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2002 Forester Manual
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen, I have a problem.
Took my 2002 forester onto a decommissioned logging road, had lots of fun, but I'm paying the price now! Turns out I sheared off the wiring harness for the trailer hitch. No prob, I can deal with that. Trouble is, a couple engine starts later, the rear wiper turns on by itself and is going full speed! I pulled the sheared trailer hitch wires apart, rear wiper slows down to half speed but still won't turn off. I pulled the fuse to get her home. At home I've pulled the whole back end apart, I completely removed the wiring harness for the hitch, and the problem persists. All I can do is unplug the wiring harness for the wiper motor. All the wiring seems to be in good condition, after hours of searching these forums I'm kind of at a loss here.
Any ideas?
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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1,663 Posts
Since you're an 02 you don't have an intermittent wiper module to worry about. I would start with the relay.


Get out the volt meter and see if it is getting voltage at the coil.
If it is, your problem is elsewhere (probably the wiper switch).
If it is not, then you've got a bad relay.

Off the top of my head I can't think of how the trailer wiring would be the culprit unless, but I don't know what that taps into.

Also, there is the chance that the two are completely unrelated and it's just dumb luck that they happened close together.
 

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2002 Forester Manual
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:woohoo: Thank you Nepbug!
I borrowed a multimeter, and found the relay. There was voltage coming through on the top left and bottom left plug. The rest had no voltage.
photo 1.JPG

A bit of corrosion on the relay itself
photo 2.JPG

The relay has a bolt and a bracket that looks like it was meant to be attached to something, but it was just loose and the threads weren't stripped. I thought maybe it's supposed to be attached/grounded to something, but I don't know.
 

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2002 Forester Manual
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was just wiggling the relay to see if I could tell whether the metal bracket was supposed to be a ground, I don't think it is, the metal doesn't seem to go into the plastic housing. Interestingly though a bunch of water poured out of the relay housing.... Something tells me that might be the problem right there.
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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1,663 Posts
Oops, little snafu on my part, that is an intermittent wiper control right there, not a relay. Looking things over more closely it looks like the intermittent module might have started in 2000.

Hope you get it sorted the rest of the way, that does sound like it was not healthy. Do you know where the water came from?
 

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2002 Forester Manual
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ya, there is an intermittent control switch up front, so that makes sense.
The part was just loose in there, so I'm guessing the nut worked it's way off the bolt, the bolt worked it's way out of the hole, and water came in through the wheel well into that space within the quarter panel.
In any case, the part is ordered, with any luck I'll be able to put it all back together next week :icon_razz:
 

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2002 Forester Manual
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well it's a subaruforester.org miracle!
The new wiper module arrived today. Easy install, wiper works normally, wife happy :)
Thanks again nepbug!
 

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2005 XT
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39 Posts
sorry to necrobump--but anyone know how to get to the relay? is it easier to take the back panel apart or can you remove the tail light and go through there?
 

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2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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sorry to necrobump--but anyone know how to get to the relay? is it easier to take the back panel apart or can you remove the tail light and go through there?
No need to apologize; we encourage keeping related info all together in the same thread. This makes it easier for people to home in on the answers they're looking for.
 
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