Wiper Arm Buyer's Guide
- Each wiper assembly has one or two wiper arms that hold the wiper blade in place. They can be found on both a windshield and a rear wiper assembly.
- The wiper arm connects the blades to the wiper motor and transmission, allowing the conversion of power produced by the electrical components into a movement across the glass window.
- Windshield wiper arms are connected to the wiper link assembly that converts the rotational force produced by the wiper motor into a back-and-forth motion.
- They keep your windshield clear and free from moisture, rainwater, and snow, so you can drive safely under all weather conditions.
- There are many types of wiper arms available today such as the J hook, side pin, bayonet, and deadlock wiper arms.
- The cost of a wiper arm varies depending on which size and type fit your vehicle’s specific make and model year. OE replacement wiper arms will generally cost you anywhere between $9 to $252. These are sold individually, in sets of two, or as part of a kit.
- Wiper arms must be replaced when they are bent or out of alignment, have come loose or swing too far, or if they have rusted or corroded.
- Prompt replacement of damaged or failing wiper arms will help ensure your safety on the road by guaranteeing that your wiper blades are in the correct angle and position on your windshield at all times.
- Replacing a faulty wiper arm will protect your windshield from scratches while eliminating any screeching noises made by a faulty part that is dragged along the surface of the glass.
What Is a Windshield Wiper Arm?
Each wiper assembly has one or two wiper arms that hold the wiper blade in place. They can be found on both a windshield and a rear wiper assembly. This part connects the blades to the wiper motor and transmission, allowing the conversion of power produced by the electrical components into movement. Wiper arms keep your windshield clear and free from moisture, rainwater, and snow, so you can drive safely under all weather conditions.
How Does a Windshield Wiper Arm Work?
Windshield wiper arms are connected to the wiper transmission, otherwise known as a wiper link assembly, that converts the rotational force produced by the wiper motor into a back-and-forth motion.
The driver side wiper arm is connected to a short rod that is activated by a long rod linked to a spinning cam. Force is transmitted from the driver side to the passenger side wiper arm through a separate long rod.
The wiper arms drag the thin rubber wiper blade across the windshield to clear objects without streaks. When the wipers are down, they fit into a splined shaft which is located where the windshield and the hood meets.
Types of Wiper Arms
There are many types of wiper arms available today such as the J hook, side pin, bayonet, and deadlock wiper arms. There are plenty of universal-fit wiper arms that you may choose from, but keep in mind that some make-models require that you use vehicle-specific wiper assemblies in order for them to operate.
One of the most common types of wiper arm is the J hook. You’re more likely to find a J hook style wiper arm in modern vehicles.
A side pin wiper arm is another common type of wiper arm. Universal side pin wiper arms often have an easy release spring, but there are others that would require a screwdriver to be disassembled. Newer versions of this type of wiper arm are equipped with flexors that allow the replacement process to be faster and easier.
This type of wiper arm is called such because it resembles a bayonet's lift and release feature. A spring lock that's located on the rear of the wiper arm is responsible for its easy-release function. Though in other versions, a latch takes the place of the spring lock.
The deadlock is perhaps the simplest type of wiper arm available in the market. To release the deadlock wiper arm, all you've got to do is to push a button that's found directly under the wiper.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Wiper Arm?
The cost of a wiper arm will vary depending on which size and type fit your vehicle’s specific make and model year. OE replacement wiper arms will generally cost you anywhere between $9 to $252. These are sold individually, in sets of two, or as part of a kit. Replacing your windshield wipers is a quick and easy fix that you can do on your own or with the help of a trusted mechanic if you’re having other work done on your vehicle.
When to Replace a Broken Windshield Wiper Arm<
Like any other mechanical component that gets regular use, your wiper arms can get damaged and fail over time. As an external assembly on your vehicle, it’s easy to determine if your windshield wiper arms need to be repaired or fixed. Here are some of the common signs to look out for that will tell you when your car is due for a wiper arm replacement.
- Wiper arm is bent or out of alignment.
Operating a bent windshield wiper arm can cause streaks on the glass because its position does not allow the blade to make contact with the windshield at the right angle. It’s nearly impossible to repair a wiper arm that has been vandalized and bent out of shape. In worse cases, the wiper arm itself may scratch the surface of the windshield. You may also notice ‘stuttering’ as the blade moves across the glass surface.
- Broken wiper arm has come loose or swings too far.
A windshield wiper arm can come loose as a result of a vehicle collision or damage to the assembly linkage. In cases like these, the wiper arm may get disconnected to the wiper motor and not move at all. Even if the assembly is still operational, using a loosely attached wiper puts it at risk of breaking off when they are needed the most as you drive through heavy rain or snow.
- Wiper arm is rusted or corroded.
Like any metal component in your vehicle, your wiper arms are prone to rust buildup and corrosion damage over time. This issue is pretty common among rear wiper arms because they are used less often. It’s best to have any corroded part replaced immediately to prevent damage from spreading to other components of your vehicle that are more costly to repair and replace.
Why Is Windshield Wiper Arm Replacement Important?
Properly functioning windshield wiper arms help keep your windshield clear, so that you see the road ahead completely, even under extreme weather conditions that can limit your visibility. Prompt replacement of damaged or failing wiper arms will help ensure your safety on the road by guaranteeing that your wiper blades are in the correct angle and position on your windshield at all times.
Replacement wiper arms not only make it easier to observe road conditions under bad weather, but they can also make your daily drive less stressful by eliminating any screeching noises produced by a faulty wiper assembly that’s dragging itself on the surface of your windshield. At the same time, this is also another way to protect your windshield from any scratches and damage.
Finding the Right Fit
To ensure a guaranteed fit for your replacement windshield wiper arm, use the built-in vehicle selector on CarParts.com. Simply plug in your vehicle’s correct year, make, and model to filter the results to all compatible parts.
Installing New Wiper Arms
It's recommended that you replace both wiper arms on your car even though only one is broken. Don't worry as the wiper arm is one of the easiest parts to replace in an automobile.
Note: There are different kinds of wiper arms available in the market. Get replacements that are suitable for your car. Those who have deadlock type wiper arms won't need this guide because all that they'd have to do is to push a button to release the wiper arm.
Tools You'll Need:
- Small screwdriver or the special wiper removal tool (depends on the type of wiper you have
- Socket (only necessary for those who have wipers that are held by bolts)
Step 1: Before anything else, find the switch for the wipers inside your car and make sure that it's set to "off".
Step 2: Just like when cleaning the windshield, lift both wiper arms.
Note: Skip to Step 5 if your wiper isn't held by a bolt as you can easily pry off the wiper arms using the special removal tool or a screwdriver. Even a coin is enough in some cases.
Step 3: Start working on the broken wiper arm by locating the cover that conceals the wiper's bolt. Take the cover off (a screwdriver can help) so that you'd have access to the bolt.
Step 4: Once the bolt is in plain view, take it out using the appropriate socket and set it aside. The wiper arm should come off now. Be gentle when removing it though.
Step 5: Install the new wiper arm in place of your old one. You can check if it's positioned correctly by comparing it to your other wiper arm (the one you haven't replaced yet). Once your new wiper arm is set properly, place the bolt that you removed back into its place.
Step 6: Repeat all steps for your other wiper arm.