Pontiac Grand Prix wiper/wiper motor problem

It was cold and snowy/icy this morning and my wife turned on the windshield wipers to clean off the snow on the windshield. The wipers were so frozen that there was a fairly long hesitation and then the passenger side popped straight up and stayed there (driver’s side stayed down and didn’t move). Stayed that way the whole 20-25 minute drive. Then when she got back into the car after the sun and engine temps had melted the rest of the snow/ice, the passenger side wiper would work fine, and the driver’s side also would work for about the first cycle then the driver’s side would stop and they would get tangled.

Is the problem in the motor or is there any other thing that might be broken (and is it easy to fix myself)?

If the passenger side is working then the motor is working. Something probably went loose in the linkage. You’ll likely need to pull the cowl at the bottom of the windshield to get a look see. This is not hard - its just a trim piece. (I suppose unless this car might have 2 motors, but I’ve never heard of such a thing).

When wipers get frozen to the windshield and then are turned on, what usually happens is the splines in the aluminum wiper arms get striped out where they slip on the splines of the wiper posts.

Remove both wiper arms off their posts and see if the splines in the arms are wiped out. If they are, a new set of wiper arms will get them working again.


(I suppose unless this car might have 2 motors, but I’ve never heard of such a thing).

I know some Chrysler products of the late 1930’s had two wiper motors if the car had the optional passenger side windshield wiper. The wipers also came down from the top of the windshield, since the windshield could be opened from the bottom. Of course, this useless bit of knowledge doesn’t apply to the problem that the OP has.

No, but its always interesting to hear - especially the part about the pass side being optional.

For the OP, hopefully Tester is right as it is simpler than having to mess with the linkage.

While I am passing out useless information, on the Ford F-1 pick-up truck through at least 1949 the passenger side wiper was an option. I don’t know if the optional passenger side wiper had its own motor or whether there was a linkage from one motor that operated both wipers. At any rate, if the OP had a car equipped with only one wiper, she might not have had this problem.