Do-it yourself windshield wiper repair is fairly easy for even the most novice of mechanics. Commonly windshield wiper arms fail because they become loose, or rusted, and repairing them is easy enough. Like any car repair the actual process and the exact problem will vary from vehicle to vehicle, depending on how your wiper arms are attached to the vehicle. These repairs can be completed with the use of pliers, new windshield wipers, and a crescent (or adjustable) wrench. Some people may find having a ratchet set nearby to be useful as well. Typically the most common problem you will find is that one wiper moves independently (or not at all) from the other. Here is how you can repair that problem.
Ascertain the problem to determine what is going on when your wipers are turned on. If one arm moves differently (slower, erratic, or not as far as it should) than the other, it usually means that the nut connecting it to the car is loose. If the arm refuses to move at all, the arm could be broken.
Tighten the problem arm back in place or, if need be, remove the arm assembly to see if the arm itself is broken. If the arm is broken you will need to buy a new one and replace it. Pay particular attention to how the arm connects to the vehicle. Most likely your arm is just loose and can be re-tightened. Once the arm is tight, turn the wiper blades back on to see if you have alleviated the problem.
If the wiper blades now move correctly but they are still not clearing your windshield, then most likely the blades will need to be replaced. Replace the blades to see if that corrects your problem. If however the arm is re-tightened (or replaced) but the blades still don’t work there could be a problem with your windshield wiper linkage.
The linkage can sometimes become damaged or bent and if you turn on your wipers and they make noise, but don’t move, the problem could lie there, or the motor could be burned out. Check the linkage and make sure it has not become disconnected, or replace the linkage if it is connected and continues to not work. If the motor does not make any noise and the wipers don’t move then the problem could be something as simple as a blown fuse or circuit.
Check the fuse and replace it, if needed. If the electrical system still isn’t working (no noise, no movement) then perhaps you have a problem with a wire or a circuit. In such cases you should consult an auto electrician to have the circuit replaced.
By following these steps you can quickly determine the problem and repair it, making sure your wipers are working properly and ensuring your vehicle is safe to drive in incliment weather.