Audi A3 / VW Golf Mk 4 5 Rear Wiper Problems FixedLast updated on November 26th, 2023
I have spent several hours looking across the internet for one source to provide me with a solution to a problem that I have had recently with my rear wiper. However, after many hours searching the best advice I could find was to either replace the whole rear wiper motor or take it to an Audi garage. Well after an expensive visit once before for just an oil service I refuse to go there again.
The rear wiper system in both Audi A3 and VW Golf’s seem to suffer from a variety of common problems, below is a list of the common problems and my suggestion on how to fix them. They might not be the best way to fix them but they have worked for me and I hope that they will work for you.
I am going to add some pictures to this post when I have a replacement part delivered to me so that you can see more easily what needs to be done and what to look for.
1. The four electric cables which go around the edge of the back door to a rubber component near the hinge are common to snapping or shorting
2. The washer hose comes off the back off the motor
3. A seal or tubing is split and has flooded the motor internally often which cannot be told from the exterior condition of the motor.
Well the list of the problems above are all fairly easy to solve however they can give very unusual symptoms which can be mistaken for something else. My best recommendation is to start at the bottom of the list and work up as that deals with the most common fault first.
How to access and repair the motor
Firstly you need to open the boot of the car and remove two screws which can be found in the grip on the left hand side. Undo those with a Phillips screw driver and put them to one side as you will not need those till right at the end.
You then need to carefully remove the plastic panel which covers the boot of the car. Although this is a plastic component it has metal clips which hold it to the body work. After several attempts to find the best way to remove this is to start at one end and slip a screw driver between the metal work and the panel and lever the it off the metal work! Be careful as the clips will get damaged if you use too much force, but from previous experience I would say you need more force than you think!
After the back plastic panel is off you will be able to see the locking mechanism as well as the rear wiper motor.
Identify the rear wiper motor and carefully remove the plastic pipe which sits of a plastic connector. I have found that these need replacing once you have taken it off once otherwise you can add a little bead of silicon or super glue to seal.
You then need to close the boot and turn your attention to taking the wiper arm off. Firstly take the plastic cover off the washer jet nozzle which should reveal a nut. Carefully undo the nut trying not to twist the mechanism of the rear wiper motor. Once you have removed the nut you need to ease off the wiper arm. On my car it was well bedded seeing as it had been there for nearly 8 years! If it is really tight a good spray of WD40 or GT85 should help!
Once this has been removed you can then re-open the boot and remove the motor. There are three nuts which hold the motor to the bodywork on the car. Carefully take the two edge ones off first and then the centre one off last whilst supporting the motor.
Lift the motor off and lay it onto a work bench with a white sheet underneath it to stop losing any of the internal components.
On first inspection it may be noticeable that around the washer fluid intake off the back of the rear wiper motor there may be a slight rusty residue or rust to the outer casing of the motor. This is probably not a good sign! (But repairable)
You then need to turn the motor so that the shaft is facing away from you. Then identify the hex screws which hold the back plate to the motor one. I think that there are about 5. I forgot to write the number down when taking it apart but it is obvious when you are doing it.
Once you have removed the screws you need to prise apart the motor into two components. The way I found easiest was to gently tap the end of the shaft with a hammer until there was enough of a gap to get a screwdriver to prise the back off.
Once you have go into the motor and taken it into two parts it should become obvious whether this is the cause of you problem. When I took mine apart there was masses of liquid and dirt building up in there which had caused the motor to cease up some of the time.
If it is full of liquid you need to clean up the motor and all of the internal components. From there on you have two choices. The first is to make the best of what you have got and hope that none of the components have worn too much or the electrics have got too wet. (this did work for me! so you wont be the only one to try!) Alternatively you can get a repair kit which will give you all new seals and a brand new internal pipe. So far I have found one of these on eBay and I will contact Audi and VW on Monday to see if they do one as well. The cost off eBay is £19.99 + £5.00 delivery.
I used loads and loads of WD40 on my old mechanism and steel wool to clean the metal work up. Once I had done that it is purely a case of doing the reverse of removal.
I hope that this helps many people if it does then please comment or link this to your website blog or forum! I hope to do many more of these solutions in time!