Troubleshooting Your Faulty Windshield Wiper Arms Troubleshooting Your Faulty Windshield Wiper Arms

What You'll Need
Wrenches
Screwdrivers
Needle nose pliers

Windshield wiper arms can stop working due to a variety of factors. When this happens, taking a little time to troubleshoot what’s wrong can save you a lot of money in auto repairs. Follow the simple guidelines below to diagnose your problem and take steps to fix your wipers.

Step 1 - Loose Wiper Arm

If your windshield wiper arm appears loose, you don’t have to replace it. If you look at the base of the arm, you’ll see that it attaches with a small nut. Simply put on a new nut and tightening it. You’ll be able to judge the looseness of the arm by comparing it with the other wiper arm. The main symptom will be if the windshield wiper arm isn’t clearing your windshield properly, but the blade appears fine.

Step 2 - Bent Wiper Arms

If your windshield wipers aren’t operating properly and clearing the glass thoroughly, this could be because they’re bent. That can happen for any number of reasons, although the main one is vandalism. The simplest solution is to try and straighten out the windshield wiper arms when this happens. This won’t always be possible, and even when you do straighten them, they will never be exactly as they were when they left the factory. In the event that you can return them to a satisfactory condition, you’ll need to buy new windshield wiper arms and install them.

Step 3 - One Arm Won’t Work

If one of your windshield wiper arms will work normally, but the other won’t move, then you almost certainly have a problem in the linkage. To check, you’ll need to open the hood and remove the windshield wiper arms. You’ll see a small grille. Under this is the linkage that attaches the motor to the arms. Check the linkage to see if it’s intact. In most instances it will have come off one arm. You’ll need to buy a new linkage for your vehicle and attach it.

Step 4 - Wipers Won’t Work

If your windshield wiper arms won’t work when your switch them on, you first need to look at the fuses. The owner’s manual for you vehicle will show you where the fuses are located and what each fuse controls. Use the fuse puller in the set to take out the fuse and check to see if it’s intact. If not, put in a new fuse. If it seems to be in order, put it back. Turn on the car and try the windshield wipers again. If they still won’t work, you’ll need to replace the windshield wiper motor.

Before doing this, disconnect the negative battery from the terminals. Disconnect the leads from both side of the motor-they will either clip or screw on. Unbolt the motor from the engine compartment and put in the new one. Reconnect the leads. Replace the negative battery cable and tighten. Put the arms back on the windshield wipers, fastening the bolts. Close the hood and start the engine. Your windshield wipers should now work.

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