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Old 11-08-2009, 01:10 PM   #1
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Wiper/smartwheel problem

On my 2003 Alpine, when I push the washer button on the steering wheel the wipers work 3 times; but, the squirter doesn't work. (When I apply 12v directly to the squirter motor on the washer fluid reservoir it does work.) When I push the hi/low button the wipers only work as long as I keep pushing on the button. The off button never did work without a lot of extra pushes. The clearance light button works. I just returned from a trip and the cruise side was working fine. Of course, the wipers were working fine on the trip too.

I've read the VIP trouble shooting guide and find it confusing, to say the least. I didn't pull the wire plugs from the master controller because I don't think I am flexible enough to be able to get them back in to the correct place. I have pushed and pulled every wire I could find that might be related to the smartwheel or wipers and am now out of ideas.

Has anyone had a similar problem? How did you solve it?
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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Our washer doesn't work. There is a problem with the 'black box' where everything from the SmartWheel feeds in and then goes out. We had the horn go and had to wire around the 'black box' so we could pass the state inspection. Wish I had a good answer for you. We tried to find a new 'black box' but were told it was WRV proprietary design and even though the company is out of business they can't do anything for us. So someday we will have to find a replacement when something else goes out that comes through that 'black box'.

Barb
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. Although it's not good news, at least I know I'd better start thinking of a workaround.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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Try holding the washer button down continiously, Works for me.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:04 PM   #5
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R&C make an interesting point; mine takes a while to pump fluid and I have to keep the button down or else the wipers go a few cycles but no clean juice flows. If I hold it down I can get a bunch of blue water on the window (I hope its not like the blue water on an airplane).
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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Thanks. I've always had to do that. Now even that doesn't work. Plus the hi/low only works if I hold it down. The guy at VIP, the SmartWheel people, says it sounds like a bad connection. Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow? I wonder what people who don't own motorhomes do with all their spare time?
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'll mess with it again tomorrow.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Wiper/Smart Wheel problem

Something simple to try. Try telescoping the steering wheel up and down several times. It may clear up the problems.....worked for me.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:06 PM   #9
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Problem Solved

My squirters now work. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. This afternoon I was trying some of them & noticed an orphan wire up by the Master Control Unit. After unbolting the unit from the firewall so I could get to the onnector area, I found that J5 didn't have a wire connected. The Smartwheel Troubleshooting Guide shows J5 works the squirter. Voila. No idea how the wire came loose.
As far as the wipers ("hi/low") I was testing them with the ignition off. Although they sort of work with it off, they don't work correctly unless the ignition is on.
Thanks to Dan at VIP technical support. I told him my wipers wouldn't work unless I held the hi/low button down. He asked if the ignition was on. I said thank you. Short conversation. It's so nice when the tech support guy knows his stuff!
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #10
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Would it not be nice if all problems worked out this way.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:31 PM   #11
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Found this week that the HI/LO & Intermittant buttons on the Smart Wheel will not activate the windshield wipers but the same buttons turn the head lights on (as designed?). Also the windshield washer button does not do anything. All other PB's for Cruise, Horn, etc work as normal. Wiper PB's & ribbon cable in the Smart Wheel are not suspect as of now, looks like another module (black box) problem. Had not used the wipers in some time so don't know when it crapped out.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRAlpine View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Although it's not good news, at least I know I'd better start thinking of a workaround.
The washer function on our older '88 Winnie didn't work either - and I wasn't ABOUT to replace the complete turn signal stalk assembly and/or controller just for the washers - so I instead mounted a $1.50 momentary-contact switch that I operate manually, and wired it separate from the OEM - it works great...
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish View Post
Found this week that the HI/LO & Intermittant buttons on the Smart Wheel will not activate the windshield wipers but the same buttons turn the head lights on (as designed?). Also the windshield washer button does not do anything. All other PB's for Cruise, Horn, etc work as normal. Wiper PB's & ribbon cable in the Smart Wheel are not suspect as of now, looks like another module (black box) problem. Had not used the wipers in some time so don't know when it crapped out.
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05 40FDQS
Sounds a lot like the problem I was having. Luckily, I was able to solve it by turning on the ignition before pushing the hi/low and intermediate buttons.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:59 AM   #14
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Here is an interesting thread from the Newmar Forum on similar problems.
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