I’ve got a 96 Honda Civic LX. Recently the windshield wipers started acting funny – in a nutshell, I can’t get them to stop. The wipers failed in two phases:
1. Initially they would work fine if the switch was turned to “slow” or “fast”, but started acting strangely when in the "intermittent" or "off" setting. On "intermittent" or off, they would wipe 2-3 times and then "park" at the bottom of the windshield and turn off as expected. But then after a few seconds they'd jerk out of the park position and re-park a few inches up the windshield. They’d stay like that for 10 – 20 seconds, and then the pattern would repeat. I couldn’t get them to turn off permanently (could’ve pulled the fuse, but was too lazy).
2. After a few days, the behavior changed – now they won’t park at all. Now if I put the wipers on the “intermittent” or “off” setting, they just run as they do in the “slow” setting.
In reading through the forums, it’s not clear whether this problem is the wiper motor or the switch. In an attempt to do some troubleshooting, I unplugged the switch and took it out of the loop and started the car again –the wipers didn’t move at all with the switch out of the loop. When I plugged the switch back in and started the car, the wipers started up again and repeated the behavior in #2 above. I’ve seen some posts that suggest getting a new switch, and other posters think that the park mechanism in the wiper motor is bad, and that the wiper motor needs to be replaced.
Any thoughts on what I can do to narrow down the culprit? I don’t want to buy the wrong part as they are not super cheap.