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Windshield wipers stop in "up" position

Hello everyone,

I drive a 2002 Opel Corsa and am completely clueless when it comes to anything beyond changing oil and tires… I would really appreciate some help.

My windshield wipers have suddenly begun to stop their movement in the top position instead of at the bottom, thereby getting in the way of driving. The wiping function still works perfectly, so it doesn’t seem to be a motor issue. The wipers just stop in the wrong position when turned off.

I happened to be at the garage for something else, and the guy there said that he would just have to replace the motor, but to try to to find a used part somewhere so that it wouldn’t cost a lot. I think it seems silly to replace the motor for something that seems simple.

Anybody know how to reset the default of the wipers? Is there a way to just remove the blades and change the position or something?

Thank you.

There is what is called an “Encoder” or something similar inside the wiper motor. If and when it goes bad or is unable to read properly…it no longer knows where “home” is… The only way I have ever repaired this issue is to replace the entire wiper motor assy. Perhaps Ebay has replacements.

If you are able to see the wiper motor on the firewall…it may be beneficial to simply unplug and re plug in the wires going to this unit. It may solve the problem…if it doesnt AND you are not able to grab the wipers and move them with your hand…its the motor. If you are able to grab one of the wipers and actually MOVE them anywhere…its the linkage and or that particular wiper drive nub.


You should be able to remove the wiper arms from the shafts and reposition them back at the bottom stow position. The trouble may happen again though.

Since UP is in the middle of the wiper and encoder stroke…its bound to occur again. Or worse keep going off the car or something… LOL


Stop overthinking this. You need a wiper motor.
You cannot reposition the arms. They will wipe past the glass or onto the hood which will break the arms, motor or linkage.
Also the arms are a spline fit. one way on.

Replace the wiper motor.

You almost certainly need a new wiper motor. Not necessarily b/c the motor itself is bad, but b/c the motor contains the gizmos that does the blade parking function too. It’s like a starter motor. Rarely does the motor part of the starter motor fail. Instead it is the solenoid contacts. But those are part of the motor ass’y so replacing the starter motor is the solution still. The only other idea I can think of, on some cars there’s a wiper controller, an electronic module, which can also cause this symptom.

Here’s the bottom line. If you trust your shop and they say you need a replacement motor, that’s almost certainly what you need.

Thank you all very much for the advice. I guess I will be trying to replace the wiper motor.

If the screw holding the crank on the slotted drive is loose the crank can jump 180* and result in the wipers stopping at the top. But if that screw is tight it is very likely that the motor needs replacing.