I just went on holidays and did a road trip. Because Murphy is always lurking, I was taken by surprise with runaway window wipers. No matter what position of the wiper stalk, these would run in intermittent mode all the time, as long as the ignition would be on.
In order to minimize the wear on the motor and brushes everytime it would not be raining, all I could do was to remove the fuse that protects the windscreen wiper circuit.
As I did not know which fuse could be removed for this effect, I had to do some searching (fortunately had good cellular coverage during the journey) in order to find some information on the fuses for this car model. Unlike olders cars where things as simple as fuses are normally well documented to help users autonomously perform replacements or do some basic troubleshooting, these newer generations of vehicles are totally opaque in respect to that. The idea is that users should be kept away from doing any kind of technical intervention no matter how simple.
With some luck I found a pretty decent guide containing a detailed indication of each fuse from the two main fuse boxes that can be found in this car model:
That allowed me to determine that Fuse 8 from the engine bay fuse box was the one that had to be removed in order to disable the windshield wiper.
Whenever it would start raining, I would have to open the hood and put the fuse back in place.
As soon as I got back from the trip, I had to take care of a permanent repair. I did a more careful analysis, including the use of the Obdeleven tool to monitor the state of the wiper upon testing the stalk in each of the positions, and became convinced that the problem was most likely related to electrical contacts in the switch itself.
Did some research, and quickly "guesstimated" that sending the car to the dealership for repair would certainly not come cheap. The OEM part is a single block that contains both the wiper stalk and the turn signal/high beam stalk. More specifically, the part number is 6C0953513 / 6C0953501. Searching online I could find prices between 50 and 100 Euros for the part used or advertised as new.
From previous experience, and knowing how much VW dealerships usually charge for repairs (a sum of material costs, comissions over the material costs and labour, VAT and what not), likely I would have to shell out no less than a few hundred Euros no matter what.
As such, and because my vehicle is no longer covered by the warranty, I considered that I didn't have much to loose in attempting to fix what I suspected it would be relatively simple. In the worst case I would have to take the car for repair anyway.
And so I went. The first challenge that I faced, was the fact that the part cannot be directly removed from the steering column. Because it forms a ring around the latter, there is no other option but to remove the steering wheel and the clockspring (more on that one later) in order to finally be able to remove this steering column switch.
By watching some videos of other users doing a similar operation on other VW Polo and Golf vehicles, I was able to obtain relevant indications on what had to be done in this case.
For starting it is best to have the wheels straight and the steering wheel at 0º (as when going in the forward direction with the vehicle).
The first thing that is necessary to do is to remove the two plastic shells that cover the steering column. For that effect there is a Torx screw in the bottom shell that needs to be removed first:
In order to facilitate the removal of the shells it is best to reajust the steering wheel and keep the adjustment lever in the unlocked (up) position.
In this case try to install the clockspring, respecting the turn where the ribbon cable appears in the window.
To help test the switches before installing in the car, I have first established the schematic diagram of each switch. This way it would be easier to test continuity in all of the possible positions.
- Selected the Power Steering control unit (number 44):
- Entered the realtime data menu:
- Selected the steering angle measurement (there are also other counters which display the raw angle value, we want to select this one as it provides the calculated value):
- Click OK. The current angle should show up in the screen:
- Open ODBEleven and select the Central Electronics module (number 09):
- Select Realtime data:
- Select the window wipers measurements:
- The realtime values should now appear:
- Set of XZN tool bits (including the required M12) - 18 €
- Tube of silicone lubricant grease (CX8 Silicone grease 40 gr) - 6 €
- Thread lock (Pattex Nural 50) - 6 €
- Isopropyl alcohol;
- Racket wrench and hexagonal keys (for disconnecting the battery and to couple with the XZN bit);
- Torx screwdrivers;
- Plastic tool (for separating the steering column shells);
- OBDEleven dongle and application.