I had the exact same problem with my 2000 buick century which i also bought used and after asking GM what it could possibly be they told me it was the whole wiper arm assembly which would be over $700 to replace. I decided to have a look myself and discovered that a small metal tab which makes the wipers park was bent and the mechanism was not engaging after turning the wipers off. i simply bent the tab back carefully and they parked again, saving me hundreds and it took about 15 minutes.
Open the hood and look where the wiper arms attach to the spindle. remove the caps covering the nuts, then remove the nuts. the hardest part here is most likely going to be getting those arms off. then remove the plastic grille under the right wiper arm (driver's side).
When you can get at the motor assembly, turn the wipers on and off and watch how it assembly operates and see if you can find the tab. This is the best picture i could find with google.
Once i found the tab i took a large flat head screwdriver and tapped it gently with a hammer to bend the tab back. you can tell when you turn the wipers on and off that they park properly. When it came time to put the wiper arms back onto the spindles i set them where they would be when turned off (resting in the plastic cradle at the lowest position).
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Re: wipers land in wrong position
SOUNDS LIKE THE WIPERS WERE PUT ON WHEN THEY WERE IN THE UP POSSITIONYPU WILL HAVE TO PULL THE WIPER ARMS OFF LET THE WIPERS RUN THRU A CYCLE AND PEST IN THE DOWN POSISTION AND INSTALL THE ARMS IN THE DOWN POSISTION THIS SHOULD FIX THE PROBLEM
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More than likely, your little wiper transmission isn't catching correctly. I had this issue with my sisters Buick. Open the hood. Remove the panel located nearest to the bottom of you windshield near your wipers. You should see a small oval or teardrop shaped cover, (approximately the size of a playing card) that you will need to remove to expose the wiper transmission. It just pops off. Turn your wipers on and see if the "tab" on the transmission catches to stop your wipers in the down position. Her's did not. I lubricated it slightly and with careful pressure, bent the tab just a bit. The wipers then caught at the appropriate time, closing the wipers correctly. Remember to replace the cover and the panel on your vehicle when complete. Ever onward! Hope this was helpful for your model as well.
You need to replace the crank arm that is attached to the wiper motor. Then bend the tab back up on the wiper motor bracket that got bent when the crank arm went bad. The crank arm catches the tab when you shut the wipers off so they back up and go down to the park position.
I found the following description on the web, this covers a bunch of the questions I was going to ask...
I own a 2000 Silo and wondered the same thing and do see some GM vans with this problem.
When I bought mine I also bought the Haynes Repair manual (1997
thru 2001 all models GM) #38036 to learn how to fix this and a LOT of
other components in/on the van.
For $20 it's worth it.
To answer your question: If the wipers stop at the position
they're in when the switch is turned off (Fail to park), disconnect the
multi-function switch electrical connector. (This is located under the
dash next to the firewall and steering column)
If the wipers now park, replace the multi-function switch. If the
wipers still do NOT park, check the wiring from the wiper motor to the
switch for a short circuit. If the circuits are good, replace the wiper
Note: There are other adjustments needed for proper operation than just bolting and new motor on.
You can have a look at this manual at any automotive parts supply store.