Seized Wiper Arm

Has anyone had experience with the wiper on the hatch on a wagon seizing up? On my 04 X Type wagon, the rear wiper has seized up. The motor still runs, but the shaft that runs through the glass hatch has seized. What works to un-seize it?

Hi Grahame,
I also have an 04 X wagon which I use as my daily driver. I’ve had to correct the seized rear wiper twice. As you indicated, it’s not the motor but the shaft that connects the motor to the wiper arm that causes the problem. I’ve completely removed the assembly and cleaned up the shaft which worked for a couple of years (and winters in Ottawa). It seized again this week and I simply removed the wiper arm assembly and the nut, washer and circlip which allowed access to the top of the shaft. Using copious quantities of WD-40 and gently rotating the wiper arm I was able to work it loose again. Left the tailgate glass supported up/flat, I added more WD-40 and let it soak for a couple of hours. Wiper is completely free again. It may be one of those things that require regular maintenance.

Thanks Rob. I will try that. Did you have to take the whole assembly apart or can you do it in place? Should I douse it with lithium grease after I get it freed up?

Hi Grahame. Apologies for the tardy reply. In the first instance, I removed the whole mechanism from the glass, withdrew, cleaned and polished both the spindle and the shaft and added lithium grease on reassembly. It worked fine for two to three years. It froze again this past spring when as a “quick fix” I only removed the wiper arm, washer and circlip adding WD-40 around the spindle as indicated in my earlier reply. It’s too tight a fit to use anything thicker such as lithium grease. The complete disassembly is likely the better way but I needed the car operational soonest and the disassembly involved removing a glued-on piece which was a bit tricky. I’ll let you know how long the quick fix works…Cheers Rob

I said I’d report back when I had fixed the problem and now I have.

Took the car over to a friend’s house, to get his help and access his larger supply of tools. The wiper arm was seized hard and would not move. Took the wiper arm off and the nut underneath. Found extensive galvanic corrosion. Started by spraying multiple dosses of Freeze and scraped away at the corrosion with a small bladed screw driver. After a while, I started working the shaft back and forth with carefully applied Vice Grips and liberal amounts of Freeze and Liquid Wrench. The more I worked it and doused it with sprays, the easier it turned. Finally it was turning easily and I put it back together. I had trouble getting the base nut on. I think that so much material was lost to corrosion, that there was very little threads left to screw onto. Did as best I could, installed the wiper arm and bolted it down snug. It works now and cross my fingers, it keeps working.