Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace an Intermittent Wiper Relay

windshield wipers active on a windshield

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: What isn't working in my car? It's overheating only when I'm stopped in traffic or in a drive-thru.

It sounds like you may have a cooling fan not working. The cooling fan draws air across the radiator to lower the temperature of the coolant. This occurs at a specific temperature and a fan switch, usually on the radiator,...

Q: Can Mud and Dirt Wreck Your Wiper Blades?

Yes. Not only can mud and dirt wreck your wiper blades, they can also scratch your windshield. Mud and dirt contain small pebbles with sharp edges. These small pieces of rock can and will embed into the soft rubber part...

Q: I have a 2006 Honda Accord and the dash lights and radio willl sometimes go off then come right back on when I'm going about 40 mph.

The code P0685 refers to the main ECM (computer) relay has lost power. Check the main relay and see if its getting hot. A hot relay will disconnect to cool off and reconnect. If the relay is getting hot, then...