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Thread: HOW TO: Intermittent Wiper Problem Fix. AKA TSB Fix. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-19-2015 01:56 PM
Short-Shift I need to give head nods and credit where due, to both users sailor, for pointing me to this thread and providing some additional advice, and to mister_bin, for providing this write-up showing and telling where and how to get the job done. Thank you both.

I was actually able, through sailor's suggestion, to get the relay replaced without having to do as much dismantling, so I figured I should share that experience. If you're like me and don't have Lou Ferrigno arms, it's not too difficult to get your hand and some forearm through the fuse panel doorway and also get to the fuse panel from the underside of the dash.

I loosened the two bolts holding the fuse panel to the metal bracket, and pressed in the plastic tabs to get the panel to slide back some, but not totally removed...just enough to give me clearance to get the relay out of the panel. A pair of large/long needle-nose pliers gets the relay out very easily, and once all pins are out of the panel you just have to maneuver the relay in a way that lets you get it out of there.

For replacement, I maneuvered the new one in place and pressed it in as much as I could without pressing the fuse panel out of place. I gently pulled the panel back into place so the tabs would snap back in, and this effectively finished pushing the relay in most of the way. Once the panel was back in place I finished pressing the relay in fully, replaced the bracket bolts, tested the wipers out to make sure everything worked properly, and put the panel door back in place. The whole process took about 5 minutes and my wipers now park and do single wipes properly.

04-14-2015 01:02 PM
cmciver britcan, the Ford part number for the relay is in the first and 17th post of this thread, with various aftermarket sources throughout this well detailed thread.

I hope you read it all...
04-14-2015 12:01 PM
britcan I have the 2004 focus and so I'm 99% certain the replacing of the relay will sort out my issues. My problem is finding a relay. Does anyone have a part number for the silent relay that has been mentioned? The local parts suppliers don't have anything listed for a relay and my local Ford dealership wants to know the part number of the unit I'm replacing (but my wife has the car at work at the moment). Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
03-02-2015 06:46 PM
Mile30 Here's mine

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y02QY4FXcYI

I'm gonna start with these and test it all if its unresponsive. I'll get results & pics either way.

03-02-2015 10:59 AM
mr focus 209 Easy fix. 10 mins from start to finish. I found a replacement switch on Amazon (less than $10 dollars). Wipers work like a champ.
02-07-2015 06:28 PM
cmciver So I thought I would summarize the results of my troubleshooting the lack of intermittent wipers on my 07 Focus. I do not have intermittent operation (not even park; it just stops when I release the stalk,) nor the automatic wiping function that follows using windshield squirt.
I replaced the stalk assembly with a new one first. Did not fix.
I replaced the GEM (Generic Electronics Module) with one from eBay. Did not fix.
I replaced the motor with a rebuilt unit. Did not fix. Interestingly, it did not park at all in single swipe mode, whereas the original one still does.

Why didn't I go replace the wiper motor relay? Well, I'm not so sure one even exists on this model year. My car doesn't have one in the location noted for earlier models; my Ford factory wiring diagram from Helms shows one in the circuits, but the component locator in the very same book says there isn't one. All the Ford parts books show none exist. The only evidence that one _might_ exist is the wiring diagram.

The only other time I've been this electrically challenged was an 84BMW 733i with bad instruments. Came at the problem from both ends (according to the wiring diagram) and found the paths never met. Error in the wiring diagram. Turned out to be a missing fuse. This problem is also an error in the wiring diagram, but not knowing what the GEM does exactly is rendering my troubleshooting even more difficult.

At this point I'm down to paying the dealer top dollar for a tough troubleshooting job or I do it myself. I don't have time or the willingness to try and figure out what the problem is right now. I can live without intermittent wipers (somewhat, I live in the Seattle area and have a long commute) but the error in the diagram means I'm in for a seriously tough job.

As to others' problems with their wipers, I was really fond of the old Hayne's manuals, but Chiltons, who made lesser quality manuals, bought out Haynes, and the result is a manual not near as good as Haynes, but better than the old Chiltons. Unless I spring for the factory maintenance manual, this is good enough for most jobs. The wiring diagrams aren't as detailed as the Haynes or the factory diagrams, but they're fairly close unless you have an oddball problem like mine. If you intend to do wrench turning of any kind, you owe it to yourself to get at the minimum, the current Chilton's manual for your car.
01-10-2015 12:01 PM
Nannou
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmciver View Post
I missed your reply earlier. My wiper works in slow and fast modes (and parks properly,) but not in intermittent or after the windshield squirt. When I noticed that the automatic mode with the squirt was also bad, I realized it must have been the Generic Electronics Module (GEM) so I got a used one on eBay. The GEM is the only component of this circuit that can do these timing functions. Waited until I had a chance to go swap it out, and lo and behold, it still didn't work.

I'm highly frustrated. Up to this point I had gotten a brand new wiper switch from the dealer (which didn't solve the problem.) Thinking I needed more knowledge to troubleshoot this properly, I ordered a Ford wiring diagram from Helm. This is where it got interesting. The wiring diagram calls out a windshield wiper relay and says its in the fuse/junction box, but the component locator elsewhere in the diagram says there's not one. The Ford parts guy, when he looked up the relay, said there wasn't one either. The car matches what the build data says. Every person I spoke to associated with Ford said the parts books/build data are the most accurate take on things.

Because one of my hats is electronics, I opened up the GEM, and among the other components (wireless locking, locks, turn signals, and such,) are a couple relays. I don't have anything that helps me figure out what does what, nor were there any visible failures, but I'll poke at it a bit on the replacement I took back out. The wiring diagram seems to imply that there are several relays in there, so there must be solid states ones hiding in there I can't identify yet.

So either one of two things has happened: Either my replacement part has the exact same fault or there's something else I should be looking at. I have to assume its the latter until I can prove otherwise.

I have never had an electrical problem with a car kick my a&&. A bad wiring diagram on an '84 BMW 733i got close, but there's no reason for this problem to exist. One of the data sources I've been using is wrong; I just have no proof.

Time to dig even deeper into the obscura that is the innerwebs. Sigh.
I'm having the same problem, and my rear wiper is not working as well!!
I don't know if it is related to the front wiper problem!!
Please keep us posted :)
01-09-2015 07:19 PM
Dinty Sigh is the right word, keep us posted on how you make out, this is getting more interesting. Good Luck :)
01-09-2015 07:13 PM
cmciver
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinty View Post
I have a 07 as well. Mine just stopped working during our first bitter cold and snowy weather. I check the fuse for the front wiper mtr. # 56 it was good. So listened with the mtr. off and ignition switch to on and the front wiper motor is turning but no wiper blades are moving. I will go to the wrecker and get a linkage, when it warms up a bit.

As for your problem, you are correct there are no 18 and 19 relays. I then checked the Chilton books for the wiring diagram, confirmed no relays.
I would check the fuse 56 if its good I would check to see if power to the mtr. If there is power and its not running, change it out. if no power, I would look at the selector switch on the steering column. Good luck, hope this helped.
Our public library carries the chilton books online, so try your library for the wiring diagrams. they will give you the number and color of the wiring you should check.
I missed your reply earlier. My wiper works in slow and fast modes (and parks properly,) but not in intermittent or after the windshield squirt. When I noticed that the automatic mode with the squirt was also bad, I realized it must have been the Generic Electronics Module (GEM) so I got a used one on eBay. The GEM is the only component of this circuit that can do these timing functions. Waited until I had a chance to go swap it out, and lo and behold, it still didn't work.

I'm highly frustrated. Up to this point I had gotten a brand new wiper switch from the dealer (which didn't solve the problem.) Thinking I needed more knowledge to troubleshoot this properly, I ordered a Ford wiring diagram from Helm. This is where it got interesting. The wiring diagram calls out a windshield wiper relay and says its in the fuse/junction box, but the component locator elsewhere in the diagram says there's not one. The Ford parts guy, when he looked up the relay, said there wasn't one either. The car matches what the build data says. Every person I spoke to associated with Ford said the parts books/build data are the most accurate take on things.

Because one of my hats is electronics, I opened up the GEM, and among the other components (wireless locking, locks, turn signals, and such,) are a couple relays. I don't have anything that helps me figure out what does what, nor were there any visible failures, but I'll poke at it a bit on the replacement I took back out. The wiring diagram seems to imply that there are several relays in there, so there must be solid states ones hiding in there I can't identify yet.

So either one of two things has happened: Either my replacement part has the exact same fault or there's something else I should be looking at. I have to assume its the latter until I can prove otherwise.

I have never had an electrical problem with a car kick my a&&. A bad wiring diagram on an '84 BMW 733i got close, but there's no reason for this problem to exist. One of the data sources I've been using is wrong; I just have no proof.

Time to dig even deeper into the obscura that is the innerwebs. Sigh.
11-22-2014 03:49 PM
Mile30 AWESOME write-up! I'm gonna throw rep all over the place once I get to a real computer.

I had my front wipers crap the bed a month or two ago. I hit the stalk and they wiggle but don't move more than that. The other thing I noticed was the that they FINALLY "parked"... I've known the park function wasn't working correctly since '07, but I got over it to save money. I'd just fiddle with the timing of the swipe so they'd stop out of view.
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