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In the distant past, windshield wiper operation had only 2 functions: on and off. Over time, car manufacturers introduced low, medium and high speeds, and eventually added intermittent wiper functionality. These series of developments provided drivers with a wider range of speeds for varying levels of precipitation.
This functionality relies on a component called a relay – the same technology that powers your fuel pump and keeps your car’s computer running. The relay uses electrical resistance relative to the position set on the wiper control arm to determine the specific speed at which the wipers move.
Because the intermittent wiper relay is electronic, it will inevitably fail and require replacement.
Intermittent wiper operation isn’t required to drive your vehicle, and as long as your windshield wipers work, you’re legally permitted to drive while raining. However, lack of such an option can be a major inconvenience. If your wipers no longer work on the intermittent setting, a failed relay is likely the cause. Have it inspected by one of our expert mechanics and replaced if necessary.
Working wipers are required for safety on the road, but intermittent functionality is a convenience feature. However, it can be frustrating to constantly turn the wipers on and off to meet different rates of precipitation. Have the intermittent wiper relay replaced when it’s practical to do so.
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