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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:

T30 Torx socket, 13mm socket, flathead screwdriver, pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Wiper motor, wiper motor assembly, wiper cowl trim

Hot Tip:

Use paint or crayon to mark location of wiper arms before removing

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty wiper transmission / wiper motor

Complementary Modification:

Replace wiper blades when servicing motor

The windshield wiper motor is a permanent magnet electric motor that runs the windshield wipers via a linkage (transmission). The motor speed is controlled via a stalk with input from the driver through a control module. The motor drives linkages that are connected to pivots that turn the wiper arms to clear the windshield. On BMW E53 models, the linkage runs multiple pivots to add stiffness to the wiper drive.

This article will cover replacing the windshield wiper motor and linkage on BMW E53 X5 models. The wiper motor can be replaced in a few hours with minor disassembly of the wiper cowl. 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. If you are having an issue with wiper blade chatter or streaking, try replacing your wiper blades.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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're 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. 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.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacing and reconnecting notes.

The wiper arms are driven by a motor (red arrow) located beneath the wiper cowl trim.
Figure 1

The wiper arms are driven by a motor (red arrow) located beneath the wiper cowl trim. The motor drives the transmission or linkage (green arrow).

Remove the wiper cowl seal (red arrow).
Figure 2

Remove the wiper cowl seal (red arrow). Start at the right side and peel it off the cowl.

Working at the cowl, rotate the plastic locks (red arrows) 90° to unlock them.
Figure 3

Working at the cowl, rotate the plastic locks (red arrows) 90 degrees to unlock them.

Once unlocked, remove the cowl trim by sliding it forward and pulling it straight out.
Figure 4

Once unlocked, remove the cowl trim by sliding it forward and pulling it straight out.

At the sides of the cabin filter housing, slide the drain channel up (red arrow) and remove it.
Figure 5

At the sides of the cabin filter housing, slide the drain channel up (red arrow) and remove it. The left side is shown. Repeat this step for the right side.

Working at the sides of the cabin filter housing, remove the two 13mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 6

Working at the sides of the cabin filter housing, remove the two 13mm nuts (red arrows).

Once the nuts are removed, slide the housing (red arrow) up and out of the mounting grooves to remove it.
Figure 7

Once the nuts are removed, slide the housing (red arrow) up and out of the mounting grooves to remove it.

Working at the wiper arms, remove the plastic caps (red arrows) covering the wiper arm nut by pulling it straight off.
Figure 8

Working at the wiper arms, remove the plastic caps (red arrows) covering the wiper arm nut by pulling it straight off. Then, mark the wiper arm location for reinstallation. Remove the 13mm nut (green arrow).

Once the nuts are removed, wiggle the wiper arms back and forth gently and lift.
Figure 9

Once the nuts are removed, wiggle the wiper arms back and forth gently and lift. They should pop off the pivot. If they are stuck, use a battery terminal puller to remove them.

Working at the cowl, remove the Phillips head screws (red arrows).
Figure 10

Working at the cowl, remove the Phillips head screws (red arrows). Once the screws are removed, pull out the center-expanding anchor. These can be a pain to unscrew. If they give you trouble, use a trim panel tool to lever the screw out. Then remove the plastic anchor (inset).

Remove the wiper cowl seal (red arrow).
Figure 11

Remove the wiper cowl seal (red arrow). Start at the left side and peel it off the cowl.

Remove the wiper cowl by pulling it off at an angle.
Figure 12

Remove the wiper cowl by pulling it off at an angle.

Working at the center of the wiper transmission, remove the 13mm fastener (green arrow).
Figure 13

Working at the center of the wiper transmission, remove the 13mm fastener (green arrow). Then remove the two T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Lift the wiper assembly up and slide it out of the cowl far enough to access the electrical connector (red arrow).
Figure 14

Lift the wiper assembly up and slide it out of the cowl far enough to access the electrical connector (red arrow). Then disconnect the wiper motor electrical connector by sliding the lock in the direction of the green arrow.

BMW does not sell the wiper motor or assembly as separate parts.
Figure 15

BMW does not sell the wiper motor or assembly as separate parts. This does not mean there will not be an aftermarket replacement part. Or, you could be replacing the motor or linkage assembly with used parts from a donor car. Use the following steps to separate the motor from the linkage. Place the wiper linkage on a solid surface. Then remove the linkage from the wiper motor pivot. I like to use a pry bar to lever it off the ball joint (red arrow). Don't forget to transfer over the plastic trim sleeves to the pivots (green arrow), if you're replacing the linkage.

Next, remove the 13mm wiper motor lever fastener (green arrow).
Figure 16

Next, remove the 13mm wiper motor lever fastener (green arrow). Then remove the three 10mm fasteners (red arrows). Remove the wiper motor from the linkage. If you are reusing the wiper arm pivot assembly, it is a good idea to inspect the wiper arm pivots. Once the linkage assembly has been removed, check that both wiper pivots move freely and without resistance. You can do this by grabbing the linkage and moving it back and forth.

Install the new wiper motor on the linkage assembly.
Figure 17

Install the new wiper motor on the linkage assembly. Then use channel lock pliers to snap the ball socket onto the ball joint. Be sure this engages properly. You don't want to find out later it wasn't securely installed when you reassemble everything. Then install the assembly into the vehicle. Install all fasteners finger tight in the reverse order of removal. Then tighten. This ensures proper assembly and alignment. Connect the battery and turn the wipers ON then OFF. This will PARK the wipers. Next install the cowl support and trim. Install the wiper arms. Then reassemble the remaining items in the reverse order of removal. Once complete, check the wiper operation. If the wiper arms are chattering or not wiping well, replace the wiper blades.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Ban02121 Comments: Usually don't do my own maintenance but found this at the last minute last night. Really a great help. Thanks!
February 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:48:40 AM