Why the heck are my windshield wipers doing this?

2011 VW Jetta. Just started doing this a few days ago… so as soon as I turn the key in the ignition, my windshield wipers go up like a foot. Every time I start the car I have to get out and push them down. Incredibly annoying. Also, when I turn the wipers on, and then off, they do the same thing and move back up. So if I were to be driving and it rained for a minute, I turned them on and then off, then they will go up and be an obstruction of my driving view!

Any ideas?

Quick 5 second video to show you:

There’s a switch in that mechanism that tells the wiper controller where the wipers are positioned. Most likely either that switch has failed, or the controller has failed. You might could get lucky by disconnecting the battery overnight, which will reset all the computers and electronics, including the one that controls the wipers. But my guess is something needs fixing or replacing.

What do you mean by the mechanism? Is it something in the windshield wiper motor?

I might look into maybe disconnecting the battery overnight this weekend. Worth a shot I suppose. I am just hesitant in disconnecting the battery because if it resets the ECU doesn’t my car potentially have to relearn everything?

You probably need a new wiper motor assy… the encoder inside of yours is failing and doesn’t know where “home” is anymore.

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There’s a position sensor/switch that’s part of the wiper motor assembly.
It could be twisted or shifted out of position, so the wipers “park” in the wrong place.

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If the wipers were stuck under heavy snow or frozen into place during a cold snap, it’s possible the position sensor was screwed up then. Just a guess.

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Can someone address this because I don’t think disconnecting the battery will solve this problem .

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Think maybe just disconnecting the wiper motor overnight might help?

And to clarify, the person above mentioned about if the wipers were stuck under heavy snow or frozen it might have contributed and messed up the position sensor. Yes, the morning it started happening we had a weird freeze in the morning. Wondering if a disconnect of the motor might snap them out of it?

I doubt it.

yeah, I don’t see that helping anything.

Some wipers you can remove and reposition, would that be an option?

You could go ahead and remove either batt cable, yes some things in modern vehicles don’t exactly “like” this sort of thing, but they recover, try it if it makes you feel better. IMHO, it more than likely wont help, as there is no logic on the vehicles ecu that deals with the wipers…its an internal problem in the encoder in the wiper motor assy… Replace it.

It’s definitely possible that disconnecting the battery will cause re-learning problems. In some reports here the poster’s engine wouldn’t even start after a battery disconnection/reconnection. But that seems very unlikely on a 2011 Jetta. If there is any effect, it will probably be related to the radio, and maybe that the engine won’t purr quite as nicely for the first few miles of driving. Like everything else in life, there’s both potential benefits, and potential pitfalls. It’s a crap shoot. I’d try it before replacing the ww wiper motor myself. But I bet on single numbers in roulette sometimes too.

My guess is that the night before this happened, you were using the wipers. You turned the ignition switch off but didn’t turn the wiper switch off so that the wiper blades stopped in a position other than the normal park position. Then, with the freezing temperature, the wiper blades froze on the windshield. The next morning, you turned the wiper switch off, or you turned the switch off the evening before after turning off the engine. The next day with the wiper blades frozen to the windshield, as soon as you turned on the ignition, the wipers tried to go into the normal park position but couldn’t. This damaged the wiper motor. I think a new wiper motor is the answer. The same thing happened to us on a Ford Taurus. One should always turn the wiper switch off and let the wipers park before turning off the ignition.