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Bizarre wiper symptoms

I have a 1987 Nissan Pulsar NX with odd wiper behavior. Sometimes the wipers work for a few minutes to a few days at a time, other times they won’t turn on at all. They seem to work best when it’s not raining. And sometimes I’ll turn them on (just to see if they work today), get no response, turn them off again, drive for a few minutes and the wipers will suddenly give two or three swipes - with the switch still off!

Since we’ve replaced the wiper linkage and the wiper motor, all that’s left to replace is the wiper switch, but that is proving to be much more complicated than expected.

No one has parts for this car. My mechanic tells me to go buy the parts on Ebay or online, bring them to him and he’ll install them. I was able to locate the wiper motor and linkage, but I can’t find a switch anywhere. My questions:

  1. Does this sound like a switch problem?
  2. Anyone have any leads on a switch for this car? I don’t want to buy one in a junkyard, as it will probably be as old and worn out as the one I’m replacing.


For a car that old (25 years), I would bypass the Nissan switch and replace it with a switch from RadioShack. You would have to drill a hole in the dash somewhere to mount it, but WTH. Run 12 V through an in-line fuse (also from RadioShack) directly to the switch and then out to the wiper motor. To make a multiple speed wiper, use a stepper switch in place of the simple on-off switch along with some resistors (again, switch and resistors from RadioShack).

That is what I would do.

They sell the wiper switch for your vehicle here. But I don’t think you’ll like the price.


Were the '87 Pulsars vacuum operated wiper systems by any chance? I know it’s an outside guess, but I had to ask.

Mechaniker, that may be what it comes down to, but I’m not a tool using mammal, so I’d need to find someone to do it for me.

Tester, you are right, that’s almost what I paid for the car! The places that don’t have my switch typically price it at $80-$100 (which is not very relevant if they don’t have it; I’d sell you something I don’t have for $100 too…)

Mountainbike, no… I had to google that one; the ast ones were around 1972.

Someone on Ebay clams to have 3 switches in stock at under $100 each. I’ve had two Ebay sellers cancel on me, though.