Has this ever happened to you that you’re driving during a rainy day and once you put the windshield wiper switch back to OFF position, the wipers still keep moving. Sometimes, you don’t want things to work, and your constantly running windshield wipers are one of those things.
Modern vehicles have a complex assembly of windshield wipers, consisting of relays, motor, and different switches. You could control the speed, frequency of motion, and even have “auto-start” wipers that sense the rain and start working without any input.
If your windshield wipers won’t turn off, even after bringing the switch back to OFF, there’s something wrong with one of the components of the windshield wiper assembly. Though not fatal, but it could lead to distraction, obstructed driving, and may even burn the motor or scratch the windshield after running nonstop.
Let’s go through some of the common reasons behind your windshield wipers not turning off, and how you can solve this issue.
Here’s Why Your Windshield Wipers Won’t Turn Off
If you cannot get your windshield wipers to stop, these could be the possible reasons behind it;
Faulty Windshield Wiper Control
The most common culprit behind your windshield wipers running non-stop is usually a broken windshield wiper control.
Due to excessive usage and wear over time, the joints and plugs inside the module can become weak and do not respond normally. Even if you put the knob in OFF or PARK position, the wind shield wipers won’t turn off, and the broken wiper switch is the one to blame.
If the windshield wiper control is at fault, you’d also feel an abnormal tactile feedback or stuttering movement of the switch.
Malfunctioning Park Switch
The motor in the windshield wiper assembly, that controls the movement of the wipers, has a park switch inside which acts as a modulator and controls the flow of electric current through the motor. It also senses when you’ve turned your wipers off and cuts the power to the motor and brings the movement to a halt.
If the park switch is at fault, the windshield wipers won’t turn off. This is a relatively rare yet concerning problem as it is tough to diagnose, and can become a headache as well. Even when your car is turned off, the motor will keep drawing current from the battery and ultimately drain it.
Loose or Faulty Wiring
One of the most common reasons behind your constantly running windshield wipers is the loose wiring or faulty joints.
Whether it’s a loose connection in the main circuit or lousy wire in the wiper assembly, it could interfere with normal functioning and the windshield wipers won’t turn off.
It is usually the wire in the main circuit that signals the cut-off command. This wire ensures that the motor stops running once you’ve switched off the windshield wipers, and disengaged the motor. If your car’s battery is not draining every now and then, and wipers are acting all weird, the wiring is most probably at fault.
A relay is a tiny plastic housing under the hood and it is essentially a switching mechanism. It turns the windshield wipers on or off, after receiving the input form the driver.
If the relay is faulty, the wipers would either won’t work at all or they would keep running continuously. If your windshield wipers won’t turn off, think about the relay and get it checked if most of the other problems have already been ruled out.
It is not such a costly or complex job and can be replaced for a few bucks.
What to do if your Windshield Wipers Won’t Turn Off
If you’re going to work or taking a short trip down the block, and your windshield wipers start acting up abnormally, there’s no need to get them fixed right away as it is not an emergency.
But if you’re driving down the highway and the rain has stopped but your windshield wipers won’t, then you need to take care of them. It becomes annoying and distracting at the same time, and could put you in trouble as well.
If you don’t have a workshop nearby, there are a few steps you could take to stop the windshield wipers;
1. Turn the key counter-clockwise to ON from IGNITION, and try to disconnect the battery. It should turn off the wipers and you could wait a few minutes before switching on your car again.
2. If the wipers start running non-stop again, you should try to find the relay or fuse of the windshield wipers and disconnect them. The easiest way to find them is to consult the owner’s manual.
3. You could also try to find the motor and disconnect it from the main circuit. This should bring the windshield wipers to a stop.
How to fix Windshield Wipers that Won’t Turn Off?
Here’s what you could do about the windshield wipers that won’t turn off;
1. Check all the wires and connections in the circuit, and look for loose joints as well.
2. Check if the windshield wiper is moving smoothly or has it become lousy and rocky.
3. Take your car to a mechanic and let them diagnose the issue.
4. If it’s the faulty relay or park switch, get them replaced as the repairs are usually not much reliable for long-term dependability.
5. Have the wiper switch checked and get it fixed if it has become lousy or has loose connections.
6. Get all the wires and fuses checked and have them fixed if the culprit is found.
7. Most of these problems can be detected and repaired DIY, and one could easily scan these parts for potential faults and malfunctions.
Windshield wipers are essential parts of your car and must be running smoothly for a rainy day. Having said that, there would be occasions when these wipers become overzealous and even after switching them off, the windshield wipers won’t turn off.
There could be a few potential faulty components behind that and it is imperative that you get the wiper assembly and wiring circuit checked to get to the root of the problem and have it fixed promptly. It is not such a complex or expensive job and can be done by a simple technician for a few hundred bucks. So you should be vigilant about any abnormally running parts on your car and be quick about fixing them as well.