2000 Altima hood won't open and Windshield wiper linkage broke
So my wipers froze to the windshield last week and popped of the linkage. I could hear the motor running, but the wipers wouldn't go.
I figured on popping the hood to get to the wipers, but found my hood won't open.
I pulled on the hood latch and heard the usual pop, but then the hood did not open. so now I have TWO problems. Here is my resolution:
2000 ALTIMA HOOD LATCH WON'T OPEN
Looking online, you may see people responding to such problems like "on my 64 Chevy I just go under the bumper and use a long pry bar to flip the latch..." Not so for a 2000 Altima.
The hood latch mechanism is surrounded by metal with only the safety latch accessible from under the car and that won't work until you first unlock and release the latch!
The solution is to have someone pull the hood release, while you pull up the hood. Or if by yourself, maybe you can hook the front of the hood with a strap and pull up as you work the hood release in the car.
Once open, I discovered the spring had broken. When you pull the release latch, that unlocks the hook that holds down the hood. A big spring then pulls on the hook to release the hood, allowing you to pop the hood an inch or so to access the safety latch and it's open.
The spring is a heavy 5/8 3 inch spring. I went to home depot and got an assortment pack of 4 springs. TWO 2 1/2 inch long 5/8 diameter springs and TWO 3 1/4 5/8 diameter springs. I opted for the shorter one first before considering the long springs and maybe having to cut them down.
That did the trick. Works great now.
WINDSHIELD WIPER NOT WORKING BUT MOTOR RUNS
Now that I have access, onto the wipers.
There are a few youtube videos on this, but not many really show you what they are doing. It's hard to view.
In my case, I suspected the plastic bushing that holds the ball joint in the transmission linkage had worn or popped off.
I ordered two from Rock Auto for $6 and they arrived in 3 days.
I only needed one for the linkage between the motor arm and the two wiper linkages.
The bushing I got were too small - they were for the drivers and passenger wiper linkages. The main linkage for the motor arm appears to be a bit bigger and in good shape, so I pressed it back together with channel lock pliers (these worked well for reaching in at an odd angle without having to disassemble the entire wiper transmission and pull it out.
To access was straighforward and there are videos on youtube describing this.
- I used a knife to pry the plastic cap covering the 14mm bolt holding down the drivr side windshield wiper arm.
- the passenger side arm did not have a cap. I just used the 14mm socket to remove the bolt. No need for penetrating oil. the bolts suprisingly rust free for a 16 year old car.
- For both, just gently rock and wiggle the arms until they pop off the spindles that drive the wipers.
- I suspect a previous mechanic had gone thru here before to access something because next up was removing the plastic cowl covering the wiper transmission. This is held down with a number of 10mm screws. I found only one that was still in place at the center. the others mysteriously gone. and the rubber weather strip was missing some plastic rivets that hold it down.
- a shop vac is handy to remove all the rotted leaves and debris sitting in this area.
- Removed the cowl to expose the transmission linkage.
- Found the motor arm and reconnected it to the ball joint. it went in easily. I used channel lock pliers to ensure it was pressed in
- Turned on wipers and off to bring the wiper to "resting" position.
- install the wiper arms in rsting position - to ensure this, I looked at my dirty windshield for tha telltale line of dirt where the wiper rested before I removed it. Once all lined up, I gently tapped each wiper back into the drive socket/spindle and tightened down the 14 mm. bolts to test.
- Make sure you got the right wipers in the appropriate place (driver side vs passenger). I somehow got them mixed and they ended up locking on each other and the linkage popped off again. Not so bad since I had not yet put back the cowl.
- Installed th pastic cowl and put the wipers in over it making sure the drivers and passenger wipers in the correct place.
- Tested again. works well. Ran it on fast mode. Works great. Squirted some wiper fluid. works better, but now I find a leak on the passenger side spray nozzle where it connects to the fluid hose.
...another repair for next weekend!
I'll hold on to the spare wiper bushings. I think they can fit other cars also.