Wipers AND washer doesn't work... STUMPED! - ZDriver.com


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Old 04-06-2014, 01:09 AM   #1
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Wipers AND washer doesn't work... STUMPED!

I have an 85 2+2 n/a with an analog dash. 276,000 miles.. When I first got the car, the wipers worked most of the time. Yeah that's right, most of the time. Then the intermittent wipers stopped working. I guess my TCU went bad? Oh well. Then eventually they all stopped working. I tried to send 12v directly to the motor and nothing. I guess I need a new wiper motor, but the washer still does not work.

Other symptoms-

the fuse melted.
rear washer and wiper work fine.
replaced fuse, no change.
sometimes dash illumination lights flicker at a constant rate. When I open the door and my faulty door check clicks, it goes away. (The door check is the thing that prevents the door from opening too far)

I have no idea where to start on this one.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:27 AM   #2
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Your FSM covers this system on EL-119 and following. I don't see a troubleshooting section, though.

I would get out my multi-meter and check that there is power to the fuse and each wiper motor and washer pump when the stick switch on the steering column is in its various 'on' positions. Since your rear wiper & washer work fine, you can use them as the standard for checking the front units. If power is getting to the front units, I would replace any motor and pump that isn't working when it's getting power. As you trace the wiring to this stuff, check any connector you come across, disconnect it and clean it with a good electronics cleaner - and reconnect it.

If a motor or pump unit is not getting power and the fuse is good, I would suspect that the wiper control stick on the steering column is worn out (dirty?) and replace (clean?) that. I don't know if the stick is still available new like the lights/directionals control stick is ($120?). But recyclers should have them - as well as the wiper motors and washer pumps. Start looking at car-part.com and sort results by distance from your zip. Maybe you can drive there and pick stuff up. (I picked up a whole steering column with steering wheel and both control sticks here, $60 - just in case...)

Temporarily, you can try Rain-X or one of those products that claim you can drive without wipers in the rain. That stuff makes me nervous. Gotta get those wipers working.

Last edited by zxguy1986; 04-06-2014 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #3
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ZXguy is right, check with a volt meter to see if power is getting to the wiper motor and washer. That will tell you if the motors on both are toast or not. Not unusual to have a washer motor go bad after 30 years.
This guy probably has anything you need.

300zx Parts For You webpage
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
Your FSM covers this system on EL-119 and following. I don't see a troubleshooting section, though.

I would get out my multi-meter and check that there is power to the fuse and each wiper motor and washer pump when the stick switch on the steering column is in its various 'on' positions. Since your rear wiper & washer work fine, you can use them as the standard for checking the front units. If power is getting to the front units, I would replace any motor and pump that isn't working when it's getting power. As you trace the wiring to this stuff, check any connector you come across, disconnect it and clean it with a good electronics cleaner - and reconnect it.

If a motor or pump unit is not getting power and the fuse is good, I would suspect that the wiper control stick on the steering column is worn out (dirty?) and replace (clean?) that. I don't know if the stick is still available new like the lights/directionals control stick is ($120?). But recyclers should have them - as well as the wiper motors and washer pumps. Start looking at car-part.com and sort results by distance from your zip. Maybe you can drive there and pick stuff up. (I picked up a whole steering column with steering wheel and both control sticks here, $60 - just in case...)

Temporarily, you can try Rain-X or one of those products that claim you can drive without wipers in the rain. That stuff makes me nervous. Gotta get those wipers working.

Today I noticed that when I hit or smack my drivers door kick panel, the instrument lights act normal again. What is in the kick panel besides the fuse box? I had a 240sx, and a box was located there which controlled interior lighting. Maybe mine is starting to go bad? I can solder fairly well, maybe I can just fix it.

It would make sense that the wipers would be controlled from the box, or power that came from that box. Only problem is, none of this explains this:

This is my wiper fuse

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Old 04-06-2014, 08:58 PM   #5
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My guess is somebody has screwed around with your fuse box since 1985. Sounds to me like you have junk floating around inside the box and various circuits are being shorted or grounded out. Or you have poor connections between fuses and socket grips, all caused by somebody screwing around in there...

I would light the area up bright so you can see, ignition off, pull out every fuse, vacuum the inside of the box with high power suction and long hair brushes, then check the re-insertion of every fuse, one at a time by hand, checking that each fit is clean and tight. If the copper contacts are corroded/oxidized, you should clean them as best you can. Fine sanding... emory boards? copper cleaner on Q-tips? Figure out a way.

If a fuse socket looks bent to you, try to bend it back into correct shape/position with a fine needle nose pliers, so it's the same shape as the others and grips the fuse tight. When that is done, begin the power check up I described above. You need wipers first. The rest can follow.

The fuse in the photo doesn't look blown to me. Looks broken. If it's melted, I would still start with the above. Weird stuff in your fuse box. My guess...

Remember to report back when you get 'em working again so we know what you did. Thanks

Last edited by zxguy1986; 04-07-2014 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #6
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Update, it is now fixed.

Leaving work last night, I shut my door, and locked the door by sliding the drivers side door to LOCK. I looked over at the passenger side, It locked, unlocked, locked, unlocked again, and then finally locked. My dash lights were flashing again, so I gave the drivers side kick panel a good smack, and the dash lights returned to normal. AND... the wipers came on! AND...the washer worked!

Now, how to fix this? Sounds like there is a loose wire, or a bad ground somewhere. Roger told me to sand down my ground in the engine bay, as it's the most important one for the electronics.

By the way, since last night, the wipers and washer have worked since.
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