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Windshield Wipers Froze, No Longer Work

Last time I drove, it was pouring out, so my wipers were on. I cleverly forgot to turn them off when I parked, and we got dumped with snow that night. In the AM, I started the car to get the defroster going while I scraped the ice & snow. The second I started the car, the wiper motor did its thing, but the wipers were frozen in place under huge chunks of ice, so they couldn't move. I'm guessing the spindle on the wiper motor was ruined, but I'm hoping not - that there's some simple solution for making them work again that won't require waiting until it stops snowing 3 days from now so I can drive to the shop and get a new wiper motor installed.

I drive a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. Anyone know if there's any way out of this without a couple hundred dollars in repairs 10 days before Christmas?


  • edited December 2010
    Are you certain you didn't just blow the fuse? Usually that happens long before the motor manages to destroy anything.
  • edited December 2010
    More than likely a ball and socket joint in the linkage popped out or where the motor connects to the linage popped out. Also where the wiper arms connect to their pivot points can come loose so check those. You may have to remove the cowling under the windshield to find the problem but that isn't a difficult task really. Of course it is possible that you actually did some damage, but more often than not something just broke loose.
  • edited December 2010
    Try removing the wiper arms and inspect the splines of the arms where they mount to the posts. The arms are made from aluminum. And when wipers freeze to the windshield and are then turned on, the splines in the arms usually get stripped out so the wipers don't function. If the splines are stripped out of the wiper arms it's just a matter of replacing the wiper arms.

  • edited December 2010
    That was my first guess, but you can hear the motor whirring when you switch the wipers on, and its speed changes depending on the switch setting, as expected.
  • edited December 2010
    Thanks, I'll try this!
  • edited December 2010
    I haven't tried, yet - mostly because we have no garage and it's single-digits outside, and snowing. But I'll definitely try this and the suggestion below (if needed) when it's warmer tomorrow.
  • edited December 2010
    Wow,,im not alone after all. Good luck with your Honda,,ill be working on my Infiniti this evening (SINGLE DIGITS)
  • edited December 2010
    Got mine working Liantics ,,how are you coming along?
  • edited December 2010
    Mine needed a new bushing on the wiper motor ($15). All is well, now!

    Thanks, everyone, for your ideas and encouragement!
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