How to Replace a Rear Wiper Motor

rear window wiper
  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 30-60
What You'll Need
Socket wrench set
New rear wiper motor
Screwdriver set
What You'll Need
Socket wrench set
New rear wiper motor
Screwdriver set

The rear wiper motor is used to turn the arm on your car’s rear window wipers. Since it is typically not used as often as the front windshield wiper, it receives a lot less wear and tear and is less likely to need replacing. However, when it does need replacing, it often gets neglected. After a long time and a great deal of use, it is normal for the motor to eventually burn out and need replacing.

It is rarely possible or practical to repair it; instead, the motor should be replaced. Replacing the rear wiper is much the same as replacing the front wipers, though you normally only have one wiper to deal with on the back window of the car.

Step 1 - Disconnect the Cable to the Car Battery

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The first thing to do is to disconnect the cable that runs to the negative terminal of the battery. Locate the car’s battery in the engine bay and find the negative terminal. The cable will be held in place by a clamp and a nut which holds the clamp in place. Remove the cable by loosening the nut. You should then be able to slide the battery cable off the negative terminal. If you have any difficulty with this, refer to the owner’s handbook.

Step 2 - Remove the Wiper Assembly

rear windshield on a car

To start removing the wiper assembly, the directions may change a little depending on your specific model of car. Normally, you should be able to pull the wiper arm away from the window so it locks into place in a vertical or near vertical position. This will allow you to access the rest of the assembly so you can remove it.

To continue, remove the nut that holds the assembly to the electric motor. Once you remove this nut, you should be able to simply pull the wiper arm away from the motor. Put it aside in a safe location as this piece is prone to damage.

Step 3 - Remove the Wiper Motor

To remove the wiper motor, first unplug it. Get inside the car and remove the screws that hold the rear wiper motor in place. These screws will be found at the base of the back window. Remove each one, and pull the motor off.

Step 4 - Install the New Motor

Installing the new wiper motor is an easy process if you have already managed to remove the old one without much of a struggle. First, install the new motor and secure it firmly in place by replacing the screws that you removed earlier. Finally, plug the wiper motor in again, and replace the wiper assembly by simply reversing the previous step. Do not forget to reconnect the car battery cable to the negative terminal before attempting to start the vehicle.

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