Windshield wiper arm repair is probably the most common form of DIY repair when it comes to the windshield. It’s easy, affordable and low-risk. In fact, windshield wiper blades are usually the issue. Fortunately, they are designed in a way to make it easy to repair them. In most cases, learning how to repair a windshield wiper arm is enough. However, in some rare cases it might be something more.
The good news is that you can learn how to repair a windshield wiper arm relatively easily. With that said, we’re going to actually look at the entire repair process.
What You Need
- Owner’s Manual (wipers are connected differently depending on the vehicle)
- New Wiper Blades
- Adjustable Wrench
- Ratchet Set (optional)
Step 1: Diagnose the Problem
Any repair project starts with identifying the problem. You need to figure out exactly what’s going on when you turn on the wipers. If both wipers are not moving at the same speed, then the nut connecting the slower wiper to the vehicle is probably loose. If one arm is not moving at all, then the arm is probably broken. If the wipers are just not swiping away water as efficiently as they should, then the blade probably needs to be replaced.
Step 2: Repair the Wiper Arm
If the arm simply needs to be tightened, then go ahead and do so now. You can easily remove the entire arm assembly to check for signs of breakage. If it’s broken, then you will have to purchase a new one. Pay close attention to how the arm connects to the vehicle. Look at the owner’s manual if necessary. In most cases, the arm is just loose so you will be able to tighten it back down.
Step 3: Replace the Blades
Unless you have replaced your blades in the past six months, I recommend that you go ahead and do that now. Even if the blades are not the issue, you might as well just replace them now since you already have the tools out.
With that said, if your wipers are not clearing your windshield efficiently, then the blades are likely the issue to begin with. Replace them in order to fix the problem.
In rare cases, you can tighten the arms, change the blades and still have a problem. If that’s the case, then the linkage is likely the underlying issue.
Step 4: Check the Linkage
The fastest way to determine whether or not the linkage is damaged is to turn on the wipers and listen closely. If you hear them make noise yet they are not moving, then the linkage is probably damaged. Check to determine if the linkage is broken or has become disconnected from the motor. If all linkage is intact and the motor is making noise, then the motor might be burned out. If that’s the case, you will need to take your vehicle to a professional.
Step 5: Check the Electrical
On the other hand, if you try running the wipers and hear nothing at all, then it’s an electrical problem. Check the fuse box. If the fuse is blown, then replace it. If replacing the fuse does not fix your wipers, then you will need to take your vehicle in to a professional.
You can follow these steps to quickly troubleshoot your wipers. Learning how to repair a windshield wiper arm starts with diagnosis, followed by repair. If you are unable to locate the problem, then it’s likely something outside of your scope of knowledge. In that case, you will need to take your vehicle to a professional.
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