Windshield wiper linkage is a term associated with the metal rods or arms that connect or “link” the windshield wiper motor to the wiper arms and blades. The linkage is also responsible for synchronizing the movement of both of the wiper blades. Like the wiper motor, the linkage is hidden beneath a panel at the back of the hood and below the windshield.
The wipers that clear away moisture on your windshield play an essential role in promoting visibility when you are driving in inclement weather. The components that are visible from the outside of your vehicle, namely the wiper arms and blades, are attached to the linkage arms through the cowl panel trim. When you engage the wipers with the switch inside your vehicle, the wiper motor moves the linkage, which, in turn, moves the wiper arms and blades across your windshield.
If you have a problem with the windshield wipers, a fuse, relay, motor, or switch could be the culprit. So could the wiper arms, blades, or linkage that ties them to the wiper motor. If the linkage is damaged or otherwise broken, you might notice that the wipers do not move smoothly when they are engaged. Or they might not move at all. Or only one side works while the other does not. Sometimes, you might hear the wiper motor moving but without any effect on the wipers. You might also hear a clicking or grinding sound coming from below the windshield. If the linkage is seized, you might also notice an electrical smell coming from the wiper motor trying to move, and the fuse that is responsible for the wipers might blow repeatedly.
Replacement of the windshield wiper linkage is more involved than merely replacing the wiper blades or arms. On some vehicles, the linkage is integrated into the wiper motor assembly, and both must be replaced together. To replace the linkage, a technician will likely do the following:
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