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How to Replace a Rear Windshield Wiper: 4 Simple Steps

rear windshield wiper

Windshield wipers are some of the most important parts of a vehicle. The wipers use a combination of different technologies to keep your windscreen clean and clear.  However, the rear windscreen wiper is not used as often as the front windshield wiper, but it can get worn over time when continuously exposed to weather elements, thus requiring replacements.

So, this begs the question: How often should one replace the rear windshield wiper?  While it is normal for rear windshield wipers to get damaged after a great deal of use, most motor vehicle manufacturers recommend inspecting them after every 6 months to check for any wear and tear.

car and road divider

How to Check if a Rear Windshield Wiper Needs Replacing

Conventional windshield wiper_CharlesLoyer_Unsplash
Image By: Charles Loyer, Unsplash

For a thorough inspection, experts suggest that you not only visually check for wear and tear but also run the wiper when the window is wet to check if it is fully functional. If the rear windshield wiper blades are too worn out or damaged, replace them before you get into a road accident.

In case your rear windshield needs replacing, how should you go about it? Read on to find out why you need to replace rear windshield wipers and the steps you should follow to replace wipers safely and efficiently.

The 4 Simple Steps on How to Replace Rear Windshield Wipers

Functional windscreen wipers are essential for safe driving. Dirty windshields can drastically affect your driving ability by limiting the field of vision. Dirty windshields will also increase the glare from oncoming vehicles in traffic, especially when driving at night.

Fortunately, repairing windshield wipers does not require special tools and it is not a complicated procedure. You only need wipers that correspond to your vehicle model. But if you have problems replacing the wipers, consider consulting your local mechanic.

These four simple steps are the most efficient ways of replacing rear windshield wipers:

1. Disconnect the Cable From Your Car Battery

Before attempting to replace the rear-view windshield wipers, you need to disconnect the cable connecting it to the negative terminal on the car battery.

This cable is usually held into position by screwing a nut into the clamp, ensuring that it doesn’t move. By loosening the nut, you can remove the battery without any difficulty. If unsure, consult the manual instruction leaflet for clarity.

2. Remove the Wiper

close up hands holding windshield wiper
Image Credit: Dmitriy Os Ivanov, Shutterstock

The directions for removing a wiper assembly unit may vary depending on the model of your car. In standard vehicles, you should be able to remove the wiper arm from the rear windshield so that it can lock into place in a vertical position. This will give you access to the rest of the assembly components so that you can remove them.

Proceed to remove the nut holding the unit to the electric motor. When the nut is out, you can simply pull out the wiper arm from the motor. The wiper arm is very fragile, so carefully place it in a safe location.

3. Remove Wiper Motor

After removing the wiper from the window, unplug the wiper motor. Get inside your vehicle and locate the screws that hold the rear windscreen wiper into place and remove them. These screws are usually found at the base of the rear window. Once you unscrew them all, you can safely release the motor.

4. Install New Wiper Motor

woman propping windshield wiper up
Image Credit: Dmitriy Os Ivanov, Shutterstock

After removing the old motor, this process should be easier.  First, slide the blade into the new wiper arm and ensure that it locks into position. Carefully, return the wiper arm to the rear window, then firmly secure it by screwing the nuts you had earlier removed.

Proceed to plug the motor into the car battery and replace the wiper assembly. Finally, wet the windshield to ensure that it works properly and that it is securely attached. Also, ensure the wiper blades do not come into contact with the cowl or windshield frame.  If they don’t, that means that everything works perfectly.

You may need several attempts to align the new wiper blades in the same position as the old ones. This is largely due to the knurling patterns on the wiper arm post. You may have to lift the arm off to adjust the position, then secure it back on the wiper arm post.

Word of Caution: Do not forget to connect the wiper motor cable to the negative terminal before starting your vehicle.

car and road divider

Why Do You Need to Replace Rear Windshield Wipers?

rear windshield wiper
Image Credit: wiper maradon 333, Shutterstock

Like many automotive consumables, the rear windshield wipers will need replacement after prolonged usage or physical damage. Sometimes, wipers need replacing because of vandalism. For whatever reason, some people might try to steal or destroy them. Since most blades are usually securely fastened on the car body, vandals only manage to twist and bend the rear-view wiper blades. Once bent, these wipers don’t function well and need to be replaced.

If you hear strange noises emanating from them when you activate them, it is a sign that they are not running as smoothly and efficiently as required. Another indication to watch out for is the presence of stain marks on the windshield while wiping. When exposed to weather elements, the wiper arms can get corroded, limiting their function.

Choosing the Right Wiper Blades

The windshield wiper blades are usually available at most auto parts retailer shops. There are a myriad of brand options that you can choose from. These blades are available in a few different styles, namely, bolt-on, clip-on, or push-on.

You only need to determine the best fit for your car by checking out rear windshield wiper catalogs for the exact model, make, and year of your vehicle. Then, match the product numbers featured in the catalog to the proper wipers retailing at your local shop.

However, the best choice will depend on the make and model of your car. When deciding on the option that satisfies your needs, look for reputable brands that guarantee durability.

Whether you drive a luxury brand or a common one, there is a high chance that you can get these consumables from your local department store. But if you drive a less common vehicle, you may have to contact the manufacturers to find wiper blades that will fit.

car and road divider


Your rear windscreen wipers will likely get worn out or damaged after prolonged use. Since these wipers are not as utilized as often as the front windscreen wipers, they are easily ignored. This increases visibility problems and, if not remedied, could lead to road accidents.

Fortunately, you can replace rear windscreen wipers with spare parts from your local automotive shops. Your choice of wipers will depend on the model and make of your vehicle.

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Featured Image Credit: Bespaliy, Shutterstock


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