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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had issues with the rear wiper not going back to the park or home position when turning off the intermittent wipers or the normal wiper setting in a 2005 or so outback?

For some reason, the wiper arm will stop at what appears to be random places on the rear window when in intermittent mode and will stop at random places when i turn the normal wiper operation off.

I took the car to a very good dealer, who actually worked on it for free even though the car is out of warranty. When they looked up my VIN, it does not appear there is a relay timer controlling the wiper arm position so they installed a new motor, with the same result. :28:

The dealer plans on talking with subaru to see if they have a history of this and if so, what are the potential causes.

when I left the dealer, the technician and service manager said they think it may be the control module under the dash?

anyone experience this?

thanks for the help!

:cool:
 

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I understand that when in "intermittent" operation the wiper stops at random places, but does it then resume again (as if it had stopped at the normal park position during its "time out")? Also, when in normal wiper operation, I understand the wiper will stop when the switch is turned to OFF, regardless of where the wiper is at the time. But, when the wiper is operating, does it ever stop on its own, even momentarily, even though the switch is still in the normal ON position?

Given that a new motor did not correct the problem, and based on the wiring diagram, I can see two possibilities: the BIU (which is probably the "control module" the dealer mentioned) or the wiring going to the motor. In reference to the latter, two recent threads here (related to 2005 models) identified cracks and breaks in the wires going to the rear gate. The faults develop where the wires bend back and forth inside the flexible cover between the rear wiring harness in the main body of the car and the rear gate (visible at the upper right of the rear gate opening).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
when in normal 'on' operation, the rear wiper never stops or even hesistates when the switch is on. the rear wiper goes back and forth perfectly when 'on', no issues there .

when in intermittent mode, even though the wiper does not go to the home position when the wiper stops, the wiper does restart with what appears to be the correct timing. the only issue is that the wiper does not go to the home position. it may stop anyhere within 180 degrees of range. everything else appears functional.

i imagine that if it were a wiring issue, the rear wiper would hesitate or stop during continuous operation if there were a cracked or loose wire to the motor.

so i guess this then points to the BIU? Nothing else left in the circuit.
 

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i imagine that if it were a wiring issue, the rear wiper would hesitate or stop during continuous operation if there were a cracked or loose wire to the motor.
That would apply if the break was in the wire from BIU pin B1 to pin 2 on the motor. From your responses it looks as if that's probably not the problem.

But when in continous operation, a break in the other two wires to the motor could cause this symptom. Here's why. (I will appreciate comment on any errors in this!)

In continuous operation, BIU pin C6 is grounded. This signals the BIU to apply power to the motor through B1. As the wiper mechanism turns, the motor internal switch changes position, normally connecting 12 V from FB23 to BIU B8. If the main wiper control is then turned OFF, it is this connection through the switch that maintains power to the motor (through B1) until the park position is reached once again and the switch opens. Whether this is a direct connection is a question; that is, does the power from FB23 actually power the motor through to the end of the sweep or does it only supply a control signal to the BIU circuitry, causing the BIU to maintain power to B1? In either case, the absence of the 12V from FB23 due to a break in the wiring through the internal switch would explain the stopping of the wiper as soon as the main rear wiper switch is turned to OFF.

When in intermittent operation, the main rear wiper control grounds BIU pin C18. The BIU then controls the wiper. I suspect that to provide the intermittent operation the BIU actually opens this ground somewhere in the time of a single wiper sweep before the wiper is back at the park position. When it does this, it normally depends on the internal switch connection to FB23 to bring the mechanism back to park, as in continuous operation. The BIU then waits for a set time (the intermittent pause or time out) after which it re-establishes the ground connection, and another cycle begins again.

However, if there is loss of connection through the internal switch circuit, as soon as the BIU opens the C18 ground connection (internally, within the BIU), the power to the motor is cut and the wiper stops mid-sweep because, as in continous operation, the 12 V from FB23 is not present at BIU pin 8 and the BIU does not maintain power to B1. Then when the BIU re-establishes the ground (after the normal "time out"), the motor starts up again from wherever it was. But now, when the wiper reaches the park position, the ground is still in effect and the wiper continues to some point where the BIU timer once again opens the ground.

If my thoughts on how the BIU controls the wiper are correct, a break in one or both of the other two wires to the motor would cause seemingly random mid-sweep stopping in intermittent operation, and immediate stopping when continuous operation is halted.

Here's one of the threads dealing with breaks in the wiring to the rear gate. I would tend to investigate this before focussing on the BIU. The BIU is expensive, and because it is related to the security and keyless entry system, changing the BIU could necessitate reprogramming of the keys and the keyless remote control.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=19618

And, given that wiper operation is dependent on FB23, I presume it and all the other related fuses have been checked. (If FB23 is blown, then it would further suggest checking the wiring.)

Hope this helps.

Look forward to your update.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
plain om

the dealer confirmed a break in the Yellow Wire With a Green Stripe in the rear hatch. this break disconnects the 12V from FB23 and causes the rear wiper to stop whenever you turn the wiper off from the on position or randomly stop when in intermittent position. thankfully it was not the BIU. :15:

i talked to the tech and he said that the break was not visually apparent. before he ohmed the connections, he gently tugged on the wires. on the YG wire with the break, the rubber casing stretched. on the others the wire did not stretch.

furthermore, it appears the root cause was not the wires from breaking under tension from too short a wire, but more from the repeated action of opening and closing the rear hatch resulting in the copper work-hardening then eventually getting hard enough to break.

anyone who has this issue in the future, tug on the wires in the rear hatch before trying to ohm the circuits. its faster.

the dealer did all of this work pro bono, so kodus to them. the service mgr at Kerven Subaru in Butler is more than fair.

this is only the second time they have seen this issue......


JM
 

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Thanks for the update and kudos to the dealer indeed.

It appears as if this breaking wire situation might be something that becomes more apparent with time. There's now at least three or four reports on this Forum alone. I wonder if the Subaru is aware of this and perhaps has informed dealers. Will have to watch for a TSB. In the meantime, this will become a core troubleshooting area for any electrical problems in the rear gate (wiper/washer, back-up or license plate lights, and high-mounted brake light).
 

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I have exactly the same problem and it showed up just out of warranty. It could have been a problem before then, but I don't use the wiper much in the spring and summer when my full warranty expired. My other issue is my rear defrost doesn't seem to work at all either. Could this be related?
 

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I have exactly the same problem and it showed up just out of warranty. It could have been a problem before then, but I don't use the wiper much in the spring and summer when my full warranty expired. My other issue is my rear defrost doesn't seem to work at all either. Could this be related?
Any powered item in the hatch portion could easily be impacted by broken wires due to the movement from the hatch opening and closing. So I'd say yes to any electrical item that stops working in the hatch probably has a broken wire at the hinge point.
 

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ditto what subiesailor said.

That's on an 08! Do you use the rear gate a lot? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if there are additional wires in the bundle with cracked insulation and on the verge of breaking, but the copper core is still holding.

If you check it out and find breaks, it might be helpful for others if you could take some photos showing the wires and where they broke, and post them here.
 

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I actually don't use the hatch that often. Usually I toss whatever most people would put in the trunk into my back seat. The symptoms do stink of worn wires. I thought that sort of thing was normal on something like my '83 Volvo 245 I had in high school but not on a newer car that I've owned since new. I have a buddy who does window tinting and that sort of thing so I'll get a hand from him to get the panels off in the back. I tried before but couldn't get them all to release.

I have to admit I'm pretty disappointed that we're having these issues in modern cars.
 

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this thread of very helpful for me. I had the same problem on my 2005 Legacy Wagon. I assume its the same circuit. In my case, the Dark Blue (L = Lavender?) with White Stripe wire was completely severed. This was on the roof side of the rubber conduit, not the door side. Dealer gave me a $200 estimate to diagnose and fix the problem; even after I told him I found this thread and about the severed wired. Very disappointing. It was a simple fix, if you have the time, tools, spare 20-22 gauge wire. Cost me about $5 and 15-30 min of my life:-(
 

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It was a simple fix, if you have the time, tools, spare 20-22 gauge wire.
Can you describe what you did in detail, including what, if any, trim was removed, and if so, how, and how did you make the connections?

EDIT: Thanks to blue_Legacy05 for the detailed response below.
 

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Sure plain OM,

1. Open up rear hatch.
2. Locate rubber waterproof conduit that passes the wires from the interior of the car at the roof to the rear hatch.
3. Carefully tug at the both ends of the rubber conduit seals to pull it back; exposing the insulated color wires.
4. Check the condition of the wires at both ends. My wires where in bad shape near the end that attaches into the interior of the car at the roof. The Lavender (dark blue) with white stripe was completely severed at that end.
5. Since there is not a lot of excess slack wire to re-connect the original wire back together, I decided to create myself an extension using a new piece of wire. This wire will run the entire length of the rubber conduit, inside the conduit. Therefore, I bought some new blue colored automotive wire, 20 to 22 gauge. roughly 1 foot long.
6. Feed the new extension wire through the rubber conduct.
7. Locate at least 2 butt crimp connectors for 20-22 gauge wires. These connectors allow you to joint two ends together by crimping them tight inside of a metal cylinder which is insulated on the outside.
8. Strip the short end of the original wire which got severed, and one end of the new extension wire, back about 1/4". Insert each end into the butt connector and crimp it down. Make sure that both crimps are tight and that the wires will not pull back out.
9. Now, go to the other end of the conduit which has the long end of the severed wire running most of the length of the conduit. We wont need the majority of the original wire inside the conduit anymore because we have the new extension wire to take its place. So I pull it out so we can, cut off the excess and make the connect at this end.
10. As stated above, cut down excess slack of both the extension wire and the long end of the original wire to allow you to make the other end of the connection using another butt crimp connector. When cutting down the excess, make sure the crimp connectors are able reside inside the rubber conduit when you are done with not too much excess wire. Ideally you want the butt connector to lay in a parallel orientation inside the conduit.
11. Strip both wires and crimp as we did at the other end of the conduit.
12. apply electrical tape around the string of wires and the butt connector on both ends. Suburu has some there already, but I don't think its enough. So I added some more. I would like this think this may give a little extra protection. Keeping down the wear on the wires from the hatch open/close and also keeps the butt connector from sliding around and scrapping on other wires.
13. Reseal the rubber conduit back onto roof and the rear hatch.
 

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Rear wiper inoperative or does not return to park

The rear wiper thread has been going since at least 10/2/2009. My partner's 2005 OBW rear wiper does not go to park; I'll check for broken wires. My 2005 Legacy wagon wiper motor does not work at all. plain OM included wiring diagram with post of 10/3/2009. I assume diagram is for 2005 OBW since with Legacy there are 4 wires going to rear wiper motor not three. I am wondering if anyone has wiring diagram for 2005 Legacy rear wiper/washer system or can identify wires?

Continuity ok on 2 wires on the Legacy at connector block to motor. But I don't know which wires do what.

Somewhere in the thread reference made to Volvo 245 tailgate wires long ago. I bypassed hinge wires altogether as ultimate solution. Likewise very surprised Subaru tailgate wires are problematic.



ditto what subiesailor said.

That's on an 08! Do you use the rear gate a lot? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if there are additional wires in the bundle with cracked insulation and on the verge of breaking, but the copper core is still holding.

If you check it out and find breaks, it might be helpful for others if you could take some photos showing the wires and where they broke, and post them here.
 

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plain OM included wiring diagram with post of 10/3/2009. I assume diagram is for 2005 OBW since with Legacy there are 4 wires going to rear wiper motor not three.
Look again -- the motor in the wiring diagram has 4 wires, three at the top, and one on the bottom (to ground).

The diagram should be equally applicable to the Legacy and Outback _they're the same car with different trim and suspension -- although there might be some differences in wire colors.
 

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I'm not sure whether I have the same problem or not. My rear wiper does not park properly. In intermittent, it seems to go about 15 degrees less on each cycle, so the park position keeps moving across the window. It acts like the arm is slipping on the shaft, but I'm sure that is not the case.
1. The connection was very tight with no evidence of slipping,
2. I could not move the arm on the shaft at all.
3. I removed the arm and marked the shaft. The shaft continued to go about 15 degs less each cycle even though there was no load on it.

In continuous mode, it will stop where ever I turn it off, so it does not park at all. In intermittent, it parks each cycle but in a new location. I can't make this fit the wiring problem, but perhaps I don't understand how the intermittent park works.

Any thoughts?
 

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I'm not sure whether I have the same problem or not. My rear wiper does not park properly. In intermittent, it seems to go about 15 degrees less on each cycle, so the park position keeps moving across the window. It acts like the arm is slipping on the shaft, but I'm sure that is not the case.
1. The connection was very tight with no evidence of slipping,
2. I could not move the arm on the shaft at all.
3. I removed the arm and marked the shaft. The shaft continued to go about 15 degs less each cycle even though there was no load on it.

In continuous mode, it will stop where ever I turn it off, so it does not park at all. In intermittent, it parks each cycle but in a new location. I can't make this fit the wiring problem, but perhaps I don't understand how the intermittent park works.

Any thoughts?
I don't see any evidence of broken wires or bad insulation where the wires go from the body to the rear door. Now I want to get to the motor, so I can see where I have power on the motor.

How do you get the rear lift gate cover off. I can't figure out how it is held on. I presume by plastic clips into holes in the lift gate, but I'm not having any luck taking it loose. (This is an 05 OB 2.5XT)
 

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How do you get the rear lift gate cover off.
See: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/80-electrical-electronics/19618-third-brake-light-license-lights-out-most-time.html#post185775

I don't see any evidence of broken wires or bad insulation where the wires go from the body to the rear door.
Your wiper symptoms are identical to the others reported here, so much so that I'd be surprised if there isn't a bad wire. Note that this isn't always visible -- see post #5 above where there was no dangling ends, but tugging lightly on the wires going through flexible boot the was enough to reveal the problem.
 

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See: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/80-electrical-electronics/19618-third-brake-light-license-lights-out-most-time.html#post185775



Your wiper symptoms are identical to the others reported here, so much so that I'd be surprised if there isn't a bad wire. Note that this isn't always visible -- see post #5 above where there was no dangling ends, but tugging lightly on the wires going through flexible boot the was enough to reveal the problem.
I agree. After I re-read the OP, I realized that I had exactly the same symptoms. I contacted a friend who is is Subie Mechanic at a dealership, and he told me the same thing. (I actually contacted him to figure out how to get the panels off to access the wiring. I don't want to replace just a few inches in the rubber conduit area but want to go back further each way.)
 

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Had the same problem. Rear wiper stopped working suddendly.

Checked the fuse, it was OK, then this thread, went for the kill immediately, and there it was a severed Lg wire in the flexible booth linking the car to the rear gate. Mine is severed close to the car side almost were the booth clip onto it.

Have to make a repair plan now. It is a tricky place to fix it.

Looks like a bad choice of wire for the application. Did not check it yet, but I hope it is at least a braided core cable.
 
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