Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Windshield Wipers


For maximum effectiveness and longest wiper blade life, the windshield and wiper blades should be kept clean. Dirt, tree sap, road tar and so on will cause streaking, smearing and shorten blade life. It is advisable to clean the windshield carefully with a commercial glass cleaner and paper towels at least once a week. Wipe off the rubber blades with the wet paper towel afterwards. Examine the wiper blades occasionally. If they look cracked, broken or torn, they should be replaced immediately. Replacement intervals will vary with usage, although ozone deterioration usually limits blade life to about one year or less. If the wiper pattern is smeared or streaked, or if the blade chatters across the glass, the blade should be replaced. If that does not fix the problem, the spring in the wiper arm may be weak or the arm may be bent. See Chassis Electrical for more information.


See Figure 1

  1. Pull the blade away from the windshield and swing the arm all the way up until it locks in place.
  3. Pivot the blade so it is perpendicular to the arm.
  5. At the looped end of the arm, squeeze the plastic retainer that fits into the loop and push the whole blade assembly towards the other end of the arm.
  7. Move the blade so it can be slid off the arm without engaging the retainer. The small shaft in the blade arm is not centered in the open space. Note the orientation of this shaft so the new blade can be installed the same way.
  9. Slide the new blade onto the arm, move it so the retainer will fit into the loop and click the blade into place.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Types of wiper insert replacements