Wipers have helped in many ways especially when rainy conditions kick in when water drops fall on the window shield. Seeing the wiper blades swipe the window seems simple like simple mechanism but you’d be surprised on how it functions explicitly. These smooth motions or only made possible from the key mover in windshield wiper and these are the wiper motors.

Wiper Motors: What Makes Wipers Move

Wiper motors are devices in the wiper system that functions on a power supply in order to move the wiper blades in a smooth motion. Like other motors, the wiper motor rotates continuously in one direction which is converted into a back and forth motion. Its composition entails a lot of mechanical linkages each playing a role in initiating the movement. The gearhead motor is the type of wiper motor known for its abundance in torque.

Configuration of Wiper Motors

Power Source

In order for the wiper motor to move it needs a power source. The different power sources are the car batteries, voltages (12volts DC), current (minimum of 1.6 amps at 70 rpm; 1 amps at 41 rpm), computer batteries (12volts output) and other battery supplies that doe does not exceed the limit of 12 volts otherwise the motor is bound to overheat.

Wiring and Electrical Terminals

Another thing to consider in the configuration of a wiper motor is the wiring and electrical terminals. These wirings electrical terminal have the purpose of organizing the configurations for wiper motor speed or mode. The number of electrical terminals can range from five to 12 slots for low speeds, moderate speeds, high speed, very high speed, manual function, off mode, common terminal and the park switch.


Wiring for the wiper motor has colors to distinguish the specific mode functioning for. Yellow wires are typically meant for low speed modes while white wires indicate its use for high speed modes. Other wire colors are used to indicate other modes.

Low speed modes for the motor usually require at most 41 0.9amps for the common terminal and high speeds require about 70 1.6 amps. If you want the motor to reverse its rotation, the power supply connections should be reversed. Remember if the voltage goes down the motor torque goes down as well. Use motor speed controller to monitor the speed which is an advantage however when put onto low speeds the operation tends to be too noisy.


Lastly, you’d have to consider on how to mount the wiper motors. Three mounting holes are adequate enough for the motor to be secured into place but you can add extra holes just in case but not too much. Use 6mm screws.

Wiper motor can come in the different model, just make sure that you understand the mechanics and can identify quality wiper motor when you see them. Information can be obtained through the various wiper products on the Internet or from a wiper motor expert.

Wiper Motor Repair

Wiper Motor Repair — when the windshield wipers start to show signs of functionality loss, such as slow operation or intermittent movement, then it’s time to take a closer look at your wiper motors. Wiper motors often fail due to normal wear and tear during the lifetime of the vehicle.

Windshield wipers are a safety item that calls for immediate attention when malfunctioning. If you smell or see smoke coming from the motors, then it is definitely time to perform a little maintenance on your wiper motors.


Sometimes the only solution to bad wiper motors is to simply remove and replace. If your motor is burned out or shorted then there is no use trying to disassemble and fix it. A more cost effective method is to buy new motors and install them. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to properly locate the old wiper motors.

Replacement is not difficult, and usually only requires a few tools such as a socket wrench, sockets, and screwdrivers. After a few turns of a wrench and a couple of connections, you can be on your way to new and fully functioning wipers.

Troubleshooting and Repair

Not all broken wiper motors require a full replacement. New motors can be costly, and if you are on a budget then it is certainly worth the effort of repair or at least a good diagnosis.

If your wipers are completely unresponsive then you may have a wiring issue. A test light is a good tool when inspecting for proper connections. Remove the connector to the wiper motor. Turn windshield wiper selector on and insert the point of the test light into the connector receptacle. If the test light turns on, then you have power. Run this check for all wiper settings. You can also use the test light to check the ground side of the motor. Once you have checked all circuits, you have completed your diagnosis.

If your wipers are moving slower than they usually do, there may be a binding in the linkage from the motor to the wiper arm. Visually check all the mechanical connection for proper freedom of movement. Remove any blockage and loosen any binding.

If your wipers are not moving at all on certain speeds, then you may have an electrical problem. A good place to start is the wiper fuse. If the fuse is burnt, then you will need to replace it. The fuse itself may have lived out its life but it’s possible you have an electrical short in your wiring. If you do then this will only cause your new fuse to burn out again. Your car service manual should have diagnostic information regarding electrical issues.

If you hear a humming sound and the wiper motor is hot to the touch, then the wiper blades may have been incorrectly installed causing the linkage to jam. Try removing the blades and reattaching them. There may also be a jam in the linkage. If the wiper is not causing the problem, try replacing the linkage.

Disassembly and Refurbishing

If you really want to get into the nitty gritty and have a little fun, you can try a full disassembly and overhaul. This is sometimes done on older cars to preserve the original condition. It can also be a great learning experience for future wiper motor repair. This is usually not the typical option for those who just need functioning wipers. This option takes time and patience and a little skill with motors.

You also need the right tools and replacement parts. If this is too much of an undertaking, or you don’t have the tools necessary, then it is best to stick with replacing the motor.

There are many videos on the internet relating to wiper motor repair. Check them out and you can see step by step guidance on removal and replacement techniques. Here is a good video on wiper motor repair: