Front windshield wiper only works on high

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by littlemike, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. littlemike

    littlemike New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have a 2012 Prius C II. It has 240,000 miles. Last week, something happened with the windshield wipers. To get the intermittent, or low wipers to work I would have to be the wipers on high, then switch to low or intermittent. The intermittent would only work sometimes when doing that. After a couple hours, only the high setting would work. Since then, only the high setting works.

    I have swapped out the wiper switch, and there was no change.

    I live in a heavy rain state (oregon) and need to have the wipers work correctly. Also, very worried the high setting will stop working as well.

    Also, the rear wiper works fine as well as both the front and rear sprayers.

    Any help appreciated, thank you!!
     
    Keith Tansey likes this.
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Next step would be to learn all you can about your wiper circuit and then swap out some other components.

    In the meantime, there's an old trick that my sister-in-law who grew up in Oregon told me about once... Put a potato and a knife in your glove box. Then if your wipers ever fail, slice the potato in half and smear it all over you windshield. Supposedly the starch in the potato prevents the water from beading, or something? Either that or she's crazy?
     
  3. littlemike

    littlemike New Member

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    Thank you for the attempt, but not very helpful
     
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  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Lol... If you don't want to further study the wiper circuit beyond the switch you swiped out It's not going to get better on it's own...
     
  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    If it wasn’t the column switch it’s probably the contacts inside the wiper transmission. Usually easiest to swap for a junkyard assembly.
     
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  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    PriusCamper's suggestion to study the circuit is probably the best suggestion you're going to get; this wiki page explains how to get access to the wiring diagram.

    In my experience, the contacts inside the wiper gearbox would be under more suspicion if it didn't run at all, or if it ran but had trouble parking (or would park in random spots, rather than fully down).

    Running only in high but not low seems like more of an open question to me. There are likely to be a couple relays involved and some wiring contacts between there and the wiper motor, offering several promising spots to poke your multimeter and see what you find.
     
  7. aposteriori

    aposteriori New Member

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    I am experiencing the same issue with my 2014 Prius C. The front wipers only work on high. Checked the 3 fuses related to wipers, they seem to be fine. Is there any update on the original post? I have not tested yet, but I am guessing it is probably the wiper motor on my vehicle.
     
  8. Keith Tansey

    Keith Tansey New Member

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    Hi I'm having the same problem with my 2013 prius did you ever find out the cause of the problem?

    Hi I'm having the same problem with my 2013 prius did you ever find out the cause of the problem?
     
    #8 Keith Tansey, Oct 25, 2022
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2022
  9. Keith Tansey

    Keith Tansey New Member

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    Just got mine fixed its the motor for the wipers picked one up off a breakers yard for €120 working fine now
     
  10. Shahid Uddin Mahamud

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    It happens when combination switch circuit bad or nob defective. You may need to replace combination switch.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    From the fact that one person can post the problem was the motor, and another person in the very next post can say it's the combination switch, the main thing you learn is that the problem isn't always caused by the same thing, so it won't always be fixed the same way.

    For the next person with a similar problem, the quick way to a solution, without spending unnecessary time and money and backtracking, is to grab a multimeter and make some checks methodically along the system until you know where the problem is. Then you fix that.
     
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  12. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    TESTING? What kind of heresy are you spouting?

    Everyone KNOWS that the experts on the internet will tell what parts to replace.

    (besides, they're both wrong - it's the carburetor. I was told 30 years ago that it's always the carburetor on those red cars)

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    nobody in the thread ever mentioned the car being red
     
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  14. Rapid

    Rapid Junior Member

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    I had the same issue with my 2010, 200k miles, where the wipers only worked on High, and High was so fast it rocked the car side to side. It started with having to use the low setting to get intermittent operation, then progressed to having to is high to get the wipers running. And, sometimes it would go back to working fine. I replaced the drive motor assembly with a rebuilt one (Carson P/N 43-4053 cost $134) from O'Reilly Auto Parts, and that fixed it. I used this YouTube video for guidance, and please note you can remove the windshield wiper linkage assembly with the motor attached, but unplugged from the harness, and then easily access the retainers for the harness. I had purchased the windshield wiper linkage assembly from a local Toyota Dealer (World Toyota) for $235, thinking the "play" in the existing one might indicate wear. However, with closer inspection and comparing the existing part to the new part, I found everything looked good. I reinstalled the assembly with the rebuilt motor, and then cycled the wiper switch through a full cycle to get the posts aligned in the "rest" position, before reinstalling the arms. Also, please note there are two drain channels that go from this area out the bottom of the car. Mine and several other videos showed evidence the area was used by rodents for nesting. I leave my car for weeks at a time,, and have someone drive it every week, but apparently that could contribute to the problem. Clean that area and open the channels before reinstalling.

    One final note: I had talked with a Toyota Technician from the shop when picking-up the wiper linkage assembly at the dealer. He said, "Those things usually go well over 300,000 miles." The cost to restock the part was 20-35%, but I lucked-up, because when I called to arrange the return, the parts representative said, "If you can get it here in a hour, I think we can waive the restocking fee." I had the refund minutes after they received the part.

     
  15. Rapid

    Rapid Junior Member

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    Cardon, not Carson, is the motor assembly manufacturer. They are ISO and in business since 1970.
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Looks like there are three brushes in the motor (in a Gen 3 liftback wiring diagram, anyway, I'm guessing c is similar). One brush for low speed, one for high speed, and a common ground return.

    Maybe the low-speed one tends to get worn faster for some reason.
     

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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my wipers still work fine
     
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    go ahead, rub it in
     
  19. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    OP 3 - 4 years ago time for a cat video...
    youtu.be/AUZwDyI_D-8
    bonus dogs vs windshield wipers
    youtu.be/26S5JG5HC6w
     
    #19 vvillovv, Jan 23, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
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