Wipers on my 98 outback not working . . . I blame irony or some such thing.


Asked by Sep 06, 2017 at 03:12 PM about the 1998 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr L AWD Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Four days ago I returned to my 98 Subaru, it having been parked in
Yosemite Valley for sixteen hot days. Not only did the car start without
complaint, but I used the front wipers to wash away a lot of dust. No
Two days ago, while hanging with a few friends, I gave the car to my friend
and her car mechanic brother to not only drive to the market, but also to get
his impressions on the overall health of the car. He reported back that it ran
well, sounded good, etc . . .
Last night I went to use the wipers again and they didn't work. Back one
works fine, fronts, not---I can flick them on and hear the motor running, but
there's no action from the wipers, which are bolted down snug.

So who broke my wipers? was it my friend, or maybe her nervous mechanic
brother, or maybe--as things do just break---the wiper mechanism just
decided to die? Should I no longer allow mechanics who I am not already
paying, sit in my car?

I stopped wondering if I could fix it when told to remove or check under the
"cowling" which took me a few trips through the index to figure what that is .
. . . Could I have blown a fuse? unhooked a wire??? Thanks for any

6 Answers


Perhaps the wiper linkage came loose. BTW - using the wipers dry on a dusty windshield will scratch the glass.

1 people found this helpful.

"wiper linkage" there's a term I can find in the manual, thanks! ( and how are you?) yes, I read up at least enough to stop running the rear window, dry. The pump works fine, so if I can get the front to go, I'm good.


I take it you are done with your hike? I hope you did not have too much smoke, here on the west side of the Sierra's we have terrible smoke all day. Try moving the wipers (don't force) and see if something is loose.


. . . and I'm gonna bet I have to take off the cowl to get anywhere near the linkage?


Not sure about that. I would have to look at it to know but first pop the hood and find the wiper motor.


Done with the hike. I had a Forrest Gump moment ( after having done it now 13 times ) and got to the mid-point and said, "I'm done" . . . plus I got to over a pass I've never done. The car. I pulled off the cowl, found the linkage. decided to go for it and undid the wiper motor. it works--turns out there's just a bearing with a plastic cap holding it on. I sucked it up in a vacuum! . . . thought I would at least find a bolt--amazed that this is how it attaches.

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