How to Replace the Windshield Wiper Motor on a Jetta

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Volkswagen produces the Jetta, a mid-size family sedan. Volkswagen has made the Jetta since 1979 and it has gone through five generations. Though there's a lot of variation among the models of Jetta, replacing the windshield wiper motor is a similar process for all of them. The wiper motor operates the arms that move the wiper blades over the windshield, cleaning off debris, rain and other visual obstructions. The motor is attached to the bulkhead, and you'll have to remove the arms and the intake grating in order to take off the motor.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench set with long extension
  • Pick
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Replacement motor
  • Pull off the rubber stoppers covering the nuts that hold the wiper arms to the vehicle. Wedge the flat end of a flat-head screwdriver under the stopper and pry it off. Do this for both arms.

  • Use the socket wrench to remove the nuts holding the arms to the vehicle.

  • Pull the arm upward and jiggle it back and forth until the arm comes off the bolt. Repeat this process for the other arm.

  • Pry off the plastic pins on the intake grating that cover the screws holding the intake grating to the bulkhead. Wedge the sharp end of a pick under the plastic pin and pry the pin off. Cover the pin with your free hand as you do this to prevent the pin flying off and becoming lost.

  • Unscrew the screws holding the intake grating to the bulkhead using the Phillips-head screwdriver.

  • Pull the intake grating off the bulkhead and lay it on the windshield for easy reassembly.

  • Locate the wiper motor, which looks like a large black cylinder bolted horizontally to the bulkhead, either on the passenger or driver's side of the engine compartment, depending on the year and model of the Jetta you're working on.

  • Unplug the power cable from the motor by depressing the sides of the plug and pulling the cable off. Detach any accessories hooked onto the wiper motor, such as a solenoid pack.

  • Use the socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the wiper motor to the bulkhead. Most models have between two and three bolts. Use the long extension with the socket wrench to reach the lower mounting bolts.

  • Grab the wiper motor with two hands and jiggle it loose from the bulkhead, as use may have glued it to the bulkhead-mating surface.

  • Insert the bolts from the old motor into the rubber sleeves of the new motor. The rubber sleeves dampen the motor's vibrations while in use.

  • Line up the bolt holes on the bulkhead with the bolts from the motor, and hand tighten each of the bolts. Finish tightening the bolts with the socket wrench.

  • Reattach the power cable to the wiper motor. Attach any other accessories that were draped on the wiper motor before you removed it.

References

  • "Haynes Repair Manual: VW Golf, GTI, & Jetta, '99-'05"; Haynes, John; 2008
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