Are your windshield wipers making a loud noise?

The only thing that is worse than being stuck in traffic on a rainy day is having to listen to your windshield wipers making a loud noise. Don’t worry in this guide we will break down the common cause of the problem to end your nightmare. A lot of the time there is a very easy fix to this issue, that won’t even cost you any money.

Fix 1: Try Cleaning

The most common cause of squeaking is a buildup of dirt or filth either on the windscreen or wiper blades. So before continuing this guide make sure to give a good clean first. Here are some special cleaning tools if you want to be extra fancy.

Clean Your Windshield Wipers

In order to properly clean your windshield wipers, lift the blade up so that it is pointed in the direction away from the windscreen. Make sure you clean the blade thoroughly by wiping down all of the smaller mechanical components. These smaller mechanical components can easily tense up with dust and gunk building up with time, worsening the squeakiness.

For very filthy wipers, you will be better off using a dustcloth as opposed to a regular paper towel.

If your wiper blades do not stay stationary in the position you desire make sure you use one of your hands to hold in place in order to prevent any damages.

Clean Your Windshield Glass

Tidy the windscreen glass intensely with a glass cleanser. If you do not have any glass cleaner you can use a natural supplement such as unmixed white vinegar. You should put the vinegar in a spray container for the best results.

Make sure to remove any wax or glossy products. Standard car protectants or a particular type of wax, can create babble or squealing when wiping. This is because these glossy surfaces remove some of the spacing between your wiper and your glass causing greater tension.

The movie left by particular automobile surface area items can boost the rubbing in between the wiper blades as well as the windscreen, developing undesirable sounds, like squealing. 

If you would prefer to use a professionally made cleaner make sure that it is labeled as Ammonia-free, as ammonia cleaners can damage any tint on your windshield and can also know to weaken any plastic in its path.

Fix 2: Check Your Wiper Fluid

You should also check to make sure that you have enough wiper fluid in your car. The loud noise from your wipers could because of them being too dry. Even if your windshield wipers aren’t squawking you should regularly check to make sure that the wiper fluid tank is not empty as if it dries up your wiper blades will not last as long.

 

Here is an example of a fluid reservoir

Angelsharum, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

wiper-making-loud-noise-fluid-reservoir

To check that you have enough wiper fluids simply open the hood of your car and look for your reservoir. This reservoir is usually a white translucent container with a water symbol on the cap. Remove this cap and check the level of fluid, it needs to be refilled you can find some high-quality rain-x fluid bellow.

Fix 3: Check For Mechanical Issues

Mechanical stiffness in your wiper blades can also cause squeaking and chattering. Blades that are a year old should be replaced; blades that are newer can be softened by twisting the wiper back and forth. If any stiffness remains you can use a product such as ArmorALl or wd40 to grease the area and allow for smoother mechanical operation.

Loose Bolts

Check to see if your blades or the wiper connections are either too tight or too loose. Too much or too little stress in between the glass as well as wiper can result in that irritating chattering or squealing, as well.

Normally, bolts can be tightened up with a wrench by turning them clockwise or loosening them by turning them counterclockwise. The blades ought to be held securely in position, but loose enough to move back-and-forth across the windshield.

Jacek Rużyczka, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

windshield-wiper-making-noise-mechanical-issue

Fix 4: Replacing the Wiper

If cleaning your windshield wipers and the glass itself doesn’t work then it may be time to replace the wiper altogether. This is especially true in the case that your wiper is over a year old. This is because windshield wipers are made with rubber which wears and tears over time. You could easily bring your car or van into a garage to do have the wipers replaced but it is just as easy to replace them yourself. Another plus is that the majority of vehicles have an identical method of replacement. In this guide, we will show you exactly how to replace your noisy windshield wiper.

Preparation before replacing your squeaking windshield:

Prior to the replacement, there are a couple of things that you must know. The first thing is the different parts of your windscreen wiper. There are actually three different parts to your car’s wipers. The first part is the lower arm, this is the base of the windshield wiper and is easily identified by its longer length compared to the other two parts. The second piece is often referred to as the ‘Forearm’ or lower arm, this is the shorter plastic arm that is connected to the rubber blade. Unless there is visible physical damage to these pieces you will not have to replace them. The most common need for replacement is the third piece, the rubber arm.

What you need:

You will need to measure the length of the rubber arm on your windshield wiper. You can do this measurement with a ruler or measuring tape, just make sure that the dimensions are correct by double-checking. You are to measure the length of the rubber not the length of the plastic. It is important to note as well that some windshield wipers have two different lengths and you should make sure that you measure both to ensure that they fit perfectly. If you still have your owner’s manual the length of your blades will most likely be in it. After you have taken down the measurements you can either go to a garage and pick up a replacement or you can buy them online. Here are some links to the most standard rubber windshield replacements that we found online, 14 Inches, 17 Inches, 20 Inches, 21 Inches, and 24 Inches. Also, you can opt to have a silicone blade instead of a rubber one. These are a little bit more expensive but last longer and are quieter as well.

How To Replace your squeaky windshield wipers:

You can start the replacement by pulling the metal base of the windshield wiper so that is perpendicular in line with your windscreen. You should make sure to hold its in place with one hand as it is designed to spring back into position and letting go could result in your glass breaking. Next, look for the connection that connects the rubber blade with the metal base of the wiper. You should see a plastic or rubber hook that is holding the two pieces together. Press this hook down to release the forearm of the wiper and then unhook the old blade. If you can’t find the plastic stopper then your blade may be held down with plastic pins. Once the old blade is removed you can proceed to connect its replacement. Position the new blade on the windshield wiper’s metal arm in the same location as the previous. You will need to gently rotate the blade from left to right until you hear or feel it click into place. In the event, your blade was using pins simply put the pins back in. You can now slowly bring the windshield wiper back down to its standard resting position. If you need to replace both wipers then you can repeat the same method with the second wiper. While you are replacing your car windshield, maybe you also need to upgrade a few more things, such as your Navigation system or maybe you need a car wrap
windshield-wipers-tooks

FAQ About Windshield Wipers

Why was I told to put my Windshield Wipers up?

You may have been told that you need to put your windshield wipers up when parked and wondered why or what this means? Simply put, keeping your windshield wipers up is the act of raising your wipers from their standard position into a perpendicular position from their resting place.

A lot of manufactures and car organizations such as the AAA recommend doing this in frosty or cold conditions. The benefit to your windshield wipers being left up is it prevents damage that may result in you having to replace the wipers.

This damage can happen if you have mistakenly left your wipers on when turning on the ignition to your car. Then if you turn on your ignition again on a frosty day the wipers will try to move thus breaking the windshields motor. Another benefit is that if you need to chisel away at the ice from the windscreen you may break the rubber blades and it just makes clearing ice that much easier when your wipers are up.

Although leaving your windshield wipers up on a frosty day is considered a great idea by most, some people have found some cons to this. Some drivers have reported that leaving them up has encouraged vandalism to their cars, while others have caused damage to the spring-loaded inside the windshield wipers. Keeping your windscreen wipers is also completely pointless if you have a built-in defroster. You should check your owners manual to make an informed decision on what exactly you should do.

How much does it cost to replace the rubber blades of my noisy wiper?

Thankfully rubber is very cheap and you shouldn’t expect to pay very much for your new blades. The price may vary based on the length that you require but the average cost is around 15 dollars.

How much should I expect to pay for a windshield motor?

The cost in materials for a new windshield motor will set you back roughly 250 dollars. If you are a master do-it-yourselfer then this will be the only cost. If you need a certified mechanic or technician to do the replacement for you the labor cost should be around the 200 dollar mark.

How often do I need to replace my wipers blades?

How often you need to replace your blades depends on how often they are being used as the more regularly they are being used the more worn down they become. You can expect to require a switch every six to twelve months.

How Do I make my windshield wipers last longer?

There a few ways that you can extend the life of your windshield wipers. You can start by regularly cleaning your windshield with the method mentioned above. Another trick is to avoid parking in direct sunlight as the heat could warp your blades. You should always make sure that your blades are wet when operating by keeping your wiper fluid topped up at all times.

Is it a good idea to use WD-40 to clean my windshield wipers?

You might be used to using WD-40 on all the mechanical parts so it may make sense to you that using WD-40 will help your wipers last longer. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Although using an oil or petroleum-based agent such as wd-40 every once in a while is unlikely to cause any serious or immediate damage prolonged use is. This is because these agents are known to dissolve rubber which is what your blades are made of.

Are expensive windshield wipers worth it?

We consider some of the premium brands of windshield wipers to be worth the higher price. These wipers are known to be, ‘streak-free and are commonly incredibly quiet compared to cheaper more standard brands. This because they are better designed for the curvature of your windshield thus reducing friction.

What is causing my brand new Windshield Wipers to squeak?

If replacing your windshield wipers blades didn’t stop the squeaking then it is quite likely that the issue is with your windshield glass. Follow the guide above to remove any oil or wax residue that may be causing the issue.

Do I need to replace both my windshield wipers?

If only one of your windscreen wipers is making a loud noise you might be tempted to save yourself some money and buy yourself one. There isn’t a serious issue with doing this although if one of your windshield wipers has become worn it is likely the other doesn’t have long left. Ordering the two wipers at once will save you on shipping costs and it is just easier to replace both at the same time.

Should I get silicone Blades instead of Rubber?

Silicone blades last longer than rubber ones and are known for performing better in heavier rain. You could argue that this improves your visibility on the road and therefore is safer. Though in reality rubber blades are perfectly fine and are a lot cheaper. It is really up to you what material you go for when replacing your windshield wipers.

Are windshield Wipers universal?

No, windshield wipers are of different sizes and shapes and vary based on your car’s model. You can measure the dimensions of your blades as mentioned in the guide above or you can take a look at your owner’s manual if you are not sure.

Do I need to buy a left and a right windshield wiper?

Windshield wipers don’t always have the same dimensions. Because of this, you need to check dimensions on both the right and the left before buying a replacement. Although the dimensions might differ this isn’t like shoes and you will not need to find a windshield wiper labeled left or right. You will only need to check the length of the rubber to make sure that the new one will fit.

Will putting dish soap in my fluid container stop a noisy windshield wiper?

Absolutely not. You should never put dish soap in your windshields reservoir. It is more likely that will make for an even louder squeaking. You should only ever use officially labeled wiper fluids in your vehicle as there may be some substance in the cleaner that could cause extra damages.

What do I do with my old windshield wipers?

Your windshield wipers are made of three different materials, metal, rubber, and plastic. To dispose of your old windshield wipers most ecologically, you should detach all of these parts. Then you can bring the metal part of the wiper to a scrap yard and if your local recycling center caters to plastic and rubber you can have other parts recycled.

Do you have any further questions about your noisy windshield wiper?

We have done our best to answer any possible questions about a loud noisy windshield wiper but if we missed something let us know in the comments and we will do our best to answer you! Maybe you have another solution to this problem and we would love to hear about it.