How to Replace a Wiper Motor on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Replacing the wiper motor on your Dodge car is a quick and easy job you can do yourself. Wiper motors fail for a number of reasons, including because of a defective part installed without the knowledge of the manufacturer. Damage to the wiper motor can happen from running the motor on a dry window surface. Heavy snow is also a culprit that can damage the wiper motor. The wiper motor on your Dodge car is located at the top center of the engine under the hood. You may consider using a step stool to properly service the motor bolts to avoid stripping them while reaching over.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor on a 2003 Dodge RAM 1500

Removing the Wiper Motor

Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the metal retaining clips from each of the windshield wiper pivot arms. Remove each of the pivot arms and place them on the ground on either side of the vehicle. Do not put them together to avoid mixing up which pivot arm is for the left and which for the right.

Lift the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable from its post with your socket wrench. The negative post on the battery will be identified with a minus symbol on the top of the battery. Wrap the metal end of the battery cable with the black electrical tape completely. Lay the cable down so that it is not touching any other metal or the engine itself.

Pop off and remove the grill panel on the cowl. This is the long plastic grill at the bottom of the windshield where the wiper pivot arms are. Set the grill to the side of the work area so that it’s not broken.

Unplug the wiring harness connected to the wiper motor. If you can’t lift the clip on the harness by hand, use a flat-head screwdriver to assist you. Pull the harness off by the connection plug, not by its wires.

Remove the retaining nut from the wiper motor’s control arm. Remove the two bolts at the top securing the wiper motor and the two at the bottom. The two bottom bolts securing the wiper motor will have two rubber bushings for each bolt, a total of four. Do not loosen them; they are needed for re-installation. Once all of the securing bolts are removed, take out the old wiper motor.

Install the RAM 1500 Wiper Motor

Inspect the new wiper motor for any visible signs of damage. Compare the old and new wiper motor side by side to make sure they are the same. Place the new wiper motor back into the same position as the old one.

Set your torque wrench to 60 inch-pounds and secure the two bottom bolts first on the wiper motor. Don’t forget to include the two rubber bushings for each bolt. Keep your torque wrench on the same setting and return the two bolts to the top of the wiper motor.

Position the wiper control arm back on the wiper motor pointing down. Set your torque wrench to 204 inch-pounds and completely tighten the retaining nut for the control arm.

Plug the wiper motor’s wiring harness back in. Put the grill back over the cowl. Unwrap the negative battery cable terminal and reconnect it to the negative battery post.

Install each of the windshield wiper pivot arms and their clips that secure them. Turn the power to the truck on and test out the new wiper motor.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Socket wrench set

  • Black electrical tape

  • Wiper motor

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor in a Dodge Ram

Open the hood of your Dodge Ram and unbolt the wiper motor from the firewall. The motor is on the passenger side of the engine bay.

Unplug the electrical lead from the bottom of the motor assembly.

Wedge a flat tip screwdriver between the firewall and the wiper linkage, and pry the wiper motor off of the linkage assembly.

Slide the new wiper motor onto the linkage. You will need to apply a fair amount of force to get the motor into place.

Secure the wiper motor to the firewall using the factory mounting bolts.

Reconnect the electrical leads to the bottom of the new motor.

Items you will need

  • Replacement wipers

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Flat tip screwdriver

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor in a 1998 Jeep Wrangler

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench.

Lift the wipers away from the windshield. Pull out the locking latch, the small tab located where the wiper arm connects to the pivots. If necessary, use a small screwdriver to help pull out the tab but be careful not to bend the locking latch. Pull the arms off the pivots by gently rocking them back and forth until they slide free.

Remove the cowl plenum cover with a Phillips head screwdriver. This is the plastic part that covers the space between the hood and the windshield. There is one screw in the center of the cover and four more along the edge next to the window.

Open the hood. Locate the rubber seal that covers the metal edge between the cowl panel and dash panel. Pull back each end of the seal until you see the final screws connecting the cowl cover, one on each side. Remove the screws then pull off the cover. You will now be able to see the wiper motor and linkage.

Disconnect the plastic wire harness connector from the wiper motor. There are plastic tabs on each side of the connector that you must lift. Then pull the two ends of the connector apart.

Remove the three screws that connect the wiper module mounting bracket to the cowl. There is one screw located by each of the wiper arm pivots, and a third screw located on the driver's side of the wiper motor. Lift the entire wiper module out of the cowl.

Lift up the wire retainer that holds the wiper motor wire harness to the mount then pull out the connector. Turn the assembly upside down and use a socket wrench to remove the nut that attaches the wiper motor output shaft to the wiper linkage crank arm. This is the only nut on the bottom of the assembly.

Remove the three screws that attach the wiper motor to the mounting bracket and take the motor out. Replace it with the new motor then reinstall the screws. Tighten the screws to 53 foot-pounds of torque. Attach the linkage crank arm to the wiper motor output shaft and secure it with the nut. Tighten the nut to 103 inch-pounds of torque.

Secure the wiper motor wire harness underneath the wire retainer.

Place the assembly back into the cowl. Replace the three screws that attach the wiper assembly mount to the plenum. Tighten the screws to 70 inch-pounds of torque. Reconnect the wire harness.

Install the cowl cover back into place. Replace the two screws located behind the rubber seal and put the seal back into place. Tighten the screws to 15 inch-pounds of torque. Close the hood.

Replace the remaining five cowl cover screws and tighten them to 15 inch-pounds of torque.

Position the wiper arms over the pivots so that the blades are parallel and flush with the lower edge of the windshield. Push the locking latches back into the arms to secure them. Reconnect the negative battery cable with the wrench.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Socket set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor in a 2003 Chevy Malibu

Remove the wiper arms. Ensure the wiper arms are in the"Park" position, and then disconnect the negative terminal of the car battery. Use a flat screwdriver to pry off the cover over the nut which holds the wiper arm on, then remove the nut with a socket and ratchet. Pull the wiper arms straight off of their splined shafts. Disconnect the windshield washer fluid hose from the washer tube, then move the washer tube away from the cowl cover.

Remove the cowl cover. The cowl cover is only held on by five plastic push-pins that are located on it's bottom edge. Remove these pins using pliers.

Disconnect the wiper transmission links from the wiper motor by using a flat screwdriver and pliers. Use the socket wrench and the appropriate sized socket to remove the two bolts holding the wiper motor in place. Remove the wiper motor from the drive system module. Remove the support bracket from the wiper motor.

Install the new wiper motor. Place the wiper motor on the wiper drive system module, and position the spacer to the wiper drive system module. Use the socket wrench to replace the two bolts that hold the wiper motor in place. Use the torque wrench to tighten these bolts to 40 inch-pounds. Reconnect the wiper transmission links to the wiper motor crank arm. Re-install the wiper drive system module. Attach the cowl cover and put the push-pins back into place. Attach the washer fluid hose to the washer tube. Put the wiper arms back into place and ensure that they are aligned with the wiper dots on the shafts. Install the wiper arm nuts and tighten them to 25 inch-pounds, while keeping the wiper arms aligned with the wiper dot. Place the covers back over the wiper nuts. Reconnect the washer hose connectors to the cowl cover. Reconnect the negative terminal of the car battery. Turn on the windshield wipers and ensure that they are working correctly.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Torque wrench.

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor in a Blazer

Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Loosen the retaining nut on the negative cable clamp and lift the clamp off the negative terminal.

Remove the screws on the cowl of the Blazer at the base of the windshield on the outside of the vehicle. Some model years use several bolts instead of screws to hold the cowl in place. Remove the cowl.

Remove the electrical connector through the cowl opening that is connected to the Blazer's wiper motor.

Open the hood and remove the mounting bolts on the wiper motor. The motor is secured to the firewall.

Pull the motor off the firewall and install the new wiper motor. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Screwdriver

  • New wiper motor

 How to Replace the Wiper Motor on a Toyota Truck

Remove the rubber stoppers that cover the hardware attached to the wiper arms. Wedge the head of a flat-head screwdriver below the shoulder of the rubber stopper and pry it upward. For other models, simply pull the rubber stopper upward.

Grab hold of the wiper arm and jiggle it back and forth until it comes off the mounting bolt. Repeat this process for the other wiper arm.

Pop off the plastic cover pins or clips that hold the intake grating to the vehicle. Insert the head of a pick below the shoulder of the cover pins and pull upward.

Open and prop up the hood. Pop up the tabs on the intake grating near the firewall and pull the intake grating off the vehicle. Lay the intake grating on the windshield.

Detach the power chord from the wiper motor. Move aside any accessories draped on the wiper motor, such as a solenoid pack.

Remove the mounting bolts from the wiper motor from both sides of the firewall. Use the long extension with the socket wrench to reach the lower mounting bolts.

Pull the wiper motor off the firewall.

Insert the bolts from the old motor into the rubber sleeves of the new motor. Orient the bolts over the rivets on the firewall and hand-tighten each of them into place.

Finish tightening the mounting bolts, using the socket wrench. Pay special attention to the bolt on the passenger side of the firewall, which connects the wiper transmission to the wiper motor.

Plug the power chord into the wiper motor and drape any removed accessory onto the wiper motor or its mounting hardware.

Replace the intake grating and the wiper arms.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set with extension

  • Pick

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

 How to Replace the Wiper Motor on a Ford Bronco

Instructions

Take off the rubber stoppers covering the nuts on the bolts that attach the wiper arms to the Bronco. Insert the head of a flat-head screwdriver under the rubber stoppers and pry them off.

Hold the wiper arm and move it backward and forward while pulling upward until the arm comes off the bolt.

Use the pick to pop off the plastic cover pins on the intake grating. The cover pins conceal the screws holding the grating to the bulkhead.

Lay the intake grating on the windshield and use a blanket underneath it if you're worried about scratching the glass.

Unplug the power cord from the wiper motor and lay the cord aside. Unhook the solenoid pack from the top wiper-motor mounting bolt and lay the pack aside.

Use the socket wrench to take off the bolts mounting the motor to the bulkhead. Use the long extension accessory in order to reach the lower mounting bolts.

Pull the wiper motor off the bulkhead and compare it to the new wiper motor, looking for any differences in shape or hole position, especially for a new motor bought at a junkyard.

Insert the mounting bolts into the rubber sleeves of the wiper motor.

Install the new wiper motor on the bulkhead, lining up the bolts with the bolt holes. Hand-tighten all the bolts before making the bolts snug using the socket wrench and extension.

Plug in the wiper motor to the power cord and hook over the top mounting bolt of the solenoid pack if your model Bronco has one. Replace the intake grating and screw it in. Cover the screws with the plastic cover pins, reattach the wiper arms, tighten on the nuts, and cover the nuts with the rubber stoppers.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set with long extension

  • Pick

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

 How to Replace the Wiper Motor of a 2005 Ford

Open your Ford's hood. The 2005 Fords have the wiper motor mounted on the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Unbolt the wiper motor from the firewall using a socket wrench.

Push down on the release tab on the top of the wiper motor power connector, and pull it off of the wiper motor.

Slide the wiper motor off of the firewall, and slide the new wiper motor into place.

Secure the wiper motor to the firewall using the factory mounting bolts and a socket wrench.

Reconnect the electrical connector to the wiper motor.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • 10mm Socket

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor in a 2000 Cadillac DeVille

Pry the rubber stoppers off the base of the wiper arms. The rubber stoppers cover the hardware that connects the wiper arms to the Cadillac DeVille. Insert the flat end of the flat-head screwdriver under the shoulder of the rubber stopper and pull upward.

Use the socket wrench to take off the nuts that hold the wiper arms attached to the mounting bolts.

Pry off the plastic cover pins from the intake grating. The cover pins prevent debris from reaching the screws that mount the intake grating to the bulkhead. Insert a pick under the cover pin and pop it off. Use your free hand to cover the pin to prevent it flinging away.

Take off the intake grating and rest it on the windshield. Lay a blanket below the intake grating, on the windshield, if you're worried about scratching the glass.

Detach the power cable from the wiper motor.

Remove the mounting bolts that hold the wiper motor to the bulkhead. Use the extension on the socket wrench to reach the lowest bolts.

Pull the wiper motor off the bulkhead and compare its shape and bolt hole orientation to the new wiper motor.

Insert the old bolts into the rubber sleeves of the new motor, prepping the motor for installation.

Line up the bolts with the rivets for the wiper motor on the bulkhead. Screw the bolts into position, using your hand. Finish tightening, using the socket wrench.

Replace the intake grating and the wiper arms, along with the attendant hardware you removed earlier.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set with extension

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Pick

 How to Replace the Wiper Motor on a C280 Mercedes

Instructions

Note the rubber stoppers covering the nuts that mount the wiper arm to the C280. Remove these stoppers by wedging the flat-head screwdriver under the belly of the stopper and pulling upward. They come off in one motion.

Use the socket wrench to take off the nuts holding the wiper arms to the mounting bolts, turning counterclockwise.

Use the sharp end of a pick to pop off the plastic cover pins shielding the screws of the intake grating from debris and corrosion. Insert the end of the pick under the cover pins and pull upward to pop them off.

Remove the screws holding the intake grating to the bulkhead using the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Pick up the intake grating and place it on the windshield. Lay a blanket over the windshield beforehand if you're worried about scratching the glass.

Unplug the power cord feeding the windshield-wiper motor.

Remove the bolts holding the wiper motor to the bulkhead using the socket wrench and the long extension in order to reach the lowest bolt below the wiper motor.

Pull the wiper motor off the bulkhead and compare its shape and hole position to the new wiper motor.

Insert the mounting bolts into the rubber sleeves of the new wiper motor. These sleeves dampen the effect of vibration from the motor when it is turned on.

Line up the bolts of the wiper motor with the holes on the bulkhead. Hand-tighten the bolts into position before making them snug using the socket wrench.

Plug in the power cord to the new wiper motor. Replace the intake grating, the plastic cover pins over the screws, the wiper arms, and the rubber stoppers over the arms.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set with long extension

  • Pick

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

 How to Replace a Wiper Motor on a Lexus

Disconnect the battery. Insert the flat blade of a screwdriver into the notch of the wiper arm caps over the wipers at the foot of the windshield. Snap off the caps and then unbolt the wiper arms with a socket wrench. Place the small parts together in a tray so they can be easily reassembled later.

Remove the two plastic clips on either end of the hood cowl seal. The cowl seal is a rubber barrier that keeps water from entering the internal cavity behind the hood. Snap and twist the clips out of the cowl seal. Then, unscrew the ventilator louver, the portion of the hood just below the windshield with air-cooling slots built into it, and remove the louver from the vehicle. The wiper motor assembly is housed below the ventilator louver.

Disconnect the wiper link from the motor. The wiper link is a long, flat metal rod that joins both wipers on either side of the windshield to the wiper motor in the middle, just below the windshield. Use a screwdriver to pop off the bolt covers, then a socket wrench to remove the bolts from the wiper motor. Unbolt and remove the wiper link rod off both wipers. Consult the owner's manual for the exact location of the wiper motor and wiper link connections.

Unscrew the nut that holds the wiper link to the wiper motor and lift off the wiper link. This nut is located on a metal plate with grooves etched into it. These are alignment marks so the wiper link can be reinstalled properly. Remove the screw that connects the electrical power line to the wiper motor, and then take off the three bolts holding the wiper motor to the car chassis. Replace the failed wiper motor with a new one.

Replace the three bolts that hold the wiper motor to the chassis, and reconnect the power line. Replace the metal plate from the wiper link rod over the wiper motor, and replace the nut. Screw down the nut so it aligns with the grooves etched on the metal plate described in Step 4. Connect the wiper link to the wipers on either side of the windshield, and replace the ventilator louver and the cowl seal.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Parts tray

  • Socket set

  • New wiper motor

 How to Replace the Wiper Motor in a Volkswagen

Location

The wiper motor on a Volkswagen is located directly underneath the plastic cowl cover. The cowl cover is located directly below the windshield.

Removal

Begin by removing the wiper arms by prying off the covers at the base of the arms and removing the nuts that secure the arms to the drive shafts. Label the passenger and driver arms so they can be installed in the same positions. They are not interchangeable. Remove the rubber hood to cowl weather seal. Unscrew the plastic fasteners from the driver's side of the cowl cover, then remove this half of the cover. Remove the fasteners from the passenger's side cowl cover and remove this half of the cover. Disconnect the windshield wiper motor wiring harness by separating the plastic wiring connector. Remove the three bolts that secure the wiper motor to the vehicle's body. Pull the motor slightly away from the body, then remove the nut that connects the motor shaft to wiper linkage. Remove the motor.

Installation

Place the new wiper motor into position in the cowl and reconnect it to the wiper arm linkage. Then reinstall the three retaining bolts. Reconnect the plastic wiring connector to the wiper motor wiring harness. Place the cowl covers into position below the windshield and reinstall the plastic fasteners that retain them. Reinstall the rubber hood to the cowl weather seal. Reinstall the wiper arms in the same position you removed them from, along with the wiper arm retaining nuts and lower wiper arm covers. Turn the windshield wipers on and test for proper operation. If the wiper blades slap against the bodywork surrounding the windshield, loosen the nuts that connect the wiper arms to the shafts and adjust.