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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 18743
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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2004 Pontiac Grand Am. Driver-side wiper stopped working. Problem....broken

Customer Question

2004 Pontiac Grand Am. Driver-side wiper stopped working. Problem....broken plastic bushing in wiper linkage/transmission (motor crank end of linkage arm). Local Pontiac dealer response....we'll have to replace total wiper assembly, including motor....$180+ w/o labor. Just for a $2-3 plastic bushing? NO WAY!!! Searched several local auto parts places.....found a few styles of replacement bushings - but none exactly the same as needed. Did find 1 (Toyota or Nissan?), which seemed to be a close fit and worked - briefly. Then some on-line research about problem - w/o much results. So, bit the bullet and bought new linkage assembly (AC/Delco part #19120840; manufactured in China (where else?!) by Dongyang, Part #22711474) at local A-Line Auto Parts dealer. Installed it.....fit right and seemed to work fine, EXCEPT...wipers appear to make normal wiping arc, but when stop, they park about 45° above base - in middle of window. Same park action in all wiper modes (1-time, intermittent, slow, fast). Tweaked & adjusted position on drive-spindles, unplugged/replugged power (reboot?)....no change. Repeated drill several times - no change. So, what's the trick to make these wipers properly "go home" after they've done their job? Also, any tricks/fine points to consider in properly aligning the wiper arm sockets onto the tapered, splined spindles (not sure if that's the correct term, but I'm sure you understand what I mean)? Final question - are these bushing meant to be replaceable or is this just another example of "if you want the milk, you'll hafta' buy the whole cow"?

Thanks
John M
Austin, TX
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.

There are no replacement bushings available for the wiper mechanism on the Grand Am. The entire mechanism must be replaced.

 

There is a park switch that is built into the wiper motor that should properly time the motor so it parks the wipers all the way down when the wiper is turned off or between cycles on the intermittent setting. There is no adjustment for this, the new wiper motor was just assembled incorrectly. I would suggest exchanging the mechanism where you bought the part.

 

Whel installing the wiper arms, use magic marker or a piece of tape on the windshield to mark the desired location of the wiper arm in the off position. Turn the key on and wiper on. Turn the wiper off and allow the wiper motor to park and stop running. Turn the key off and install wiper arms aligning them with the marks on the glass, then install the nuts to secure the arms.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
David
Re: 04 Grand Am wiper problem

Thanks for your quick response. Your suggestion on wiper alignment makes sense and I'll try it. However on the main issue - bushing/linkage replacement, I didn't make one point clear in my initial inquiry (my bad!)... I did NOT replace the actual motor - only the linkage mechanism (main mounting bar, linkage arms, bushings, etc.). The original motor "SEEMS" to be working fine. When the driver's side wiper failed, I removed it (blade & arm) and drove around a few days w/ only the passenger side wiper operating (and yes it did rain - making for some interesting, leaning over the center console driving!).

Back to the motor.....I do know that after the intial failure, but before I'd removed the driver-side wiper & linkage, the whole system did briefly stall/jam, due to the loose linkage arm (I did quickly remove the "offending" linkage arm). Also, during my fix-it efforts w/ the new linkage assembly, there was some brief jamming before I got the wipers close to proper alignment. Could these jams have damaged the motor and/or its integral gearbox? If so, is opening up the motor/gearbox worth the effort, to try a fix? Is the "park switch" accessible and, possibly, fixable? Worth a try, or just head over to the parts dealer, or a salvage yard? Lastly, in your experience, is this a relatively common problem (the linkage "irreplaceable" bushing failure)? Again - thanks!

John M
Austin, TX
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I do believe the jam up did damage the wiper motor. Try resetting the wiper blades using the procedure I listed above. If it is still parking up on the windshield, it is then time to replace the wiper motor. There are no internal adjustments that can be made to the wiper motor and park switch.

 

Failures of the bushings in the linkage do happen, but not that often. I do not believe I have replaced more than one or two wiper linkage assemblies on Grand Ams over the years and I have worked on lots of Grand Ams.

Dave Nova, Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 18743
Experience: ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
Dave Nova and 7 other Pontiac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
Did you need additional help with anything?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dave.....Yes I accept your advice. It all sounds good. I'll give it all a try tomorrow. I'm even going to "autopsy" the motor/gearbox, on the chance I can fix it. If no-go, it's off to the salvage yard - I've already located a linkage w/ motor nearby (on a wrecked 2004 Chev Cavalier). You see any serious downside to trying a used motor? Can always get a new one if necessary. I'll let you know the final outcome. You're only up in Temple, so you might hear the cheers XXXXX XXXXX Austin, if all goes well! Any last words-of-wisdom?

John M
Austin, TX
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
I don't see anything wrong with using a used part. I do it all the time on personal vehicles and vehicles that I fix and sell. Your car is already full of used parts, so why should it be a big deal to install another used part? Most salvage yards will give you some kind of warranty on the part. If it is going to fail, it will usually do so in this warranty period. The Cavalier part should work on the Grand Am, I checked an interchange guide. So you should be good to go.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dave.....Thanks for advice on my Grand Am question. Problem solved. If another arises, which I can't solve myself, I'll contact you again. I'll also pass on your name to friends who tell me they have vehicle/Pontiac problems. With Pontiac now killed by GM, you'll become an expert on a new entry into the vintage car lines! Good luck & HNY!

John
Austin, TX
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
Tunis for the feedback. I am glad to be able to help. Just ask for me by name if you need me in the future. I do appreciate the referrals as well.

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