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The passenger side wiper blade had been acting up with any snow accumulation on the windshield - it didn't go down all the way. Today the driver side blade was lower than the passenger side and I didn't notice it until it was too late. I turned on the wipers and the blade was bent and broken. I replaced both blades, cleaned out any ice and snow under the arms, turned on the wipers with the arms up in the air to make sure they were aligned and then dropped them back down onto the windshield. The passenger side arm is now not working at all. Did one of the bushings break or is it something else?

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I can do some mechanical work and hope this is an inexpensive repair.

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Eaglegrl,

 

First, always give us the year, model and mileage of your car, because it can greatly change the advice the members here will give you on any repair.

 

One of two things may have occurred:       The wiper arm may have come loose from the shaft, and may just need to be retightened at the proper position. There is a plastic cap/plug at the end of the shaft where the wiper arm attaches. Pry it up with a flat screw driver and you'll find a (usually) 14 mm nut that can be loosened. This allows you to park your wipers in their normal off position, and then tighten down that nut to hold it in place. If this is your issue, then you should find everything is okay afterwards when you turn the wipers back on.

 

                                                                   The other issue may be that the mechanism under the plastic cowl (just under the wiper arms when at rest) may have broken a swing joint. Usually these can't be repaired, and it is always cheaper to get a complete used wiper motor/mechanism from a wrecking yard and replace it, using your old wiper arms/blades. Its a DIYer job for anyone mechanically inclined with normal tools. A dealership will charge way too much and will want all brand new parts which will be very expensive, say $ 500 or so. Junkyard used/ handy boyfriend or husband fix should be $100 or less.

 

Good Luck!

 

Good Luck!

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With wipers OFF, grab the offending wiper arm and try and simulate it's automated movement. If it moves freely and the other wiper stays put, it might have stripped the spline the arm attaches to, or the levers under the cowl area might have broken free. If the wiper won't budge and the other starts to move with it (should be brief movement then binding as the motor isn't on), it might be something under the cowl. Would need to visually inspect for something loose while the wiper motor is on.

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The round nub that's bolted to the cowl, has an actual spline that the wiper arm attaches to. The actual wiper arm is keyed to the spline. The arm or the nub might be stripped. Remove the actual wiper ARM (not the blade) and inspect the spline for metal shavings. Use this for a generic pic reference :

 

FH13JUN_WPRARM_02.JPG

 

With the arm removed like in the pic, turn the wipers on. Try grabbing the nub with a rag and pinching it and see if it stops or tries twisting the rag. If it's completely motionless, something between the wiper motor and the nub came loose/broke free. 

 

If there's metal shavings and it's just the arm that's stripped, a replacement arm might be needed assuming the spline on the nub is OK.

 

For reinstalling the wiper arm, put on the nub w/o bolting it down as close as possible to where it originally was. Turn wipers on. If the arm over/under travels i.e. it's hitting the trim at the outer/inner edge, turn off, lift up off the spline and rotate the arm in the opposite direction a few teeth and retry. Once it's window sweep is correct, bolt it back down.

Edited by Bushwick
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i had this happen to the drivers wiper mine was a broken bushing on the wiper linkage. it was raining too so i had to do something at that moment so i took the drivers wiper off then re positioned the passenger wiper so when it would turn on it would wipe the drivers side but it would be sticking strait up when it was parked.

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