Could a short in the wiper motor cause my alternator to die?

Jules Michelle

Asked by Nov 22, 2013 at 08:57 PM about the 1999 Hyundai Accent 2 Dr L Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I bought a brand new alternator two months
ago, the battery now wont hold a charge,
and the alternator doesn't work. The wipers
haven't worked for a few months, previously
they wouldn't turn off unless the engine
was off. Presently, they do not turn on at all,
except for at random intervals. Then they
start moving very slow. I'm thinking its
probably the wiper motor and the
distributor. Opinions please?

8 Answers


Doubtful that the wiper motor will cause an alternator to go bad, it was most likely your battery causing the alternator to go to full charge output while it was running, so I'd replace the battery, alternator first. The reason that you wiper motor is acting like that is the motors brushes are worn out and only making intermittent contact and arching when they do, so that should be replaced also.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jules Michelle

Re: Tennisshoes: I pulled the wiper motor out of the car and kept it connected electrically and it worked fine. So it has to be something in the arm that connects the wipers? I charged up the battery and tested it and the reading came out at 12.6. I know it should be around 14.0. But if the battery can be charged then I can't see it being the battery. Is it possible that I could simply have gotten a faulty alternator, even though I bought it new? Thats what I'm leaning towards, although I can't see it being just the alternator causing problems.


The wiper motor might run normally with no load but when the load is applied it would fail, on the battery 12.6 is on the low side, it should be around 13.2 at full charge and engine not running, with the engine running it should be around 14.2 to 14.6 at idle. Did you have the battery load tested?

Jules Michelle

Yes, I borrowed my neighbours multimeter, that was the 12.6 reading, went for a small drive and tested it again and it said 12.1. With the car idling both times.


So you are only running on battery voltage, with those readings the alternator is not working.

Jules Michelle

Yah that's what I was thinking, thanks. Now just to find out what's up with the wipers.


I still think you have a bad wiper motor.

Jules Michelle

It's possible, ill make sure to check it out better. Thanks.

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