There are thousands of individual parts on a typical car, and most of them can play up from time to time. However, nothing will stop your vehicle in its tracks on a rainy day as quickly as a failed wiper motor. If you've got issues with this device, you will need to get to the bottom of them as quickly as possible so that you can splash your way to your next appointment. What could be going wrong here?
Under the Skin
A wiper motor is far from a simple mechanism that's designed to move the wiper blade from one side to another. It has a number of additional electronic devices that can vary the wipers' speed, cause them to move intermittently and park them in a certain position. Each system is different depending on the manufacturer's configuration, but the motor is at the centre of the action.
The motor mechanism is typically found next to the bulkhead underneath the bonnet. It's carefully sealed to avoid infiltration, but tiny particles of debris can sometimes make their way inside. Should this happen, it can slow down the speed at which the blades move, and you will need to get the device repaired.
Occasionally, the blades seem to have their own mind and will not park in the proper position at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes this is due to the linkage and can be easily rectified by spraying a loosening agent under the pivots. Occasionally, the bolt that secures the linkage has worked loose, and you may simply need to tighten that up.
Inside the motor is a semicircular device with individual "spikes." The wiper blades will move along this track to the appropriate spike, which should help them retreat correctly. However, you may need to look more closely at this tracking mechanism to see if the spikes need to be cleaned. If there's any debris here, it can certainly cause an issue.
Failing to Move
If the wiper blades are not moving at all, what happens when you turn on the switch? If nothing at all, you may need to replace a blown fuse. If you can't hear the motor working even after replacing the fuse, you will need to call in a mechanic. The motor could be damaged, or you may also have an issue with a sensor or relay.
Over to the Professionals
If you can't fix the issue simply, you need to hand the job over to the professionals. They have the knowledge and tools to test each system and make repairs accordingly. For more information, contact a mechanic near you.