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Troubleshooting Stalling Wipers in Your X350 Jaguar XJ8

Updated: Mar 21

A problem that seems to be somewhat common with the X350 Jaguar XJ8 (2003-2009) is stalling wipers.

"Stalling" meaning that the wipers will intermittently not return, or "park" in their regular place at the bottom of the windshield.

Imagine, if you will, that it is a drizzly afternoon and your wipers are going about their business in normal to-and-fro fashion. This is something that many of us simply take for granted - something that we just don't have a second thought about - it's wet on the windshield and we turn the wipers on. Second nature. Now imagine that after several wipes, the wipers just...stop! Right in the middle of your line of sight! What a spot of bother!

The route of the problem lies inside the wiper motor itself. Unfortunately, some moderate disassembly is required before service is possible.

The motor is located conveniently on the underside of the wiper arm linkage assembly (called the wiper transmission). Inconveniently, it's a bit of a bear to access. The official procedures have the technician remove the wiper arms, cowl cover, rear engine bay shroud, brake master cylinder and power brake booster before finally unbolting the wiper transmission, removing it from the vehicle and replacing the wiper motor on the bench. Sheesh!

As Grampa's t-shirt says, "You can't bolt on experience".

If the wiper transmission isn't broken or worn out, then it does not need to be removed from the car - that will save a significant amount of time! Yes, the brake pedal will still need to be separated from the brake booster, but the brake booster and master cylinder only need to be pulled forward enough to allow the wiper transmission to drop and slide sideways enough to unbolt the wiper motor and remove it. They can all stay in the car and, more importantly, all of the brake lines can stay connected, saving us lots of potential mess to clean up and brake bleeding procedures to follow.

Jaguar did not intend this particular wiper motor to be serviceable...but we have a drill and can confidently drill out those pesky rivets! There are also several screws that hold the motor cover in place. Once inside, the electrical contact plate is held in place by a clip that is a little tricky to remove, but after some technical fiddling, the problem is revealed: Much like that set of spoons on the wall from all of those places that you've visited, the brass has tarnished, making poor electrical conductivity.

It takes a bit of elbow grease to remove the tarnish. I found a combination of electrical contact cleaner and a soft, brass bristle wire brush to be very effective. We also clean and gently tweak the other contacts inside the motor, apply new dielectric lubricant and re-assemble for trouble-free wiping!

The last bit of advice here is to be very careful with the two brake position switches. I find it best to remove them rather than keep them installed in the pedal assembly. They can be hurt when separating/installing the brake booster. They are very sensitive and need to work together perfectly. If they are out of whack, this can have a negative affect on your brake lights, ABS, cruise control and traction control.

Until our next update, keep the automotive spirit alive, and remember, the best is yet to come!

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