Your windshield wipers aren’t just helpful — they’re also essential for driving safety. Visibility is a must when you’re driving in good daytime whether, let alone at night or in inclement weather. Old wipers can leave smears that obscure your vision. Sometimes they barely work at all! You may also find that over time, your windshield wipers get “weaker” in their movement or fail to turn on at all. That can be very bad news during a downpour or a snow flurry.
So how do you fix it? First, you have to determine the problem. Here are a few common issues we see.
Buildup on the Blades
If you notice that your blades are smeary, streaky, or not clearing specific areas of your windshield, it could be because there’s snow or ice built up on them. Wipers are made for clearing away rain and some snow, but for heavy snow and ice, trying to use your wipers alone could actually damage them. Inconvenient as it is, you should always use a scraper and snow brush to clear any buildup on your windshield before attempting to use your wipers. You may also want to inspect them for ice, which can cause tears in the rubber or bent blades if you try to use them when they’re frozen. Turn on that defroster and get clearing!
Old, Torn, or Brittle Blades
Age and exposure do a number on your blades. After a while, they’re simply too beat up to do much good. When they get torn, they don’t make proper contact with your windshield, which is why you get that smeary, streaky mess. The solution to this one is simple: replace the blades.
If you replaced your wiper blades but you notice that your wipers still aren’t making proper contact with the glass or they look shaky when they’re running, in may be because the mechanism itself is loose. A quick check should confirm whether any nuts or bolts need to be replaced or tightened, or whether something is bent.
Wipers straight-up not working at all no matter what you do? There’s likely a problem with the parts that make up your wiper system. If you can’t even get the blades to move, it’s probably an issue with your motor. Either it gave out due to age or overuse, or the blades were working too hard (maybe trying to push too much heavy snow?) and the fuse burnt out. A fuse is an easier and more inexpensive fix than a full motor, so make sure to bring your car to an experienced auto technician so they can determine exactly what’s going on. We don’t recommend trying this fix yourself unless you have a lot of experience in auto repair.
Whatever the issue, having it fixed is a breeze when you bring it into your favorite independent auto shop. If your wiper blades aren’t working, come see us. You’ll be right as rain in no time. Plus, you’ll be able to get that rain off your windshield again!