How To Fix A Stripped Windshield Wiper Arm [3 Easy Methods]

Sometimes you will have one wiper that works, and the other is not. You will encounter this problem if you live, especially in the northern climates.

The wiper arms will freeze to the windshield because of the winter. When you turn the wiper on- what will happen is the driver splines just make the arm stripped. So, it is a must to repair the windshield wiper arms. Otherwise, it can’t wipe the snow, dirt, or debris from the glass.

Consequently, you don’t get a clear view of the read-ahead, which may lead to deadly accidents. In this guide, we will break down how to fix a stripped windshield wiper arm. And the best part is- we also described what causes the wiper arm stripped.

So, start scrolling down and take a look at those methods to fix the issue. 

What Causes Your Vehicle’s Windshield Wiper Arm Stripped?

From above, you learned why a stripped windshield arm fails to offer you a clear view of the road. Now, it’s time to reveal what causes the windshield arms to be stripped. 

The nuts on the pivot are loose, which is the first and most common reason behind a stripped windshield arm. Generally, the arms of the wiper are attached by a nut to the wiper transmission.

Each of the wiper arms is splined to the wiper motor shaft. If the nut that holds the wiper arms to the pivot gets tighten or loosened, the wiper motor will turn the pivot; not the arms. In simple words, the windshield arms will not move. 

Secondly, you could strip the splines if you don’t clean the wipers during the wintertime. And when you turn on the wipers, it may strip the windshield arms as well as the splines. 

Thirdly, the windshield arms will not work if the rubber edges of the wiper blades get torn. When the wiper blades tear off, there may create a small gap that traps dirt to strip down the windshield arm. 

Therefore, if the wiper motor gets damaged, the windshield arm will not work.

3 Easy Methods On How To Fix A Stripped Windshield Wiper Arm

Now, it’s time to fix the stripped windshield arms and let them work to wipe away debris or snow to get a clear view for driving safely. 

01. Solve with JB Weld

First off, let’s remove the nut and arm. Most wiper arms have a cover or cap on them. The cap should come off easily and there is a nut underneath the cover that holds on the arm. So, you need to remove the nut using a 13mm socket wrench. 

Now, you can see the splines. What you need to do is just put and dress those splines up with JB weld. Finally, put the wiper arm back on, tighten it up, and let it cure. We hope this will fix the stripped windshield arm. 

02. Clean the Splines and Reinstall the Wiper Arm

Like the first method, you should also remove the nut that holds on the wiper arms using a socket wrench. 

If the wiper arms get stripped, you can see the splines rip the aluminum up in the arm. Consequently, those splines get clogged up; and the windshield arms don’t move freely. 

To fix this issue, get an Exacto knife, go into those splines, and clean the aluminum rips. Take off every aluminum and remove them. You should continue to do this task until you clean off every speck of aluminum rip.

Now, the splines will get a good bite on the arm, which will fix the problem. Lastly, back the wiper arm on and tighten it up.

03. Fix Using a Steel Cotter Key

Firstly, we recommend you put the wiper arms on, tighten up the nut, place it where it should be. Then, take a drill machine with a tiny drill bit. Start drilling to create a hole through the side of the windshield wiper arm assembly. 

Now, place a stainless steel cotter key through the hole and bend it with the side to secure the unit. We hope this will solve the problem. 


How much does it cost to replace a windshield wiper arm? 

It depends on the intensity of the damage of a windshield wiper arm. Generally, it takes $9 to $252 to replace a wiper arm. 

How do you reset windshield wiper arms?

It’s pretty easy to reset the windshield wiper arms. When you remove the wiper arms, use black tape on the glass to mark where the blade puts off the glass. You need to do this because when you reinstall the wiper arm, you may set it wrong. First off, remove the cover from the arm. Now, use a socket wrench to remove the nut that holds the arm on. Now, pull the wiper arm gently to put it off. Finally, install the new windshield wiper arm, tighten it up with a nut, and put the cap on the arm. 

Do wiper arms wear out?

Yes, wiper arms wear out as they are made with metals. 

How do you adjust the tension on a windshield wiper arm?

Lift the wiper blades off the windshield, release them, and let them hit the glass. This method will help to adjust the tension on a windshield wiper arm. 

How do I know if my wiper arm is bad?

If the wiper blades aren’t touching the windshield or the wipers chattering, understand your wiper arm is faulty. 


Throughout this windshield wiper arm replacement guide, we broke down how to fix a stripped wiper arm. All the methods we mentioned work 100% and will solve the issue. Among them, applying JB weld is the easiest way to make the stripped wiper arm right. 

You can also try out the Exacto knife to clean off the aluminum rips that clogged up the splines. Then, back on the wiper arm into its place and tighten it up. Indeed, fixing a stripped windshield wiper arm is just a piece of cake if you know how to do it. 

However, you should call a certified mechanic if those methods I mentioned above don’t bring you any luck. 

About John M

John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.

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