2012 Ford Focus SE

My windshield wipers have been going crazy. The other day, after parking my car and taking the key out my windshield wipers turned on. Eventually they stopped after a few minutes.

Normally, with the car off I can't turn them on (for example if I turn the car off before they return all the way down they just stop in place, I have to turn the car on for them to return to the bottom).

Then, as I was driving to work they came on again, and no matter which position I had the windshield wiper speed selector on they didn't respond.

When they come on its at seemingly random speeds and the speed will change from fastest to slow to intermittent wiping, sometimes back to fast and then slow again.

The problem is intermittent though. I was able to use them normally in between. It's supposed to rain this weekend and I don't feel safe driving the car with the risk of not having windshield wipers when I need them.

One thing I noticed by chance - possibly related, I was sitting in my car on break without the keys in and I saw the gas and temperature gauges twitching a for a brief moment and then they stopped.

Is this some kind of short circuit or a fuse? The wipers are working correctly so I don't think its anything wrong with the motors or their connections. Is it something on the other end in the power distribution box? Any idea what it should cost to get something like this looked at?

  • Did you solve your problem? Did you test the fusebox?
    – gota
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 10:19
  • @gota So I took it to a dealer to see if maybe it was just a connection and they wanted $500 to change the wiper motors out. I said no way and just tolerated the crazy wipers for a while and the problem eventually went away! So, no, I didn't solve the problem but the odd behavior stopped.
    – jreese
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


Maybe an automatic control has a faulty sensor ? My 2011 Murano has auto wipers that turn on and off and adjust speed according to any rain : Such a system would cause your condition with a bad sensor. I expect it would need to be evaluated by the dealer.

  • 1
    If my car has a rain sensor then it has never worked.
    – jreese
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 14:31

Just to give an update - I didn't do anything and the problem just went away. The wipers and wiper controls work fine now.

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