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 Wiper switch problem 96 RMW

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HoosierDaddy



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Join date : 2014-12-28

PostSubject: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:58 am

Hi fellows. I'm having a intermittent problem with my windshield wipers. Sometimes I'll try to turn the wipers on and I get no response. But when I push the washer function they'll start working. After that they seem to work fine by just turning the wiper switch. I think the switch might be dirty inside but I'm not sure how to proceed.
Thanks
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71novaguy



Posts : 233
Join date : 2014-01-14

PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:55 am

I am having the same issue. Thought maybe it was the wiper motor control, replaced it and no change. I would say go with the switch replacement.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:30 am

95% of the time it is the wiper control module on the motor. If you swap it out with a donor unit, and there is no change, you may have a bad donor wiper control module. If you bought a new one, then I would try the switch. The switch is in the column, and you will have to remove the tumbler bezel. The multifunction switch is mounted on the bezel with a pressed in pin. It has a cable that runs down the column along the bottom with all the other wires. You are getting rather deep into the column when replacing the multifunction switch, so keep track of the parts and disassembly.

You should check the operation of the switch at its connector before attempting to replace it.

With the description you have given, I would replace the control module first. If that does fix it then go to the switch, and test it.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:46 am

If I priced the right part its runs $45 bucks. Sound about right,Fred?
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:48 am

Not finding the module,just the whole motor. ???
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:13 pm

The module is the black plastic cover on the wiper motor assembly. I have some for a special price. $25 shipped.
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HoosierDaddy



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:11 pm

Fred,
So you're saying there's a separate switch down inside the column and the multi function lever controls that? I really need to get a set of FSM's. My Corvairs use a setup like that although I'm sure it's not as complicated.

I just found this post about dismantling the multi function lever to clean the CC switch. I was hoping I'd be able to clean the wiper switch this same way.

http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t6945-cruise-control-switch-not-working-here-s-a-fix?highlight=clean++wiper++switch

If it's as much work to get to the switch as you're telling me I might just try the module first. Although I usually try to fix or test things first instead of just replacing parts and hoping it cures the problem.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:25 pm

No, the wiper switch is at the base of the multifunction lever. The headlight dimmer switch is further down the column, and is activated by an arm between the switch, and the activation rod. You do not have to mess with the dimmer switch. You should check for the correct function of the switch before digging into the column. The switch may be fine, and it may just be the control module. I would switch the module before doing anything else. It is by far the easiest part to replace.
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autoarcheologist

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Join date : 2014-08-22
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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:22 am

Swapping modules is pretty much a $15 minute job. I grabbed a spare last time I was at the yard, but swapping them solved my intermittent wiper issue. If Fred runs out I have one for the same price. But buy Fred's.
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71novaguy



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Join date : 2014-01-14

PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:07 pm

maybe we have slightly different symptoms then. On mine, if I turn then on to intermittent wipe, usually they don't do anything. Maybe jerk up for a second, but stop. If I wiggle the turn stalk, usually they turn on and work fine the rest of the time.
If I go straight to low or high function, they always seem to turn on.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:41 pm

It is difficult to determine exactly what is wrong with your wipers over the internet. You will have to do a little more trouble shooting. If you replace the module, and it continues to malfunction, then it is probably the multifunction switch at the base of the turn signal lever.
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autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:23 pm

Our intermittent feature was totally dead and came back with a new module. We still have a wonky switch, sometimes you have to give it a little love to get it to stop and park. So I likely need a switch as well.

I would also suggest swapping the module, it's super easy.
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scoffman

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:10 am

Does your cruise control act up too? If so take the stalk off and clean it, it should help cure what ales ya. Fix ya Stalk Man
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buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:19 pm

To clean the switch contacts, try to find a product called "DeOxit". Expensive, but works very well. Usually found at electronic supply stores.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:45 pm

The multifunction switch is a sealed unit, and the contacts can not be cleaned.
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HoosierDaddy



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:43 am

My wiper situation started becoming more frequent so I finally did something about it. I found another wiper module from a 96 Caprice in the junkyard. Of course it didn't work all week so right before I swapped it out I turned on the switch and it worked. The new one worked too. Several days later I turned on the wipers and it's back to its old tricks. So is it safe to assume that the problem is in the switch inside the column?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:34 pm

If you can use the wash function, the switch in the column is probably fine (the wipers will cycle). You can also rotate the entire stalk toward you to cycle the wipers until you release it. If these do not work, then it could be the switch in the column.

The switch inside the column works the manual function, and washer that cycles the wipers 3X. The stalk has the switch that controls the wipers in the on and variable mode.

There is possibly a wire broken in the column as well. You need to get your VOM out and check the contacts before you start tearing the column apart.
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HoosierDaddy



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:02 pm

The problem is definitely intermittent and seems to be temperature related. It was acting up last winter and lately, but not so much this summer. Sometimes holding the wiper wash button down for several seconds will get it going, then they'll turn on with the regular switch afterwards. Sometimes nothing gets them going. Sometimes when I can't get them going I'll be driving along and use the turn signal and the wipers will briefly come off their stops a few inches then return to park and work fine with the switch afterwards. Sure seems like something is loose, frayed, or dirty.

I'm no stranger to a multi-meter, but I don't know which wires to start checking. Anyone know of an online wiring schematic?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:38 pm

There is one in the back of the Haynes manual.

The connector for the multifunction lever is under the removable panel on the column behind the base of the lever. You could try another multifunction lever. They are easy to remove. Unplug the small connector, make sure the lever is in the off position, and pull. You can get replacements at your local parts store in the "HELPS" section.
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HoosierDaddy



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:17 pm

Thanks for the help Fred. Dorman HELP! offers the multifunction switch for our cars but only without cruise control. Standard Motor Products offers the correct switch DS1271. Best price online is about $115. I have no problem paying that price for a new switch provided it actually fixes the problem. Might get a used one to test. 94-6 B bodies and 94-02 F bodies interchange so they shouldn't be too hard to find a useable one. Though it'll likely have more miles on it that the one I already have.

On the bright side I now have a good wiper module spare.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:17 pm

I believe that all of the B-body MF arms are interchangeable.
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:54 am

I continue to have a problem that has plagued me for the last two years that none of you have described. All the functions of the multi function switch work (cruise, wipe, delay, turn signal), and may work fine for many months. Then, unrelated to weather, or time of year, or temp outside, the wiper fuse blows when I try to turn on the wiper. Sometimes it will blow 5-6 fuses in a row-put in a new one, hit the switch, and boom, it blows instantly. Then, resumes working again. When it first did this I replaced the motor with a rebuild from NAPA (it was cheap and easy, and the insides looked gross). It is extremely frustrating, and one of the reasons my wife wants to get another car.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:56 am

Mark 96 Roady wrote:
I continue to have a problem that has plagued me for the last two years that none of you have described.  All the functions of the multi function switch work (cruise, wipe, delay, turn signal), and may work fine for many months. Then, unrelated to weather, or time of year, or temp outside, the wiper fuse blows when I try to turn on the wiper. Sometimes it will blow 5-6 fuses in a row-put in a new one, hit the switch, and boom, it blows instantly. Then, resumes working again. When it first did this I replaced the motor with a rebuild from NAPA (it was cheap and easy, and the insides looked gross). It is extremely frustrating, and one of the reasons my wife wants to get another car.

You may have a wire that has the insulation worn through. If it touches somewhere, it will cause the fuse to blow. It can move with vibrations, and make sporadic contact. Problems like this are difficult to trace. If you move the wires while troubleshooting, the problem disappears. You almost have to locate the wire, and trace it everywhere it goes, looking for worn spots. It could even be the hot side of the fuse holder contact. It could be loose in the fuse block, and move when you insert the fuse. You might get "lucky", and move it the to the "right" position when inserting the fuse, occasionally. Tough to troubleshoot.
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:11 pm

Fred, you make an interesting point about the fuse block. It seems a little wobbley. I'll play with it a little to see if the fuse holder itself, as you suggest, could be a problem. Thanks.
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HoosierDaddy



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PostSubject: Re: Wiper switch problem 96 RMW   Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:34 am

Wanted to update this old thread. After replacing control boards and testing the motor I found the problem was the turn signal switch itself. I had the little turn lever cover off the column and could see that the switch has a few layers of material riveted together. When I squeezed those layers together it would start working again. Fred is right that the switch is pretty deep in column, so rather taking a chance on trying to repair the switch I just replaced it with a new one. Works perfectly now. BTW, the signal lever (not the switch) on my 96 is the exact same as a mid 90's F body (Camaro/Firebird).
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