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Windshield Wiper Assembly


Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2011
Reston, Virginia
The windshield wiper assembly on my Roadster just started making ugly scratching and high-pitched screeching noises. At first I thought it was the wiper blade scratching across the windshield but it is not - it is the motor/assembly itself.

In looking at Lotus posts, I see several Lotus owners complaining of such a sound and apparently replacing the motor and assembly as a unit.

Does anyone know if this Roadster motor and assembly is the same as used in the Elise? If so, is it easily replaceable or does a replacement involve a removal of the brake master cylinder and other parts to get to it? Finally, is it possible that just some lubrication on it would solve the issue and if so, how do I get to it to lubricate it?

Any assistance is most appreciated. Thank you.
Yes, it is the same as the Lotus, and yes, it is a real pain to replace. You need to remove the High Voltage controller for the A/C, and the bolts holding it on are up under the bottom of the windshield where you have to use a mirror to see them. Getting it out isn't too bad, it's trying to reinstall the bolts that is the problem. You have to do it by feel. Once its out you can disassemble it to see what the problem is.
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Reactions: dhrivnak
It’s most likely due to the spindle seizing in its housing. Corrosion builds up and either the housing cracks or it grinds down on one of the spindle bodies. Usually the wipers seem slower for a while before that happens. Most low mileage cars need a little help with a silicon spray to keep things moving, I used to machine the body to put self lubricating bronze bushings on old historic British cars. I would try a good silicone oil from the ‘brand of your choice’ down the side of the spindle. You may have to remove the o ring or it may be already compromised. But even if it’s a temporary repair you know what part to aim for.
Over the weekend I removed the high voltage controller and the cover over the wiper motor to inspect things. Prior to removing the wiper motor assembly (with the warning above that a reinsertion of the bolts would be difficult), I tried lubricating all moving parts I could find. As it turned out, the noise did appear to be coming from the spindle to which the wiper blade is attached. Rather than a silicone oil, I used a liquid graphite lubricant of the kind used in locks, thinking that would really penetrate into the spindle. The application of the liquid graphite corrected the issue immediately. The wiper is now working without noise. Hopefully I caught this prior to the spindle housing being damaged. If not, at least it is working now without issue (it got a good test in the rain this morning). If I have to replace the assembly in the future, I now know what is involved. Thank you again for the responses above.
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Reactions: dhrivnak and gregd

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