Replacing a rear windshield wiper on your car

This week, our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn shows us how to replace the motor assembly for a rear windshield wiper on a vehicle.  While not every vehicle is the same, the process will be similar for a lot of them.  The best way to see the exact process for your vehicle is to search online for a video that is specific to your vehicle’s make and model.

The basic process will be much the same, though.  First, you’ll remove the wiper from the rear window.  You may need a gear-pulling tool for that.  You can borrow one from an auto parts store.  Many will loan out tools, requiring only a deposit, up front.  When you return the tool, you get the deposit back.  This is what Jill did for her vehicle.  Aside from that, you should only need a socket wrench set, a screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench to complete the job.

Once the wiper assembly is off from the outside, you can remove the motor assembly from the inside.  Jill’s had a plastic cover that just popped off.  (It required a little coaxing with a screw driver.)  After that, the motor assembly only required the removal of 2 nuts and 2 screws, along with disconnecting the power supply plug.  While it takes a little time, it’s really not difficult, says Jill.

The tutorial that Jill watched recommended disassembling the motor assembly, cleaning the corrosion off the wiper stem, and reassembling the whole thing.  Jill tried that, but hers was so corroded that it would not come apart.  She says for the amount of work that requires, versus how easy it is to just replace the whole assembly, it’s a no-brainer to just go ahead and replace the assembly.  The time savings, alone, makes it worth it, says Jill.

Shopping around for the part also makes sense.  Jill found the prices varied widely, with her particular assembly going for anywhere from about $75.00 to upwards of $125.00.  Jill paid around $82.00, locally.  She could’ve gotten it a little cheaper online, but she would’ve had to wait for shipping.  Don’t rule out your vehicle’s dealer, says Jill.  Sometimes, their prices are very competitive AND make sure you check the dealer’s website, or ask at the parts counter, if they have any deals going.  They often have coupons available online, but they won’t tell you, if you don’t ask.  It helps if you get to know the people at the parts counter, and if you’re a repeat customer that they want to keep coming back.

Once you have the motor assembly off, you just reverse the process, installing the new one, reconnecting the power plug, replacing the interior cover, and then reinstalling the wiper on the outside.

**NOTE**  The new motor will be in the “stop” position, meaning that you’ll need to position the wiper in the place that it would normally rest when it is off, when you reinstall it.  First time through, Jill didn’t do that and her wiper was originally wiping half the window and half the lift-gate.  No worries, says Jill.  That type of thing is easily adjusted.  You’ll just have to pull the wiper off again, correct the positioning, and retighten the nut holding it on.

There you have it.  Your rear wiper can be working again in no time.  And, besides saving money, you’ll be saving the time and aggravation of having to drag your vehicle to the dealer or repair shop, the waiting for it, the arranging of rides, etc.  It’s so much easier to do it in your own driveway or garage, at your convenience.

PROJECT RATING:  Medium to Medium+ (depending on your vehicle and the amount of corrosion)

To watch Jill take you through the process, click on the video player above.