National average cost of a a Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement for popular vehicles:
What is a windshield wiper motor and how does it work?
The wipers that clear away moisture on your windshield play an important role in promoting visibility when you are driving in inclement weather. The parts that you can see from outside your vehicle - the wiper arms and blades - constitute only a portion of the windshield wiper system.
The wiper arms are connected to posts that protrude through the surface of the cowl (below the windshield) where the arms attach. Those posts are attached to long rods or links that cause the wiper arms to move back and forth. The links are connected to an electric motor (the windshield wiper motor) that turns on and off when you activate the wiper switch.
How do I know if my vehicle needs a new windshield wiper motor?
It is possible that a problem with your windshield wipers is related to something other than the wiper motor. In fact, it is likely. A blown fuse, bad relay, broken wire, or even a faulty switch can each prevent the windshield wipers from working properly. But sometimes a wiper motor fails. If it does, you might notice one or more of the following signs:
The windshield wipers do not move when you turn them on
The wipers seem sluggish or move more slowly than usual
You hear a squealing or grinding noise coming from below the windshield when the wipers are activated
You smell an electrical odor when the windshield wipers are activated
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How is a a Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement done?
Replacement of a windshield wiper motor is far more complex than merely replacing the wiper blades or arms. To replace a wiper motor, a technician will likely do the following:
Disconnect the negative battery terminal
Remove the wiper arms and blades
Unfasten and remove the windshield cowl panel to access the wiper motor and linkage
Disconnect any electrical connections to the wiper motor
Detach the linkage from the motor and unfasten the wiper motor from its mounts
Remove the wiper motor and install the new one
Reattach the linkage and electrical connector
Reinstall windshield cowl panel and wiper arms
Verify the repair by testing the windshield wipers
Other questions customers ask
What causes a windshield wiper motor to fail?
A windshield wiper motor may fail if it is repeatedly overloaded. This can happen if it has to push a heavy layer of snow off of the windshield, or if you activate the wipers when the blades are frozen to the windshield. Windshield wiper motors can also fail due to simply having thousands of hours of use and being worn out.
Can windshield wiper motors be repaired?
No, windshield wiper motors cannot usually be repaired. Instead, wiper motors are replaced. Some wiper motors come as an assembly, complete with the linkage attached.
Can you drive without windshield wipers?
Driving without working windshield wipers is a risky move in clear weather, and a dangerous - and likely illegal - one in inclement weather. Most states have laws requiring street-legal vehicles to be equipped with working windshield wipers for this reason.
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What parts are related to a Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement?
What are some other common services related to a Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement?
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