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Rock Sam

Rock Sam 4/28/2019

2016 BMW 535i Luxury 6 Cyl 3.00L

Preventive Maintenance

What Can I Do When the Windshield Wipers are Not Working?

1 Answer


Partsavatar Tr

Partsavatar Tr 4/28/2019

Blown Out Car Fuse:

A blown up car fuse could be the culprit that has stopped the wipers in their tracks. Check the fuse assembly under the dashboard or the engine compartment. Your car manual will provide you with the exact location and number of the fuse. The cause might be messed up wiring or a shorted motor armature. So it would be helpful to check the wiring, along with the motor.

Wiper Motor

The motor is the driving force of the wiper. Listen for a humming sound from the motor. If there is no humming and body's cold, the motor might be a problem Using a multimeter check the voltage at the motor's power terminals. If the voltage at those points is less than 12V, we have a power connectivity problem, which can be solved by replacing the connecting wires or checking for fuse connection.

Wiper Switch:

Another wiper assembly part that can malfunction is the switch. If there's smoke from the steering column, this is most likely the case. To check the switch wiring assembly, you will have to remove the steering column cover and locate the wires leading to the switch, using the car manual. The smoke might be a result of burned insulation, due to shorting. If the problem is restricted to wiring, replacing it should do the trick. Otherwise, you might need a switch replacement.

The windshield wipers have ice or snow on them:

Windshield wipers are able to remove small amounts of snow from your windshield, but heavy, wet snow needs to be cleared by a snow brush before operating your wipers. Wet snow can be so heavy on your wipers that your blades can get bent, the wiper arms can skip or strip at the pivots, and the wiper motor or transmission can get damaged. Remove heavy snow from your windshield before using your wiper blades.

Wiper pivot nuts are loose.

The wiper arms are connected to the wiper transmission by a nut on a pivot. The pivots are usually splined with a stud protruding. The wiper arms are splined as well and have a hole through the base. A nut tightens onto the pivot stud to hold the wiper arm tightly to the pivot. If the nut is a little loose - which is common - the wiper motor will turn the pivot but the wiper arm will not move. You may see it slightly move when the wiper direction changes, but it does not wipe the windshield. You may notice only one wiper working while the other stays at the bottom. If you have this issue, make sure the wiper pivot nuts are tight.

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