How To Replace Damaged Or Worn Windshield Wiper Arms On Your Vehicle

If your windshield wiper arms have either been damaged or are just worn from use, then they will need to be replaced as soon as possible. Replacement isn't difficult, and it will only take most car owners a few minutes of their time while using some basic hand tools. Below is what you will need and how you can replace your vehicle's wiper arms:

1. Align your windshield wiper arms in their parked position - Begin by turning your vehicle's power switch to the 'ON' position, activate your wiper arms, then turn the wipers to their 'OFF' setting. This will park your wipers in their appropriate resting position and prevent you from accidentally installing the new arms in the incorrect orientation. Turn the ignition switch back to the 'OFF' position to prevent draining your battery as you perform the work.

2. Remove the wiper arms from the wiper arm posts - Once you have correctly oriented your wiper arms in their resting position, then you can begin the actual removal process. First, beginning on the driver's side, locate the protective cap that covers the wiper arm pivot point where it is attached to the post. Next, find the removal slot located at the bottom edge of the cap and carefully insert the tip of a small flat-blade screwdriver into the opening. Gently pry upward, and the cap should 'pop' free from its mount. Be sure not to lose the cap and place it in a safe place for later.

Once the cap is removed, you will observe a nut that holds the wiper arm in position. Test fit sockets on the nut until you find the right size, then remove the nut using your ratchet and socket. Next, apply firm downward pressure on the wiper arm elbow about halfway down the arm, and flex it gently to cause the end of the arm to slip off the post. If the fit is stubborn and doesn't seem to move, slip a thin piece of wood under the arm near the post and lift upward to push it free. Don't use a screwdriver or other metallic object, or you may risk damaging the post.

After the driver's side wiper arm has been removed, repeat the same process above for the passenger's side wiper arm. Be sure to separate and label the two wiper arms with a magic marker, so you remember their appropriate placement.

3. Purchase the replacement wiper arms and install them - After removing the old wiper arms, carry them with you to a local auto parts store and find correctly sized replacements for your vehicle. You may wish to label the package containing the new wiper arms in order to prevent accidental cross-installation.

Next, clean the wiper posts with a spray penetrating oil to remove old grease, leaves or other debris. Pay particular attention to the splines at the bottom of the posts, as the grooves between the splines should be completely clean in order to allow for a proper fit with the wiper arms. Use a plastic utility brush if necessary to clear away any stubborn debris.

Once the wiper posts are completely clean, remove the wiper arms from their packages and align them over the posts so they are in their parked position. After lining them up, slip the wiper arms over the posts and push them firmly into position. Be sure the arms are fully set into place over the splines and don't wiggle when you apply light side-to-side force to them.

After the wiper arms are in position, thread the wiper arm post nuts back onto the posts by hand, then tighten them using your ratchet and socket. Grasp the wiper arms a final time and shake them gently to ensure they are properly seated and don't move around loosely. Place the protective post caps over the posts, then push them down to 'pop' them back into position. Test your new wiper arms for proper operation once you have installed them.

If you discover any windshield damage while replacing your wiper arms, contact a windshield repair company to find more info.