1988 Volvo 240 Wagon - windshield wipers won't stop


So my 88 Volvo is a great car, regular maintenance, just replaced the radiator and the muffler, etc. but now all of a sudden the wipers won’t shut off! Most of the time they run at the same speed no matter where you have the lever, eventually they will settle into a normal rhythm, depending on where the setting is, and usually after about 20 minutes of driving they will stop when in off position. sometimes.

I removed the fuse for now…so at least we can drive without going crazy

We took the beast in, and were told that we had to replace the wiper motor to the tune of $300! No way says I! I’d done a small amount of research online, and it seems like the issue is in the timing or the wiring. I did take the plate off the main gear function, cleaned the copper grounding plate as suggested, but to no avail.

The question is…do I REALLY need to replace the wiper motor? they are saying that the motor isn’t recognizing when the wipers are in the off position, and it just needs to be replaced. I disagree! (but I’m about good for checking the oil and paying for gas!)

Thank you!

A little more info… I finally got to take a look t the quote for repair my wife brought home…

They are quoting a remanufactured wiper motor and transmission w/o pump (OEM part 43-1901) will cost 236.00! I just looked online and found that part, but listed for the 88 Volvo 244 DL for $87!

So I suppose if the answer is that it needs replaced…

  1. Is it easy to do myself?
  2. Can I use the part for the 244 on a 240?

Have you ruled out a switch problem? I see you looked at the grounding issue, but you can easily rule out the switch as the problem with a test light or multimeter. Just probe the connections to the wiper motor to make sure the switch is not sending power to the motor when the switch is off. Be careful, though. There is one constant power lead to the wiper motor that is used to allow the motor to return to the parked position. If the switch checks out fine, there is most likely an internal fault allowing the constant power circuit to keep running the wipers with the switch off.

To answer the questions, yes, you can replace this motor yourself. Some of these units are a pain to access and a real pain to remove, but it can be done with simple hand tools. I recommend at least a metric socket and ratchet set and combination wrenches. But, no, I don’t think the part for the 244 will fit the 240 without modifications. I just checked a parts source I use, and they don’t list a wiper motor for the 240, but do for the 244. If the parts were interchangeable, they would list the same part for your 240. I would caution you not to buy the part and try to make it fit, because it may not be feasible to hack it into the correct spot.

Another suggestion. Can you remove the cover on the wiper motor in your car? I had an old car that refused to park the wipers when I turned off the wipers. I was able to remove the cover and expose the internal electrical contacts to clean them up and get them working right again. I believe the circuit responsible for your problem is in the switch used to park the blades when you turn off the wipers. It may be possible to fix the switch or circuit inside the unit if you can get the cover off.

Another word of caution: If the wiper arm connection is not indexed, it would be wise to mark the location of the wiper arm to the wiper motor shaft before you remove the arm. This is in case you need to remove the motor unit from the car. It is a pain to have to remove the unit to adjust the arm to find the correct parking position for the blades.

Thank you!

It is really easy to access the wiper transmission and motor, so I’ll get back in there, make sure everthing is clean and test the connections.

One other thought I had, one of the wipers bolts came loose recently, and it’s happened before, so I just tightened it back. Now I’m wondering if I tightened while the wiper was in the wrong position! Another thing to check.

Apparently Volvo’s numbering system is all cars then were 240, then the last digit was the number of doors, i.e. 244 was sedan, 245 was wagon. go figure. :slight_smile: