Wipers wipe when I don't want them to



I have a '98 honda civic. Recently, my wipers started wiping when I hit a bump in the road. They will sometimes activate and go halfway and freeze, or other times do one or two full wipes. When I turn the wiper switch they still work correctly. I would like to do this myself (with a car savy friend’s help). Any ideas?


There is a switch on the wiper motor that tells the motor that the blades are in their rest position. When the switch doesn’t make, the motor operates until the wipers are at rest, this is so they return to the rest position after you turn off the switch. I’m guessing its that switch.


I think the problem is not in the “park” switch on the motor, but rather in the wiper control switch or in the wiper motor relay if there is one. Much less likely would be an intermittent short in the wiring harness, connecting the the switched line to its other end (+12 or ground, however they do it).

Just as a check, if you turn the wipers on and then quickly turn them off (before they reach the top of their arc), do the stay where they are, or do they finish the cycle and “park”. If they stay where they are, then your problem is almost certainly something intermnittently turning the wipers on.


Thank you for the replies! I cannot get the wipers to freeze halfway on my own. I flip the switch on then off and it always does a full sweep, then parks. However, as I mentioned, when I hit bumps, it will often go halfway and freeze in my field of vision. I then have to flip the switch to make it sweep and park.


I wasn’t signed in I guess. That last message was from me, the original poster. I do hope this is something I might be able to fix myself. How easy or complicated will it be?


I had this trouble. The failure was in the combination turn signal/headlight dimmer/wiper control lever. The mist switch was triggering by itself.

They put too much into one control


Mine aren’t all on one lever. The turn signal/headlights are on the left of steering and the wiper lever is on the right.


Mine aren’t all on one lever. The turn signal/headlights are on the left of steering and the wiper lever is on the right.


Because you cannot get the wipers to stop mid-way with the main switch, I think I was wrong (apologies to keith). Obviously, the bump is moving something that shorts the switch circuits (main control switch and cycle/park switch on motor are in parallel). But what short circuit would get power to the motor AND cause the cyle/park switch not to work??? Likely something in the cycle/park switch itself, but hard to say w/o knowing what it looks like. I’m thinking it would have to be something like a contact partly loose, getting bumped over to close the circuit intermittently, but not coming back to its proper position, and so not doing its cycle completion thing. And then when you turn on the wiper switch the motor runs a little further and the loose part falls back in place. Hard to believe, but it’s hard to predict what will happen when internal parts of switches start floating around.

Take a look at the wiper motor. Maybe you can remove the switch without pulling the whole motor (sometimes the switch is in a separable control module on the motor). If it is bad, and if you cannot buy a new switch/module without the whole motor, maybe you can find a replacement switch/module in a salvage yard. (And if you have to replace the whole motor, a salvage yard would be a cheaper source.)