I just purchased a used 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi with 108k miles. I "tested" the wipers before purchase and they "Worked". "Worked" mean I turned them on they wiped a few times and I turned them off. It started to rain recently and I need my wipers and have noticed intermittent failure and/or incorrect wiping speeds. Sometimes when they are on ANY setting they wipe super fast. Other times they wipe as expected, though the super fast is by far the prevalent symptom. Today they began stopping mid-wipe and I had to turn them off and on again at the wheel.

I am not a motorhead or person of knowledge when it comes to vehicles and am not sure where to start troubleshooting. I suspect it isn't a fuse as it works most of the time, albeit incorrectly. I was reading here and here and I have both symptoms at times but my vehicle isn't the same (don't know if that matters).

Any ideas of how to troubleshoot the root cause of my wiper malfunctioning?


Warmer temperatures remove the problem.

4 Answers 4


You probably need a new wiper module. Direct from OE:

Wiper Module - The wiper pivot shafts are the only visible components of the wiper module. The remainder of the module is concealed within the cowl plenum area beneath the cowl plenum cover/grille panel. The wiper module includes the wiper module bracket, four rubber-isolated wiper module mounts, the wiper motor, the wiper motor crank arm, the two wiper drive links, and the two wiper pivots.

The wiper module cannot be adjusted or repaired. If any component of the module is faulty or damaged, the entire wiper module unit must be replaced.

The wiper module operation is controlled by the battery current inputs received by the wiper motor through the wiper on/off and wiper high/low relays. The wiper motor speed is controlled by current flow to either the low speed or the high speed set of brushes. The park switch is a single pole, single throw, momentary switch within the wiper motor that is mechanically actuated by the wiper motor transmission components. The park switch alternately opens and closes the wiper park switch sense circuit to ground, depending upon the position of the wipers on the glass. This feature allows the motor to complete its current wipe cycle after the wiper system has been turned Off, and to park the wiper blades in the lowest portion of the wipe pattern. The automatic resetting circuit breaker protects the motor from overloads. The wiper motor crank arm, the two wiper linkage members, and the two wiper pivots mechanically convert the rotary output of the wiper motor to the back and forth wiping motion of the wiper arms and blades on the glass.

  • Would sticking an amp clamp or multimeter on the lines help diagnose if this is the root cause? I'm not very tech savy in electronics, I leave that stuff to my husband.
    – TWhite
    Jan 13, 2016 at 22:24
  • 1
    Actually, since your problem is intermittent, I would first check for loose fuses and the integrity of the wires from the fuse box to the module. If all the wires look OK, then use your multimeter to check the voltages at each end. Jan 14, 2016 at 0:18

I replaced the wiper assembly (wiper motor, module and transmission arm) it restored all the functions. Intermittent now works perfectly and the slight delay on the right wiper from the pivot being worn has been solved as well. Happy to say it worked. Dealer only sells it as a complete assembly and cost me $310.00 with taxes. Job took me 15 minutes to complete.


There was no "best" way to troubleshoot this issue that I could see. Ended up taking it to a mechanic and he plugged in a new wiper motor to see if that was it and turns out it was. Short of having spare parts lying around to plug and check, this isn't easy to troubleshoot. The fact that it changed based on the temperature did lead me, in the end, to believe it electrical (versus mechanical) in nature.


I solved my problem by simply buying a rebuilt motor from a parts store, then replacing the old and not the entire assembly. I believe the original assembly comes with the motor bolted to it, but many after-market units are riveted, therefore purchasable only as an assembly. This solved my sporadic intermittent issue.

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