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One windshield wiper works, the other moves just a bit. What can be the problem?

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
2001 Chevy Avalanche Truck

My passenger side wiper blade arm stopped working.  The drivers side works fine. the passenger side will move just a bit either way when the wipers are on, but just a tiny bit so I don't think its a fuse.  The broken wiper I can move it freely, when the truck is off. It doesn't catch like to the motor. What can be the problem? Can I fix it myself or what do you think would be the cost?

Thank you much,
Art
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Question by:artismobile
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by:Rhyseh
Rhyseh earned 250 total points
ID: 35074903
Most windshield wipers are linked to the same motor, so if one is working chances are the problem can be isolated to the passenger side. I personalyl haven't seen this problem before, however I would say that something related to the passenger side wiper gearing is slipping, this could be the splines on the wiper arm itself or the bit that drives it. I would start by disconnecting the wiper arm (should bolt off) and inspecting the splines on the arm itself and the wiper arm driveif both look okay then you will probably need to pull out the wiper assembly and inspect. For this I would recommend getting a workshop manual.

I'd say chances are that there are sheared splines/gear teeth on your passenger side wiper assembly. As I said they are normally linked to the same motor so there should be no problems here if your drivers side is working fine.

I'd say someone has probably tried to force the passenger side arm at some stage and fubar'd the splines.
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by:artismobile
ID: 35074970
That sounds like the right solution since I can move the arm freely.  Ironically, I let my Brother In Law borrow the truck last year and it came back with the arm position higher up on the windshield and would not go down all the way, but it still worked.

I'll try your suggestion in a bit and report back.
Thanks
Art
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 35075267
You are correct.  The gear teeth of the wiper arm are stripped.  The gear that connects to the motor seem fine and it rotates when the wipers are on.  Do you know a part number for the wiper, or what are some compatible wipers, or should I just go to the junk yard and look for a Chevy Avalanche?
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by:
Michael-Best earned 250 total points
ID: 35077480
"The gear teeth of the wiper arm are stripped"

If just the spline inside the wiper arm then:
http://www.partsgeek.com/mmparts/windshield_wiper_arm/chevrolet/avalanche_2500.html

If the protruding spline shaft is damaged then there is alot more involved to replace this, thus I suggest getting a service manual or experienced help.

Many models use the same wiper parts, so go to a bone yard or shop online:

REPLACEMENT WIPER LINKAGE
http://www.drivewire.com/search/?Ntt=Wiper+Linkage&N=0&t_event=true
Or
Chevrolet Avalanche ACDelco Wiper Transmission
http://www.monsterautoparts.com/CHEVROLET/avalanch/chevrolet_avalanche_wiper_products.htm

If you need the service maual:
http://www.carpartswholesale.com/wholesale/books/chevy-avalanche-9464846.html

Hope this helps.
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