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97 Sebring - seat belts, windshield washer problems

Old 03-09-2010, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Default 97 Sebring - seat belts, windshield washer problems

I have a 1997 Sebring that has repeatedly and recently been flooded by rain from clogged rear drains. I know the drainage issue has been addressed in a number of other places; I only mention it to provide further information about the more pressing problems.

Not too long ago, the windshield wipers would not turn off. No position of the wiper switch will turn them off. I have removed the fuse from the Power Distribution Center (PDC) in the engine compartment to keep them off. Now I have discovered that the washers that squirt washer fluid onto the windshield will not turn off. That is, the pump is going continuously as soon as the key is in the accessory position or the car is on. The washer fluid reservoir is dry since all the fluid gets pumped out, but you can still hear the pump whining away. The washer is not on the same circuit as the wipers, so they stay on even when the wiper fuse is removed.

The problem with the wipers happened first, but now I also have a problem with the seat belts. Both the passenger and the driver side seat belts are stuck in the retracted position. I have checked fuse #15 in the Junction Block and #13 in the PDC. Both are fine, not even showing hairline cracks. I rolled down one window and closed the door and waited 30 minutes for the seat belt lock to time out, but I still could not pull out the seat belts (through the window, with the doors still closed) I opened up the center console and looked at the Seatbelt Control Timer Module (SCTM). Supposedly this has a fuse on the SCTM, but I have not been able to discover it. (I would appreciate a description or picture of where the fuse is located, if indeed there is one located here. I do not see the fuse in the wiring diagram.) I checked for voltage on pins 4 and 5 and they are good.

My questions:
What should I do next to fix the problem with the seat belts?
Is the seat belt problem related to the wiper/washer situation?
How can I turn off the wipers and the washer?
How do I remove the steering column cover to replace the wiper switch, if needed?

I am mechanically adept, but I have very little experience. So, I need a lot of guidance from sources like this. Thank you very much.
Old 03-09-2010, 08:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit suburb
Posts: 4,993

The seat belts have an explosive (seriously) system built into the retractor mechanism to forcefully retract the belts in the event of a collision. It is controlled by a module located under the console. The flooding of your vehicle may have fired the retractor.
This is a serious issue and driving a car without seatbelts is not safe.
Take the car in to the dealership and get the belts fixed. They will probably need to replace the retractors and the controller. It won't be cheap, but it's cheaper than scraping your face off the dashboard.

Crawl under the steering column and look at it from the underside. You'll see the screws that hold the cover in place. Not entirely sure about your model but they are probably torx headed screws. Get the proper sized driver.
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