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Electrical 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Electrical Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 04-16-2011, 01:52 PM
TedP TedP is offline
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Default Another Wiper Problem

Hello. I need help. I have searched many threads but cannot find anything like what I have so I am appealing to all Ram owners out there to help me lick this problem.

First the problem. My wipers sometimes don't work. I cannot figure out a pattern in relation to temperature. They always work if I tap the squirters. Sometimes they work fine, the intermittent and low and high speeds, sometimes not at all. Sometimes when they don't work, I can flash my brights and they kick on. For example, if not working, I put the switch to the fastest speed. Nothing. Flash the brights, sometimes the wipers will then work on high for a little while, sometimes they will come to life in a slower speed, sometimes they won't do anything. Usually the life is short lived when flashing the brights. Nonetheless, I never have an issue when using the squirters.

So far, here is what I have done. I have called Dodge and they confirmed there were no recalls or TSBs for the wiper motor in my truck. I confirmed this on the Dodge website too. I searched hi and low for a relay or fuse and cannot find one. My truck is a 2007 Hemi 4x4 quad cab. I was hoping to find a relay and replace it but can't find any relays on my truck...just fuses and none for the wipers. I found the wire that comes out of the distribution box by the battery that is for the wipers but that's it. So now I am stuck.

Should I replace the multifunction switch? Anyone ever have this problem? Is there a common issue with the wiring in the column at all?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

Ted
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2011, 11:36 PM
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I would have to have your truck in my driveway to fix it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:51 AM
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Just a little FYI just cause Dodge said there is no recall on the wiper motor you might just want to go ahead and test it to a battery directly to make sure it's not that and then if it works fine you know that it's probably not the motor maybe wiring?
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:34 PM
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There is no relay (so to speak of) in your truck. The wipers are controlled by the TIPM, and get's it's information from the instrument cluster. I would have suggested the instrument cluster was the culprit, but since operation of the high beams sometimes makes it work, I'm leaning heavily toward the multifunction switch.

The washer portion of the switch uses a different wiring path to the instrument cluster, then the normal wiper function, which explains why that part works fine. At this stage I figure it's a 70/30 chance it's the multifunction over the instrument cluster.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:11 PM
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Thanks for your help. I do agree that it's pointing to the switch. I am going to try one thing first. I've read at dodgetalk that some folks have had issues with the intermittant and took their motor apart to clean the contacts. I don't know if that will help me but it's worth the try before replacing the switch. Whenever I get around to working on this I'll post my results. Thanks Brad for explaining the wiring to me. That does help in my quest to figure this out.

Ted
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:10 PM
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Hello Everyone. Here's an update. Yesterday I took the wiper motor out. To do this, remove your wiper arms (there's a little latch to release and mine slid off pretty easy), remove two screws and 5 push clips. The shroud comes off. Then remove 3 bolts...I think they were 7/16". Unplug the electrical plug...the whole wiper motor and assembly comes off. Pop off the black tabbed cover by the motor and you will find an electrical slide of sorts. I degreased and cleaned up this area, then sprayed new lithium grease on there, and bent the contacts out a little...they make contact with the cover you popped off and rotate for different circuits when your wipers are activated. Put it all back together.

So far initial indications are that they work correctly. They didn't work before I started and now they do work. However, the real test will be when it rains next. My wipers sometimes worked fine when dry and seemed to not work when I needed them. For now, assume the problem is fixed. In the next couple weeks if I see any issues with the wipers, I promise to post them here so you guys will know my fix was not a real fix.

Sorry that I didn't take pictures. Thanks.

Ted
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:54 PM
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Well, here's hoping that fixes it....but I'm not confident it did, as that doesn't explain how operating the high beams would often bring it operational. Good part, if it's fixed, the price was right, and if not, your not out a penny, and have gained 100bux worth of experience!
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:32 PM
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Hi. Brad...you were right. Took my truck to work today and no wipers unless I spray or flash my brights. So are you thinking it's the switch? When you mention instrument cluster what are you referring to?

I think my switch is the next to look at. Any help you can share is appreciated. Thanks.

Ted
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2011, 10:41 PM
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Instrument Cluster as in....the instrument cluster....(All the gauges/lights/etc. in the dash) As strange as it sounds, it is an integral computer in the windshield wiper circuit.

Once upon a time, when you turned the wipers on, the switch you operated, switched power to the wiper motor. Now the switch sends a specific resistance to the instrument cluster (basically a computer that looks like an instrument cluster), where the instrument cluster determines what the 'nut behind the wheel' is asking for, and sends that data via Canbus (or whatever the buzzword of the data system is) to the TIPM. The TIPM then switches power to the appropriate circuit and monitors the power draw for the purpose of diagnostics. Simple Eh!

That's why the 'ol test light tracing method just doesn't work any more for this type of troubleshooting and repair. In fact, without a wiring diagram, it is virtually impossible to do a lot of repairs on the modern vehicle, as who woulda thuk the speedo is part of the wiper circuit!

Based on the symptoms you have described, I am 98.34682% certain the multifunction switch is the point of failure. Of the remaining 1.65318%, .05318% leans toward the instrument cluster, .6% uncertainty and the remaining 1% for token mathematical anomaly/error.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:52 AM
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Hi Brad. Thanks. I'll post an update after the switch gets replaced. I do appreciate the mathmatical analysis of probability too!

Ted
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