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Thread: Annoying wiper problem

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Annoying wiper problem

    Well, looks like I've got a job to do!

    There's something wrong with the windhsield wipers on my '98 Nissan Frontier. They "skip" and "hang up" and sometimes stop working mid-cycle. But it's not the motor, which you can hear audibly. Wish I were that lucky. What it seems to be - based on the symptoms - is damage to the studs that the wiper arms press onto. I suspect they are worn/damaged to the point that the arms are no longer firmly affixed so that the torque of the wiper motor overcomes what's left of the press-in attachment point, allowing the studs to rotate but not the wiper arms. I haven't dug into it yet, but this might be a big job. Gotta deal with it, though, because not having wipers and getting caught in the rain well and truly sucks.

    Thank Elvis for press cars!

  2. #2
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    There's also a contact rotor attached to the motor which tells the system when the wipers are in the parked position.
    It could be that a lot of crud has built up in that area, or that it's what has come loose from the motor shaft.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  3. #3
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Well, looks like I've got a job to do!

    There's something wrong with the windhsield wipers on my '98 Nissan Frontier. They "skip" and "hang up" and sometimes stop working mid-cycle. But it's not the motor, which you can hear audibly. Wish I were that lucky. What it seems to be - based on the symptoms - is damage to the studs that the wiper arms press onto. I suspect they are worn/damaged to the point that the arms are no longer firmly affixed so that the torque of the wiper motor overcomes what's left of the press-in attachment point, allowing the studs to rotate but not the wiper arms. I haven't dug into it yet, but this might be a big job. Gotta deal with it, though, because not having wipers and getting caught in the rain well and truly sucks.

    Thank Elvis for press cars!

    Usually, a problem like this is either in the ground or the switch. Especially if you have the "smart " switch on the turn signal stalk. These get a lot of wear when you use the turn signals anyway. I've got a Lincoln that needs a new switch for the same reason. The wipers will stick and when you jiggle the switch, they continue on. This is only on intermittant operation though. Regular high and low work just fine.
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  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Well, looks like I've got a job to do!

    There's something wrong with the windhsield wipers on my '98 Nissan Frontier. They "skip" and "hang up" and sometimes stop working mid-cycle. But it's not the motor, which you can hear audibly. Wish I were that lucky. What it seems to be - based on the symptoms - is damage to the studs that the wiper arms press onto. I suspect they are worn/damaged to the point that the arms are no longer firmly affixed so that the torque of the wiper motor overcomes what's left of the press-in attachment point, allowing the studs to rotate but not the wiper arms. I haven't dug into it yet, but this might be a big job. Gotta deal with it, though, because not having wipers and getting caught in the rain well and truly sucks.

    Thank Elvis for press cars!

    Usually, a problem like this is either in the ground or the switch. Especially if you have the "smart " switch on the turn signal stalk. These get a lot of wear when you use the turn signals anyway. I've got a Lincoln that needs a new switch for the same reason. The wipers will stick and when you jiggle the switch, they continue on. This is only on intermittant operation though. Regular high and low work just fine.
    Gonna dig into it today, after my run.

    Will report back what I find!

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Well, looks like I've got a job to do!

    There's something wrong with the windhsield wipers on my '98 Nissan Frontier. They "skip" and "hang up" and sometimes stop working mid-cycle. But it's not the motor, which you can hear audibly. Wish I were that lucky. What it seems to be - based on the symptoms - is damage to the studs that the wiper arms press onto. I suspect they are worn/damaged to the point that the arms are no longer firmly affixed so that the torque of the wiper motor overcomes what's left of the press-in attachment point, allowing the studs to rotate but not the wiper arms. I haven't dug into it yet, but this might be a big job. Gotta deal with it, though, because not having wipers and getting caught in the rain well and truly sucks.

    Thank Elvis for press cars!

    Usually, a problem like this is either in the ground or the switch. Especially if you have the "smart " switch on the turn signal stalk. These get a lot of wear when you use the turn signals anyway. I've got a Lincoln that needs a new switch for the same reason. The wipers will stick and when you jiggle the switch, they continue on. This is only on intermittant operation though. Regular high and low work just fine.
    Got lucky!

    It was just the motor. The shaft was worn, allowing the arm to slip. Popped in a new one and good to go!

  6. #6
    DonTom
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    "It was just the motor. The shaft was worn, allowing the arm to slip. Popped in a new one and good to go!"

    Not bad for a technophobe! ;D

    -Don-

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "It was just the motor. The shaft was worn, allowing the arm to slip. Popped in a new one and good to go!"

    Not bad for a technophobe! ;D

    -Don-
    No damn computer was involved!

  8. #8
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "It was just the motor. The shaft was worn, allowing the arm to slip. Popped in a new one and good to go!"

    Not bad for a technophobe! ;D

    -Don-
    No damn computer was involved!

    I don't really trust exceedingly complex vehicles. Tonight I was coming home after a rain,snow,sleet, freezing rain storm. It started yesterday and ended today. I'm bopping along at 30 in a 60 zone since I can see the glare of black ice on the road. All these cars with projector headlights were passing me. A co-worker who always has the newest and most sophisticated cars makes fun of my old 4X4 truck. He'll be buying a new one as I caught up with him as the police were pulling up to his truck. It was laying in the median on it's side. ABS and traction control are good but I don't trust them as they tend to make you over drive the vehicle and conditions. I've got manual lock outs and a lever to go into and out of 4 wheel drive. My solid axle truck has also plowed through 24 inches of snow with nary a whimper. Projector healights in my experience don't show black ice very well. The extra goodies on cars today just make drivers go too fast for conditions.
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  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    "The extra goodies on cars today just make drivers go too fast for conditions. "

    I agree. Add to the mix that skill levels are on the decline; it's a vicious circle. Instead of inculcating skills, cars are idiot proofed. Which encourages more idiotic driving - and dumbs down the driver pool!

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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch
    ABS and traction control are good but I don't trust them as they tend to make you over drive the vehicle and conditions.
    I think I'd have to agree with you, although personally I regard the intervention of ABS, VDC, ASR or any such acronym as an indication that I'm not driving within the limitations of the vehicle & conditions & that I should slow down. Just like seat belts, really - I always wear one, but have no intention of using for its real purpose!

    Maybe my driving instructor taught me well! As part of the UK driving test we have to do an 'emergency stop' - the tester will give a prearranged signal at which the driver under test has to stop as though a child had run out in front of the car, or some such similar emergency. My instructor said that he would teach me emergency stops as it was required for the test, but that if I ever, in real life, had to do such a stop, I should consider it a failure on my part to anticipate the actions of other road users.

  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    "as they tend to make you over drive the vehicle and conditions. "

    Only the idiots. The stuff is only safer when you drive normally, just as if you did not have all that safety junk, except for the fact you don't pump ABS brakes.

    -Don-

  12. #12
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "The extra goodies on cars today just make drivers go too fast for conditions. "

    I agree. Add to the mix that skill levels are on the decline; it's a vicious circle. Instead of inculcating skills, cars are idiot proofed. Which encourages more idiotic driving - and dumbs down the driver pool!

    Nothing is fool proof to a talented fool
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  13. #13
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I agree. Add to the mix that skill levels are on the decline; it's a vicious circle. Instead of inculcating skills, cars are idiot proofed. Which encourages more idiotic driving - and dumbs down the driver pool!
    Wrong analogy. They aren't idiot proofed, they are idiot nurturing.


  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I agree. Add to the mix that skill levels are on the decline; it's a vicious circle. Instead of inculcating skills, cars are idiot proofed. Which encourages more idiotic driving - and dumbs down the driver pool!
    Wrong analogy. They aren't idiot proofed, they are idiot nurturing.

    I like that; well-said!

  15. #15
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Any news on the wipers? I need closure.

  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Any news on the wipers? I need closure.
    Yes - good news!

    Once I got everything taken apart, I discovered the problem was the electric motor. The shaft was worn and "slipping" internally. I assumed initially that because the wiper appeared (by sound) to be operarting normally that the problem was going to be a worn linkage/stud - but I lucked out. $80-something bucks for a new motor and I am back in bidness.

    Side note: Nissan engineers are a thoughtful bunch. Service on this truck has been (so far) remarkably user-friendly. For instance, the wiper arms are not held in place by some complicated mechanism that needs a special tool to remove them. Just pop off a plastic weather cover and you've accessed a 12 mm nut; remove it - and pop the arms right off. Then remove the plastic weather cover that's on top of the cowl; about six "press-in/pop out" fittings secure it - so you don't even need tools to get it off. The wiper motor's shaft connects to the linkage eccentric with a single 12 mm bolt that is very easy to get to. Next, remove the 5 bolts that hold the motor to the firewall (it's right there/readily accessible), disconnect the single plug-in electrical connection - and you've got the old motor out. Putting in the new motor and buttoning everything up took maybe 10 minutes.

    I really like this little truck!

  17. #17
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Any news on the wipers? I need closure.
    .............. the wiper arms are not held in place by some complicated mechanism that needs a special tool to remove them. Just pop off a plastic weather cover and you've accessed a 12 mm nut; remove it - and pop the arms right off. Then remove the plastic weather cover that's on top of the cowl; about six "press-in/pop out" fittings secure it - so you don't even need tools to get it off. The wiper motor's shaft connects to the linkage eccentric with a single 12 mm bolt that is very easy to get to. Next, remove the 5 bolts that hold the motor to the firewall (it's right there/readily accessible), disconnect the single plug-in electrical connection - and you've got the old motor out. Putting in the new motor and buttoning everything up took maybe 10 minutes.

    I really like this little truck!
    Wasn't it Colin Chapman who said the secret of successful design was to 'add lightness and simplify.'?

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  18. #18
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Annoying wiper problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Any news on the wipers? I need closure.
    .............. the wiper arms are not held in place by some complicated mechanism that needs a special tool to remove them. Just pop off a plastic weather cover and you've accessed a 12 mm nut; remove it - and pop the arms right off. Then remove the plastic weather cover that's on top of the cowl; about six "press-in/pop out" fittings secure it - so you don't even need tools to get it off. The wiper motor's shaft connects to the linkage eccentric with a single 12 mm bolt that is very easy to get to. Next, remove the 5 bolts that hold the motor to the firewall (it's right there/readily accessible), disconnect the single plug-in electrical connection - and you've got the old motor out. Putting in the new motor and buttoning everything up took maybe 10 minutes.

    I really like this little truck!
    Wasn't it Colin Chapman who said the secret of successful design was to 'add lightness and simplify.'?

    Ken.

    I like the engineering maxim, K.I.S.S. "Keep It Simple and Stupid". My uncle was career Air Force and he told me the bombers and fighters are designed by guys with Masters and Doctorate degrees. Built by folks with Bachelor degrees and maintained by people with high school diplomas. BMW for instance has a lot of features built into their cars. Down the road a few years though and those features tend to not work together as well as when they were new. I like manual transmission and crank windows for that reason.
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