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I have a car that seems to have an electrical problem. Here is its weird behavior:

  1. When I turn the key (turning on the electrical component of the car) the front wipers start to wipe the windshield even though I did not start them. They do that for 3 cycles and finish in the middle of the windshield
  2. When I start the engine the same thing happens again
  3. When it's raining and I activate manually the wipers they only turn when I'm pressing the lever down and immediately stop if I release the lever

What can be the problem?

It's a Chevrolet Captiva 2008 Diesel if that's important

Is there anything I can check myself like fuses or any other test?

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There's a couple of things on the Captiva that can cause this - the root of the problem is that the wipers aren't registering as being in the "park" position correctly.

This can be caused either by the wiper motor bearings "sticking" causing the wipers to not return to park correctly or the plastic disc on the wiper motor shaft that triggers the park position switch becoming misaligned causing it to either trigger at the wrong time or not trigger at all.

You can either refurbish the existing motor or replace - they aren't a massively expensive part and can be DIY-swapped (although it's a bit fiddly)

  • Are they easy to access and disassemble to see if I can do it myself? Thanks for your answer – gota Jul 19 at 10:56
  • But would this explain why they start when I start the engine and electrical system? – gota Jul 19 at 10:57
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    For certain definitions of the word "easy" :D The basic steps can be found here – motosubatsu Jul 19 at 10:57
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    @gota Yep - the starting when you turn it on was the giveaway clue, this happens because when you turn the engine/ignition on it thinks the wipers aren't parked and is trying to get them to the correct position. – motosubatsu Jul 19 at 10:58
  • Wiper motors and linkages can be a real pain to access on some cars! – GdD Jul 19 at 11:29

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