E36 Plastic molding under windshield wipers

I just noticed that the rigid plastic part underneath my windshield wiper arms is breaking away in chunks on the edge that borders the windshield. I can see some leaves and other debris in the space under
it. Does this piece seal anything, or is it just a trim piece. I haven't noticed any leakage, but my wife, who works in another state where it rains all the time, has a 92 that frequently has fog on the inside of the glass. She said hers is cracked really badly. Even if it is just a trim piece, I might replace them if it's not too big of a job. Has anyone replaced one of these who could give me any pointers?
Thanks,
David
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It's easy.
The wiper arms have covers on the pivot-end that you pop open, and remove the exposed nut. The plastic panel then comes right off and the new one goes on.
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Dont be surprised if you happen to find a lot of rust underneath too. A '93 325i I had started to get really bad around the bottom of the windshield, and I would have never known if I didn't need to change that piece.
BlackE87
Jeff Strickland wrote:

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Interior fogging of windows can be an indication of a leaking heater core (pinhole leak). Keep watch on the coolant level to see if it is dropping. If the windows appear to smear when trying to clean the glass that is a good indication of ethylene glycol being deposited on the window glass. You might also get a slight sweet smell in the cabin. Lets hope that isn't the case.
RJD
wrote:

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It's a trim piece, it is not a seal.
Your wife needs to run the AC to clear the fog from the inside of the car.
Fog on the inside is a result of relatively warm, moist air in contact with the glass -- sort of like the way a beer can collects drops on the sides when you take it out of the 'fridge. I understand that she may want the air to be warm, but she needs it to be dry. The AC is a dryer, so turn the AC on and set the temp controls for the warm condition she likes.
I replaced this part on my E36 and on my daughter's E46, I recall the cost to be in the range of about $60 at the BMW dealership.

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Thanks everyone. My wife does indeed have to run the A/C even when it is cold outside to clear the windows. Every fall the low coolant warning appears when the temperature starts to fall, so she may have a bit of a leak. She's in snow country, though, and the snow from her boots and clothes gets in the car, so when it sits in the sun there is plenty of moisture all winter long from the melting snow and that's mostly when the windows fog. I think I'm going to replace the pieces just to keep the cars looking good. My 94 is looking really good otherwise, and hers is practically like new. I ordered some Boston green paint in a spray can online (along with some clearcoat) and fixed up some flaws in the paint, and then put new pinstripes over the old worn ones, and after polishing the thing until my arm almost fell off, the 94 does, too. The only other thing that plagues both cars is the rubber strip above the rear window, so I guess that will have to be done also.
Thanks again,
David
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