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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-19-08, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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rear wiper won't work

2003 MDX rear wiper will not funtion. The fuse is OK, and when I run power directly to the motor, it works. So the problem must be in between.

When I turn the switch on, I hear a periodic clicking sound in the area of the jack storage compartment (LR interior corner). When I disconnect the wiring connector at the wiper motor, the clicking stops. I am assuming there is a relay or something located behind the interior panel there. Is this the "rear window wiper intermittent control unit" referenced in my Haynes manual wiring diagram?

Any thoughts on what the problem might be? If there is a control unit located behind the panel, and if that is the likely problem, could anyone direct me to some instructions for removing that panel? Nothing in Hanyes, and I was hoping to get a look at an Acura instruciton sheet.

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-19-08, 06:31 PM
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Definitely sounds like a relay issue and you're on the right track. Hopefully someone will chime in that has removed that panel before.

2005 BSM MDX w/navi
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-12-09, 01:28 PM
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Did you get this fixed? I ahve a friend with the same problem...
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-12-09, 12:32 PM
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Rear Wiper Dead on 2002 MDX

We have the same problem with our MDX. I checked the fuse, it is fine and has voltage. When activating the switch, there is a clicking coming from the rear. I pulled the wiper motor out of the tailgate and applied 12 volts to its contacts. The wiper shaft moved smoothly back and forth on my workbench, so I think that the motor is OK.

I then proceeded to try to find the control unit/relay. Removing the left rear interior panel is a real pain in the ***. Honda engineers build great vehicles, but I swear that they think that NOTHING ever breaks, so there is no need to make anything diss-assemble. In short, the panel ended up cracking as I removed it, so the cost of this repair just went way up. If you try to do this yourself, I recommend pulling the left 3rd row seat out of the vehicle before removing the rear panel, I think this will give more clearance to pull the panel toward the center of the vehicle and put less stress on it.

So now I found the control unit, it is bolted under the frame member that separates the under-floor storage bin from the recess that the 3rd row seats are in. The unit is next to me, and marked as follows:

Omron Made in Japan

I've googled all of the numbers and not found anything listing this part. My next stop is my local acura dealer. I spoke with them on the phone and they said that they have had a few rear wipers die on this model, but not many. In most cases it was the motor, but the control unit has fixed a few.

I'll also need to get the part number for the rear interior panel and likely call around to some salvage yards to try to get one. Not what I really wanted to spend my free time doing, but what are you gonna do?
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-21-09, 02:42 AM
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That is actually a common problem amoung MDXs. Other related issues may be that the rear-view camera (if equipped) does not work, or the center brake light bulbs dont work.

The cause:

The wire harness that travels from the body of the MDX to the tailgate, will become worn and eventually a wire will break. This harness can be seen with the tailgate open, looking to the upper left and upper right corners. It is a black rubber hose looking tube. Now, take a closer look to where the rubber harness on the left side connects to the tailgate. Pull back the rubber boot from its mount on the tailgate to expose the wires. Then, pull the boot down as far as you can without damaging anything. Sift through the wires and see if one is broken. (it will look like it has been cut) There's your problem. Just go to an automotive store and get a wire connector for 14-18 gauge wire, and connect it together with crimpers.

If that seems like too much, just take your MDX to a dealer. They should only charge you a couple labor hours for diagnosing and repairing your problem.

Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-01-09, 10:33 PM
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Wiper problem solved

Tim062 was exactly right. I wish he had posted before I pulled the interior apart. After replacing the wiper control module, I found that the wiper was still not working. I then guessed that the wires in the boot going from the rear frame to the tailgate may be chafing and breaking, so I pulled out the ends of the boots and found one broken wire.

I ended up crimping 8" of new wire in place, so that the connectors would be pushed well back into the D-Pillar and the tailgate, I didn't want a connector inside the boot tearing up the remaining wires when it flex's. I did need to disconnect the wiring harness from everthing in the tailgate to get enough slack in the wire bundle to make the crimps, however. Once the new wire was crimped in place, the wiper worked perfectly again.

Now I have an extra rear wiper control module available if anyone wants one!
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-02-09, 02:58 AM
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Glad I could help. Now dont go telling everyone, I make good money on those repairs! haha
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-22-12, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim062 View Post
Glad I could help. Now dont go telling everyone, I make good money on those repairs! haha
Even though this is an old thread, I had to bump this. Tim, you saved me a ton of troubleshooting time with this. Thank you!!!

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post #9 of 14 Old 06-11-12, 09:18 PM
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Awesome, 10 minute fix for my rear wiper and caught a few more wires ready to go as well. Thanks Tim062!!
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-28-12, 07:05 PM
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Thumbs up

A Big thanks to Tim062

Tim062Saved me $$ the dealership wanted to change the motor.
Note to others I had to pull the boot way down before I could see the break.
It is easy to miss if you dont check from both sides of the gromet boot.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-29-15, 03:37 PM
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You rock Tim062! Fixed mine as well....

Thanks for saving me some $$$
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-13-15, 08:03 PM
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Another save by Tim062

Thanks Tim, this was the solution I needed, 5 minutes of work with a connector I had on hand. I also used some Blufixx plastic on a couple of wires that had broken insulation and were probably ready to go next.
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-19-17, 07:41 PM
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Thanks Tim062

Easily found the broken green wire. I couldn't get the crimper to hold so I soldered in a jumper. Not sure how long this will last. Plan C will be to replace a longer section of the wire so that the flex point is not at the elbow. I was surprised that the wire was only 18 gauge, particularly for a flexing location.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-21-19, 12:05 PM
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thanks a lot. i just fixed mine now. the green wire was not difficult to locate.
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