Besides repair, it’s useful to know how to replace a windshield wiper motor. You will most likely need the skill at one time when the wipers fail due to a bad motor. A DIY wiper motor replacement saves you a visit to the repair shop and the costs that come with it. In this section, we explain the replacement procedure so you can do it without any challenge. We will also be comparing the cost when a mechanic replaces your car wiper motor vs. when you do it yourself.
Just like in the previous chapter, we will begin by looking at the reasons you may need to change your car wiper motor. Examples of situations where you need to install a new motor include when the wiper motor assembly is excessively worn due to age, or when the motor is burned out and cannot be repaired.
You also need a new wiper motor installed if the cost of repair almost equals or exceeds that of replacement. Or, when you want to install a different type of motor to suit specific needs. In all these situations, knowing how to do it yourself lowers expenses, among other benefits.
How to Replace a Windshield Wiper Motor
- Ratchet and socket set
- Screwdrivers (large and small)
- High heat grease
- The new wiper motor
Let’s now get onto the wiper motor replacement instructions. Note that the process explained here may not apply to some cars. It’s, therefore, advisable to have your car manual with you. It will help you locate the motor for example, and other parts that may need to be removed to access the motor and wiper linkage.
Step 1 Remove Wiper Motor
The wiper motor removal procedure varies slightly across different vehicles. Some steps may not apply or may not be included here. Ensure you have everything ready, including your car manual. Then, follow these instructions on how to remove wiper motor assemblies from most cars.
- Start by disconnecting the battery to avoid electrical accidents
- Next, loosen and take out the bolts that secure the wiper arms. You may need to soak the thread with penetrating fluid first if the bolt appears stuck
- Remove the wiper arms by wiggling them out of their mounting studs. You may need a wiper arm removal tool if possible
- Remove the wiper cowl by taking out the screws and prying it gently with a flat tool such as screwdriver. Take care not to break it
- Unbolt the wiper linkages. Depending on the type of linkage, you may need to disconnect it from the wiper motor assembly or remove both as one piece
- Locate the wiper motor and remove its connector.
- Remove the wiper motor assembly by taking the bolts that mount it. As already indicated, the motor may come out separately or together with the wiper linkage.
Step 2 Install Wiper Motor
Before you can start to install the new wiper motor, check to see that its specs and features match those of the older one unless doing an upgrade. This will help ensure compatibility and proper working of your windshield wipers. Here is how to install windshield wiper motor assemblies in a majority of cars.
- If the older motor came out with the linkage, start by connecting the new motor to the linkage before proceeding to mount it
- Align the new motor with the mounting surface. If you have the motor connected to the linkage assembly, slide the linkage parts into the space where it connects to the rest of the wiper system
- Bolt everything into place
- Replace the wiper motor connector
- Reconnect the battery’s’ negative cable
- Test the new wiper motor installation by switch on the wipers and listening in or checking for problems
As you can see, it’s easy enough to understand how to replace a windshield wiper motor. Only ensure that you have the right type of motor for your car depending on the car’s make and model or year of manufacture.
You may also have other parts to replace alongside the motor. If you do, ensure that you replace them correctly. These include wiper transmission, wiper arms, or even wiper blades. If unsure about their replacement, we recommend taking your car to a repair shop.
Wiper Motor Replacement Cost
When you have a bad wiper, you can either replace it yourself or have it changed at a repair shop. The first option saves you costs. You will only spend between $30 and $350, which is the price of most car wiper motors.
Depending on your situation, you can decide to have the replacement done by a mechanic. The cost to replace a windshield wiper motor at a repair shop normally ranges from about $80 to $450. Note that it can be higher than that depending on several factors.
One of the factors that determine the wiper motor replacement cost is your type of car, with luxury models costing more. The labor rates in your area, too, or the specific repair shop or mechanic.
Overall, you can find the most affordable rates by searching the repair shops in your locality and checking their prices. A search online will produce many options, or you can ask around for firsthand information about repair shops.
You may also be interested in knowing the amount to replace other parts of the wiper system such as wiper transmission and arms. The wiper transmission cost ranges from $75 to $150, while the windshield wiper arm replacement cost varies between $25 and $50.
The wiper motor on your car helps in ensuring unobstructed view through the windshield when driving. When it goes bad, you want to replace it yourself and save both cost and time. The process explained here is meant to help DIY enthusiasts maintain their cars. It will help you to change a bad wiper motor on your car easily and without scheduling an appointment to a repair shop.