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Discussion Starter #1
2005 ZX3 (manual) right blinker stopped working or worked intermittently after wiggling the wires behind the headlamp housing. Also had low or dead battery issues in the morning and experienced a few other gremlins. I have limited knowledge on electrical and had the car in a shop for three days but the issues came back after it was claimed to be fixed. So I cleaned the ground wires behind the headlamp and next to the battery and replaced the negative battery terminal clamp. Turn signal is now working and no more battery drain. However, at some point while I was having those issues, the wipers stopped going to the home position when turned off (they stop in the middle of the windshield) and when moving, some air comes through the vents when climate control is off. The blower motor is NOT on and I only feel the air when moving.

Does anyone have suggestions on what to check to get the wipers to go all the way to the home position and to get the cabin vents to stop letting in air (when driving with the climate control off)?

I think there is still some low level resistance somewhere in the system so other suggestions on that are welcome.
 

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A certain amount of air leakage past the plenum doors is expected on a 15 year old car.

If you set the wipers to intermittent do they park in between wipes?

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #3
On intermittent, the wipers do park at the bottom of the windshield (although it stops a few inches higher than my '07 Foci).
 

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On intermittent, the wipers do park at the bottom of the windshield (although it stops a few inches higher than my '07 Foci).
Based on that answer the most likely source of the problem is a faulty wiper switch. If you are electro-mechanically inclined and want to test before you spend $$ on a new/used switch it is a simple one wire jumper at the harness after removing the switch. Let me know if you want the details.

Paul
 
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Awesome, thanks - based on your suggestion I have already started researching the wiper switch. I’m not handy with a multi-meter and don't own a probe (yet) but I will study up on how to test electrical components - any other tips to test this switch will be helpful.
 

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Awesome, thanks - based on your suggestion I have already started researching the wiper switch. I’m not handy with a multi-meter and don't own a probe (yet) but I will study up on how to test electrical components - any other tips to test this switch will be helpful.
 

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Awesome, thanks - based on your suggestion I have already started researching the wiper switch. I’m not handy with a multi-meter and don't own a probe (yet) but I will study up on how to test electrical components - any other tips to test this switch will be helpful.
The testing I would recommend is not testing on the switch (although you could do that too) - it is testing by 'bypassing' (removing) the switch. You would place a single jumper wire between two electrical pins where the switch used to be. then see if the sytem parks normally.

Paul
 
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Update - Good news/meh news. I did not test as I have not purchased any jumpers yet but since I was at the junk yard today for some other items, I just picked up a switch since I was there and I am building a little inventory for the three family Foci. The good news is that the wiper switch from the junk yard activates the rear wiper which did not work before (I had wrongly just assumed the wiper motor was bad). However, the front wipers still do not park. My next step will be to get some jumpers and test the next time I have some days off and perhaps plug in some of my spare relays. Thanks again for pointing me to the switch because I was not even thinking about that and it is great to have the great wiper back!
 

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Update - Good news/meh news. I did not test as I have not purchased any jumpers yet but since I was at the junk yard today for some other items, I just picked up a switch since I was there and I am building a little inventory for the three family Foci. The good news is that the wiper switch from the junk yard activates the rear wiper which did not work before (I had wrongly just assumed the wiper motor was bad). However, the front wipers still do not park. My next step will be to get some jumpers and test the next time I have some days off and perhaps plug in some of my spare relays. Thanks again for pointing me to the switch because I was not even thinking about that and it is great to have the great wiper back!
With the new (used) switch do they still park on intermittent between wipes?

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yes, they still park in between wipes when on intermittent but it does bounce at the bottom and stop a 1-2 inches higher than my other Focus. When I turn it off I have to time it just right to get the wiper to stop at the bottom.
 

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So there is a difference in where it stops if you turn it off from ON vs turning it off from intermittent?

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There is no difference. When I turn off from either the ON or intermittent position, the wipers stop in place without parking.
 

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There is no difference. When I turn off from either the ON or intermittent position, the wipers stop in place without parking.
EDIT - reread what you wrote and what I asked.

New question - is there difference in where it stops if you turn it off vs where it stops in between wipes when in intermittent? The key point here is where it stops between wipes in intermittent.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry, been busy at work the past few days... Here is a pic and hopefully this will clarify:
- When turning off the wipers, either from ON or intermittent, they stop wherever the wipers are when turned off.
- For intermittent, the wiper goes down to the bottom about the level of the screwdriver in the pic, bounces up a few inches and stops until the next wipe.
- For ON the wipers travel back and forth and go down to the bottom (about level of the screwdriver)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also, I took that pic while on intermittent and got the pic while it was stopped between wipes.
 

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Thanks for the pics.

The bottom line is that the wiper system basically has 3 'switches' that have to function correctly for the wipers to park correctly. I put switches in quotes because one is a SPDT relay but acts essentially like a SPDT switch in the park circuit. Two of the switches - main wiper switch on the steering column and the wiper relay - can be both bench tested and can be 'bypass' tested. One switch - the park switch - is inside the wiper motor and is difficult to either bench or bypass test but can be determined good/bad by the results of testing on the other switches.

Since you have already replaced the main switch I would concentrate testing on the wiper relay. The relay is located in the central junction box (CJB) under the drivers side of the dash. I would do a bypass test as it is fairly easy to reach. If you want to try this let me know. You can also try buying a new relay and just replacing it as it is not very expensive but I always try to test and not fire the parts cannon - but thats just me.

Let me know
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Many thanks for explaining the wiper system succinctly. I plan to work on this over the weekend and will start with the wiper relay. Will start proper bench testing too!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update - You helped me to rule out the switch and relay in the cabin so defaulted to the aging wiper motor. I read some Focus manuals and took apart a couple wiper assemblies at the junk yard (from what I saw, don't want to go with a used motor!) and ordered a reman motor for $25 total. I installed the motor and works like new! Thanks for helping me rule out the other items. I learned a few lessons - basic electrical component testing and not to just throw parts at at a problem. Thanks much!
Also you got me researching "plenum "door leakage. I found that after removing the glove box door, I watched how the plenum door opens (to the outside) when recirculation is not engaged but then NOT close (to the outside) when recircluation is engaged. The motor appears fine but the teeth on the door is probably worn so at least for now, will go with amc49's trick to use a coat hanger to manually close the door to recirculate when needed - here in TX don't need it closed too much except when cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
sorry - I meant that I mostly need the doors closed (to the outside) most of the time so that recirculation works in the cabin...
 
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