Offroading Subarus

Where we modify and drive flat fours

Windscreen, Spray then Wipe! For Gen3 Outback

A common feature to any car is the windscreen washer system. Normally a button located on the steering wheel column stalks that sprays the windscreen while wiping it. But what if your windscreen was very dry and dusty or worse muddy, and you didn’t want to wipe those rubber blades across incase of scratching it? Here is my solution for an 99-04 Gen3 Outback, this may (probably will) be the same on similar aged Liberty/Legacy/Impreza models.

First start by removing the wiper/washer stalk (switch) assembly. To do this remove the screw that holds the bottom cover to the steering column, then remove the screws under that cover that hold the top cover on. Once the covers are removed you can see the screws holding the electronic circuit board and switch assembly to the steering column. Unplug it from the body via the large multi pin connector. Remove the switch and circuit board, it should look like this picture below


The white plug on at the bottom of the picture comes from the stalk, it has the wires from the rear wiper and washer controller and also the Green and Brown wires from the washer button which sits on the very end of the stalk. Tracing the Green wire back into the circuit board you can see the it goes to the multi pin connector to the body (Light green wire with Red stripe) and also through a tiny component which my best guess is a resistor to lower voltage for the transistor further down that line. This resistor is what turns the wiper controller on. Remove this resistor, by cutting with a sharp knife into the solder on either side of it.

Now reassemble everything and bingo, no more wiper blade function when pressing the washer button. You can pour washer fluid onto the windscreen via the button, then pull on the stalk to wipe it clean.

I hope you find this useful. And if you follow the logic of tracing wires you should be able to figure this out on many different cars including different brands!


I bought my first Subaru back in 2005, it was a 89 Brumby, flair red. I lifted it, fitted Kumho 27″ MT’s. After a while I swapped the dual carb EA81 it had with an EJ22 bolted on a custom gearbox which used EJ D/R casing, EA82 5sp low range and an RX centre locking diff. Once I sold the Brumby I got a 83 Leone. Converted it to 4WD, put the Kumho’s on it, added a 5sp and drove it like I stole it. I then upgraded to a 99 Outback. It was hail damaged so I repaired it myself. I fitted it out with some storage and a mattress. I now have a 87 Brumby that I’ve resprayed with two pack urethane in Waratah Red. I am planning to fit an EJ with PT gearbox and a little bit of lift. It’s another project in progress.

Phizinza – who has written posts on Offroading Subarus.

January 11th, 2011 by Phizinza
Posted in Modifications