Why do the windshield wipers on a 96 Saturn work normally most of the time but occasionally come on for no reason stop at any position and go again?

Whether or not they care to admit it, Saturn is part of the GM family and is subject to many of the same genetic defects. Mid-90s was a time of cost cutting and scrimping, which resulted in a recall of several GM models for a defective wiper motor control board. You may be one of the lucky ones who can pursue the recall and get a dealer to replace the board. If not and you don't want to shell out $75 for a replacement, plus labor- and you're an adventurous sort- you might try what I did on my '97 Blazer: - Unhook the cable yoke running across the face of the driver side wiper motor. (Gives you more room). - On the front of the driver side wiper motor, there is a small access plate, held in place by three easy-to-lose screws. Remove them. -Gently pry the plate away from the rest of the housing and carefully disconnect a strip connector from the socket. You should now have a small circuit board with a 3 inch yoke of wires and a strip socket. - Examine every solder joint on the board for bad connections and circuit runs on the board for scorch marks or burn-throughs. - If you can't solder, find someone who can. Reheat every solder connection you can find on the board(using heat sinks where necessary) and make sure you have electrically sound connections everywhere. If there are scorched or missing circuit runs, replace them with jumper wires. - Wipe away the excess grease and gunk dripping down from the wiper motor. - Carefully reconnect the strip connector to the socket and re-mount the circuit board. Make sure you have a water-proof seal around the seams of the plate after you put the screws back in- maybe rubber cement or something. - Reconnect the yoke you unhooked to get at the access plate. If you did it right, the wipers should function normally. If not, you probably need a new circuit board.