Why Are My Windshield Wipers Squeaky?
Windshield wipers are an essential safety feature on any vehicle. They keep our view of the road crisp and clear from dirt and dust build-up, as well as clearing precipitation in inclement weather. When they work, we barely notice them; when they don’t, we know it pretty fast.
Luckily issues with wiper blades are easy to diagnose and fix.
1. Not Enough Moisture
If you notice your wipers squeak in light rain or a misty fog, it may be a simple case of the wipers not having enough moisture lubricating the surface to move smoothly. Weather conditions can often be difficult enough to see in to necessitate using windshield wipers, but not wet enough for them to work correctly.
If you have clean windshields and haven’t noticed an issue with the wipers before, hit your vehicle windshield wash button to squirt some washer fluid onto the surface. If it was a case of not enough moisture, the squeak should go away completely.
2. Dirty Windshield
The most common cause of squeaky wiper blades is probably a dirty windshield. Tiny particles can build up on the windshield surface. These bits of dust and grim cause friction when the wipers pass over, and where there is friction, there is noise.
Even a relatively clean-looking windshield can have enough build-up to be an issue. As with dry wiping, hitting your windshield wash button and giving the surface a few good wipes may be enough to reduce the squeaking for the immediate drive.
Give the windshield a thorough clean and rinse top to bottom the next chance you get. A good clean will keep and build up from areas the wipers can’t hit from constantly running down into their path and causing the squeak again.
3. Dirty Wipers
While you are at it, gently wipe the blades down. Any grime you see on the windshield is also pushed around and deposited onto the wiper blades. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies that can collect dust. Once it gets wet, this dirt can just find itself back on the windshield to cause more issues.
If the wipers are brand new and squeaky clean, there may be a protective coating along the edge, causing your noise issue. Dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently rub along the surface of the wiper to remove this coating.
4. Damaged Wiper Blade
Over time the wear and tear of use and harsh weather can wear down the wiper itself. The squeegee may be damaged if you still suffer from wiper squeak after cleaning inadequately wet conditions. If the rubber squeegee feels hard, brittle, or you can see chipped pieces missing from the length of the blade, you should replace it.
Not only do damaged blades not clean the windshield, but the hardened irregular edge can also, over time, cause windshield damage. You should change out your wiper blades every two years for optimal performance and to prevent damage.
Changing to a new set of blades is an easy process that can be done at home. Follow your car's instruction manual and those on the wipers packaging. If you are unsure of what blades to get for your vehicle, check with your trusted local auto parts store or mechanic. Many locations offer free installation when you purchase from them.
5. Failing Wiper Mechanism
Everything looks like it is in pristine working condition, yet you still have a squeak or other noise when operating the windshield wipers. It might be time to get more of the wiper mechanism replaced.
Every wiper arm has a hinge at the base that it moves on. The corrosion and build-up common on the blade often end up here. Oil may help to get this hinge moving again temporarily, but it’s a sign to have the entire blade mechanism replaced and serviced.
Bring your vehicle to Jody’s Automotive if you have noticed any noise or cleaning issues with your wiper blades. Our service technicians will inspect for problems and help you get the correct wipers correctly installed as part of our Wiper Blade Replacement service.
Conveniently located near I-77, Jody’s Automotive has over twenty years of experience providing the highest quality diagnostic, maintenance, and repair services to the Jonesville and Elkin areas of the Yadkin Valley. Contact us to schedule an appointment for wiper blade service or other vehicle maintenance.