How to Replace an Intermittent Wiper Relay

Intermittent wipers are a great feature for those times that it isn’t raining hard enough to have the wipers going at low speed. The intermittent wiper relay gives you this feature. The relay functions as a switch and energizes circuits as needed. In the case of your windshield wipers, it controls low, high, and intermittent speeds by energizing a particular circuit at a given moment depending on what speed you have your wiper switch set to.

As with any electronic component, it can fail completely or only on one circuit. Your wiper relay could be bad if the low and high speed wiper positions function properly but the intermittent function stops working. Any combination of positions working or not working is a good indication of a faulty relay.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing your intermittent wiper relay

Materials Needed

  • Owner's manual
  • Screwdriver - flathead/Phillips

typical underhood relay location

Step 1: Locate your relay. Many late model vehicles can have multiple locations for fuses and relays.

There can be underhood as well as interior locations. Your owner's manual is a good source for locations and diagrams. Frequently the lid for the fuse/relay box will have diagrams as well.

  • Note: If your car is a little older, it may only have a fuse box located under either the driver’s or passenger side dash with relays mounted in or near it. In these cars, relays are frequently mounted separate from the fuse box, usually under dash near the steering column.

common under dash relay location

Step 2: Remove the relay. With the ignition in the off position, remove the relay.

They can sometimes feel a bit tight and require a little force to pull them out. If you can’t pull it out by hand, gently pry it up with an appropriately sized screwdriver.

Step 3: Install the new relay. Compare the bad relay with the new one.

The labels may be different but make certain the number and position of the plugs are correct. Before you put things back together, switch the key on to verify the new relay is functioning properly. Once verified, switch the key off and button things up.

If you need an intermittent wiper relay replacement and you are not completely confident in making the repair, have one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians come to your home or work and perform the replacement for you.


Next Step

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Christopher

20 years of experience
304 reviews
Christopher
20 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.2L - Evaporative Emission Control Canister - Tampa, Florida
Honest, courteous, patient, and a lot of know how!!! He was fast and efficient! I will be requesting him if I need to use this service again!! Great job! Thanks Chris!!
Mazda 6 - Car is not starting - Tampa, Florida
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Reyna

15 years of experience
39 reviews
Reyna
15 years of experience
BMW X5 V8-4.4L - Intermittent Wiper Relay - Stone Mountain, Georgia
She is knowledgeable, swift, & kool. Very good mechanic, thanx!!!!

David

13 years of experience
393 reviews
David
13 years of experience
Lexus IS250 V6-2.5L - Intermittent Wiper Relay - Acworth, Georgia
This was my first time using Your Mechanic and I am very impressed. David did an awesome job. Very professional, very knowledgeable and gave me an education on what was happening with the car and how he fixed it. I will definitely be using this service going forward for routine maintenance and repairs where possible. Thx again David! Ted G Acworth, GA

Luis

12 years of experience
78 reviews
Luis
12 years of experience
Toyota Sequoia V8-4.7L - Intermittent Wiper Relay Replacement - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Luis was early for the appointment and seemed to be very knowledgeable about the work that needed to be done. He located the part for a lot less than the dealer wanted. He took his time to explain the work needed and he was courteous and friendly.

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