Maintaining Your Windshield Wipers

Although Southern California is known for its abundant sunshine, the region does experience periods of rain that can be extremely heavy. The windshield wipers installed on your Honda will help you maintain the visibility required for the safe operation of your automobile.

Early windshield wiper systems first appeared at the turn of the 20th century. Several patents were issued, including one to American Mary Anderson in 1903. Her system was operated by a lever inside the car. Automatic wipers powered by a vacuum system appeared 19 years later and became standard equipment on most vehicles. Intermittent wipers and rain-sensing wipers followed in the 1960s and 1970s respectively. Along with front windshields, wipers are now installed on headlights and rear windows of vehicles like the Accord, Ridgeline, Pilot and Odyssey. In addition to a rubber wiper blade, a wiper arm and a motor, the device has a linkage that transfers the mechanical power required to move the wipers. Windshield wiper systems typically include a washer as well.

Diagnosing Windshield Wiper Issues

Windshield wipers can develop a range of problems. In order to diagnose the issue, you must methodically troubleshoot various components on your wipers.

Troubleshooting a Windshield Wiper Motor

Although a faulty motor can cause your windshield wipers to malfunction, it is easier to troubleshoot other components before checking the motor. Ensure that the wiper arms are securely fastened to their linkage assemblies. Inspect the linkage assemblies for loose or broken connections. Try to move the wipers by hand. If they will not budge, the problem may be the linkage instead of the drive motor. Locate and replace the windshield wiper fuse and relay. Determine whether the wipers work.

Ensure that you have a fully charged battery. Place the ignition in the “On” position. Turn on the wipers, and listen for the motor. If there is no sound, remove the cover between the hood and windshield to access the wiper motor. Attach a voltmeter to the motor to determine if it is receiving power. Determine whether the ground connection is loose. Check the switch if there is no voltage present at the motor. If the motor is operating correctly and the wipers are still not moving, the linkage may be broken. You will also need to replace a faulty switch.

Replacing a Wiper Switch

Carefully disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Remove the plastic panel surrounding the switch. Unplug the wiring harness. Loosen the bolts securing the switch to the steering column. Put the new switch in place, and secure it with the bolts. Attach the wiring harness. Replace the plastic cover. Test the wipers to ensure that they work in all modes.

How to Repair Windshield Wiper Linkage

The linkage, also known as the wiper transmission, attaches to the wiper motor and transfers power to the wiper blades. It pivots as the linkage moves back and forth to create the rotary action of the wiper blades. The linkage can loosen at one or more of its connecting points or come apart completely. You should repair or replace the linkage at the first sign of trouble to prevent your wipers from malfunctioning completely.

Begin by loosening the nut that holds the wiper arms securely to the linkage. Detach the wiper arms. Remove the plastic cover between the windshield and hood. It is usually held in place by clips. This will expose the linkage system. Remove the bolts holding the linkage in place. Place the bolts in a safe location. Disconnect the linkage from the wiper motor. Align the new wiper transmission assembly with the position of the old one. Ensure that the ends are in the same positions. Secure the motor in place. Install the new linkage assembly, and secure it with the bolts. After reinstalling the plastic cover, reattach the wiper arms. Check the wipers for normal operation. If they do not work correctly, follow the steps below to synchronize the wipers and adjust the tension.

Re-timing Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers can become misaligned for a variety of reasons, including the demand of moving large amounts of dirt. They may also be misaligned because one or both wipers stutter or drag across your windshield. After making necessary repairs, you may have to retime the wipers as well. Misaligned wipers can make contact preventing one or both wipers from operating correctly. This can damage the wiper arms and linkage.

Pull the wiper arms up and away from the windshield until they lock in the upright position. Use a socket wrench to remove the nut at the lower end of the arm that keeps the wipers attached to the linkage. Detach the arm from the linkage.

Turn the ignition to “Accessory.” Turn on the wipers and allow the motor to complete one cycle. Turn off the wipers and the ignition. Reattach the wiper arms to the linkage so that they are in the proper horizontal park position on the lower edge of the windshield. Tighten the retaining nuts.

Adjusting the Tension

Exposure to the Southern California sun can cause a wiper blade to dry out and lose its flexibility. As a result, the blades may stutter, squeak or chatter as they cross the windshield. This means that the blades are not properly rolling over the center. If the blades are still in good shape, you have to adjust the tension of the blades against the windshield.

Place the ignition in the “Accessory” or “Run” position. Turn on your wipers and then cycle the motor one time. Stop the wipers in the Park position. Lift one of the wiper blades off the windshield and then release it. Repeat the procedure with the other wiper blade. This process tightens the tension. The heel of the wiper blades should be within a quarter inch of the park line on the windshield.

Troubleshooting the Windshield Washer System

With your car, truck or SUV parked on a level surface, open the hood. Check to make sure there is sufficient washer fluid in the reservoir. Place the ignition in the “On” position, and push the washer button. Listen for the sound of the pump. Clean the nozzles if the pump works but fluid does not spray on the windshield. If there is no sound, check the fuse. Replace a blown fuse using one with the same amp rating. Inspect and clean any dirty electrical connections. Have a friend push the button while you check the electrical connections on the pump. A no voltage reading could indicate that the switch is defective. If there is power and the pump still fails to operate, install a new one.

Why Use Genuine Honda Parts?

Honda OEM parts are made from top-quality materials to the same standards required by the factory technicians when a car, truck or SUV is first assembled. These OEM Honda parts remove the guesswork that can arise when evaluating aftermarket products because they are guaranteed to fit and function as the automaker intended. Whether you need wiper blades, a motor or wiper arm, the parts will deliver the same level of performance and reliability.

At, we stock a wide range of Honda OEM wiper system components and can deliver them right to your door. Find the parts you need in our catalog by using a VIN, keyword or part number. You can also locate parts by selecting the appropriate year, make and model from the user-friendly drop-down menu. Our knowledgeable staff is on hand to answer any questions.