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How to Remove a Bent Wiper Arm

Wipers on a red car.

Your windshield wipers provide visibility in the rain and snow. The blades typically need to be replaced regularly, but sometimes the wiper arm gets damaged, and a bent wiper arm won’t be able to keep your windshield clear of precipitation.

In cases like this, you’ll need to know how to remove a windshield wiper arm. Read on for some guidelines on how to do so.

Use ProtectionReplacing a bent windshield wiper is easy if you have the right guidance.

It’s essential to protect your car’s windshield before you get started. Your car’s wiper arms are spring-loaded, and if you accidentally release one of the arms during removal, it could swing back onto the windshield with enough force to cause damage. Protect the windshield by placing a folded bath towel or a piece of padding on the glass in line with the wiper arms.

How to Remove a Wiper Arm Held with a Retaining Nut

Here are the steps to follow if your car’s wiper arm is held in place with a retaining nut:

  1. Remove the cap that sits over the wiper’s nut. Wiper arms usually have a cap that shields the nut found in the linkage joint. This cap helps keep out moisture. Use a flat-head screwdriver to gently remove the cap. Be careful to avoid chipping the wiper arm’s chrome or paint. Alternatively, you can remove the cap using a nylon pry tool.
  2. Unscrew the nut. Once you’ve removed the cap from the windshield wiper’s arm, you’ll see a small nut underneath. Use a wrench to remove this.
  3. Remove the arm. With the nut removed, you’ll be able to pull off the wiper arm.
  4. Use a wiper arm puller if needed. Sometimes it’s easy to pull out the wiper arm once the nut has been removed, but the wiper linkage shaft is tapered and splined, which can create a tight fit with the wiper arm in some cases. If you’re finding it difficult to remove the arm, don’t use a pry bar or hammer, as these tools can damage the delicate wiper arm. Instead, use a wiper arm puller. Tighten the tool’s jaws around the base of the wiper arm, and use it to complete the removal.

How to Remove a Wiper Arm Held with a Locking Clip

In some cases, the wiper arm is held in place with a locking clip. Here’s how to remove one of these wiper arms:

  1. Remove the locking clip. Start by lifting the wiper arm a few inches off the windshield. Slide out the locking clip that holds the arm in place.
  2. Remove the arm. Gently lower the wiper arm to the windshield. Remove the arm by sliding it free.
  3. If you’re finding it challenging to remove the arm, use a wiper arm puller to ease it free.

Whether you have a bent wiper arm or one that’s suffered damage, following the steps above can help you easily remove the arm and replace it with a new one. This should give you the visibility you need to drive safely through the rain and snow.

Check out all the windshield wiper parts available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to care for windshield wipers, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.


Warren Clarke View All

I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.

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