BMW Cars 1999-06

Windshield Wiper System

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Wiper & Washer Control Unit/Relay



Removal & Installation
E30 Models

The wiper and washer control relay is located in the underhood relay box, between the shock tower and the cowl. The relay is at the rightmost rear of the unit. To replace the relay, simply pull it out of the socket.

E36 Models

The control module for the wiper and washer is located under the left kick panel near the footrest and hood release lever. Disconnect the multi-pin connector to remove.

Wiper Arms



Removal & Installation
  1. Make sure the wipers are in the park position and the ignition switch is OFF before removing the wiper arms.
  2.  
  3. Carefully remove the wiper arm mounting nut cover off the base of the wiper arm. Matchmark the wiper arm and spindle position of the arm to return it to the original position.
  4.  
  5. Loosen and remove the nut, then press down on the wiper arm several times to release it from its mounting spindle.
  6.  
  7. Hold the arm onto the spindle and lift the arm upward until it locks. Then carefully lift the wiper arm and blade assembly off the wiper pivot.
  8.  



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Fig. Remove the wiper arm cover to access the mounting nut



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Fig. Loosen and remove the wiper blade mounting nut



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Fig. Matchmark the wiper arm and the wiper pivot to ensure proper alignment during reassembly



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Fig. Press down on the wiper arm several times once the mounting nut has been removed to release the arm from the pivot



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Fig. The left and right wiper arms are different lengths. If both are to be removed, label them to make sure they are properly installed

To install:

  1. Install the arm on the shaft, aligning the matchmarks made during disassembly and press down on the wiper arm until it is fully seated. Install the mounting nut and cover.
  2.  
  3. Start the engine and allow it to idle with all electrical accessories off.
  4.  
  5. Wet the windshield with water and operate the wipers at full speed. If the wiper blades contact the windshield trim, loosen the mounting nut and reposition as necessary. If small adjustments to repositioning the wiper arm are not possible, with the wiper mounting nut loosed, pivot the wiper arm back an forth several times before repositioning, and then tighten the mounting nut.
  6.  

Wiper Motor



The electric wiper motor assembly is located under the engine hood, at the top of the cowl panel. A few vehicles have covers over the wiper motor assembly, while others have the motors exposed. Link rods operate the left and right wiper pivot assemblies from a drive crank bolted to the wiper motor output shaft.

Removal & Installation

NOTE
If the wiper motor is to be replaced, test the replacement motor several times and make sure it is properly parked before installing it. Once installed, operate the wiper motor several times, then allow it to park before installing the wiper arms.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the cowl cover to expose the wiper motor, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wiper motor crank arm from the motor output shaft by removing the nut and pulling off the crank arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the motor retaining screws and disconnect the electrical connector.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wiper motor from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Install the wiper motor into the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Attach the electrical connector to the wiper motor, then install and tighten the retaining screws.
  4.  
  5. Attach the wiper motor linkage to the motor.
  6.  
  7. Install the cowl cover and connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

E30 Models
  1. Remove the heater blower motor and the bracket under the wiper motor.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the motor wiring. If only removing the motor, remove the shaft nut and the 3 mounting nuts. Pull the motor out.
  4.  
  5. Release the clips on the blower plate and disconnect the flaps to remove the blower plate.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wiper arms and the grill. Disconnect the links on the mount for the left pivot.
  8.  
  9. Remove the shaft covers and remove the nut. Remove the washer and pull the linkage out of the opening.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install the linkage, washer and nuts. Install the shaft covers and connect the left pivot links. Install the grille and the wiper arms.
  2.  
  3. Install the blower plate and clip into place. Install the motor and link on the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Connect the wires, install the mount and the blower motor.
  6.  

E36 Models
Four Door Models
  1. Return the wipers to the parked position and remove the fuse. Remove the wiper arms. Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
  2.  


NOTE
Do not operate the wipers while the hood is open. With the hood open the wiper arms could damage the hood and windshield.

  1. Remove the intake air cowl grille cover. Remove the bolts at the ends of the cowl and from the inside holding the electrical duct. Pull the cowl out from the left.
  2.  
  3. For models with 6-cylinder engines, remove the injector cover and the valve cover cladding.
  4.  
  5. Protect the inside and edges of the cowl area to prevent scratching. Loosen and remove the wiper arm shaft nuts. Remove the brace holding the linkage and disconnect the wiring plug.
  6.  
  7. Wrap tape around the left wiper arm shaft to prevent scratching. Pull the linkage down on the right and rotate the linkage out of the cowl.
  8.  
  9. Pull of the linkage rods from the motor crank. Remove the motor crank nut and pull off the crank. Remove the 3 mounting bolts and remove the motor.
  10.  



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Fig. Once the wiper arms are removed, you can remove the trim panel retainers



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Fig. Remove the trim panel by carefully lifting it upward



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Fig. Remove the wiper pivot nuts with a 1 1/16 inch (27mm) wrench



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Fig. Remove the wiper assembly support bracket



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Fig. Drop the wiper assembly downward to access the wiper motor electrical connector. Lift the locking bracket upward to release the electrical connector



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Fig. Remove the wiper motor complete with the mounting bracket and wiper pivots



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Fig. Matchmark the wiper motor pivot arm, motor and mounting bracket before removing the motor



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Fig. The wiper linkage ball socket can be snapped off to remove, or snapped in place to install onto the wiper motor's arm

To install:

  1. Connect the wiper motor to the electrical plug and actuate the motor to return the motor to the parked position, if necessary. Install the motor on the linkage and press on the crank arm. The arm should make a straight line with the right side drive linkage while in the parked position. Install the nut on the motor shaft. Press on the linkage arms.
  2.  
  3. Install the linkage starting with the left side. Rotate the linkage into place and pass the wiper arm shafts through the openings.
  4.  
  5. Install the wiper arm shaft nuts, the brace-to-motor bolt, and then the brace-to-body bolt. Check the rubber bushings on the wiring at the electrical ducts are secure to prevent water from entering. Connect the wiper plug.
  6.  
  7. On M50 equipped vehicles, install the injector cover and the valve cover cladding.
  8.  
  9. Install the air intake cowl. Connect the electrical duct and install the grill.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery terminal and the wiper fuse. Cycle the wiper motor and install the wiper arms. Close the hood before operating the wipers again.
  12.  

Two Door Models
  1. Return the wipers to the parked position and remove the fuse. Remove the wiper arms. Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
  2.  
  3. Open the hood and remove the bolts from both sides. Pull the hood towards the front and remove the cowl trim piece.
  4.  
  5. Remove the intake air cowl grille cover. Remove the bolts at the ends of the cowl and from the inside holding the electrical duct. Pull the cowl out from the left.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 4 linkage mounting bolts along the cowl starting at the right side near the center of the vehicle and working to the left. Remove the 2 bolts holding the motor brace and disconnect the motor electrical plug. To be able to remove the linkage from the cowl, unscrew the connector from the firewall, but do not push it into the opening.
  8.  
  9. Protect the inside and edges of the cowl area to prevent scratching. Loosen and remove the wiper arm shaft nuts.
  10.  
  11. Wrap tape around the left wiper arm shaft to prevent scratching. Pull the linkage down on the right and rotate the linkage out of the cowl.
  12.  
  13. Pull of the linkage rods from the motor crank. Remove the motor crank nut and pull off the crank. Remove the 3 mounting bolts and remove the motor.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Connect the wiper motor to the electrical plug and actuate the motor to return the motor to the parked position, if necessary. Install the motor on the linkage and press on the crank arm. The arm should make a straight line with the right side drive linkage while in the parked position. Install the nut on the motor shaft. Press on the linkage arms.
  2.  
  3. Install the linkage starting with the left side. Rotate the linkage into place and pass the wiper arm shafts through the openings. Install the connector and connect the plug. Attach the wire to the holder with a wire tie.
  4.  
  5. Install and tighten the 4 linkage mounting bolts finger-tight. To prevent body damage, tighten the bolts starting with the leftmost bolt near the hood hinge, then the bolt nearest the center of the vehicle. Tighten the bolt next to that one and then the last bolt.
  6.  
  7. Install the wiper arm shaft nuts, then the brace to motor bolt and then the brace to the body bolt. Check the rubber bushings on the wiring at the electrical ducts are secure to prevent water from entering.
  8.  
  9. Install the air intake cowl. Connect the electrical duct and install the grill.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery terminal and the wiper fuse. Cycle the wiper motor and install the wiper arms.
  12.  

Wiper Switch



Removal & Installation
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the steering wheel. Remove the lower/left instrument panel trim.
  2.  
  3. Remove the screws and remove the lower steering column cover.
  4.  
  5. Push the locking hook for the flasher back and remove the relay, socket facing downward.
  6.  
  7. Take off the upper steering column cover. If equipped with air bags, drive out the pins and lift out the expansion rivet first.
  8.  
  9. Press the retaining hooks inward on both sides, pull the switch out, and then disconnect the electrical connector.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Attach the electrical connector to the switch, then push the switch into place.
  2.  
  3. Make sure that the retaining hooks engage the switch unit in position.
  4.  
  5. The remaining components are installed in the reverse order from which they were removed.
  6.  
  7. Install the steering wheel and negative battery cable.
  8.  

 
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