How to Install Intelligent Windshield Wiper Arms

Windshield wiper arm on a car
  • .25
  • Intermediate
  • 10-40
What You'll Need
New wiper arms
Wiper arm removal tool
two screwdrivers

Even intelligent windshield wiper arms need to be replaced occasionally. There can be several reasons for this, most commonly when they’ve been vandalized and can’t be bent back to their proper shape. There are two main ways windshield wipers arms attach to the vehicle. It’s a simple job that only takes a few minutes. Note that it’s important to have the new windshield wiper arms adjusted properly.

Step 1 - How Windshield Wipers Arms Attach

Depending on the type of car, the windshield wipers arms might be on a threaded shaft, and held in place by a single nut on each arm. They might also be pushed down on a splined shaft. In this case there will be a clip that holds them in place. That clip will need to be released in order to remove the arm.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Splined Windshield Wiper Arms

person's hand on a wiper blade

With splined windshield wiper arms, you first need to pull it up as far as it can go. There will be a tab or a slide latch helping keep it in place. The clip should release easily. With the slide latch you’ll need to use a screwdriver to loosen it.

From here you’ll have to pry off the wiper blade. You’ll need two screwdrivers to accomplish this. Pull a little on one side to start, then use the second screwdriver on the other side. Keep alternating until you’ve removed the windshield wiper blade. If you prefer, you can buy a special tool that will let you pry off the arms more easily.

Step 3 - Remove the Old Threaded Windshield Wiper Arms

Where you have threaded windshield wipers arms, removal is much easier. You will need to loosen a nut, using a wrench at the base of the arm. In the case of those in metric, this will be a lock nut.

Step 4 - Installation

wiper moving across a wet windshield

You need to be very careful when installing new windshield wiper arms. The danger is that if they’re not properly installed, they can hit against the frame of the windshield, either at the side or at the bottom. Make sure the wiper blades are fully installed. You need to have the windshield wiper arms placed so they’re around one inch above the bottom frame of the windshield. Tighten them fully.

Pour water on the windshield. This will serve as a lubricant as you run the wiper arms to test them. Turn on the wipers and see that they don’t hit against the frames. If they do, consult your service manual to see how you can adjust the arc. All makes of cars will allow you to do this.

Make the adjustment and test again. Go gradually, until you reach the correct point with the windshield wiper arms with clearance at both ends of the arc. Raise the wiper arms and check that they’re fully tightened. Lower again, and you’ve replaced your intelligent windshield wiper arms.