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Old 02-20-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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windshield wipers stop

Coming home from Death Valley in the rain my windshield wipers started slowing down then made a sound like a bird hitting the windshield then stopped completly. We limped into a truck stop and opened the gen slide for a look. I was was expecting to find air lines but they were windshield water lines. The mechanical arms were connected but the motor was hot. Tried turning all power off to reset computer ( that is my usual problem) but nothing. Finally I pushed the wipers to the outside from the stuck position and within seconds wipers started working. My guess is that drag on the windshield overheated the motor (don't know what the 'thump' was) and when the motor cooled down the wipers started again. For my own satisfaction do any of you know how the wipers work. Did they electronically reset themselves? Did my moving the wipers reingage them? Your thoughts are appreciated.

Jerry 2006 34
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jerry and toni smith View Post
Your thoughts are appreciated.
Jerry, Most of the trouble that I have had with my wipers was directly attributed to the modular connector that plugs onto the wiper motor. A poor connection there might be causing the motor to draw more amps resulting in a heat condition. I'm just sayin'

I have pulled off the connector and reseated it a number of times in rapid succession. The contacts are usually self cleaning.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Friction is either electrical or physical, i.e. bad connections or wires or motor or control, or else bad pivots, linkage, etc.

electrical connections are the easiest to check for tight fit as DriVer noted, & no corrosion, then wire condition (note his comment on multiple remakes of the connection- sometimes you can't see the interruption of the voltage; this is a great place for a voltage drop reading on a multimeter using a piercing type probe on the wires before & after a connection and with the device running- if volts drop more than maybe 0.1V then the connection is drawing current of its own & robbing the circuit). The SmartWheel module makes the output for the wipers; module is located on the inside firewall facing the passenger's feet (right next to where your entry handrail attaches to the firewall ). The motor & module control box are the last things I'd check cuz the rest of the stuff you can see and diagnose easily.

Then check the pivots on linkage, make sure the motor is properly bolted in and not binding, and that linkage isn't getting interference. If anything is physically binding then grease or rearrange it so it moves smoothly.

If you go thru all these checks and nothing seems amiss, remember the old mechanic's adage- "Its not nothing, something is causing that." Time to recheck the list. Because of the noise, its probably not the SmartWheel module, but the noise could be explained by the motor or the motor's gearbox (hope you find it before that).
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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A little off-subject, but I always use RainX on my windshield. That doesn't help you with your problem, but it will make it easier to see if/when the wipers fail. Unless in really hard rain I can drive without the wipers and see just fine.

I did have a problem with my wipers a while back, but it was a loose linkage problem, and relatively easily fixed. Just not easily fixed on the side of the road in the rain. I could wait until I got to the RV park and the rain stopped.

If your wipers stop in mid-cycle due to loss of power (key turned off for example), the next time the key is turned on they should try to return to the parked position even if the wiper switch is off. If they stop due to overheating, I would assume the same thing will happen once it cools off. That's probably a wiper motor function, not a computer or Smart Wheel function. With your year coach I assume it will have a Vansco system instead of fuses, so turning off the power and turning it back on should reset the Vansco. I leave my coach in storage with the chassis battery switched off, and when I turn it back on, the wipers often run one cycle for some reason, even if they had been properly parked before the power was turned off.

Way back when I was an engineer, one of my training classes taught us that there is no such thing as "random variation". It varies for a reason. You need to find that variable, which the instructor referred to as the "Red X", and fix or control it. The wipers failed for a reason. Sooner or later you will find out when it fails again. Probably at a very inopportune time!
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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We routinely have the "wiper stopping" and true to life (Murphy’s Law) it always happens when it’s raining so hard you get wet in 30 seconds if you have to go out and try to fix it.

When it happens to us and the wipers stay in the out position. Our solution is to only travel when it is not going to rain if possible and if not possible, we use the intermittent feature which for the most part keeps us going albeit at a slower speed.

I have not tried to "rain X" or in my case "protectall" which will put a slippery surface on the glass. I wonder if the wipers are “out of time”, and this causes the interment problem. As sometimes they work fine for hours.

I also have not checked the connections, but once it warms up here, I will go out open the slide and put some anticorrosive grease in the connection so it does not continue to happen to me if that is the reason.

FWIW – I finally did get around to fixing the front A/C unit, it have a large air gap between the cold delivery side and the air intake side. Once I closed that air gap, it seemed to work a lot better.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post

FWIW I finally did get around to fixing the front A/C unit, it have a large air gap between the cold delivery side and the air intake side. Once I closed that air gap, it seemed to work a lot better.
There was a thread probably 5 years ago on that subject. It made a big difference in the efficiency of my A/C.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
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Just to be safe, I will check the rear one, but it displays no apparent issues. Now to get the HH working better, I have a plan I think. FWIW - the worst thing that any installer can do to heat delivery lines is to put lots of kinks or bends in them. I am going to figure out a way to make those delivery lines as rigid as possible and have no more than 45 degrees of bends. A 90 degree bend is like adding 10 extra feet of air delivery line.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:49 PM   #8
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Monty- if you use the 90 sweep clips that clip onto straight PEX to form the sweep, its like a mandrel bend where the clip stays on the line (i.e. not a fitting so no edges). They shouldn't have any friction added to speak of. I think you can buy those in the plumbing dept at HD & Lowes.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:40 AM   #9
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Thanks to all who replied to my windshield wiper issue. I took thecoach to RV DR George in Sacramento (they did a great job of fixing a HWH leak on a prior visit). They ran the wipers with water sprayed on the windshield until thay could duplicate the problem. As it turned out the motor had a short in it and had gone bad. The replacement motor with gears, new wipers and labor was $438 and CSP covered all but the wipers and the deductable.

The motor which was returned to me was labled Western RV Kit# W63778, Serial No.02204 and was manufactured by Wiper Technologies by Diesel Equipment Co.-Greensboro,NC, phone 1-800-632-4958.

The wipers, also returned to me, were replaced with TRICO Heavy Duty 67-281. Dr George told me that my windshield had a film on it which they had to remove with acetone and that in the future I should not put anything on the windshield of a chemical nature. In addition the wipers had become very hard creating a significant amount of drag.

Jerry Smith 2006 34'
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:40 PM   #10
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All, we have been living with slow to no wipers since we started our trip last October. Today, they finally quit when it was snowing pretty hard, so we just had to find an exit and stop. Once I could go out, open the genslide, and listen to them run, there is something grinding in the assembly somplace. I am going to do a search of the company listed above, and see if there is any kind of installation manual, as I just think WRV botched that install as well. I have never had wiper issues in any vehicle prior to this one, and I;m old. If necessary I will pull off everything and just reassemble it with a new motor because I know mine is just about shot. I will post a detailed description when and if I can get home and get it done. Mine just are horrible, and won't hardly move now.
Here is the link to all the installation manuals: http://www.dieselequipment.com/getCategory.aspx?catID=3

Downloaded all the drawings and left a message to contact me to assist in diagnosing my issues. I figure with them asking questions, and me running the wipers, we can figure out what is wrong and get the parts from them direct.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:20 AM   #11
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Staying with the theme of this, my problem is the right wiper arm, which, at speeds over "about 45", goes to the far right and stops. The left wiper continues to function OK but I must stop the wipers, stop the Coach, get out and manually move the right assembly back to center. The wipers will then function normally until I get to "about 45".

If the wipers are used below "about 45", all seems well.

I use "about 45" because, depending on headwind, the speed at which the wiper stops at, or blows to, the far right varies.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:27 AM   #12
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windshiled wipers

Old, It's O dark 30 and we are about to fire up the coach to head to Arizona so I won't be much help but when I was having my wiper problems Emike suggested I take the plate off the gear box to see if teeth were broken. If the wipers work evenly when they do work chances are it is the motor or the attached gear box. My wipers stopped working when they ,the motor, got hot and then continued intermittently when cooled down. The gearing could account for the grinding sound. See my prior post for unit replacement details. If you are handy, which I am not, I think this unit would not be that hard to replace.

Jerry 06 34 Alpine
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:33 AM   #13
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I hear a grinding noise, and I don't know if it's the gears or not. I am going to take a look at them today, and see if loosening the front hold down brackets a little will take some strain out of them. They also seem to be out of time, if that is the proper description? Problem is, the windshield needs to be wet, and if you wet it down, then as the water goes to the bottom, it drips all over the person working on the wipers, guess i'm in for a bath.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:59 AM   #14
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The wiper arms have a soft metal, splined insert that the large center bolt goes through. If the wiper arms get out of sync with each other, they may be slipping at this connection. You could try tightning this bolt. If not, this insert will have to be replaced. The wiper motor also has a splined insert at the connection to the connecting arms. If this slips, the connecting arms may move slow or erratic but the wipers will stay in sync with each other. These inserts should be available from a distributor that sells wiper arms and accessories. You might try Diesel Equipment Company.
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