2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue

Wiper blades stuck in the up position


GM windshield wipers stuck in the up position

[This repair may apply to the following vehicles. 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Intrigue, Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Impala, Chevy Monte Carlo]

Posted 3-22-2009

This is my mother's car. One day the wipers stopped parking in the down position on the windshield. When turned off they stopped in up position. They looked like they were going to park, but a the last second they snapped up. The is a common problem with these cars. Here's a place where GM cost cutting didn't work.

First, lets look at it operating properly. Foolishly, I didn't take a video of it when it was failing. I shot it after I had bent the tab back into position.

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When I say "off", the motor turns in reverse up to one full turn. Halfway through the turn the black pawl catches a bent metal tab and the blades stay down. The motor finishes the turn and the blades retract a little more.

The fix isn't difficult, but you do have to take off the plastic shield a the base of the windshield. For some reason this is an area I don't like to mess with. I was worried I wouldn't be able to put it back together. I like working in areas I can hide my mistakes in. If I do this wrong, you'll aways see it. Not to worry, this job wasn't too hard.

Let't get to it.


Take off the caps at the base of the windshield wiper to reveal the single nut holding the wiper arm on.


Loosen the nut. You'll have to hold on to the wiper arm as you turn. Lefty loosey - righty tighty.

Disconnect washer hose line.

Pry the washer arm off the stud. This was surprisingly hard. This one was fused on pretty hard. Remember the spring in the wiper arm is working against you.

This has to come out. I do believe it unscrewed. (I took the pictures last fall and have since forgotten how I got this out)

This looks like a phillips screw, but it's not.

You unscrew it a little, but ultimately you pull these out with plyers. They will snap back in when you reassemble.

Now we're getting somewhere. The trim is off and you can expect to find a mess. See the cabin air filter poking out on the left?

I think a lot of people don't realize they have one of these. You should use this opportunity to clean or replace this filter. Be careful removing the cabin air filter. You don't want to drop any debris into the air box. You'll have a hard time getting it out.


Click on the picture above for more detail. When you close up the air filter with the trim piece, be sure you attach the gasket with silicone caulk. If you don't have a tight seal on this gasket rain water can get underneath and into the airbox. In my case I had water dripping out of my blower motor. See the Buick blower replacement page if you want proof.

This one wasn't too bad. I blew it off with my air compressor. I could still see a lot of light through it.




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