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Old February 22nd, 2010, 17:59   #1
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PEI, Canada
Default Wipers won't turn off!!!

I have a 2002 vw TDI and I got in it this morning turned the wipers on to clean the windshield and now they won't turn off? If i time shutting the car off when the wipers are in the down position then restart the car they will remain off but if i turn them on again they remain on. My intermittent wipers work fine, as does the low speed, high speed, squirting function and single wipe, but once any of these are activated the wipers remain on when the switch is in the off position and run at the low speed. My guess was a relay could have a problem. Any suggestions. I tried to read through the forums but couldn't find an answer. Also, are there a few different relays? I seen a few things on #377, 192, 387, 389 but nothing that would elaborate.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 18:46   #2
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Location: Cambridge
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wiper motor

There is a brass contact ring internal to the motor that can get gummed up with brass filings. there is a gap in the ring where the wipers park. When the filings fill the gap partially, the inertial of the motor and arms will carry the motor over to another revolution, and again, and again etc.

You can either take the motor apart and clean the contact ring gap or replace the motor.

Proudly installing things where they're not supposed to go since 1996!
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 19:14   #3
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PEI, Canada

It doesn't really explain why it keeps going on the slow speed especially when i turn on the intermittent then go back to off. When i do this the wipers pick up speed to the setting above intermittent. I'll give this a try tomorrow evening and see where i end up although to me it seems like the circuit is remaining open. Thanks
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 21:31   #4
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Location: Rhode Island
TDI(s): 1998 Jetta
Fuel Economy: 46-54, better if i were to clean the garbage out of my passanger seat, must be 60lbs of garbage there. who the hell has time for that crap?

Try pushing forward on the wiper control stalk. Sometimes the switch gets a little sensitive and continues to make contact on the low setting even on the off setting. Just push it forward softly and it should stop if that is the problem. If that doesnt work then think about what windex posted.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 14:51   #5
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PEI, Canada

So I finally got the wiper motor out and tried to clean it. Only place i could really access was the magnetic area of the motor. there was not much to clean in there. So i put everything back together and my wipers worked. They started to stop again, but due to personal error the wipers stopped part way up the windshield. I didn't like this so 2 days later i decided to fix the wipers and move them back down. I did this and now the wipers won't shut off again. So i took the motor out again and cleaned it, put it all back together and it worked... for 1 day. I think i'm going to try a relay next.....
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Old November 6th, 2010, 16:42   #6
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I searched here, found out failure of the park function in the wiper motor causes this, replaced the motor and thought it was fixed - but next time my wife drove the car the wipers wouldn't shut off

In my case it was the switch on the column. I took the switch apart, cleaned out the dirty old grease, polished the contacts with steel wool, re-greased and reassembled - problem solved That was a year ago, still working fine (touch wood).

I gave the turn signal switch the same treatment while I was there, which solved an occasional problem with them ticking after use.

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Old February 25th, 2014, 23:05   #7
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Vancouver
TDI(s): 02 Jetta

Did u ever determine what the problem was??

I'm suffering the same

All positions on the wiper stalk work fine except "off" - the wipers stay on at normal speed. I have noticed that on "intermittent" the wipers go to the bottom and then stop 3" up - waiting for the next cycle to begin.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 07:34   #8
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Location: Oregon, WI
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This is a hit or miss issues. But be warned when the motor has issues and even if the car is off it can drain the battery dead. Seen it many times. Disassembly and cleaning if the parts can sometimes short term cure it but honestly replacement of the stalk and motor are the best solution unless you have a lot of free time you want to burn.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 13:38   #9
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Location: Hamilton, ON

I had this problem about a month ago and used this thread to diagnose.

My problem ended up being the relay. I pulled the relay out and it looked fine, so I went to the motor. Checked it out and it was fine as well.

ended up replacing the relay and fixed it. Relay is easy and cheap (used) so I'd start with that. After removing it again and really checking it out I could see a burnt spot on it.

My symptoms:

high low intermittant wipers worked normally.

when set to off it would go about 8 or 9 times and stop at a random spot on the windshield. If I switch it on and off the same thing would happen.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 15:49   #10
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Location: alberta
TDI(s): 2003 Golf

So where is the relay located?? Anyone??
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 17:30   #11
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Location: Scotland
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Big double relay on the regular relay panel under the dash. I think it might say something like 377 on it, can't remember for sure though.

I had the same problem too, wipers not going off and mine was also the relay, it controls everything. I opened it up later and found one of the contacts had broken off and was rattling around in the case probably shorting something out.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 19:02   #12
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Worcester, MA

yea, I would check relay. Beware of used relay, some of them are no good too.

Dealer told me it was the stalk. I replaced with new stalk. Same problem.
Replaced relay with used relay. No Help.
Bought relay and motor/linkage from a forum member.
Installed motor/linkage. No help.
Installed second used relay. Problem solved.

02 jetta.

So try the relay, try the relay. I have a stalk and linkage/ motor if you need it, but chances are its the relay.

Last edited by csteve; January 22nd, 2015 at 19:04.
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Old January 23rd, 2015, 14:03   #13
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Location: alberta
TDI(s): 2003 Golf

Thanks guys. One replaced relay and problem is solved.
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Old March 29th, 2017, 09:08   #14
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Fowler California
TDI(s): 2004 Golf
Fuel Economy: 45.36723163841808

Bringing a old thread to life, after 240.00 on a new relay and labor my wipers won't turn off until they cycle about 50 times. I'm about ready to cry! And actually an electrician looked at them before the mechanic changed the relay and thought he fixed the problem and that was another 160.00 can I hook up a separate switch to the wiper motor and forget the whole relay and switch issue?
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Old March 29th, 2017, 09:50   #15
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Location: lbi, nj
Fuel Economy: 41ish mpg post fix

This may or may not help but worth a try. Wife's '07 NB had a intermittent chattering relay buried in the dash, sounded just like the turn signals. After some google searching I discovered a fix of spraying contact cleaner into the turn signal stalk at the column.

Worked great, should not have waited three months to fix. No issues ~2 years ago.
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