What Causes Windshield Wipers Not Returning to Rest Position

If you have a problem with the wiper motor park position not returning to the resting position, it shows something wrong has developed within the windshield wiper system.

Possible causes include a weak wiper motor, a dirty windshield, damaged wiper transmission, incorrect wiper installation, etc.

This article will examine the causes of windshield wiper not returning to home position. Besides, we will also discuss fixes of this problem and provide answers to some related questions.

windshield wipers stop in random positions

What causes Windshield Wipers Not to Return Rest Position?

When your front or rear wiper stops in middle of window and does not return to the rest position, it may be electrical problems, dirt, or installation issues.

Once faced with this issue, first find the cause of the problem. Some causes of the windshield wipers stuck in the up position include the following:

Read Also: Why and How to Change Wiper Blades?

Weak wiper motor

The wiper motor powers the wiper system in your vehicle. It is responsible for the wiper arm and blade movement. It is possible that the wiper motor get damaged or wears down.  As it begins to fail, the wiper movement will be disrupted, starting with a slow motion and eventually stopping.

Dirty windshield

Dirt and debris could easily get into the wiper system, causing the wiper to get stuck in a particular position. Dirt on the windshield is the most common cause of windshield wipers not coming to rest position.

Once dirt accumulates, it makes it difficult for the wiper to move correctly and you will hear a squeaky noise. In most cases, dirt gets stuck in the blades, causing increased friction between the windshield and the wiper. Eventually, the wiper could get stuck in one position.

Wrongly installed wiper

You may have poorly installed windshield wiper, causing it to act up and seize. If you have replaced parts like the wiper’s motor, transmission, or relay and the windshield wipers not working properly, you may have an alignment issue.

Damaged wiper arms or blades

The arm of the wiper is responsible for holding the wiper blades in place. As the motor moves the wiper, the arms ensure it stays in place and is properly aligned. If the wiper arm is worn out, it will no longer be aligned and may not return to its resting position.

Failing intermittent wiper relay

The intermittent wiper relay is responsible for controlling the speed of the windshield wiper. It can do this by sending a series of signals to the wiper module, which uses it to control the wiper motor.

When the intermittent wiper relay is damaged, it could affect its speed and cause windshield wipers misaligned.

Damaged wiper transmission

The wiper transmission has to transfer power from the wiper motor to the wiper’s arm. If the transmission fails, you will have a less aligned wiper movement.

In cases like this, you might have a stuck wiper; now, the wipers do not return to rest position. The wiper could be stuck in that position even when the wiper is activated.

Read Also: Windshield Wiper Fluid Not Coming Out: Causes and Fixes

What to do if Windshield Wipers do Not Return to Rest Position?

You can do a couple of things if your wipers don’t return to park position. However, the first step is determining the problem through proper diagnosis.

Once the cause has been determined, it will be easier to fix the problem. Below is how you can fix your windshield wiper not returning rest position:

  • Clean the windshield and the wiper blades of dirt and debris. Your wiper could be stuck because of debris.
  • Check your wiper motor for any damages; if it is damaged, you must replace it.
  • If you recently changed the wiper motor or transmitter, check if it is correctly installed. If not, disconnect and install properly.
  • Check the wiper arm and blade; if damaged, replace them immediately.
  • Check your intermittent wiper relay for any damages; if damaged, replace also.
  • Replace the wiper transmission if it is the source of the problem.

Windshield Wipers Not Returning to Rest Position

Read Also: Silicone Wiper Blades vs. Rubber


How do you reset the wiper motor position?

Below is how to reset the windshield wipers motor position.

  • Use a pry tool to remove the plastic covering between the car hood and windshield.
  • A socket wrench removes the center nut connecting the wiper arm to the motor.
  • Try adjusting windshield wiper to park position.
  • Replace the wiper linkage on the motor and replace the nut. Screw the nut using the socket wrench, ensuring it is tight enough.
  • Test the wiper and ensure it is aligned and return to the rest position.

What causes windshield wipers to stay on?

Many factors could cause your windshield to stay on even if you turn it off. Most of these reasons are electrical or wiring issues. Some of them include the following: Bad wiring, damaged fuse, bad park switch, damaged wiper transmission and bad relay.

Can you get wipers in service position?

Yes, you can, with the help of the wiper service position button. If you have an older vehicle, you may not have a service position button, so you may need to do it manually.

How do you get wipers in service position?

You only have to click on the wiper service position button to get your wipers in the service position. Thus, the indicator light will be activated, showing that the service position is activated. Once activated, the wiper will move to the service position. It is quite different with older vehicles; you must manually move the wiper to the service position.

How do you change the park position on a wiper motor?

To change the parking position of your wiper, you will have to adjust the switch knurled knob on the wiper motor once you can get the adjustment done. Change the parking position by the Ipars and then move it to the other side.

Final Words

Your windshield wiper can develop a fault like any other vehicle system. It consists of the wiper motor, relay, transmitter, and module. Once one of these components fails, you can have a wiper that will not return to the rest position.

Akindayini Temiloluwa

I am passionate about everything automotive. Right from when I got my first toy car as a kid, I developed an interest in the inner workings of vehicles. As I grew up, my love for mechanical stuff became more substantial enough for me to pursue a career in it. My goal as an automotive content writer is to simplify the most challenging concepts for my readers, help them self-diagnose what may be wrong with their vehicles and offer real value for their time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts