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Registered
1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the snow storm in Ocean City, MD and my drivers wiper stopped working. The ice was preventing full movement earlier but I thought I cleared it all off. The drivers moves about a quarter up and then stops. Its also loose..I can move it up and down freely by hand. I need to drive 3.75 hours home tomorrow and it'll be slush hitting my windshield. Any quick fix or repair I can make? I have no tools unfortunately with me..probably an autozone nearby. Thoughts?
 

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Banned
2000 Forester L
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320 Posts
is there ice blocking the movement? I have stripped the inside of a wiper arm before by turning the wipers on in extreme icy conditions, you may want to check that.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
Quick questions. Is the passenger side working? Can you flip up the cover on the driver side wiper arm and see the wiper mechanism rotating but not the wiper? If this is the case the wiper mechanisms splines that the arm attaches to are likely stripped or (hope like h***) that only the wiper arm splines are stripped. Yes try to get to an auto parts store and beg to borrow some wrenches to take the arm off and inspect. You might be able to retighten the wiper arm or if that's the part thats stripped replace it.
I don't like recommending the next course of action if the wiper mechanism splines are stripped but we did this on an old Ford 150 while racing in New Hampshire many years ago. We tack welded the wiper arm to the mechanism, the goal was enough to get us home safely through three days of storms, my friend was going to grind off the tack welds and replace the mechanism but never did.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
You might be out of luck with the tack weld idea. The part of the arm that fits over the spline drive is aluminum. I just checked on my 08 but I'm sure yours will be the same. good news is thats probably the part that stripped if the spline still moves. You'll have to pop the hood to have a look
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ill wait and see in the morning. I may just buy a cheapie tool set at walmart to keep in the car and check it out. Just praying like hell its just frozen but I'm nearly positive something is stripped. Ill check tomorrow. Thanks for the walk through. I truly appreciate it! The passenger side is working wish it was that side out and not my side!
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
If the splines are still good on the mechanism you probably could get by with swapping the passenger side wiper over. On my 08 it looks as if there is enough clearance with the hood.
Just make sure the splines match up and it is on tight.

Good Luck and let us know what happens.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Is anyone in or near ocmd? Just thought id check in case someones nearby with a wrench..I could compensate for your help!
 

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01 Forester S
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102 Posts
Prolly wiped the motor/transmission. Mentioned before, check the splines on the driver's side. Had to replace the entire transmission in my mom's 99 when that happened to hers. This is why later models have deicers. Good luck!
 

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1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for yyour help. I'm going to rainx before I leave if I can't get anything to work and hope that'll help until I get home. Dreading the drive now. Thanks! I think its a strip issue not motor as it still moves a bit.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for yyour help. I'm going to rainx before I leave if I can't get anything to work and hope that'll help until I get home. Dreading the drive now. Thanks! I think its a strip issue not motor as it still moves a bit.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for yyour help. I'm going to rainx before I leave if I can't get anything to work and hope that'll help until I get home. Dreading the drive now. Thanks! I think its a strip issue not motor as it still moves a bit.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
A friend just reminded me there's a pepboys on the way and they're open sundays. If its stripped what type of cost should I expect?
 

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1999 Forester S
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
A friend just reminded me there's a pepboys on the way and they're open sundays. If its stripped what type of cost should I expect?
 

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Banned
2000 Forester L
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320 Posts
why why are are you you double double posting posting??

the wiper arms whouldn't be too expensive. they inner splines are very soft and are designed to strip in this type of situation to preserve other more expensive parts.
 

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Road Warrior
1995 Legacy L SW 5 speed manual
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412 Posts
Just turn on the wipers with the engine running then turn them off to get the wiper motor in the parked postion. Then tightend the 14mm nuts on the end of each wiper arm where it fits onto the shaft, very snuggly and tightly. This should solve your problem.

This has been a weak spot with Subarus from their very beginnings. What happened is the ice bogged them down and the nuts spun loose. You can 99% of the time just tighten them down and all is good.

I am an ASE Master Tech and have worked on Subarus for 30 years.

Hope this helps, Bob
 

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none none
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9,011 Posts
Theres another thing that often happens. Theres a plastic fitting in one of the arms that moves the actual wiper arm. The fitting pops out and causes a bunch of play in the mechanism.

Can't find the post right now, it was either on here or scoobymods.
 
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