Repairs and Maintenance

Toyota Tacoma Windshield Wipers Not Working? Here’s Why…

As it’s getting to the time of year where the weather starts to take more of a turn towards the inclement side it’s getting more and more important that your wipers are working properly, but what if they aren’t working at all? Follow this guide and hopefully we’ll be able to help you and have them working again.

Windshield Wiper

Check The Fuse

This is always the first place to look when you have any electrical fault with your vehicle. Check the wiper fuse and replace it if needed. Test the wipers again and see if this gets them working. If the fuse was still intact then the problem is further along the system.

Check The Motor

There are a few things that can cause your wipers to stop working and the vast majority of these will be electrical faults. To eliminate the possibility of an electrical fault you can test to connections at the wiper motor. This will also allow you to find out if it is the motor that is damaged or the electrical system at the same time.

For this you will need a voltmeter or a test light (using a test light will make this job much easier). Locate the wiper motor, which should be at the top left of the engine compartment from looking directly at the truck.

  • Disconnect the wiring cluster from the motor.
  • Using either your voltmeter or your test light you can now check if there is power going to the motor. There will be different connection receiving power depending on the different settings that you select.
  • Connect the test light to the negative terminal of the battery and probe the different connections to see if there is power. If you’re using a voltmeter then connect it to ground and probe the connections.
  • If the connections are receiving power (it should be around 12v) then you will next need to check that the ground is working as it should. If it is, then the problem will be with the motor. You can try and repair the motor or simply replace it.

If there is no power going to the motor connections then there is the a problem with either the switch or the wiring going to the motor.

Checking The Switch

This job is a little more complicated than the others, but isn’t out of the skill set of even the most novice mechanic. This video shows you the basics on how to access the switch and how to open it up to check the connections, it is for a Camry but the method is similar to how it would be on a Tacoma. Once you have checked the connections or even cleaned them you should test the wipers before rebuilding. If there is still a problem you can try replacing the switch. A new part will cost you over $100 so you may want to check the wiring first before committing to buying a new one.

Checking The Wiring

If you don’t want to spend over $100 on a new switch that you may not need then you can check the wiring to see if there is a break in it but this can be a long job if you don’t have the right tool. This tool from Extech will allow you to find a break in you wiring and really is worth investing in if you have had problems with your trucks electronics. Use this along the wiring from the switch to the motor to the motor. If the wiring is good then you will need to replace the switch, if there is a break in the wiring you will know where it is so that you can repair it.