How do I know if my wipers need to be replaced?
Let’s take a look at the most common windshield wiper
problems and offer some solutions that will give you a clear view of the road ahead in even the worst weather.
If your wipers smear water in both directions, you may have one of the following problems: worn blades, a dirty windshield and/or wiper blade, or sub-par windshield wiper fluid. Try using new wiper fluid and cleaning the windshield and wiper blades before you replace the blades. If you notice the smearing in only one direction (and it isn’t cold out), it means your wiper blades are either, 1) old and hard or 2) the wrong size. Water beads that won’t wipe away.
Before you treat your windshield with a product that repels water, give it a thorough cleaning to remove any residue that may have built up. If using a strong glass cleaner doesn’t do the trick, you might consider using a wax remover on your windshield. Watch out for the paint, though! The wipers chatter.
It’s often the result of a buildup of wax, oil, or grease which prevents the blade from cleanly wiping the water away. Give your windshield a nice, thorough scrubbing. Give the blades a good cleaning too, for good measure but in the end you may just want to replace them.
What moves the wiper arms?
In order to move back and forth across the windshield, the windshield wipers are controlled by the windshield wiper motor
. When you activate the windshield wiper and washer switch
on your turn signal indicator or other control arm next to your steering wheel, it sends a signal to the motor that operates the wipers at different speeds and duration. When the wiper blades don't move after turning on the switch, it's often caused by a malfunction in the wiper motor.
Although the likelihood of having a problem with your windshield wiper motor is rare, there are a few warning signs that will alert you that the wiper motor is damaged or needs to be replaced. The wiper blades move slower than programmed, they only have one speed, they don't park in the correct position, or they don't move at all!
The windshield wiper motor is usually not a part that is repaired. Due to the complexity of the device, most windshield wiper motors are just replaced. If the arms do not move and fuses check out OK, it may be time for a new motor. How does that squirter thing work?
An important component of your windshield washer system is the windshield washer pump
. Even if you have a full tank of fluid, if the pump doesn’t work, your windshield can’t get sprayed. To find out if a faulty pump is the problem, do the following:
Pop open the hood and find the washer fluid pump. Just follow the tubing from the washer sprayers until you run into the pump. Have a friend get in the driver’s seat and activate the washer fluid switch. If the pump is working, it should make some noise. If your pump is silent, you’ll need to replace it.