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How to Replace a Windshield Wiper Arm

Do your windshield wipers leave unwiped spots for no apparent reason, even after you replaced the blades? Chances are the hinge is binding from corrosion. We’ll show you how to replace the wiper arm and fix this problem.

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Installing a new windshield wiper armPhoto: ShutterStock

Is it Time to Change Your Windshield Wiper Arm?

 

All windshield wiper arms have a hinge at the base that allows the arm to flex as it follows the curvature of the window. If the wiper skips over certain spots, even with a new blade, chances are the hinge is binding from corrosion. It’s most common on rear window wipers since they’re used less often.

You can oil the hinge, but that’s just a temporary fix—the corrosion and binding usually return. To fix the problem permanently, replace the wiper arm (available at an auto parts store).

What you’ll need to replace your windshield wiper arm:

  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Flat-blade screwdriver

Now you’re ready to get started!

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Windshield Wiper Arms Fit Onto a Splined Shaft

Windshield Wiper Arms Fit Onto a Splined Shaft

Photo: The Family Handyman

Splines on the inside of the wiper arm fit over splines on the shaft.

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Some Windshield Wipers are Held With a Retaining Nut

Some Windshield Wipers are Held With a Retaining Nut

Photo: The Family Handyman

Some wiper arms are held in place with a nut. To replace that type, just lift the protective plastic cap, remove the nut and pull off the arm.

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Other Wipers Have a Locking Clip

Other Wipers Have a Locking Clip

Photo: The Family Handyman

Lift the wiper arm a few inches off the glass and slide the locking clip out. Then lower the arm and pull it off the splined shaft.

Looking for more car maintenance tips? Here’s how to change your own oil, step-by-step!

Originally Published on The Family Handyman