Here's a new one:

Three times in the past week, the wipers have randomly turned themselves on. Each time turning the switch on and back off has fixed the issue.

I haven't seen anything else indicative of an electrical problem.

Suggestions? It's a 10 year-old car, but it seems odd that the switch would just give up the ghost when it hasn't been used in a month. (Dallas - rain is only a fond, distant memory.)


Yesterday, I got stuck in Dallas traffic and the car started to overheat (around 220F). The car died - I'm guessing the computer shut it off to prevent damage, but that's just a guess. I let it cool off for awhile, ran the heater full blast, and got it back down to about 180. I then drove it to the closest gas station.

Checked the oil, nothing on the stick. I had to add 3.5 quarts to get it back to a normal level. (Added a quart, let it run for a minute, checked. Repeated until it got back to normal.) Capacity for this engine is about 5 quarts (ECOTEC 2.4L, LE5).

Coolant level was normal, but I don't think the radiator fan is turning on. Driving back home, the car died on the side of the road again. That time, it wasn't that hot - about 200F. It would start and run for about 30 seconds, then shut itself off.

I had the car towed home. This morning, I checked all the fluids again and everything seems normal. Now, it starts fine and continues to run as normal.

Sounds like an electrical problem. I'm wondering if oil getting thrown around the engine bay has caused a short. :/

Now looking for a mechanic in the north DFW area that will work on modified cars.

2 Answers 2


I'm pretty sure the electronics on your wiper motor has gone bad (or is going bad). The switch in the cockpit is there to instruct the wiper electronics what your intention is. When you turn the wiper on, it commands the motor to do its thing. If the wipers are coming on of their own volition, it's because the electronics are telling the motor to come on. This would be very hard to diagnose, other than to replace the wiper motor (unless you are an electronics expert and can trace it down ... which I'm not).

I am not telling you to not track down the wiring, as @GrantJones has suggested (quite the opposite, in fact). I'm all for troubleshooting everything possible prior to part replacement. It's just this is what your description is telling me. You could possibly pull the wiper motor out, take the covers off of the electronics and see if you can find anything pointing towards damage (corrosion; burnt circuitry, resistors, or bits-n-pieces; bad connections). If you find anything out of place, you'll know for sure this is where the trouble lies.

  • This car is SOOO much fun. Update: after (cringe) replacing the engine, the wiper problem appears to have resolved itself. Now, if the DIC would stop flickering between displays when I rev the engine, and smoke would stop billowing out of the exhaust at idle, I'd be set.
    – 3Dave
    Sep 25, 2015 at 21:41

When the wipers turn on do they always turn on at the same rate? try changing the intermittent speed level if so equipped.


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