1988 Cadillac Brougham, Windshield Wipers Do Not Work

This 1988 Cadillac Brougham came in with the complaint that the windshield wipers do not work. I have not worked on one of these in quite a while but I do remember the common problem with the rear wheel drive Cadillac wiper switches. I checked the feel of the switch and sure enough,  it “felt” a little loose inside. The clicks were less distinct than they should have been. This is a pretty simple repair if you can just figure out how to get in there to the switch.  The first thing to do is to remove the knob from the left vent control switch.

An 1/8″ allen wrench is needed to loosen the set screw.

Next remove the three phillips headed screws along the lower edge of the dash trim panel.

Then remove the screw at either side of the instrument cluster.

Then you have to look closely at the upper right corner of the left driver’s side vent. There is a single phillips headed screw in that corner. Loosen that screw. It may or may not come all of the way out of the vent opening. If it does not want to come out just try to make sure that it is wedged in such a way that it will stay in place within the assembly.

Turn the ignition on. Drop the shift lever all of the way down. Tilt the steering column fully down as well. This will allow enough room to remove the dash trim plate.  In some year models the lower dash cover that fills the gap below the steering column will need to be removed as well as the crescent shaped cover just above the steering column. I cannot remember which years this applies to. After all they stopped making these cars about twenty years ago.

Now remove the screws that hold the switch in place and carefully unplug the harness connector. I state carefully and you will see why in the coming pictures.

This is the wiper switch removed.

This is the problem with the wiper switch. The back cover has separated. I know that I can fix this switch but why bother? I have installed quite a few of these switches over the years and as I remember the switch only lists for about $30 US. Well that is not the case today. The supply is nearly gone and the cheapest one I could find was about $170 US.

Time to break out skills from days gone by. I took a soldering iron and while holding the switch pieces firmly together, I melted the plastic pieces to form a bond.

That by itself is enough to hold the switch together if the driver is informed, to not push in firmly on the switch handle. However since plastic weld epoxy is readily available, I decided to use some to reinforce this repair. Another one fixed and cheap!

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