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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Windsceeen Wipers stopped working

As title states, wipers are not working. I switched them on, they moved half-way up the screen and then stopped. Completely dead - no movement of the wipers, no noise from the motor. Lights still work, so fuse must be ok (1964 Mk2 midget, so only two fuses - ignition and lights). I'm hoping this is some sort electrical fault, possibly with the switch, as replacing the motor may mean removing the dashboard(?). There are three wires going to the wiper motor. Can anybody let me know the tests I should do with a multimeter to determine whether power is reaching the motor? Wiper motor is the single-speed, square bodied type.

Adrian Jones

FYI, it's a postive earth car.
Adrian Jones

Not a midget motor but something to read on wiper motors. some one out there may e able to post something closer but try this for now.

Good luck!
Steven Devine

You have tried lifting the blades off the screen? My wiper motor is so gutless it can't move the blades on a dry screen and does just that.... stalls and seems dead!
GraemeW (Kent!)

I've tried that Graeme, but it didn't help.
Adrian Jones

I had the one in my mga rebuilt, I had taken it all apart and couldnt find anything obvious. The rebuilder said the magnets lost their magnetism. The symptoms sound the same as Greames and yours Adrian.
Steven Devine

3 common causes that I know of

Worn out bushes and magnets, lots of dirt .build up in the connection blocks, bad grounds

I.dont know how.dirt gets into electrical connection blocks... but they do

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Ok Adrian sorry about the late reply you may have solved this by now, but you should check the voltage present at the wiper relative to earth, (which is positive). disconnect the wiper connection plug then check the park circuit has voltage so you should see about 11.5 volts at the connection block given a healthy switch. If it's lower than this you have either a bad switch or connections or both. if you have healthy park voltage then turn on the wipers and check the run voltage. This will rule out the switch (or not) Then reconnect and do a check with the switch on, a voltage drop will indicate that current is flowing in the motor armature, which of course is probably the problem.
Cheers Rod
R W Bowers

Adrian have you fixed the wipers???
R W Bowers

Any outcome to this problem?
MG Moneypit

Anyone having BBS problems?
MG Moneypit

Yes, Ive noticed acting up today!
Steven Devine


During my restoration I found that the original grease had become so stiff that the mechanism hard turned. Cleaned it up and replaced with nice new grease sorted:

James Paul

Been a bit busy and haven't had time to follow up on the suggestions given above. Also discovered my multimeter has gone wrong - gving absurd/random readings for DC voltages, e.g 1.5v AA cell is shown as just about any voltage from 0.0 to 20 volts.
James - thanks for the link to the pictures and the suggestion about the grease.
Adrian Jones

Try another new battery for the multimeter* and yes, hardened grease seems a likely cause to me.

good luck

* is the first thing I learned when working with my "work's" digital multimeter, low voltage causes errors


I'd forget about your multimeter, a good old fashined test light is best for sorting problems like this one.

Meters will show volts, but it's the amps make things move. So many think that the current is ok because a meter is showing battery voltage, but because of a bad connection there is no amperage.

A decent test light puts a "load" on the system and will appear dim or not light st all even tho the meter shows volts.

Try wiring the motor str8 to the battery and see if moves then, rt tries to move. If not the motor is kaput or the linkages are stiff.

Regards Steve
SR Smith 1

And if you do need to remove or replace the motor, there is no need to take the dashboard out.
Guy Weller

This thread was discussed between 26/11/2013 and 08/12/2013

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