The Wiper Motor (Windshield)
The wiper motor is a crucial part. During bad weather, it moves the wipers to clean the windshield. The motor is usually built to last a lifetime and rarely goes bad. When it does, your car becomes unsafe to drive. It’s important to replace a worn or blown wiper motor, but how do you tell the type that your car needs or one that suits your preferences? That’s what this article will talk about and make buying a car wiper motor easy. Let’s start by understanding the motor and its purpose.
What is the Function of a Wiper Motor?
The wiper motor is the small electric motor that powers the wiper system or mechanism. In other words, it’s the part that your car wipers depend on to work. Without it, the wipers would not move an inch. The wiper motor ensures a clear windshield when driving in the rain or snowy conditions, when mud lands on the windshield, when the windshield becomes covered by dirt, and more.
Windshield wiper motors are designed to offer two main advantages: high torque and low speed. These two advantages are made possible by using a gear reduction mechanism called worm gear. The setup essentially consists of a spiral gear on the motor’s shaft and a gear wheel. The combination multiplies torque by up to 50 times while also reducing the speed of rotation.
The motor assembly is a simple brushed, direct current motor consisting of a stator coil rotating inside a magnetic field. The magnetic field is usually produced by permanent magnets. Some wiper motors, especially those used in older vehicles, may have field magnets instead of permanent magnets. However, the wiper motor gearbox remains similar in most wiper motors.
The wiper motor transfers motion to the wiper linkages via a crank. As the motors shaft rotates the gears, the crank moves the wiper transmission or mechanism in a back and forth motion. This helps to accelerate the wiper arms and blades across your car’s windshield.
Another important aspect of wiper motors is their ability to park the wipers. To enable that, a park mechanism or circuit is incorporated. In some types of the wiper system, the parking mechanism is operated by an electronic control unit or module.
Wiper motors are normally mounted to the firewall. This location allows the motor to operate the wiper linkages which are found in the space between the windshield and the hood, popularly known as the wiper cowl. Some cars have wipers to clean the rear window and a rear wiper motor to power the mechanism.
Types of Wiper Motors
There are various types of the wiper motor. It’s important that you’re aware of them especially when looking to buy a replacement wiper motor for your car. It will help you to choose the right type of the motor based on your type of car; and preference if considering an upgrade. The types of windshield wiper motors are listed below.
Based on Voltage Rating
6V wiper motor- these are mostly used or found in older cars. Because of the low voltage, the motors draw a lot of current to achieve enough torque to move the wipers
12V wiper motor- this is the most common wiper motor voltage. The one in your car is likely to be this type
24V wiper motor- there are also wiper motors that run off a 12- volt power source. They’re considered energy efficient since they draw less current to produce the same torque as the other motors.
Based on Location
Front windshield wiper motor- the front wiper motor is the most common. It’s normally installed in the engine bay under the wiper cowl. The front motor powers front wipers.
Rear windshield wiper motor- the rear wiper motor is usually mounted in the rear window and powers the rear wipers. It’s only used in vehicles that have a rear wiper installed such as hunchbacks and station wagons.