windshield wipers not working

Windshield Wipers Not Working: Reasons & Causes

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be driving in the snow or rain with broken windshield wipers? Windshield wipers are critical during weather conditions like rain, hail, snow, and other conditions. And to be honest, windshield wipers are very underrated.

What are Windshield Wipers?

Many vehicle owners usually do not pay much attention to wipers as important car equipment until they encounter a heavy storm or an overwhelming insect colony. 

Windshield wipers are used to remove snow, debris, ice, dust, and other visibility impeding agents from a vehicle’s windshield. These wipers have an arm, an attached end then finally an end that holds a plastic or rubber blade. 

Reasons Why Windshield Wipers Are Not Working

  • Mechanical Breakdown

If anything goes wrong with the motor’s mechanical workings or its linkage to the pivot stud, the forward and backward movement of the wiper would be disturbed. To resolve this problem, you would need to replace the particular component of the wiper’s mechanical components that have been destroyed.

  • Failing Wiper Motor

Once this happens, the wiper won’t work until you can replace the failing motor. The problem is that the motor won’t be able to get rid of the dirt, grime, water, or snow.

  • Obstructions by Ice or Snow 

Once you noticed that your windshield wiper has stopped working, one of the first suspects is the possibility of obstructions on the wiper. Ice or Snow is a major obstruction that may prevent the windshield wiper from working effectively. 

Typically, the windshield wiper is designed to be able to remove all light ice and snow. But could get hooked if the wiper encounters wet, heavy snow. Heavy snow can damage the wiper’s blade and make it bend. 

  • Electrical Breakdown

Since your windshield wipers are driven by an electric motor, delay module, and electrical fuse. Any of them could get broken or blown and hinder the wipers’ normal functioning. 

Once the motor fuse burns out, the windshield wiper will stop working or not working normally. The motor overload is a result of certain obstructions, including snow or ice on the blade. With a DIY method, you can remove the obstruction and replace the burnt-out fuse.  

  • Bad Wiper Blade

If your windshield wipers get torn, dirt could get attached to the wipers and hamper their motion. The trapped dirt could also scratch or boreholes in your windshield. 

  • Loose Pivot Nuts

The pivot nuts attach the wiper arm to the pivot stud, and the wiper may only move slightly if the nuts are loosed. 

Symptoms of Bad Windshield Wipers

Whenever you notice any of these symptoms, ensure you take a closer look at the wipers to confirm damages and effect repairs.

  • Windshield films

These lines appear on the screen due to the presence of dirt on the blade of the wiper. If, after cleaning the blade with a towel, these streaks keep occurring, it would be best to get the wiper replaced.

  • Old Rubber

You need a rubber replacement if they had fallen off or split.

  • Chattering Sounds

At times the wipers begin to make a disturbing sound as they go back and forth about the windshield. This sound tells you that you need a new wiper because these groups of noise-making wipers do not clean dirt off the windshield.

How to Fix Damaged Windshield Wiper & Cost?

Repair processes are different for each vehicle depending on the exact problem that needs to be corrected and how the manufacturer originally installed the wipers. This fact notwithstanding, a set of new wipers, pliers, ratchet, and an adjustable wrench should fix a new wiper. 

The average cost of replacing a windshield wiper motor can be between $350 and $430, depending on the supplier.

Final Thoughts

Safety is one crucial aspect of driving and a windshield wiper is one of the essentials to make driving easier and safe. Having functional windshield wipers should not be taken for granted because visibility is key to safe driving during extremely harsh weather conditions. A visual inspection should follow an attempt to fix the wiper. If the initial steps fail, you should go a step further by replacing any damaged part of the windshield wiper.

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