The windshield wiper linkage is among those vehicle components that rarely get damaged. But if it does get bent due to accident or other mishap, you'd better replace it as soon as you can or you'll end up with a malfunctioning wiper system.
As its name implies, the linkage serves as the connection between the wiper motor and the wiper blade. It is the linkage that converts the motor's rotational output into the wiper's back-and-forth movement. So if the linkage stops working, the blade won't be able to do its job as well.
It's a good thing that replacing the wiper's linkage is such an easy task that can be achieved even by first-time DIYers. With basic tools and a correct step-by-step guide, a faulty linkage can be replaced with a new one in just a few minutes.
Windshield wiper linkage replacement instructions:
What you'll need:
- Shop rag
- Socket set
- Socket wrench
- New linkage
Step 1: Make sure that the windshield wiper is clean before doing the replacement task. Wipe the assembly and the windshield clean using a shop rag.
Step 2: Carefully pull the windshield wiper arm up and away from the windshield until it locks in a vertical position.
Step 3: With a socket wrench, loosen and remove the nut that secures the wiper linkage in place.
Step 4: Detach the wiper arm from the linkage.
Step 5: Open the vehicle's hood to access the wiper motor. This small, canister-shaped motor is usually installed in the firewall.
Step 6: Unscrew the wiper motor from where it is installed in the firewall. Once released, slide the motor off the linkage.
Step 7: Using the socket wrench, detach the wiper's linkage from the bracket that holds it in place. Remove the entire linkage.
Step 8: Install the new linkage. Reassemble the windshield wiper assembly by reversing the removal process.
Tips in maintaining the windshield wiper linkage:
Tip # 1: Keep your windshield clean.
A filthy windshield makes all the components of the windshield wiper assembly work doubly hard, causing them to fail prematurely. If you're driving in a dusty road, take a few minutes to pull over and wipe dirt and mud splashes off the windshield to help make the wiper assembly's job easier.
Tip #2: Replace the wiper linkage bushings when necessary.
The bushing helps ensure proper linkage operations by allowing it to move freely without interfering with the movements of the motor and the rod. The bushing also helps minimize the small vibrations created as these parts move. A worn-out bushing can shorten the service life of the linkage. Fortunately, it's less costly to replace than the entire linkage.
Tip # 3: Once in a while, remove the entire wiper assembly for maintenance.
It's pretty much easier to take out the entire windshield wiper assembly and carry out the necessary maintenance regimen in one go to save time and effort. With the wiper assembly off the vehicle, you can easily check all its components.from the motor to the blades.to find out which of them needs replacement and maintenance. It will also be easier for you to replace the bushings and lube all the wiper components that need lubrication.