Ghost Wipers
By Chuck Kichline

Having your wipers show a mind of their own can be really disturbing, not to mention that it makes everybody, including the owner, wonder if the Fiero isn't really less than a wonderful car.
There are two common failures that make the wipers take on a life of their own.  The first and easiest to fix is problems with the control board hiding on top of the wiper motor.  A second point of failure is the multifunction switch, but we're only going to do the easy stuff here.

Start Here!
The wiper motor is hiding under the trim piece under the "hood".  There are three small hex head screws  holding it on.  This part also protects the wiper motor and the controller board from getting too wet, so if yours has been removed you might want to find another.

There's the wiper motor, in front of the driver.
The control wires plug in from the center of the car, and the lid is held on by the one gold screw in the center.  The lid is also all that holds the controller board into wiper housing.  Nope, it ain't gonna' fall out when you take the lid off.

  OK, there's the controller board coming out of the housing.
There are a bunch of clips this side of the board that contact to the wiper.  It may be a little stiff coming out of the case, but it should just pull out.

Drink tomato juice.  Keep the cans to throw parts into while you're working on the car.

OK, here's another bad photo with my non macro Vivitar.

What you're looking for are obviously trashed or overheated components.  If things look bad then the easiest fix is to pull a board out of a donor car.  My board just seemed to need cleaning up.  I gave it a quick wash with alcohol then checked out the contact points.
There are open and closed contacts on the relay on the top of the board.  I folded a small piece of 400 grit sandpaper and cleaned both of them.  There are five press on "clip type" contacts on the right side of the board.  I used the sandpaper to clean these too.  While I was doing it, I found one of them had spread and was probably not making a firm contact - probably it is the one that gets the hottest, so I bent the ears back closed again.  I'll bet you that this was my ghost problem - a poor contact there that would set off the wipers for a wipe or two randomly when I hit a bump or made a turn.

Put it back together!  If problems continue, grab a "known good" board and if that doesn't fix it, start thinking about replacing the multi-function switch in the steering wheel.  But it isn't gonna' be a 15 minute job like this!


Hey, while we're putting it back together, check out that OEM black rubber band around the jack and jack handle.
It will keep one more annoying rattle out of your Fiero.

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