Where on earth do you buy the bracket with arm? I can't find anything online anywhere
If you are in the United States, you can get a quote from any one of several VW dealers who sell parts over the internet at a discount price. I am not familiar with them, because I live in Canada, but I know some other forum members have purchased parts from these companies and seem to be happy. I think one of the larger companies is called "1st VW Parts" or similar.
Personally, I don't think it is worth your while to attempt to repair the part you presently have - the problems are caused by corrosion, which implies that material is missing. Plus, the assembly is not meant to be taken apart, it is unlikely you will succeed in getting it back together (and working within an acceptable tolerance) even if you do get it apart.
Fixed mine on my own with the new bracket/arm. Could not fix the siezed one at all. I even tried to hit it with a hammer and it would NOT BUDGE! Incredible that a 7 year old windshield wiper could sieze up that badly. I contacted VW north America about it and they seemed to be oblivious to this issue. Probably because of the fact there are so few phaetons out there. If it happens to you, be sure to call them up!
I finished replacing the wiper arm linkages on both sides. My problem now is that while the passenger side blade moves in the correct pattern (full range of motion and stops where it should), the driver side seems to not move in the correct way (not quite full range of motion and stops before it is in the true down position). Anybody know how to fine tune the motion? Thanks...Jay
It would be of great help if any of you could post photos of your windshield wipers in the "service" position for me (photos in the down position would also be beneficial). I was able to mark the up position of the driver side before replacing the linkages but wasn't able to get the passenger side back in position to mark it. When I secure the wiper to match my "up" mark for the driver side, though, it seems to stop too high in the down position. Thus, the range of motion seems to be shorter than before (not achieving full range). Also, I have set the passenger side blade to stop almost pointing to the driver side blade when in the up "service" position. This helps reduce the amount of unwiped windshield area in the upper driver side view but I am afraid it is not really correct. The passenger side blade does return to a full down position, though. I hope this isn't too confusing to follow but any photos or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...Jay
Quite a job to replace just one fuse, to be honest!
Michael post #1 of this thread with original pictures:
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
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.
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.
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.
Archival Note - Related discussions:
Detailed Instructions for operation of the Windshield Wiper & Washer System (also contains windshield cleaning recommendations from VW)
Wiper Blades - How to change them
Washer Fluid - Buy premium stuff, or the el-cheapo stuff?
Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-02-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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.
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.