Idle Time

My windshield wipers on my 2010 Ford Expediton stopped working during our last rain storm. I brought it to our local Ford garage. They ran the wipers until they stopped working (about 20 minutes), decided it was a faulty part in the steering wheel and replaced it. Several month later the wipers stopped working again briefly (doesn’t rain a lot here). I brought it to the Ford garage again. They ran my Expediton for eight plus hours in the parking lot to test the wipers. I wanted to pick my car up tonight but was told I couldn’t because the wiper blades need replacing and they need to clean what was my wiper blades off the windshield. Any idea what could be causing wiper malfunction and how bad is it to leave a vehicle idling for over eight hours?

The dumbest thing I have ever heard on the part of a garage. That’s a great way to PO an informed customer. Take your cars somewhere else. What will they do next…drive it to Florida to check the transmissions ?

Not a good idea and I hope they paid for your gas! That’s also a good way to ruin a windshield, running wipers dry. You’ll be lucky if it isn’t all scratched up.

Translation: They destroyed your windshield and needed an extra day to have it replaced…

Once your car is out of warranty, there is seldom any reason to take it back to the dealership…

Man, sorry to hear the story.
They should have online access to the Ford schematic as well as test protocols and exploded view drawings, which will show them all the conponents in the subject system as well as how to test them. Intermittant problems can be tough to find, but when the problem duplicated on your first visit to the shop they should have done diagnosis rather than guesswork.

And, if they were going to do guesswork, the relay would have been a lower risk part to replace. It’s probably in the relay box under the hood and subject to underhood heat and perhaps even corrosion. I don;t have a subscription to an online repair database (like alldata or Mitchel’s, so I can’t look your system up. But you need a better shop. Hopefully these guys didn’t create a scratch pattern on your windshield.

That seems like a somewhat “passive aggressive” action by the shop and leads me to think there may be some pressure being exerted on the mechanic who played his trump card. The pecking order and politics in dealerships can leave the customer clueless and unhappy. The flat rate schedule at dealerships is especially arcane and a gaming mentality often evolves. The mechanics make every effort to win and that makes the customer the loser, not the management.

Allowing an engine to idle all day long to check wiper operation is about as stupid as it gets and I agree that the windshield probably got scuffed up. I will add that allowing an engine to idle unsupervised could lead to major problems if a radiator cooling fan decides to not cycle on when it should.

Problems like this often put the mechanic between a rock and a hard place. Without a hard failure it either boils down to doing what they did (although I disagree with it) or randomly replacing parts.

Was the switch replacement covered under warranty or are you out mileage wise?