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    Thread: Wiper Mechanism Mechanical Failures [TOC, Photos done]

    1. Member udaymohan's Avatar
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      10-24-2011 03:55 PM #36
      Would anyone know which fuse drives the passenger side wiper motor?

    2. Member WillemBal's Avatar
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      10-24-2011 05:00 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by udaymohan View Post
      Would anyone know which fuse drives the passenger side wiper motor?
      Fuse 20 in the E-box.... Rating is 20 Amps. This fuse is located in the right air intake plenum chamber. To get there, wipers need to be removed, air intake cover and the plastic weir which is running right under the entire width of the windshield. This part is easy to recognize as the two wiper spindles are sticking through this part.
      Quite a job to replace just one fuse, to be honest!

      Willem

    3. Member udaymohan's Avatar
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      10-25-2011 09:56 AM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by WillemBal View Post
      Fuse 20 in the E-box.... Rating is 20 Amps. This fuse is located in the right air intake plenum chamber. To get there, wipers need to be removed, air intake cover and the plastic weir which is running right under the entire width of the windshield. This part is easy to recognize as the two wiper spindles are sticking through this part.
      Quite a job to replace just one fuse, to be honest!

      Willem
      Good Lord...that is a fair bit of work to do simply to replace one fuse...or determine if it has indeed blown.

    4. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-25-2011 01:33 PM #39
      Uday:

      Normally, one uses a diagnostic scan tool to determine if the fuse is blown or not. The scan will report if the fuse is blown... no dis-assembly is necessary.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    5. Member udaymohan's Avatar
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      10-25-2011 04:34 PM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
      Uday:

      Normally, one uses a diagnostic scan tool to determine if the fuse is blown or not. The scan will report if the fuse is blown... no dis-assembly is necessary.

      Michael
      This is a valid point

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      02-25-2012 05:06 PM #41
      Could someone repost pictures?
      thx

    7. Member WillemBal's Avatar
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      03-04-2012 06:09 PM #42
      Michael post #1 of this thread with original pictures:

      Hello Everyone:

      There have been a few reports recently of failures due to corrosion within the mechanism that operates the windshield wipers. As most of you know, the Phaeton has two entirely separate and completely independent wiper mechanisms – one for each side of the windshield – thus it is possible for one side to fail and the other side to continue to operate. Unfortunately, unless the side that fails happens to be in the ‘parked’ position when it fails, the remaining functional wiper blade will foul against the failed blade, so the outcome is the same – no windshield wipers.
      The failure appears to be caused by the round shaft that the wiper arm attaches to corroding within the aluminum (or other ‘white metal’) casting that contains it. There is an o-ring at the top of the round shaft where it enters the casting, and a bushing at the bottom, but it seems that liquid is somehow managing to get past these seals and into the middle of the casting. If you drive in an area where roads are salted in the winter, this water will contain salt, and the eventual result will be corrosion. As the ferrous metal shaft corrodes, friction within the casting increases, and eventually the fuse for the affected side wiper motor will blow. When the fuse blows, the wiper stops ‘wherever it may be’, and that is the end of your driving in the rain.

      I am going to advise our friends in Dresden about these failures (my VW dealer has encountered three different Phaetons with this kind of failure this year, including my car), and perhaps they can come up with some kind of test based on wiper motor current draw that we can use to determine if a problem is developing, for the purpose of taking action before the sudden failure. I think that the probability of encountering such a failure is directly linked to the amount of salt or brine that is used on your roads during the wintertime, how long winter lasts in your area, and how much you drive in the winter. In other words, I kind of doubt if Don in Scottsdale will be affected, and at the other end of the scale, I think there is a high probability of failure for cars registered in the Province of Quebec.

      The purpose of this post is to provide a little background on the failure, explain what happens, and provide some guidance to technicians who have to replace the mechanism.

      Below is a photo of a Phaeton showing what it looks like after the fuse blows on the passenger side wiper. The wiper stops dead wherever it may be when the fuse blows, and typically, this will interfere with the operation of the remaining (functional) wiper. This is Chris’s car.

      What it looks like when the fuse blows



      I suppose if you just happened to have a spare fuse handy, you could wait a few moments for the wiper motor to cool down, then put the spare fuse in, and you might get a few more wipes before the spare fuse blows. For all practical purposes, though, once the fuse blows, you are toast... the corrosion has caused the mechanical load on the motor to reach a point where the current required to operate the wiper is excessive, and the only solution is to replace the wiper mechanism. It is not uncommon for both of the blades to be damaged as a result of the fouling of the remaining functional wiper blade against the failed wiper blade, thus, you will probably need to replace both blades as well.

      Below is an illustration that shows the left and right side wiper blade mechanisms. Normally, these parts are not visible, they are covered up by the cover that goes over the air intake plenum, aft of the engine. These assemblies consist of the motor, the casting and linkages, and a few nuts and bolts.
      The motor itself is usually unaffected by the failure (the fuse protected it), thus the part you need to replace is the casting and linkage.

      Left and right side wiper drive mechanisms


      The photo below shows the left hand (driver side in NAR) assembly in situ before removal. It is not particularly difficult or time-consuming to remove this assembly, however, like all other Phaeton repairs, you need to pay attention to what you are doing because the car is rather complex, and you run the risk of screwing up something else totally unrelated to the system you are working on if you don't put everything back together properly.



      The photos below show where the corrosion takes place. This is the passenger side assembly from my Phaeton. Normally, the round shaft does not come out of the mechanism – I took it apart to find out why it was so difficult to move it.





      So, here’s the removal and replacement guide, which is a combination of instructions provided in the North American Phaeton Service Manual (ELSA) and lessons learned from the ‘School of Hard Knocks’:

      1) Before you take anything apart, you might as well order the parts. You will need the part described as “windshield wiper bracket with operating rod and crank arm (driver side)” or “windshield wiper bracket with operating rod and crank arm (passenger side)”. These correspond to items 6 and 7, respectively, on ETKA illustration 955-00. You do not need to order motors! You will most likely need a new set of Phaeton wiper blades – this as a result of consequential damage from the blades fouling against each other. These are items 17 and 18 on the same ETKA illustration. You might need two of the cosmetic caps that go on the end of the wiper arm – item 21 on that illustration. Don’t forget to order one retaining clip (item 22) for each cosmetic cap (item 21) that you order. And, of course, you will need a new fuse to replace the fuse that blew.

      In my own opinion, if you have sufficient corrosion on one side of the car to cause a failure, you probably have the beginnings of corrosion on the other side of the car as well, so it makes sense to replace both assemblies. Wipers can be considered a reasonably safety-critical part, and you might as well save the grief associated with waiting for the other side to fail. However, it is up to your VW dealer (or, perhaps, those who set policy at VW of America) to get the authorization to replace both sides at the same time.

      2) Don’t disassemble anything until you have all the required parts. Trust me on this one, you don’t want to take everything apart on a Monday, then be scratching your head on Thursday wondering how everything originally fit together. This is an especially frustrating feeling if you don't happen to have another Phaeton handy that you can refer to for guidance about how to put it back together.

      3) Before you begin any disassembly work, go get a replacement wiper motor fuse. Turn the ignition off, and replace the blown fuse. Make sure the wiper control arm on the right side of the steering wheel is in the OFF position (fully down position), and not in the INTERMITTENT (first notch up) position. Wet the windshield fully with warm soapy water, to minimize friction, then turn the ignition on. With luck, the failed wiper blade will move to the park position. Now, go to the Front Information Display and Control Head (the J523), press the SETTINGS hard-key, press the OTHER FUNCTIONS soft-key (lower left corner), then press the MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE soft-key (upper right corner). Finally, press the button that moves the wiper blades to the ‘change blades’ position – this being the extreme upward end of the stroke cycle for both wiper blades. Be aware that this button to move the wiper blades to the ‘change blades’ position will be disabled if the wiper stalk is in any position other than the OFF (full down) position.

      Finally, get a wax crayon (from the kids play area in the front of the dealership, or get a tire crayon from the tire mounting machine) and put a mark on the outside of the glass windshield at the upper end of each wiper blade to show you where the blade should go when you replace them at the end of the job. This will save you having to remove and replace the blades several times to get the gap between the parked blades and the bottom of the windshield to the correct specification.

      If you are successful in getting both of the wiper blades up to the ‘change blades’ position, great... this will save you quite a bit of time later on. If the new fuse blows and the problem blade won’t move, this is not a big problem, I’ll explain how to deal with it later.

      4) Remove both wiper arms from the vehicle and set them aside. Now, remove the plenum cover that is aft of the engine. This is part number 2 on ETKA illustration 819-32. Next, remove the trim strip at the bottom of the windshield. This is a tricky task that brings with it the risk of breaking the windshield if you don’t perform the task correctly, so, see this post for full illustrated instructions: Plenum Chamber Cover – how to remove and replace. Part of the reason why you used warm soapy water on the windshield during step 3 is to make it easier to remove this trim strip – if it has been flooded with warm soapy water, it is much easier to get it out from the channel at the base of the windshield that it clips into. It can sometimes require a great deal of force to dislodge the first part of this trim cover.

      5) Once those covers are off, the process is fairly straightforward. To get access to the passenger side mechanism, you will need to remove the three screws that hold the supplementary coolant overflow tank (W12 only) in place. You don’t have to actually disconnect the tank, the hoses have enough play to let you move it out of the way. To get access to the driver side mechanism, you will need to remove one bolt that holds a very important temperature sensor in place. Pay attention to how this temperature sensor fits when you are taking it out – it is not difficult to remove and replace it, but getting it back together in the correct position is not intuitive. The photo below shows where it goes. You don’t have to disconnect the electrical connector, just remove the bolt and set the sensor aside.



      Below is a picture of the replacement part that you will get for the driver side. Compare the part below to the complete assembly above. It’s best to do this comparison before you remove the complete assembly. As you can see, you will need to insert the lower tube-thing into the inboard side of the bracket, and remove the nut from the wiper drive motor and then fit the upper portion of the new part onto the wiper motor drive shaft. In the picture below, both of the arms are shown pointing out in the wrong direction. These two arms swivel freely, which is why it is kind of important that you compare the replacement part with the old part before you remove the old part from the car – otherwise, it can be a bit confusing to figure it all out.



      To actually get the assembly out of the car, you only have to remove three bolts. This is pretty easy, as you can see from the photo below.



      Once you get the complete original assembly out of the car, mark a reference line on the casting showing the alignment of the short, flat metal arm that attaches to the motor drive shaft. Because you put the wipers in the park position before you took the assembly out, and because you will be re-using the same motor, you want to get the alignment exactly the same – this will save you time and trouble later on, once you get everything back together. Now, take the nut off the end of the wiper motor drive shaft, loosen the three bolts that hold the wiper motor in place on the mechanism, pull the old tube out, and insert the tube portion of the new mechanism in the same place. From here on in, it is all re-assembly.

      9) It can be a bit troublesome to fit the whole assembly back into the car, because there is not much extra space around it. Therefore, it is easiest to manipulate the assembly back into place first, then put the electrical connector into the wiper motor second. If you plug the motor in before you get everything in place, it limits your wiggle room. The remainder of the re-assembly process is pretty straightforward. Use a vacuum to clean out the channel at the bottom of the windshield before you try and put the trim piece back in – chances are that there will be all sorts of small stone chips in that channel. Flood the channel with warm soapy water (again!) before pressing the trim strip into place with your fingertips. If the channel is clean, you should be able to snap the strip into place with nothing more than just finger pressure.

      10) Don’t forget to put the flat spring clips in place on the trim strip before you install the plenum chamber cover (see photos at this post: Plenum Chamber Cover – how to remove and replace).

      The process for replacing the passenger side wiper is very similar, but not quite identical because of differences in the design of the passenger side mechanism.


      As mentioned earlier, you will probably have to replace both wiper blades because of consequential damage caused by the blades fouling against each other. Wiper blade replacement is quick and simple, but please don’t forget to clean the windshield with a claybar before you put the new blades on – otherwise, the new blades will not perform at their best.

      It is possible that the decorative caps on the ends of the wiper arms may also have been damaged when the blades hit each other. To replace these caps, you need to first remove a little retaining clip on the underside of the cap. The photos below tell the story.







      Michael (post #1 of this thread with original pictures rehosted by Willem)


    8. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      04-10-2012 03:23 PM #43
      Photos on page 1 rehosted.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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      04-10-2012 04:16 PM #44
      Hi Michael,

      Happy to see you again.

      Was anything decided concerning your thousands of photos ? Needing to rehost them every xx months is such a waste of your precious time and energy...

      Once more, none of the photos I put for free on photobucket since many years ago has ever disappeared or been removed by photobucket. Why don't you use photobucket ?

      I'm not affiliated with photobucket, and there are probably other sites that offer the same kind of service. I'm only advocating this site because I have experienced that none of the photos I put on it ever disappeared.

      P.

    10. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      04-10-2012 04:22 PM #45
      Hi Pierre:

      I do use Photobucket now. In the past, I used two 'Volkswagen specific' photo hosting sites (HostDub and later a site operated by OEM Plus) that have now shut down.

      I have an account with Photobucket, costs about $50 a year (a free account won't support the bandwidth needed by the forum), I will use that in the future for all photo hosting, including re-hosting.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    11. 05-24-2012 01:11 PM #46
      Where would i buy the replacement bracket with operating rod and crank arm from and recommendation ?

    12. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:58 PM #47
      Here is some additional information about how the windshield wiper system on the Phaeton is controlled:

      Pheaton Windshield Wiper System - Description and Overview

      Some information for decoding the diagrams:
      CAN means Controller Area Network.
      30 means terminal 30, which is battery supply voltage.
      31 means terminal 31, which is ground.

      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    13. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:02 PM #48
      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-02-2012 at 10:07 PM.
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    14. Member udaymohan's Avatar
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      11-06-2012 06:52 PM #49
      Hi Everyone,

      As you all may recall a while back my passenger side wiper had stopped working. Turned out it was due to the corrosion that has been outlined in the post earlier.

      Well I experienced another wiper failure, only this time it's on the driver side. Now one major difference between two incidents is that while the passenger wiper had failed I could still operate the driver, headlight washers and windshield washer.

      In this instance I am unable to utilize anything, one could argue that it may be a safety feature to prevent the passenger wiper from smacking in to the stuck driver but not sure.

      Any checks I can do before heading it back to the shop, or would this be pretty much the same issue only on the driver side.

      As usual your input is always welcomed and appreciated.

      Thanks
      Uday

    15. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      11-07-2012 02:51 AM #50
      Hi Uday:

      My guess is that the passenger side wiper is a slave (subordinate) to the driver side wiper, and as a result, the control module will allow the driver side wiper and other wiper-related elements to continue to work if the passenger side wiper is not in the appropriate position, but not the other way around.

      The replacement process is more or less the same for both wiper arm pantographs. While you are having this done, clean out the air intake plenum at the same time, because it is really easy to get access to that plenum once the wiper arm assembly has been removed. See this post for more information about cleaning out the plenum: Cleaning Air Intake Plenum and Sunroof Drains.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    16. Member udaymohan's Avatar
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      11-07-2012 08:41 AM #51
      Thanks Michael, figured there was some logic to the behavior.

    17. Member udaymohan's Avatar
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      11-27-2012 02:20 PM #52
      Well same issue as the passenger side, part replaced, fuse replaced, visibility restored

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      12-08-2012 02:26 PM #53
      Hi,

      are there any "pre"signs of this problem? Anything I can see while operating the wipers so I can check my "wiper health" without taking everything apart?

      Mine is a MY 2006, and we have -11°C in Austria in the mountains right now. Unfortunately I don't have a garage or anything else warm nearby to take my wiper system apart.

      Since I am going to drive at least 5000 to 6000km over christmas (Austria-Germany-Denmark-Sweden ...) I would like to find out about any problems in my wiper system. As you can imagine I absolutely don't want to get forced to stop in the middle of nowhere in an snow storm because my wipers aren't working.


      Thanks in advance,

      greetings from Austria,


      Alex

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      08-20-2013 11:32 PM #54
      2006 V8 bought off a lease in Spokane in 2009

      As always, thank you so much to Michael for all the info and the best pics. My RH failed in the snow about Feb.

      I found 2 units with motors and linkages on a 2005... front end damaged 2005 and bought the total motors and linkage from the 2005. They work fine.

      After working through your great pics and a gear puller to remove the RH wiper(totallly corrorded onto the spindle), then a little help from my Windshield replacement tech(it does take a LOT of force to bring up the plenun from the windshield)....The second time will be so much easier!!

      Used masking tape to mark the wiper points on the windshield in the maintanance/service position and then did a fine tuning adjustment to get the resting points.

      Michael, thank you so much again from one of the few owners in YEG

      Dan

      BTW, does anyone need the functional LH unit or the motor for the RH unit(needs a new linkage)?

    20. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-21-2013 11:35 AM #55
      Hi Dan:

      I'm happy to hear that the info here on the forum was helpful to you.

      Now that you are familiar with what is down inside that air intake plenum, you might want to consider carrying out this preventative maintenance work before the summer is over and it gets cold out:

      Water in Cabin Footwell (Cleaning Air Intake Plenum and Sunroof Drains)

      Regards,

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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      10-09-2013 05:20 PM #56
      This happened to my 04. Driver side mechanism seized. I managed to get a wiper transmission with motor on ebay for 75 US. Took about 40 minutes to remove and replace!

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      10-19-2013 04:57 AM #57
      I also had the same problem, and fixed it by lubricating the pin first with a rust remover and after that with wd40. After that I sealed it with grease. I didn't remove the whole wiper. Just sprayed with the different solutions.

      Jorg

      Posted via Topify using Android

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      12-16-2013 11:17 AM #58
      This morning was very cold -32 deg C, my wife went out the car and one wiper was in the up position, I drove the car yesterday and did not use the wipers. She has not touched anything (she is afraid to try them). Has anyone experienced this? What would have triggered it to come up in the cold? Should she try the wipers to see if they reset?
      Thanks all
      Rob

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      12-16-2013 11:36 PM #59
      Hi Rob:

      I don't think anything would have "triggered the wiper to come up in the cold", however, if one wiper arm was frozen in position, the other one could still work, because each side is mechanically independent of each other.

      My suggestion is that you just press the wiper control stalk down once, and see if that resets both wipers to the park position. If not, try putting the car inside a heated garage overnight, then activating the wipers again after everything has had a chance to thaw out.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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      12-17-2013 10:19 AM #60
      Hi Michael

      We did just that, brought the car in and thawed it out, wiper went back down on its own by morning. I went out and tested them and they worked fine. Kinda weird but mechanicals do weird things in the cold. Thanks for your help and Happy holidays to everyone!

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      12-17-2013 11:40 AM #61
      A transistor that became superconductive due to the cold might be the culprit

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      01-17-2014 09:34 PM #62
      Michael mentioned in the post about corroded wiper assemblies that:

      If you are successful in getting both of the wiper blades up to the ‘change blades’ position, great... this will save you quite a bit of time later on. If the new fuse blows and the problem blade won’t move, this is not a big problem, I’ll explain how to deal with it later.

      Well I replaced the passenger side assembly and was not able to get the wipers into the "replace blade" position.

      I now and not able to get the passenger side wiper to sync with the drivers side and I could not find where Michael followed up with the "how to fix it part".

      Any help would be appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Paul

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      01-18-2014 08:13 AM #63
      I must admit I did not read all of Michaels post and he may have addressed it

      I did discover how to fix it.

      When I replaced the motor on the assembly is it made a difference what the position of the arm was in as I bolted the piece to the motor would make a difference. IT DOES.

      I went back out and removed the nut where the arm attaches to the motor and then put the wipers in the "replace mode/position". I rotated the arm to the wiper up position but not all the way. I tightened the nut to the motor and the wiper where I thought is should be in the "replace" position.

      The wipers worked fine, but I then had to remove and replace the wiper arm assembly until it rested in on the windshield in the correct spot for the down position.

      Hope that might help someone else.

      Thanks,

      Paul

    29. Moderator Paximus's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 26th, 2011
      Location
      Dorset, UK
      Posts
      2,489
      Vehicles
      2005 Phaeton V10 swb 4-seat, Jeep Commander Hemi, Ssangyong Korando
      01-18-2014 04:33 PM #64
      Threads merged.

      Paul's post above added to this main Wiper thread.

      Chris
      -- I just bought a Phaeton. How do I..............................-- Upgrades, modifications, pampering
      -- Colours, factory options, reviews...............................-- Technical Reference
      -- Troubleshooting.................................................. ....-- See the TOC/FAQ (Index) for more details

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