The Average Cost of a Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement Is $297- $352, Depending on Whether You DIY the Project or Take Your Vehicle to the Mechanic.
This price range is based on the national average for all vehicles, regardless of make or model, and does not factor in additional fees or taxes. Additional charges are related to maintenance costs or repairs, such as replacing the wiper blades or filling the windshield wiper fluid.
For a more accurate estimate based on your make and model for your windshield wiper motor replacement, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $297-$352
- Parts: $218-$253
- Labor: $79-$100
Depending on the make and model, it will typically take a mechanic 30 to 90 minutes to replace your windshield wiper motor. You can add an additional $25 to $40 to include replacing your windshield wiper blades and topping off your windshield wiper fluid.
Cost to DIY: $218-$253
- Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Parts Needed:
Replacing a windshield wiper motor is relatively straightforward and quick, making it an ideal DIY project for the home mechanic. You can save yourself the labor cost by installing a new windshield wiper motor yourself, pocketing anywhere from $50 to $150 for your efforts.
Keep in mind: There are many different windshield wiper motors available, so you want to make sure to purchase the motor explicitly designed for your vehicle’s make and model. Be sure to have exact information (including year, make, and model) and in some cases even the VIN to guarantee a suitable windshield wiper motor replacement.
What Is a Windshield Wiper Motor?
When you engage your wipers to clear your windshield, the windshield wiper motor goes to work. The windshield wiper motor is activated by a wiper control switch (usually located on one side of the steering column) that sends a signal through a fuse and relay so that power reaches the motor to start it moving at a desired speed — intermittently, slowly, or quickly. The motor connects to a mechanism under the cowl at the base of the windshield that moves the windshield wiper arms, back and forth, in unison. As the windshield wiper blades move across the windshield, the glass is cleared for better visibility for driving.
What Does a Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement Include?
A windshield wiper motor replacement requires you to open the hood to disconnect and isolate the negative battery cable of your vehicle to avoid injury. Next, you’ll use a screwdriver to remove the trim caps from the end of each wiper blade arm. A ratchet and socket will allow you to remove the nut at the end of each arm so that you can remove the arm. A wiper arm removal tool will make this step easier, but you can press up and down on the hinged portion of the arm to eventually wiggle them away for removal.
Next, you’ll remove the cowl retaining fasteners and the cowl from the vehicle in order to access the windshield wiper motor. Then disconnect the electrical connector from the windshield wiper motor and remove the retaining bolts from the wiper module. Finally, remove the wiper module completely and place it off to the side. Some vehicles may allow you to remove the windshield wiper motor without removing the module. Check your owner’s manual or a repair manual specific to your vehicle’s make and model to determine if you need to remove the module.
Remove the nuts or retaining clips and detach the linkage from the motor with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the fasteners and bracket to release the motor. Install the new motor by following the same steps in the reverse order, with a final check of the wiper arm position after installation.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Windshield Wiper Motor?
While the windshield wipers aren’t directly related to whether or not your vehicle will power on down the road, it’s extremely unsafe to drive without properly functioning windshield wipers. Without the ability to clear your line of vision on the windshield, you risk having an obstructed view, which may lead to an accident. Once you notice that your windshield wiper motor is failing, you should plan to have it replaced as soon as possible — especially if your location relies heavily upon a clear windshield.
How Often To Replace Your Windshield Wiper Motor
The windshield wiper motor isn’t a part of your vehicle that often fails. Typically, the windshield wiper motor will last the life expectancy of your vehicle, with a low expectation of failure. Your windshield wipers are rarely used for long periods of time, which helps keep the motor unharmed. However, if you use your wiper blades a lot, the wear and tear on them may eventually cause your windshield wiper motor to fail.
Common Symptoms Indicating You Need To Replace Your Windshield Wiper Motor
When your windshield wiper motor begins to fail, you may notice the following symptoms:
- The wipers work intermittently. When you activate the wiper blades, they may or may not turn on at first, and once activated, they may only work for a few swipes across the windshield and then quit. You may notice this intermittent activity to be random, change when you hit a bump, or consistently every time you engage the wiper blades.
- The windshield wipers are inoperative. The windshield wiper blades may show no sign of activity when engaged, indicating that the windshield wiper motor has failed.
Related Maintenance Services
When replacing your windshield wiper motor, the following services are often performed:
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