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Windshield Wiper Switch Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a windshield wiper switch replacement is between $197 and $260. Labor costs are estimated between $86 and $110 while parts are priced between $111 and $150. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.

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What is a Windshield Wiper Switch?

Windshield wiper control, even with rain sensing wipers, is still left to the vehicle's driver. The windshield wiper switch is most likely to be located on lever attached to the steering column, or on the instrument panel within reach of the driver. No matter where the windshield wiper switch is located, it will always have the same basic functions, spray windshield washing fluid on the windshield, turn the wipers on and off, or set the wipers to automatic when rain sensing windshield wiping systems are installed.

How does the Windshield Wiper Switch work?

Windshield wiper switches can operate several electrical circuits, and multiple systems related to visibility. The switch is most often a multifunction switch which will adjust the output of the switch to adjust settings like low motor speed, high motor speed, or windshield wipers off. They can also have a secondary or tertiary switch for the rear windshield wipers and all washer nozzles. They work on the premise of all other electronic switches. When the switch is pressed, or otherwise actuated, a circuit is completed so power is delivered to the component operated by the switch. For the windshield wiper switch those components powered are the front and rear windscreen wiper motors, the headlamp wiper motors, headlamp and windscreen washer pumps, and sometimes, an additional unrelated function like high beam headlights or turn signals.

What are the symptoms of a bad Windshield Wiper Switch?

Inability to control the windshield wipers comes in several forms, and they are all indicative of windshield wiper switch failure. The windshield wipers may not work in all settings, may not turn on when requested, may not move to their parked position when turning off, or the washer pumps may or may not run at random. This is a general list of symptoms, but failure of anything the windshield wiper switch controls will indicate the need for testing the windshield wiper and washer switch.

Can I drive with a bad Windshield Wiper Switch?

Windshield wipers are a safety feature that even vehicles in dry climates should not be without. Aside from failing state inspections, if there is ever an obstruction on the windshield, there is no way to clear it off without properly functioning windshield wipers. This is call for great concern in areas with heavy rains, especially because those areas are more likely to see failed windshield wiper switches due to heavier use. For safety and inspection, the windshield wiper switch should be diagnosed and repaired immediately.

How often do Windshield Wiper Switches need replacement?

Windshield wiper switches, including multi-function switches, are reliable in nature, but some manufacturers have issues with their multifunction switch assemblies. Those makes and models with frequent failure tend to need replacements between 60,000 and 80,000 miles. Otherwise these switches should last for many years. Failure is typically from degradation rather than poor design.

How are Windshield Wiper Switch issues diagnosed?

When the windshield wiper will not do one or more functions on demand, the switch will likely be tested first. The switch can be diagnosed as faulty simply by testing for continuity across the switch when the switch is cycled through all of its possible settings. If pressing the switch does not create a continuous circuit,the switch will be proven failed.

How are Windshield Wiper Switches replaced?

For some vehicles, replacing the windshield wiper switch may involve simply removing the steering column cover or trim, disconnecting the electrical connector, and releasing the switch from the steering column by removing fasteners and mounting brackets. Other models will require all of this, but also the air bag, steering wheel, and clock spring (AIR coil) will need to be removed as well. It is important to note that the battery will be disconnected prior to servicing these components.

RepairPal Recommendations for Windshield Wiper Switch issues

Checking your fuses first is always recommended when it comes to electronics. All too often an electrical component is replaced only to find it still does not function. This is because without a good fuse, the system will not receive power.

What to look out for when dealing with Windshield Wiper Switch issues

When servicing the steering column, be aware that the airbag (SRS system) wiring harness runs along the steering column as well. Disturbing the air bag and harness without proper knowledge may cause SRS system faults, unintentional airbag deployment, or physical harm as a result.

Can I replace the Windshield Wiper Switch myself?

If the windshield wiper switch being replaced does not require removing the airbag and steering wheel, this repair can be accomplished by most people. However, when airbag and steering wheel removal are necessary, it is not recommended unless proper precautions are taken and the repair is completely understood. In most cases, it is best to leave airbag removal to a professional technician.

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