It has become apparent to us recently that the Saturn Ion has a rather large engineering flaw. The critically important Windshield Wiper Transmission (The linkage assembly which connects the wiper motor to the wiper blade arms) has a flaw which in my opinion should have never been allowed to happen in the first place. One of the hinges which allows the wipers to pivot is made of PLASTIC! Over time, this plastic hinge becomes brittle and will eventually snap, causing failure of the wiper blades. If your wipers fail at the wrong time, this could lead to a serious safety situation. Imagine driving down the interstate at 60+ MPH in a heavy rainstorm, and suddenly your wipers just stop working.
In my opinion, this is a serious engineering blunder. I can only assume that the intentions of making this very important linkage hinge out of plastic was to save a couple dollars on the assembly line. But is a couple dollars worth risking the safety drivers? Luckily, we at APDTY have a solution. We carry a replacement wiper transmission which has METAL hinges, like they should have been from the factory. This replacement part has a lifetime warranty and is guaranteed to never fail on you. The replacement of this part is not extremely difficult and is achievable by almost anyone with some basic mechanical skill.
Here is a shot of the upgraded metal hinge:
The basic steps are outlined below:
1) Remove the Windshield Wiper Arm Nut Covers.
2) Remove the Windshield Wiper arm Nut.
3) Remove the wiper arms, If the arms do not come off easy there is a specialty tool available designed to pull the wiper arm off.
4) Remove the Air inlet grille panel (Cowl Panel) by removing the push-pin fasteners and then lifting up and disconnecting the wiper fluid hose.
5) Disconnect the wiring connector from the windshield wiper motor.
6) Remove the bolts that attach the whole wiper transmission/motor assembly to the car. Remove the whole assembly (Wiper Motor and Transmission Linkage) From the vehicle.
7) Remove the Wiper Motor Crank Arm Nut. (The nut which comes out of the center of the wiper motor) and remove the crank arm from the motor.
8 ) Remove the bolts which attach the wiper motor to the transmission/linkage assembly and remove wiper motor from the assembly.
9) Install the wiper motor onto the new transmission/linkage assembly. Install the crank-arm and crank-arm nut.
10) Reverse removal instructions to install the assembly and cowl panel back into the vehicle.
11) Reinstall Wiper blade arms, be sure that the wiper motor is in full park position (where they sit when the wiper switch is off), align the wiper arms and tighten the wiper arm retaining nut.
Written By Joe Stepnicka