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Wiper Component Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Wiper Component Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$400

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Phillips & flat-head screwdrivers, socket set, 24mm, 15mm wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

Wiper motor, wiper motor assembly, wiper blades, wiper cowl trim.

Hot Tip:

Inspect wiper linkage and replace if needed

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty wiper blades / wiper motor or wiper motor linkage

Complementary Modification:

Replace wiper blades when servicing motor.

The BMW E46 wiper and washer system consists of the following:

  • Windshield wiper motor, arms and blades.
  • Tailgate window wiper motor, arm and blade (SportWagon).
  • Washer fluid reservoir with fluid level sensor in engine compartment.
  • Windshield washer pump in fluid reservoir.
  • Headlight washer pump in fluid reservoir (if equipped).
  • Tailgate window washer fluid reservoir in right rear, behind trim panel (SportWagon).
  • Tailgate window washer pump in rear fluid reservoir (SportWagon).
  • Heated headlight washer nozzles in engine hood.
  • Headlight washer nozzles in front bumper (if equipped).
  • Tailgate window washer nozzle in rubber strip at top of tailgate window (SportWagon).
  • Wiper and washer switch at right side of steering column-the switch controls wiper intervals and other functions via the General Module (GM V).
  • Rain sensor at top of windshield (if equipped).

In this tech article I will show you how to replace the windshield wiper components. The wiper blades are serviced easily, while the wiper motor can be replaced in a few hours. The wiper motor itself can fail, creating a situation where the wipers do not work or do not properly park. If the wipers do not work at all, check that the wiper pivots move freely and are not bound with corrosion. To do this, follow the steps noted below. 

To avoid marring the trim if you need to pry anything, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Press locking tab (green arrow) to release wiper blade from wiper arm and slide off wiper arm.
Figure 1

Press locking tab (green arrow) to release wiper blade from wiper arm and slide off wiper arm. Depending on brand of wiper blade, the release tab may need to be pressed toward or away from wiper arm.

Slide wiper blade off wiper arm.
Figure 2

Slide wiper blade off wiper arm. Slide new wiper blade on wiper arm until locking clip engage. Wiper motor and component repair / replacement Disconnect negative battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacement and reconnecting notes.

Open hood, then gently pry wiper arm nut trim cap using a small flat-head screwdriver.
Figure 3

Open hood, then gently pry wiper arm nut trim cap using a small flat-head screwdriver.

Mark position of wiper arms using a crayon.
Figure 4

Mark position of wiper arms using a crayon. This will help to get in same position when reinstalling.

Next, remove 15mm wiper arm nuts (green arrows).
Figure 5

Next, remove 15mm wiper arm nuts (green arrows).

Wiggle wiper arm to remove from shaft.
Figure 6

Wiggle wiper arm to remove from shaft. This is easier to do with hood closed. Be careful not to scratch paint when wiper arm comes loose.

Next you have to remove the wiper cowl trim.
Figure 7

Next you have to remove the wiper cowl trim. Start by grabbing at right corner and pulling up, disconnecting trim clips as you work you way toward left side.

Once all clips have been disconnected, remove wiper cowl trim from vehicle.
Figure 8

Once all clips have been disconnected, remove wiper cowl trim from vehicle. Inspect cowl trim. This trim piece is subject to UV damage and falls apart. Replace if needed. Remove engine covers. See our tech article on engine cover removal.

Working near left shock tower, remove rubber weather strip from body by pulling off (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

Working near left shock tower, remove rubber weather strip from body by pulling off (yellow arrow).

Rotate panel clips 90° counterclockwise to release (green arrows).
Figure 10

Rotate panel clips 90° counterclockwise to release (green arrows).

Next, pull hoses up and out of trim panel (green arrows).
Figure 11

Next, pull hoses up and out of trim panel (green arrows). Be careful not to lose hose mounts, they have a tendency to fall off hoses.

Then pull trim panel (yellow arrow) up to remove, guiding it past hoses.
Figure 12

Then pull trim panel (yellow arrow) up to remove, guiding it past hoses.

Remove two T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows) from blower motor bulkhead (purple arrow).
Figure 13

Remove two T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows) from blower motor bulkhead (purple arrow).

Then remove blower motor bulkhead cover (purple arrow).
Figure 14

Then remove blower motor bulkhead cover (purple arrow).

Working in wiper cowl area on left side, remove right wiper linkage by prying up with a flat-head screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 15

Working in wiper cowl area on left side, remove right wiper linkage by prying up with a flat-head screwdriver (green arrow).

If you want to inspect the wiper arm pivots, remove the lower wiper linkage also.
Figure 16

If you want to inspect the wiper arm pivots, remove the lower wiper linkage also. (green arrow) Once both linkages have been removed, check that both wiper pivots move freely and without resistance. You can do this by grabbing linkage and moving back and forth.

Then disconnect wiper motor electrical connector by release tabs and sliding off (green arrow).
Figure 17

Then disconnect wiper motor electrical connector by release tabs and sliding off (green arrow).

Working behind wiper motor in cowl, remove 10mm wiper assembly mounting fastener (green arrow).
Figure 18

Working behind wiper motor in cowl, remove 10mm wiper assembly mounting fastener (green arrow).

Remove two 24mm nuts from wiper pivots (green arrows).
Figure 19

Remove two 24mm nuts from wiper pivots (green arrows).

Using a flat-head screwdriver, lever off rubber insulators from wiper pivots.
Figure 20

Using a flat-head screwdriver, lever off rubber insulators from wiper pivots.

Next remove wiper assembly from vehicle.
Figure 21

Next remove wiper assembly from vehicle. Guide it out of cowl and place on work bench.

Remove wiper motor fasteners (green arrows), then remove wiper motor from linkage.
Figure 22

Remove wiper motor fasteners (green arrows), then remove wiper motor from linkage. Three 10mm and one 13mm. Install new wiper motor on the assembly; then install assembly into vehicle. Install all fasteners finger tight, then tighten; this ensures proper assembly alignment.

Install linkage to wiper motor and connect electrical connector.
Figure 23

Install linkage to wiper motor and connect electrical connector. Use flat-head screwdriver and lever against wiper cowl to engage wiper linkage onto ball joint. Connect battery and turn wipers ON then OFF. This will PARK the wipers. Install wiper arms with blades in position they were removed and tighten fasteners. Install trim caps. Then reassemble engine covers and recheck wiper operation.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:19:21 AM