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Articles on Electric Vehicles

December 16, 2018
Paul Gipe

Replacing Rear Wiper Blade on the Chevy Bolt EV


Our 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is about 18 months old. The windshield wipers were beginning to streak so I decided to replace the wipers. Despite that the replacement wipers for the windshield were not exactly the same size as the originals, they were easy to replace. However, the rear wiper looked more challenging--and it lived up to expectations.

I may have run into a similar problem in our Nissan Leaf, and, if memory serves me, I never replaced the rear wiper for this reason.

It shouldn't be necessary to post an article on how to remove the rear wiper blade on a car. Ideally, it's explained clearly in the owner's manual. Failing that you can find a YouTube video of the process. Unfortunately, the instructions in the manual are, shall we say, basic. Nor do the videos on line work with this particular design. And unlike the robust discussion of all things to do with wiper blades on the Nissan Leaf, there's limited commentary on the Bolt's wiper blades.

The challenge is the rear wiper's cover. Here's how Chevy describes the process for the Bolt.

The manual says to pry up the wiper's cover at the drive pinion and then slide the cover to the left to free it from the wiper arm. The hint of the difficulty to come is when the manual says "slide a plastic tool under the cover and then push upward to unsnap." What kind of plastic tool is GM calling for here? What does it work against for leverage?

I struggled with this for about a half hour all the while watching the pinion shaft moving up and down in the rubber bushing inside the window glass. That didn't seem right so I stopped monkeying with it.

In the past when I've encountered glitches like this I've learned to just walk away. I take a break or I sleep on it. With a fresh approach often something will "click" in my brain and I am able to figure it out.

That's what I did here. I came back the next day and tried again. This time I put my hands on the top and bottom of the cover and tried to spread apart the plastic cover while pulling up. Success. It popped up.

Then I slid the cover to the left, unhooking the cover from the wiper arm. Once the cover was off I could get to the wiper blade.

Putting the cover back on the wiper arm required reversing the steps. I slid the cover to the right to hook the cover on the wiper arm and then pushed the cover down over the drive pinion until I heard it snap in place.

As with the driver and passenger wipers, the blade on the rear wiper assembly is slightly shorter than the original equipment. Why? Who knows. Just in case, I am keeping the old assemblies should I not be satisfied with the replacements.


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