I have a 1996 Saturn SC1 with 56,000 miles. It has the standard 4 cylinder engine for that year. It also has an automatic transmission.
My wipers go on by themselves. I took it to the dealer when it first started happening (several months ago) and they couldn't find anything because it was intermittent.
Now it is doing it almost everytime I turn the ignition on. I used to be able to stop it by turning the engine or power to the car off, but that is working less and less. Sometimes the wipers will freeze in mid wipe and I have to hit the wiper lever to make them start up again. If I do manage to get them to stop, sometimes I will be driving along and out of nowhere the wipers will do a pass or two and then stop.
What is wrong with this car? Is it possessed? It's been a good car, it has low mileage for being 11 years old, and I'm struggling financially so I can't get a new vehicle. Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds like you have a bad turn signal/combination switch. Pricey little devils. About $120 new. Might try a salvage yard. Should be easy to come by and cheap.
Tedious work to replace, pulling the steering wheel and all. Patience and a good manual will help.
Good luck and let us know. : )
February, 10, 2007 AT 2:15 PM
I'm going to have to take it to a repair shop if and when I get the cash. (I'm having a cashflow problem right now) I don't have the mechanical intelligence to do something like that myself.
Thanks for the help. One thing though. The wiper switch isn't on the turn signal lever. It's on the right side of the steering wheel. How could it be a bad turn signal switch?
For the interim, would it be advisable to pull the fuse to stop it from running? I'm fearful that leaving it as is could cause the wipers to eventually scratch the windshield or burn out the wiper motor from running the blades against a dry windshield.
February, 10, 2007 AT 2:32 PM
That would be the combination part of a turnsignal/combination switch. See the illustration number 6. I would pull the fuse and reinsert as needed. Is there anything else weird going on?
February, 10, 2007 AT 3:04 PM
No, nothing else weird is happening, unless I'm in for a big surprise somewhere down the road.
I'll try taking out the fuse and keeping it nearby in case it rains or snows, but I really do need to have this fixed soon because I don't feel like having the wipers on during foul weather, and then have them stop in mid wipe. That can't be good.
I do recall though that when I took it to the dealer initially, they said something about replacing a motor if the problem kept up.
My friend who knows a lot about cars said what you said about the switch. I am wondering now if the dealer was looking to make a few extra bucks at my expense? I mean, who am I to question them? I'm not a mechanic. They've always taken care of me before, but I have noticed that since the Service Manager left, all of a sudden the service dept. Has been different.
Thanks for your help.
February, 10, 2007 AT 5:50 PM
The last chrysler minivan that was in my friends shop with a wiper problem had to have the computer replaced.
I found it hard to believe that the switch tells the computer to turn on the wipers. The computer then tells the motor to begin. That is exactly how the system works.
Never ever saw another fail like that but boy what an expensive fix.
The dealer may be correct. Each componenet should be tested including the wiring.