The windshield wiper linkage transmits the motion of the wiper motor to the wiper arm and blade. Over time, the wiper linkage can become bent and worn. This is especially true if the wipers are used in a region where heavy snow and ice accumulate during the winter. A bent or broken windshield wiper linkage can cause the wipers to move out of sequence or prevent your wipers from working altogether. Obviously, this is a safety issue, so don’t let your wiper linkage go unrepaired.
Part 1 of 1: Replacing the windshield wiper linkage
- Free repair manuals - Autozone provides free online repair manuals for certain makes and models
- Pliers (optional)
- Protective gloves
- Pry bar (optional)
- Ratchet, extension and sockets of the appropriate size
- Safety glasses
- Small flathead screwdriver
- Wiper arm puller (optional)
Step 1: Move the wipers to the highest position. Turn the ignition and wipers on. Stop the wipers when they are at the highest position by turning the ignition off.
Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the negative battery cable using a wrench or ratchet and socket of the appropriate size. Then set the cable aside.
Step 3: Remove the wiper arm nut cover. Remove the wiper arm nut cover by prying it up with a small flathead screwdriver.
Step 4: Remove the wiper arm retaining nut. Remove the wiper arm retaining nut using a ratchet, extension and socket of the appropriate size.
Step 5: Remove the wiper arm. Pull the wiper arm up and off the linkage stud.
- Note: In some cases, the wiper arm is pressed on and removal requires a dedicated wiper arm puller.
Step 6: Raise the hood. Raise and support the hood.
Step 7: Remove the cowl. Generally, there are two overlapping cowl halves which are secured with screws and/or clips. Remove all of the retaining fasteners and then carefully pull up on the cowl. You may need to use a small flathead screwdriver to gently pry it up.
Step 8: Remove the motor electrical connector. Push down on the tab and slide the connector off.
Step 9: Remove the linkage assembly mounting bolts. Unbolt the linkage assembly mounting bolts using a ratchet and socket of the appropriate size.
Step 10: Remove the linkage assembly from the vehicle. Lift the linkage assembly up and out of the vehicle.
Step 11: Disconnect the linkage from the motor. Generally, the linkage can be gently pried off the mounts on the motor using a flathead screwdriver or small pry bar.
Step 12: Connect the new linkage to the motor. Push the linkage onto the motor. Typically, this can be done by hand, but you can carefully use pliers if needed.
Step 13: Mount the linkage assembly. Mount the linkage assembly back in the vehicle.
Step 14: Install the linkage assembly mounting bolts. Tighten the linkage assembly mounting bolts until they are snug using a ratchet and socket of the appropriate size.
Step 15: Reinstall the connector. Reconnect the electrical connector to the linkage assembly.
Step 16: Reinstall the cowl. Mount the cowl in place and secure it using the fasteners and/or clips. Then you can lower the hood.
Step 17: Reinstall the wiper arm. Push the arm back onto the linkage stud.
Step 18: Install the wiper arm retaining nut. Tighten down the wiper arm retaining nut until it is snug using a ratchet, extension and socket of the appropriate size.
- Note: It’s helpful to put red Loctite on the retaining nut threads to prevent the nut from backing off.
Step 19: Install the pivot nut cover. Install the pivot nut cover by snapping it into place.
Step 20: Reconnect the negative battery cable. Reconnect the negative battery cable using a wrench or ratchet and socket of the appropriate size.
Windshield wiper linkage replacement is a big job that’s best left to a professional. If you decide you’d prefer to have someone handle this task for you, yourMechanic offers expert windshield wiper linkage replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Replace a Windshield Wiper Linkage and was authored by Mia Bevacqua.