Does Your Volvo Windshield Wiper Motor Need to Be Repaired?

From a little something splashed up from the car in front of you to a deluge of rain or hail, if your Volvo windshield wiper motor isn't working correctly, these situations can spell disaster. Imagine the ominous feeling rolling through your guts when, knowing full well that your windshield wiper has been on the fritz, you see dark clouds looming ahead. You're going to be in for a load of trouble any minute.

The saddest part about the situation, aside from the fact that it's dangerous, is that you might've been able to fix the problem all by yourself, quickly and easily. Rather than waiting for the next rainstorm to have your wiper quit mid swipe across your windshield, let's take a look at what you can do to fix the problem of a failing Volvo windshield wiper motor.

First On The List

This is the easiest and fastest repair ever. Check the fuse. If the fuse is bad, just pop in a new one. Done.

What Else to Look For

Okay, it's not always the fuse. But when a wiper assembly doesn't want to work, that is frequently the problem. And even if that is the problem, that fuse probably didn't decide to blow "just because". Something made it blow. When your motor is drawing a current, it should be below the rating of diffuse even at full stall. Your car is trying to tell you something if it's blowing fuses. In this case, between the switch and the motor, there might be a faulty wire or wiper motor armature shorting out. Then again, a fuse might fail from a seized bushing or other mechanical problem.

If you replace the fuse and there is still a problem, you will have to move on.

Check the Motor Assembly

Take a rubber mallet or a screwdriver handle and give the motor assembly a bit of a whack with the ignition and wipers on. If things start moving right along as a result, you may, on the armature, have an open winding or a bad commutator.

Check the park wire on your Volvo windshield wiper motor assembly. Check the terminals for corrosion. If you can't get the motor functioning by running power to the motor assembly directly from the battery (this is a last resort diagnostic check), it's probably time to replace the motor.

The Mechanics of Your Windshield Wiper

Windshield wiper mechanisms are pretty simple. Things can be slowed down by corrosion, ice buildup, or lack of lubrication. A joint could be loose, a corroded steel shaft can bind after swelling up, or any number of situations can occur.

After dismantling the mechanism, corrosion can be removed with a wire brush. Use silicone grease generously when reassembling it.

Additionally, consider replacing crumbling nylon bushings or disintegrating rubber mounting blocks. (Just to get one part, you may end up buying a complete assembly of sorts, containing more than one part.) 

If this seems like a lot of work for something as small as a Volvo windshield wiper motor, consider having a professional just change out the entire assembly. Not everyone is handy with tools or has mechanical know-how, after all. The important thing is not to let it go too long. You never know when a cloudburst is going to endanger those in your car and those around you.