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Dibs-h

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Mrs reports that the rear wiper on her 2011 VW Polo stopped working. So I had a quick Google and the candidates were.

1. Blown fuse
2. Dead wiper motor
3. broken wires in the bundle near the tailgate hinge where they exit the tailgate and enter the main body.

in order or probability\likelihood.

Not having a Haynes manual - I googled fuse box location and fuses. Most of the results were the same, and Fuse #2 was the one (operating the rear wiper motor) - checked it, was fine and getting 12v at it.

So removed the tailgate trim to get to the motor - removed it, taping over the hole in the windscreen for now. Motor looked mint, like new. Took it apart - no mechanical issues or anything suggestive of it being the issue.

With tailgate trim removed - looked at the wiring. The wiring is in various colours - no voltage at any of the pins in the plug for the motor. The wiring that goes out of the tailgate & into the body is a "mini" loom by itself. All the wires are white - all 9 of them and apart from one - all the same size. Wasn't happy at that point. Pulled the rubber boot near the hinge and checked the little bit I could see of the wires but nothing jumped out.

So now dismantled the left side of the boot inside, where the "mini" loom terminates and plugs into the main loom. Found the 2 plugs and disconnected them, disconnected the other ends too. A brown plug and 1 black plug at both ends of the "mini" loom - same nbr of wires into each plug.

So continuity checking them yesterday evening. Wires from the black plug at one end go to the brown plug at the other end - almost totally random. Was left with 2 connections in 1 plug (in the car side) that could not be matched to the other side (tailgate). And 1 in the tailgate that couldn't be matched to the car side.

So thought I need to get hold of proper wiring diagrams. VW\Audi have a product called ElsaWin which is an amazing laptop\online based program which is the dealer workshop procedure\repair manual etc. Got a hold of that and started looking at the wiring diagram for the rear wiper motor.

I bet some of you saw this coming. :D

ElsaWin showed Fuse 42 being the one supplying power to the rear wiper motor, with Fuse 2 supplying the wiper washer. So being me - I nipped out to the car last night, checked Fuse 42 and it was dead. Popped a new one in - didn't blow. So plugged the wiper motor back in, hanging sort of in the air. And lo and behold it started working. Clearly couldn't make this shoot up could you.

Lesson - don't believe everything the internet say. :rolleyes:

I'm looking at it being a win that I got a working copy of ElsaWin on my laptop.
 
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I remember a couple of years back my dad was replacing the timing belt on his Nissan Micra after the local garage quoted four figures for the job. You can perhaps understand why when you realise the job means pulling the engine out!?

Put the engine back in and the check engine light is on. He had one of those OBDII plugs and software I'd found for him several years prior, it immediately diagnosed something or other hadn't been plugged back in. Looked at that and resolved it easily. Light still on but this time no fault being reported.

Look online and no clues. Try updating the software but it made no difference. After a few days he gives up and decides he'll take it out for a test drive to see if he can detect the issue while driving.

He must have backed up no more than fifteen feet along the drive before the light blinked off. All of those online guides discussing OBD codes in great detail and no one thought to mention they don't get updated in real time, sometimes the car need to actually move for the status to update.
 
I like it, just as I do my wife's 2014 UP. Does yours share the typical habit of blowing a front sidelight at least once a year.

Colin
Touch wood - never had any issues with the lights etc. I think I've replaced all the bulbs in the car - she's had it for 7 yrs now. But I fit Quantum brand bulbs (which is the VAG brand & what dealers fit) and found them to be very reliable. Having a trade account and paying very little per bulb in packs of 10 might be playing a significant part in the equation. :)

I don't know what engine is in the Up but if it's a 3 cylinder petrol, it will be chain driven and not belt driven (timing wise). On paper - sealed for life. That means the "life" the dealerships are interested and beyond that doesn't mean anything. The chain does need replacing at some point - ours was 80k.
 
my VW, T4 is pre 2000 and NO electronics.....
VW are known for rubbish wiring.....have a fault on the temp and oil senders.......
all the wires are black....!!!!!!!!!.
checked with an oil gauge etc....OK......in next few years will totally rewire it.....
 
Mrs reports that the rear wiper on her 2011 VW Polo stopped working. So I had a quick Google and the candidates were.

1. Blown fuse
2. Dead wiper motor
3. broken wires in the bundle near the tailgate hinge where they exit the tailgate and enter the main body.

in order or probability\likelihood.

Not having a Haynes manual - I googled fuse box location and fuses. Most of the results were the same, and Fuse #2 was the one (operating the rear wiper motor) - checked it, was fine and getting 12v at it.

So removed the tailgate trim to get to the motor - removed it, taping over the hole in the windscreen for now. Motor looked mint, like new. Took it apart - no mechanical issues or anything suggestive of it being the issue.

With tailgate trim removed - looked at the wiring. The wiring is in various colours - no voltage at any of the pins in the plug for the motor. The wiring that goes out of the tailgate & into the body is a "mini" loom by itself. All the wires are white - all 9 of them and apart from one - all the same size. Wasn't happy at that point. Pulled the rubber boot near the hinge and checked the little bit I could see of the wires but nothing jumped out.

So now dismantled the left side of the boot inside, where the "mini" loom terminates and plugs into the main loom. Found the 2 plugs and disconnected them, disconnected the other ends too. A brown plug and 1 black plug at both ends of the "mini" loom - same nbr of wires into each plug.

So continuity checking them yesterday evening. Wires from the black plug at one end go to the brown plug at the other end - almost totally random. Was left with 2 connections in 1 plug (in the car side) that could not be matched to the other side (tailgate). And 1 in the tailgate that couldn't be matched to the car side.

So thought I need to get hold of proper wiring diagrams. VW\Audi have a product called ElsaWin which is an amazing laptop\online based program which is the dealer workshop procedure\repair manual etc. Got a hold of that and started looking at the wiring diagram for the rear wiper motor.

I bet some of you saw this coming. :D

ElsaWin showed Fuse 42 being the one supplying power to the rear wiper motor, with Fuse 2 supplying the wiper washer. So being me - I nipped out to the car last night, checked Fuse 42 and it was dead. Popped a new one in - didn't blow. So plugged the wiper motor back in, hanging sort of in the air. And lo and behold it started working. Clearly couldn't make this shoot up could you.

Lesson - don't believe everything the internet say. :rolleyes:

I'm looking at it being a win that I got a working copy of ElsaWin on my laptop.
I don’t believe you 🤔
 
But 20yrs ago you'd have been in the dark on the common failure modes, and the potential fixes, and the car's wiring configuration. You would have had to go and buy a Haynes manual and spend your cold hard cash for a book you used once, then threw away 20yrs after you sold the car. So much is now free and very available, you just get unlucky sometimes with the info and you need to be able to see through the constant marketing and hype.

I have however come to the conclusion "Never believe anything related to science on social media" it's a cesspool of hype, misinformation, clickbait and trolls. I estimate there is potentially 1 or 2 articles with any level of credibility in every 100 that pop up.
 
But 20yrs ago you'd have been in the dark on the common failure modes, and the potential fixes, and the car's wiring configuration. You would have had to go and buy a Haynes manual and spend your cold hard cash for a book you used once, then threw away 20yrs after you sold the car. So much is now free and very available, you just get unlucky sometimes with the info and you need to be able to see through the constant marketing and hype.

I have however come to the conclusion "Never believe anything related to science on social media" it's a cesspool of hype, misinformation, clickbait and trolls. I estimate there is potentially 1 or 2 articles with any level of credibility in every 100 that pop up.
20 years ago it would have been easy to diagnose and fix without any information. Typically only resorted to Haynes for engine internals.
Misinformation on the web is shocking and seems to perpetuate as one talking head picks it up from another and spreads the same wrong information. 1 or 2% probably isn’t far off and possibly lower if it is video based.
 
ElsaWin showed Fuse 42 being the one supplying power to the rear wiper motor, with Fuse 2 supplying the wiper washer. So being me - I nipped out to the car last night, checked Fuse 42 and it was dead. Popped a new one in - didn't blow. So plugged the wiper motor back in, hanging sort of in the air. And lo and behold it started working. Clearly couldn't make this shoot up could you.
I have to say, purely because it is so easy to do, I would have checked all the fuses for continuety and replaced anything that needed it, 5 minutes and a few pence, before I did anything else. I think I just have the attitude to eliminate all the problems that are easy and cheap to fix, even if they are not the most likely cause, partly because I know that if I start pulling bits apart, odds are good of creating more damage as I go
 
Why did you not check all the fuses, removing trim and components is last resort.
Lesson learned. :)

In my defence - I would say in all my years of tinkering with cars, my experience is that (body) electrics are broken down into subsystems, receiving their power from 2 main "buses": permanent power or an ignition live one and components having their own ground (and sometimes a collective fat ground). And a "control" switch of some kind involved.

Obliviously the (main) ECU & it's wiring are a different kettle of fish or if you know that some of the body electrics are run by a BCM (Body Control Module) talking via CanBus.

Each subsystem has a single fuse and occasionally related subsystems on one large fuse. If there's relays involved it usually is one and rarely more.

That was my thinking process.

I have to say, purely because it is so easy to do, I would have checked all the fuses for continuity and replaced anything that needed it, 5 minutes and a few pence, before I did anything else. I think I just have the attitude to eliminate all the problems that are easy and cheap to fix, even if they are not the most likely cause, partly because I know that if I start pulling bits apart, odds are good of creating more damage as I go

@TheUnicorn - will be embracing that approach. going forward. :)
 
Number one rule of electrical faultfinding taught from when I were a little lad 1... First check your power supply.
 

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