How To Replace a Windshield Wiper Arm

Apart from the windshield wiper blades, your vehicle’s windshield wiper arm may need to be replaced due to wear and tear. The windshield wiper arm should always be in tiptop condition because you will never know when you’ll need to use the windshield wipers. If mechanical failure sets in, you may find yourself driving under dangerous or difficult conditions. Your visibility while driving under rainy weather conditions depends on dependable windshield wipers.

Below are the general instructions for replacing a windshield wiper arm with a bolt. You have to remember that there are many different vehicle brands and models. Instructions may differ between them.

  • Get your tools ready. Generally, all you need is a trusty screwdriver plus sockets of different sizes depending on the type of windshield wiper arm you are replacing. Of course you will need your replacement windshield wiper arm. Make sure to buy a replacement that is specific to your vehicle’s brand and model. The replacement should be the right size. It is best to replace both windshield wiper arms even if only one is not functioning properly.
  • Check the control switch. Inside the vehicle, locate the switch for the windshield wipers. Make sure that the switch is set to ‘off.’
  • Expose the bolt. Work on one windshield wiper arm first (preferably the ill-functioning one). This way, you can compare the position of the old one with the replacement. Lift the windshield wiper just like when you are replacing the blades or cleaning the window. Find the cover that conceals the bolt for the windshield wiper arm. Take out the cover so that the bolt is exposed. A screwdriver can help in this task.
  • Remove the bolt. Get a socket that is appropriate to the size of the bolt. Take out the bolt then set it aside.
  • Take out the windshield wiper arm. Once the bolt has been removed, you can now gently remove the arm. It should easily come off.
  • Replace the windshield wiper arm. Get one of the new windshield wiper arms you purchased. Place the new one in the same orientation as the old one that you took out. Make sure it is positioned properly. Compare the orientation of the new windshield wiper arm with the one that is still attached. Take the bolt that you removed earlier. Place it back into the assembly using the appropriate sized socket.
  • Replace the other windshield wiper arm. Repeat the same steps in replacing the other windshield wiper arm.

Note: Windshield wiper assemblies may differ between models. Not all windshield wiper arms are held by a bolt. Some windshield wiper arms can be pried off using a screwdriver or even a coin. Older vehicle models will need a special remover tool. Consult the vehicle’s manual so you know what type of windshield wiper assembly you have. Then you can determine the exact tools you will need in removing and replacing the windshield wiper arm.

When the rain is pouring like crazy, it is the only time you realize the importance of a working windshield wiper assembly (arm and blades). If the windshield wiper arms are broken, bent or not functioning as they should under heavy rains, then you are really in trouble. This is why repairing and replacing windshield wiper arms should be done ASAP. You don’t need to bring the car to your mechanic. With some mechanical know-how and the right tools, you can replace your windshield wiper arms yourself.


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