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Discussion Starter #1
I’m having some problems with the auto-wipers, and I’d like to find out whether these are common to all/most Civics with the auto-wipers, or whether our car has a problem.


When it’s raining, and the speed is above about 20 mph, the following things often happen and seem to get worse as the speed increases:
  • Wipers will wipe the screen continuously for 3-6 sweeps even if the rain is light and the first sweep cleared it.
  • Wipers will sometimes not clear the screen even when covered in rain (and the sensor is covered too).
  • Wipers will go from continual to wiping for about 10-20 seconds to intermittent for about 5-10 seconds, back to continual for about 10-20 seconds, keep doing that routine, and then stop for about 30 seconds all without any change in vehicle speed or rain intensity.
  • The wipers will sometimes stop part-way up the screen. It seems to be when they should stop (e.g. it’s decided to do intermittent wipes), but they go all the way down then part-way back up before stopping. It does this about 5% of the time.
It will also wipe the screen a seemingly random number of times if the stalk is in the off position and you push it briefly up to the mist position. Sometimes it wipes once, as expected, but it could continue for up to 5 times on a dry screen.

The wiper blade is definitely the right length, both blades have recently been replaced and the sensor is clean.

I know some people’s opinion is that the wipers are a fantastic gadget and you should just let them do whatever they want to do, but personally I’m not convinced all of the above is correct behaviour for them. I also find it very distracting for them to wipe at what seems to be random times during consistent rain, and at worst it can be dangerous when they stop wiping at all for a while.

Have other people experienced the same thing, and has anyone been to their dealer about it and got a resolution?
 

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I think you have a problem. Your 4th bullet point is not right, nor is the following paragraph.

They should wipe in accordance with the intensity of the rain although you may have to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor via the end of the right hand steering stalk.

I've got mine on almost full sensitivity (penultimate setting clockwise rotation).

Stopping on the screen, even momentarily, is definitely wrong though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have them set to minimum sensitivity. If I turn them up much beyond that they wipe almost constantly even with very light rain or drizzle.
 

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Although i would say mine do point 3 they definitely don't do point 4 so I think it's back to the dealer with this to have them checked out.
 

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  • The wipers will sometimes stop part-way up the screen. It seems to be when they should stop (e.g. it’s decided to do intermittent wipes), but they go all the way down then part-way back up before stopping. It does this about 5% of the time.
Mine did something similar to this the other day (2 or 3 times over about 10 minutes), except they were on their downward sweep back to the parked position, and stopped pretty much just after the sensor had been cleared by the drivers side wiper, rather than parking at the bottom of the screen.

Hasn't done it since, but I'm going to keep an eye on it over the next couple of weeks before going back to the dealer.
 

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I have them set to minimum sensitivity. If I turn them up much beyond that they wipe almost constantly even with very light rain or drizzle.
Same here!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it went into the dealer's on Thursday, and they said the carried out a 'hard electrical reset' to see if that will cure the problem. If it doesn't they said they'll need to replace the control unit. Later that day, the glow-plug light started flashing continuously, and the 'System Check' warning came on. We tried the restarting it 3-times thing mentioned in the handbook, but that didn't work so it went back to the dealer yesterday. They updated the ECU, and have also found that a sensor somewhere in the engine is slightly corroded so will have to be replaced. It's under warranty, which is a relief!

To top it all off, while my wife was driving along in slow traffic two lads on bikes rode up to the car from a side street, and one of them kicked the rear door in. She pulled over and a few seconds later the police came past so she flagged them down, but the lads had dissappeared by then. The police looked for them and checked CCTV but didn't turn anything up. What a great couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't know if anyone reads this thread, but I thought I'd update it in case it's of any use to someone in the future.

The wipers aren't fixed, and this morning they were acting exactly as they were before. Also, the 'System Check' message has come back on and the glow-plug light is flashing. No word from the dealer on whether the sensor has arrived in stock, and they also now need to order the wiper controller too, and it'll have to go back in for them to be fitted.

Interestingly, after the dealer updated the ECU, the auto headlights were much more sensitive, coming on much earlier than they used to. When the 'System Check' came on again, the headlights reverted back to their original (poor) sensitivity. I wonder if the ECU somehow lost its new firmware and reverted to the old version.
 

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I brought my 1.8 EX. to dealer with similar symptoms:-
Since 2 weeks I have a permanent problem with the right wiper as it raises for approx. 10cm from the bottom position at the end of the every intermittent cycle. I also got the problem twice when wipers were stopping on the screen and in these cases it was rather difficult to shut off the wipers by setting the lever in OFF position. The wiper was working continuously for 30 secs before it went OFF.
Last Friday I got my car back from the dealer and the guy said that it works perfectly as the rain sensor was re-programmed... 3 minutes after I got my keys, I was back at the desk claiming my 're-preogrammed' rain sensor has the same 'undocumented features' as before. Only after visiting the service area of my dealer and pointing with finger at wiper the mechanic got what actually the problem was.
So dealer's final decision was to change the wiper motor.
Let's see what will change then.
 

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BTW. Be aware that the problem with wiper raising causes day-light sensor switching to darkness mode unexpectedly as wiper casts enough shadow to confuse the sensor :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In the end the dealer replaced our ECU, and that's cured it. They discovered it had a fault, and was causing the wipers not to work properly. The warranty peoply wouldn't cover it at first, but the dealer pursuaded them to in the end for the part only and the dealer covered the labour.
 

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why wouldn't it be covered by warranty? The ECU was faulty and it needed replacing.

Glad to hear it's sorted now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's under the Honda used car warranty, and Honda say that warranty doesn't cover the ECU. It's appalling if you ask me, but at least the dealer got Honda to pay for it in the end and I didn't have to pay.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ARRRGH! The stupid things are going wrong again. They're stopping anywhere except at the bottom of the screen. Somestimes a few centimetres up, sometimes at their furthest reach, and sometimes right in your eye line! When they do it, it also means the wipers sweep every time you turn the ignition on, even though the wipers are turned off. I think they could end up ripping the rubber off if they're frozen to the screen one morning.

It's booked in for the dealer to have a look for the fifth time. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In case this thread is ever useful to anyone else, here's an update. The dealer had no idea what could be causing the problem, but was able to replicate it (a good start - at least it meant they could see there really was a problem). Seeing as the ECU had already been replaced they ruled that out. They decided to strip down everything where the wires go from the stalk to the wipers via everything else. They said some connections were a little dirty or corroded so cleaned them up. They also found that two wires had been chafing on some metal and the insulation had worn away exposing the copper. Although they weren't touching each other or anything else at the time, they wondered whether they sometimes touch when the car is moving and the wipers are on. They replaced those wires too, and put everything back together. So far so good - they're back to working as they should be. Fingers crossed this fix it for good.
 

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i wonder if this is my problem!! My auto lights have started having a total fit!! tiniest amount of spray and they go on constantly. Move the stalk to off and the keep whiping. after about 10 whipes they stop. Move to mist, they whipe about 5 times and dont always rest in the normal position, so have to repeat until they do!!
Thought they were meant to be less hassle than normal ones, but are doing my nut!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That sounds like exactly the same symptoms as we were having. As you probably read, ours seemed to be a combination of faulty ECU and frayed wires.
 
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