frozen wiper motor/assembly on 1996 passat tdi


Nov 5, 2001
clear spring md
2012 Vw passat tdi
wipers will not work this morniing very icey. Pulled wiper of windshield started car, could to much ice around base of blades burn motor up and how difficult to change motor. just motor or whole assembley?


Moderator at Large
Jun 16, 1999
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
2006 Jetta TDI
Been there, broke that (with my previous car, same mode).

Probably (hopefully) the motor is OK. Probably the wiper arms have had the bushings run dry, and if that's the case, you can probably fix it.

Remove the wiper arms (pry off plastic cap at each shaft and then remove nut, then carefully wiggle each wiper arm off). Open the hood and pull up the rubber seal that goes across the car, then remove the rain tray. Take the locknuts off the base of each wiper arm shaft. I've forgotten the exact sequence of parts removal but once you've gotten the linkage loose from the car, you can wiggle it out (barely) of the car and get it on your workbench. If I remember right, there is a circlip on each wiper arm shaft that has to come off, then you can knock the shafts out of the frame that holds them. You will probably find that one of the pivots is seized, probably one of the wiper arm pivots themselves. It will be a pain to remove, but be careful, use penetrating oil and careful pressure and careful taps with a hammer. I got mine apart without breaking anything although it took some persuasion. If you are NOT careful you WILL break something.

Once apart, clean everything up, sand smooth any corroded areas, re-assemble using lots of grease.