on the stabilizer bars (2 in front and 2 in rear) and solved that problem as well. I bought polyurethane bushings instead of the oem rubber ones, as they are reported to last longer. These are not the bushings on the two short links at each end of the stabilizer bars, but are the bushings bolted on the frame. The original rubber ones were quite worn, allowing the bar to move up and down. I ordered part numbers 191159 and 191168 from http://www.energysuspensionparts.com and saved a bunch over the price at the major online autoparts stores. Parts plus shipping was less than parts' cost alone from autozone.com etc.

Now, only one more Outlander project to do, and that is, to replace the timing belts and idlers, etc......

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Tiny
Bottemann
Jun 10, 2011.
Follow up.

It's been over a year now and we've had no more electrical issues since repairing the fan control module. And no more issues on any of the other items listed above, except that I would choose different bushings next time. After a while they seem just a little loose, so I'll select the next smaller diameter for the bushings when/if I replace them again.

Still haven't replaced the water pump and timing belts, etc. That's coming up in the next couple of weeks, I hope. Gotta order a parts kit for this 4G64 SOHC 2.4L plant.


Tiny
Bottemann
Jun 29, 2012.

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