What is the Intermittent Wiper Relay all about?
In the distant past, windshield wiper operation had only 2 functions: on and off. Over time, car manufacturers introduced low, medium and high speeds, and eventually added intermittent wiper functionality. These series of developments provided drivers with a wider range of speeds for varying levels of precipitation.
This functionality relies on a component called a relay – the same technology that powers your fuel pump and keeps your car’s computer running. The relay uses electrical resistance relative to the position set on the wiper control arm to determine the specific speed at which the wipers move.
Because the intermittent wiper relay is electronic, it will inevitably fail and require replacement.
Keep in mind:
- Intermittent wiper relay inspection is not part of most maintenance services.
- Without the relay, your wipers will still work, but they will not offer variable speeds.
How it's done:
- The intermittent wiper relay is verified it needs replacement
- The defective intermittent wiper relay is removed
- The new intermittent wiper relay is installed
- The intermittent wiper relay is energized to turn it on
- The wipers are tested to work properly in all control positions
Intermittent wiper operation isn’t required to drive your vehicle, and as long as your windshield wipers work, you’re legally permitted to drive while raining. However, lack of such an option can be a major inconvenience. If your wipers no longer work on the intermittent setting, a failed relay is likely the cause. Have it inspected by one of our expert mechanics and replaced if necessary.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Intermittent Wiper Relay?
- Intermittent speed setting does not always work
- Intermittent setting does not work at all
How important is this service?
Working wipers are required for safety on the road, but intermittent functionality is a convenience feature. However, it can be frustrating to constantly turn the wipers on and off to meet different rates of precipitation. Have the intermittent wiper relay replaced when it’s practical to do so.