Raindrops on a windshield compromise visibility. It is dangerous to drive when you cannot see what lies ahead. Fortunately, you can activate the windshield wipers during rainy days. They push off the water and provide a clear view of the road. This simple yet effective mechanism keeps you safe. But wait, are you hearing the wipers squeak across the glass? Do not ignore the noise. It might indicate a problem with the wiper assembly or the windshield itself. Read on to learn seven common reasons for squeaky windshield wipers and what you can do to eliminate the unwelcome sound.
Squeaky Windshield Wipers: Causes & Solutions
Keep reading to explore the reason your windshield wipers are squeaking.
1. Dirty Glass
Most cases are due to a dirty glass panel. Dirt, dust, sand, salt, and debris can build up on the surface. It is a slow process that may seem harmless until it begins to affect the way you drive. The tiny particles increase friction as the blades pass, producing the high-pitched noise. If you do not intervene, you may soon see permanent marks on the windshield. Prevent these through regular washing. Give the panel a thorough rinse before trying the wipers again. The noise should go away now that the offending particles are gone.
2. Dirty Blades
If you can still hear squeaks after washing the windshield, check the wiper blades. Some dirt may be stuck on the rubber. These leftover particles create the sound when moving across the panel. Do not forget to include them during your regular cleaning sessions. Use a rough sponge or a toothbrush for stubborn dirt. Go through the entire length, including the crevices. You can still do this even if there is no visible dirt. New wipers have protective oil coatings from the factory that may produce the squeaking noise. Use cotton with rubbing alcohol to remove it.
3. Improper Installation
If your car has the original wipers from the factory, you can be confident about its installation. However, if you bought a second-hand car with aftermarket wipers installed by the previous owner, you might want to take a closer look. The noise may be due to improper installation. Perhaps there is a problem with the alignment enabling airflow between the blades and the glass. Maybe the system is not secured in place, such that the blades shake with every pass. Consider removing the wipers and reinstalling them again in the right manner. Test whether this solves the problem.
4. Failing Wipers
Cleaning the wipers do not always make the noise go away. How long have you been using these windshield wipers? Experts recommend replacement every 6-12 months because they are likely to fail soon after. The exact service life depends on the weather conditions in your area and the materials used for the blades. If you have cheap rubber blades, expect a short lifespan. Some rubber blades are hardened with halogen to improve their durability. If you want the longest possible lifespan, go with silicone blades since these tend to last for over a year. These are great for places that experience extreme weather. Need help with replacement? Go to an auto glass shop for assistance.
5. Dry Wiping
As we said before, wipers are useful in the rain because they push the water out of the way. Make these blades move whenever you have excess liquid on the glass. In fact you should only use them when the surface is sufficiently wet. Dry wiping can trigger the squeaking noise because of the lack of lubrication. If you are washing your windshield regularly and your wipers are in good shape, you probably have nothing to worry about. Spray a bit of washer fluid on the glass and turn the wipers on. They should operate silently from now on.
6. Manufacturing Defect
When did the noise start? Did you make any recent changes to the wiper blades? If your old system was fine but the newly installed blades are noisy, you need to question the substitute. It may be a cheap product that simply does not work well. It could also be a manufacturing defect that is creating the sound. Ask for replacements from the store and see whether the squeaking goes away after the swap. You may also try other brands to find one that works flawlessly with your windshield.
7. Infrequent Utilization
Do you drive frequently? How do you store your car when not in use? Just as overuse can make the blades wear out faster, underutilizing them can also lead to damage. The rubber may become brittle and fall apart when gliding across the glass. It can produce increasingly louder squeaks as the damage worsens. Keep the blades soft by avoiding excessive moisture or dryness. Clean them with rubbing alcohol at regular intervals. Park the car inside a garage where you can control the environment. If the rubber is already brittle, do not attempt to use it anymore. Get a replacement as soon as possible.
Your windshield keeps you safe from wind, rain, and debris. Keep it clean and pristine by using quality wipers. If you hear the glass squeaking, pay attention. Dirt particles or brittle rubber blades might be scraping against the panel. The sound is warning you about possible damage. Use the list above to determine what went wrong. If you get stumped, you can lean on auto glass experts for guidance. They will troubleshoot and find the correct solution to save your windshield from harm.
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