Do It Yourself Windshield Wiper Motor Repair


Windshield wipers are an important safety feature that make it possible to operate a motor vehicle in inclement weather. Driving without properly operating windshield wipers limits your ability to see other vehicles and pedestrians. In most instances, wiper motors can easily be replaced by the vehicle owner, with only hand tools and at minimum expense.


  • On most vehicles, the windshield wiper motor will be located on the top of the firewall, beside the brake master cylinder. The wiper motor usually powers the back and forth motion of the wiper blades through a series of splined shafts and drive links. An attached windshield washer pump draws washer fluid from a reserve tank via a rubber hose and sprays it against the windshield through fittings mounted on the cowl (the body panel located directly below the windshield) or on the wiper blades themselves.


  • Begin by accessing the wiper motor output shaft. This is usually done by removing vents or panels mounted on the cowl directly above the motor. Disconnect the wiper-arm drive link attached to the wiper motor output shaft. If the electrical harness is attached to the wiper motor via a plastic connector, disconnect the harness from the motor. If wires are attached to the motor individually, label each wire before disconnecting. Label and disconnect the two or three rubber tubes connected to the washer pump. Remove the three or four bolts that connect the wiper motor to the firewall. Then remove the windshield wiper motor and washer pump as an assembly from the vehicle.


  • Place the new wiper motor/washer pump assembly in position and reinstall the three or four bolts that secure it to the firewall. Reconnect the rubber input and output lines to the windshield washer pump. Reconnect the individual electrical leads or the connector. Reconnect the wiper arm drive link to the output shaft on the wiper motor. Reinstall any vents or access panels you removed from the cowl.


  • Chilton's General Motors Camaro 1967 to 1981 Repair Manual; Chilton Book Company; 1997
  • Haynes VW Golf & Jetta 1993 through 1998 Repair Manual; George Parise, Mark Coombs, Spencer Drayton and John H. Haynes; 2006
  • Haynes Chevrolet & GMC Full-size Vans 1968 thru 1996 Repair Manual; Don Pfeil and John H. Haynes; 1999
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