Windshield wipers not working

Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 DODGE STRATUS
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
I checked fuses, put in a new wiper motor, and tried a new wiper switch. Still the wipers do not work at all. What else can I check? I did not change the relay in the wiper switch, but the hazards work with the switch relay in so it could not be bad, right? Not sure what else to check.
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Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 AT 7:28 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Parts in the hazard light circuit don't have anything to do with the wiper circuit.

There is a large 40-amp fuse under the hood, number 18. Check that one, and check if there are twelve volts on both sides all the time. There are two test points on top. Next, there is a 10-amp blue fuse inside on the left side of the dash. Number 15. That one should have twelve volts on both sides when the ignition switch is on.

Before you get too involved, use a test light with the clip lead grounded at the battery's negative post or a paint-free point on the engine or body, then test for voltage right on the metal housing of the wiper motor. Turn all the switches on. If there is any voltage there, we will have to add a ground strap.

Swap the wiper relays with one of the other ones like it. There are two of them; a high/low relay and an on/off relay. Feel if they click when a helper turns the wiper switch on and off.
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Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
Hello, what do you mean by adding a ground strap to the wiper motor?
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Thursday, March 16th, 2017 AT 6:45 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Did you find voltage on the motor housing?
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Thursday, March 16th, 2017 AT 2:40 PM
Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
Hey sorry about the late reply, but I do get voltage at the motor housing. What should I do next?
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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 AT 1:55 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. If you turn on the ignition switch and the wiper switch, then find voltage on the motor's housing, you'll find the motor will start to run if you push on it.

The motor is bolted to a metal plate, and that plate is mounted on three rubber bushings to isolate vibration from going into the passenger compartment. The motor has to be grounded to complete the electrical path for current to flow. Since the rubber bushings insulate that path, a brass strip of metal is added to one of the bushings. You'll see that strap riveted to the metal plate. It's about 3/4" wide and 2" long. The other end goes under the bolt head. That is where it can arc and burn away, creating a break in the circuit, and a dead motor. You may see it spark there when you push on the motor.

It is not practical to try to repair that connection. The motor might work if you simply tighten that bolt a little, but that is not a permanent fix. Instead, run a new ground wire between that plate and the car body. There is usually some other bolt on the body, nearby, that you can attach the wire to. On the plate, look for another bolt you can use. If there is none handy, drill a small hole in the plate, then run in a self-tapping screw the wire can be attached to.

Also, if you look at the gearbox end of the motor, there will be a round, flat cover, either plastic or metal, attached to it. That is part of the electrical connector. Some of those are held on with five rivets. Many are held on with five small screws. If yours has screws, you can loosen one, then attach that end of the wire to that.
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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 AT 2:14 PM
Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
But I did try a completely different wiper motor and it didn't work
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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 AT 4:25 PM
Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
Oh forget I said that. I get what your saying. I will try what you said. Thanks!
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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 AT 4:32 PM
Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
Hey, where on here is this brass strap? There is a silver strap.
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Sunday, March 26th, 2017 AT 7:24 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The strip is on the plate this motor mounts to. The motor housing is an electrical connection, so if you just plugged it in and held onto it, the ground connection wasn't made. You'd have to connect a jumper wire from the motor's case to a paint-free point on the car's body.
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+1
Monday, March 27th, 2017 AT 4:55 PM
Tiny
ZOG1974
  • MEMBER
Wiper works now. Thank you! Super cheap fix!
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Monday, April 3rd, 2017 AT 7:36 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
All right! One in a row! Happy to hear it's solved.
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Monday, April 3rd, 2017 AT 7:44 PM

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