Chevy Truck Windshield Wiper Troubleshooting

by John Stevens J.D.

The cause of most windshield wiper problems often can be difficult to determine, particularly since the entire wiper system is located underneath the dashboard. Thankfully, the causes of most wiper problems can be at least narrowed down to a few, depending on what the wipers are doing, or not doing. Because Chevrolet has been manufacturing trucks since the early 1900s, not all Chevy trucks are constructed the same way. It is necessary to at least have a copy of a Chevrolet shop manual or a schematic of the wiper system to locate the relevant components.

Wetting the Windshield Before Testing

Many windshield wiper problems can often be traced to a dry windshield. Because more friction is created between the windshield and the wipers when the windshield is dry, the wipers will likely operate more slowly on dry glass, and may actually chatter or fail to travel a complete arc. It is necessary to first spray water onto the windshield before the wipers are tested.

Wipers Do Not Operate

If the wipers do not respond at all, first make sure that the truck's battery is charged with a volt meter. If the battery has a charge, the problem is likely a blown fuse. The fuse box is typically located against the firewall on the interior of the truck, just above the brake pedal. Some Chevy fuse boxes are labeled, so locating the fuse for the windshield wipers is easy. If the box is not labeled, refer to the owner's manual for the location of the fuse. A faulty wiper control switch can also prevent the wipers from operating, even if the control switch still activates the turn signals. Finally, the wiper motor behind the dashboard may be faulty. Unfortunately, both the wiper control switch and the motor must be replaced, as they cannot be repaired.

Wipers Will Not "Park"

When the wipers are "parked," they are in their position of non-operation at the base of the windshield. Wipers that do not park stop in the position they are in as soon as the wiper control switch is turned off, usually in the middle of the windshield. If the wipers fail to park, the parking lever switch behind the dashboard should be checked for proper adjustment. If no adjustment is necessary, the problem is likely a defective wiper control switch.

Wipers Operate Slowly

If the wipers operate slowly, first use a volt meter to make sure that the battery is fully charged. If the battery is fully charged, check for any binding pivots, linkages or cranks underneath the dashboard. The wiper's motor controls two metal arms. Each of these arms connect to several other arms, which ultimately attach to the base of the windshield wipers. Any interference with these arms can cause the windshield wipers to move slowly. If no binding exists, the wiper motor most likely is defective and must be replaced.

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