By Jenni Wirtz | 24 January, 2022

During the wetter months, First Line Ltd. recognises that, due to vehicle defects, some wiper motors are more prone to failure than others and is therefore advising that the aftermarket stocks up to ensure they are fully prepared for the inevitable demand.

For instance, the company has found that the Renault Clio wiper motor (FWM1004/BWM1004) fails as a result of being submerged in water due to a blocked drain channel and is recommending that technicians check this when vehicles come into the workshop, especially during Winter.

Jon Roughley, Global Marketing Director for First Line Ltd. advises: “To resolve the issue technicians need to not only replace the wiper motor, but during the procedure, must also remember to clear any blockages, check all the drain holes and ensure the mechanism is free of corrosion and moving freely. In addition, proactive workshops would do well to advise the customer to keep an eye on the situation to ensure it is kept free of debris and able to drain properly.”

On a lot of cars, First Line Ltd. has also found that the most common cause of the wiper motor failure is because linkages wear, which leads to the ball joints popping off their sockets, bringing the wiper blades to a complete stop. However, with the popular, first generation Nissan Qashqai, there is another big problem to be aware of.

Reacting to the high demand for replacement motors for this vehicle, First Line Ltd’s product team investigated the problem and discovered a weakness in the design of the OE product, which results in the output shaft seizing, due to the build-up of rust.

This is caused because the output shaft is neither sealed nor lubricated and due to its location, following heavy rainfall, water is able to penetrate between the shaft and motor housing, which allows rust to accumulate.

As the rust builds up, the motor is put under stress, as it contends with the rising levels of friction on the shaft to keep the wipers moving, until the point when the increased load is drawing a current greater than 30amps, which is when the wiper motor’s fuse will blow.

In addition, should the water that has penetrated between the shaft and housing freeze or the wiper blades freeze to the windscreen and are not freed before the wipers are switched on, the excessive load on the motor may also induce premature failure.

Roughley added: “Availability is key in the aftermarket and so we recommend on stocking up on these products to meet demand. As wiper blades are a crucial safety feature, technicians should be checking them and the mechanism, including the motor, on every vehicle as part of the service inspection. Regardless, it is however, advised that this time of the year is the best time to replace your Wiper Blades as this is when they are going to be in need the most.”

To support garages to encourage drivers to replace their wiper blades, First Line Ltd. has produced a handy poster, outlining key information on when to replace wiper blades, which is on request by filling in the online form here [].



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