How to Fix Windshield Wiper Problems

Visibility is the most important factor when driving a car. The device which ensures that you have a clear view of the road, even in bad weather conditions is the windshield wiper mechanism. It's essential that windshield wiper problems be taken care of, as soon as they crop up or you may find them failing right when you need them the most! You might have a car in good working condition, but if a thunderstorm hits suddenly and your wiper mechanism fails then sticking your bare hand out of the window to wipe your windshield and managing the steering wheel with the other, is not an exciting proposition to look forward to! Through this Buzzle article, I am going to help you out in troubleshooting windshield wiper problems on your own. Wiper mechanisms are simple enough to be fixed on your own. So if you are the do-it-yourself kind of a person, keep reading ahead to know all about fixing windshield wiper issues.

Common Windshield Wiper Problems and How to Fix Them

The windshield wiper mechanism is truly ingeniously designed. A motor mechanism provides the torque required for motion, which is transmitted via an intermeshed gear assembly. The wiper blades are designed such that the arm movement makes sure that windshield surface is wiped thoroughly. If you find that the wiper blades have stopped working, visually inspect for signs of damage on the wiper mechanism. Here are the things which you should check out primarily.

Blown Motor Fuse
The power required for the windshield wiper motor to function is supplied via a fuse mechanism. If it so happens that the fuse fails, the motor will stop working, stalling its function. So if you find the fuse to be blown out, getting it replaced is the only way out.

Wiper Switch Problems
The wiper action is initiated by the switch located near the steering wheel. It may happen that the switch blanks out and stops working due to mechanical anomaly. In such a case, get the switch replaced immediately.

Loose Wire Connections
Sometimes, you might discover that the reason for wiper motor failure is a wire that has come loose. Check the whole circuitry for loose wire problems and fix them back again to get the wiper back to work.

Wiper Motor Breakdown
One of the most common reasons for wiper movement failure is the breakdown of the device which provides the motive force for its working, that is the motor. If you have eliminated the wiper switch and fuse to be the source of the problem, it has to be the motor which has broken down. Remove the motor, test it and get it replaced if it's beyond repair.

Broken Wiper Linkages
Wiper linkage is the mechanism which transfers the torque provided by the motor to the arms. If the linkage is broken, the torque is not transferred and the wiper won't function. Check, if the wiper linkage is broken and get it replaced to restore it back to its oscillatory ways.

Bent Wiper Arms
In case the wiper arms are bent or not installed properly, there may be friction between the windshield wiper arms and the surface itself, which might be stalling its working. Bent or cracked wiper arms are best replaced.

These were the prime windshield wiper problems that you may have to deal with. It's good to be equipped with the troubleshooting know-how, which may come in handy during emergencies. So next time you find the windshield wiper arm stalling or any other problem with it, you know what to do! In case, you find it beyond your skill to diagnose what exactly has gone wrong, going to car repair professionals is an option which is always open.

By Omkar Phatak
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How To Check Windshield Wiper Fluid

Performing basic maintenance on your car can be daunting, especially tasks like checking your windshield washer fluid. It seems scary but is actually a very simple process when you follow these steps:
  1. Make sure the engine is off - you don't want any running parts that you can catch your sleeve, or hot engine parts which can burn you.
  2. Pop the hood. Most cars have a leverfor this inside, under or near the steering wheel.
  3. Walk around to the hood. Cars have a lever under the hood that you must squeeze in order to open the hood the rest of the way. While squeezing, make sure you are lifting the hood.
  4. Find the reservoir for the windshield wiper fluid. It will look like a plastic jug with a blue (or sometimes pink) liquid inside of it. There is also an icon on the cap that looks like a little windshield being sprayed with wiper fluid. If you aren't sure whether you have found the correct jug, it's better to check out your car's manual. This will give you a clear picture of the location of the windshield wiper fluid reservoir.
  5. Check the jug to see the fluid level. The jug should have lines on the side and perhaps even an indicator that specifies when the windshield wiper fluid is too low.
  6. Open the top of the reservoir. If the cap is not connected and comes off completely be careful not to lose the cap.
  7. Fill the reservoir with wiper fluid to the top, being careful not to overflow the jug. Never add plain water. Windshield wiper fluid is made with detergent and antifreeze to keep your windshield clean and prevent it from freezing. If you don't have wiper fluid you can purchase it at any gas station for about $2 a gallon.
  8. Replace the cap, making sure to properly secure it.
  9. Firmly close the hood of your car. You're done!
It's a good idea to keep a jug of windshield wiper fluid in your trunk. It doesn't take up room and this way if you really need to add the fluid you'll always have it handy.

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How To Keep Your Windshield Wipers from Freezing

A car’s windshield may not be part of the hard working engine or steering system. But this big sheet of clear glass is surely one of the most important yet simplest parts of a vehicle. It doesn’t keep your way clear on its own, though. It needs help from the windshield wipers. Without properly working wipers, it’s impossible to ensure safety when driving through a heavy rain or snow. That is why keeping the wipers to their optimum performance is highly necessary. Besides aging, windshield wipers’ another enemy is bad weather—like a bad winter. 

Winter can freeze the windshield wipers, making them inefficient for their main job—keeping the windshield clear. You can’t stop the season from changing or the snow from falling from the sky. But at least, you can do something to keep your windshield wipers from freezing. Follow the tips below:

  • Replace the wiper blades. There are so-called winter wipers, which are specifically engineered to withstand freezing coldtemperature. Have these handy for the winter season. Make sure to use these instead of the regular wiper blades. Using winter blades reduces the chance of having frozen wipers.
  • Use winter wiper fluid. Wiper fluid is the thing sprayed whenever you push that button for the wiper fluid reservoir. Ordinary wiper fluids cannot resist the cold temperature. These are usually in blue fluid. You should get the orange or red fluid during cold weather. Check the wiper fluid’s label to check if it’s really for the winter. Use that instead of the usual fluid to reduce incidence of frozen wipers.
  • Drive slowly. Windshield wipers get easily frozen if driving too fast. Slower driving means slower air speed and that could lead to lower temperature. Try it and you’ll see how driving slowly can keep the wipers from freezing. It will be a safer trip on the road, too.
  • Raise the windshield wipers off the windshield. Doing this prevents the wipers from being stuck on the windshield due to ice build-up. Do this whenever the vehicle is not in use. But before you set the wipers again on the windshield, wipe off ice from the glass sheet.
  • Use spray de-icer. Find this kind of product from auto shops. Simply spray the can on the build-up ice and see it melting. Most car owners use this only when there is too much ice on the windshield.
  • Check under the hood. Sometimes, the real problem is not really the old wipers or the winter fluid that you are using. There are instances that a vehicle owner has done almost all the tips above but still to no avail. 
  • Look back to what your vehicle has done in a few months. Maybe it was repaired or maybe you open up the hood to check the system. Check the reservoir if it’s connected properly to the hose and pump. Maybe you or the technician forgot to reconnect everything.

Not only your windshield wipers should be kept from freezing. There are other important parts in the car that are subject to freezing during the cold months. Make sure you know the special maintenancefor your vehicle no matter what the weather or season is. It is part of your responsibilities as a vehicle owner.

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Car Windshield Wiper Replacement: Arms, Blades and Blade Refills

It's probably a good idea to check your car windshield wipers every six months so you won't encounter windshield wiper problems. You probably won't want to wait until you can't see out of your windshield before changing your windshield wipers. In fact, most people end up waiting too long to do this basic car maintenance and have to change their car wipers in the rain. If your wipers are beginning to show signs of wear, it's probably time to replace them. You can change them with wiper blade refills in just a few minutes; if you want to learn how to identify other common problems and complete other minor repairs, I strongly recommend you check out Automotive Troubleshooting Secrets.

Here are more car maintenance tips for trouble related to wipers: windshields should be the first thing to check. People don't always want to do this because they don't know how to replace windshield wipers and fear that if the wipers are bad, they'll have to pay someone else to change them. As you will see, this is not true; it is a very simple process.

The next thing to do is check your windshield. Sometimes there will be a crack or chip in your windshield which is the culprit of your torn wipers. In this case, address the windshield issue first. Next, inspect your wipers: wipers should not be cracked, ragged, torn, or have any jagged edges. When they crack or tear, they become flimsy and cannot effectively remove water from your windshield.

Windshield wipers are nearly all built the same so there is no need to hunt for good windshield wipers. An electric motor is connected to a metal windshield wiper arm. The windshield wiper arms extend over the windshield and hold the wiper blades tight against the windshield. The wiper blade is a metal and plastic device that holds a rubber insert. Judging from so few parts, it is safe to assume windshield wiper repair is relatively easy so be sure to give it a try prior to hiring someone else to dothe job.

If you live in an area that is prone to snow and ice, consider buying winter windshield wipers, or also known as winter blades. These are more effective at removing snow and ice than normal all-purpose rain wipers.

  • Buy the new wipers. It's usually a good idea to change your auto windshield wipers at the parts store. You can take your old wipers off the car before you go into the store in order to compare the wipers before you buy them. At some parts stores, a salesperson may even help you install the new wiper blades in the parking lot. You'll have to decide whether you want to buy an entire wiper blade or just a refill. Each has its advantages. For instance, if the finish is wearing off the old wiper blade, then you may want to pay a little more for an entire wiper blade. However, if you want to spend a little less, you may want to opt for buying refills to change only the rubber part of the blade. It's usually easiest to replace the entire wiper blade.
  • Remove the old wipers. First, lift the wiper arm off of the windshield so that it is easier to work on. Then determine how your wiper blades are attached to the wiper arm. There are several different methods commonly in use today, but the general formula is still the same. Press or slide the release tab that connects the wiper blade to the wiper arm. Then pull firmly to separate the wiper blade from the wiper arm. The wiper may be easier to remove if it is perpendicular to the wiper arm. There are three different mechanisms commonly found on cars today.
    • The universal slide. This is the most common wiper blade design. You'll need to press the lever on the bottom on the connection, and then slide the wiper down towards the base of the wiper arm.
    • The side pin. The pin is made of a 7mm pin that is at a right angle to the wiper arm. You'll need to press the spring lock button with a small flathead screwdriver, and then pull the wiper blade away from the wiper arm.
    • The bayonet arm. Lift the locking lever, and then slide the wiper blade away from the base of the wiper arm. That is, slide the wiper blade away from the car.
  • Install new wipers. Follow the directions that come with your new windshield wiper blades. It's usually a pretty simple process, and the directions are usually picture guides demonstrating how to install the wiper blade on your car. Most blades come with adapters to fit most any type of connector. Once again here are a few blade-specific instructions.
    • The universal slide. Place the blade just below the hook. Push the blade into the hook until it snaps into place.
    • The side pin. Press the hole onto the pin. It should lock automatically.
    • The bayonet arm. Lift the locking lever, and this time slide the wiper blade back down to the base of the wiper arm (slide it towards the car).
  • Test new wiper installation. Use your car's windshield mister to see that your wipers are working properly. They should operate smoothly without squealing, chattering or streaking. If so, then your windshield wiper replacement has been a success!
Required Tools:
  • Flat head screwdriver
Quick Tips:
  • Check your wipers before it rains.
  • Place an old T-shirt on the windshield to prevent accidental scratches in case the metal arm touches the windshield while you are working.

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Mercedes Wiper Blade - Squeaky Clean With One Sweeping Motion

Be it snow or rain, mud or even debris, the windshield of a Mercedes Benz needs to be clear so that the driver have the full visibility in avoiding the bumps, potholes, or even accidents waiting to happen. It needs a device to wipe these eyesores not only to clean but to protect form harm, as well.

The windscreen wiper does this job. It cleans out unnecessary elements that pose as distractions to the focused driving vision of a Merc owner. The assembly consists of: the arm pivoting at one end, the motor that powers the assembly and the blade that attaches to the arm. The blade is swung back and forth over the glass, pushing water and other elements from its surface. Generally, the speed is being controlled with several continuous speeds and often one or more "intermittent" settings. Most automobiles use two synchronized radial type arms, while many commercial vehicles use one or more pantograph arms. To note, Mercedes-Benz pioneered a system called the "Monoblade" wherein a single wiper extends outward to get closer to the top corners, and pulls in at the ends and middle of the stroke, sweeping out a somewhat 'W'-shaped path.

The Mercedes wiper blades work like squeegees as the arms drag a thin rubber strip across the windshield to sweep out water. With a new set of Mercedes wiper blades, it is efficient as it leaves no sign of leftover with every swing across the windshield. Bu time will wear it off, with nicks and cracks and road grime building on its edge that doesn't make a tight seal. This leaves room for streaks.

You can get an extra mileage by wiping the edge with a cloth soaked in window cleaner until no more dirt comes off the blade. Another key to streak-free operation is even pressure over the length of the rubber blades. Wiper blades are designed to attach in a single point in the middle, but a series of arms branch out from the middle like a tree, so the blade is actually connected in six to eight places. If ice or snow forms on these arms, it can make the distribution of pressure uneven, causing streaks under part of the blade. Some wiper manufacturers make a special winter blade with a rubber boot covering the arm assembly to keep snow and ice out.

But if the damage is already severe, have Mercedes wiper blade replaced through auto parts stores and dealerships around. Or log online to auto parts sites for a quicker and more comprehensive hunt for that custom-fit wiper blade for the Mercedes.
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How to Easily Check Your Wiper Blades

As you know, your windshield wiper system is made up of a couple of metal arms that each hold a sprung metal shoe that clips on to a thin rubber compound blade that sits on top of your windshield.

As your wiper motor is turned on, the arm is oscillated in a manner that allows each arm to drag the rubber wiper blade up the screen and then in reverse it tips the blade the other way and drags it down again. The importance of this drag action is to ensure that the real working part of each blade is the part that operates on your windshield for best streak-free cleaning.

If you look closely at these rubber blades, you need to focus on the lower edge of the blade-part specifically, as this is 99% where your wiper blades either work well or let you down.

Firstly, wiper blades are made from a rubber or silicon compound in order that they don't scratch your windshield during use. So they shouldn't scratch, squeak, shudder or streak.

However, the long bottom edge of the rubber blade itself is actually made with a square cut less than 1mm wide, with clean square 'sharp' corners. As these sharp lengths are dragged at about 45 degrees across the windscreen they quite efficiently scrape away the dirty rain, mud, grit and other road debris that constantly plates your windshield every day, regardless of the weather.

What this debris and soil does is very quickly wear away the sharp edges of your wiper blades and also scratch your windshield itself if not cleaned away by using decent blades and periodic fresh water flushing. Obviously as these edges become ever more rounded they do a better job of smearing your windshield and scratching your glass to provide headlight glare.

So, this is the part you are supposed to be monitoring at least weekly, as well as paying regular attention to the metal (sometimes plastic) shoes and the metal arms to ensure they are rust free.

Of course, although nobody likes the thought of spending upwards of $25 for a set of new blades, both finding them and then physically changing over the old set are probably even more daunting jobs anyway. Of course we all know that wiper blades are designed not to come off cars once they have been in place for a week, aren't they?

However, a little bit of technology is all that is required and the entire trauma of changing over your windscreen wipers can be avoided for as long as a couple of years if you keep an eye on them and treat them well. Then you can have them changed for you during a service.

Weekly I would suggest you wash your windscreen and wiper blades with a mild detergent and fresh water. This will better extend the life of your blades anyway and provide far better value from what you purchase. It will also help your screen remain less scratched.

However, if you really want to save yourself a fortune, help the ecology with around 6 times less waste and save yourself a ton of work and stress changing your wiper blades over, then you need to take a quick look at the link shown below. 
Personally I have only ever purchased 3 sets of new blades in more than 40 years of driving, so just think of the cash, ecology value, effort and frustrations benefited.
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Maintenance Tips For Your Truck Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers play a crucial role in any vehicle regardless of size. Without them, drivers won't be able to see clearly during rainy and snowy weather. As such, vehicle owners should be responsible for maintaining the good condition of their windshield wipers.

Truck owners and drivers should also be aware of this important component of their vehicle. This vehicle part dates back to 1903 and at that time, was not even electric yet. Thankfully today, drivers can experience more convenience when it comes to their line of vision during inclement weather. What matters is you know how to clean the wipers regularly and change them when they're worn out.

Windshield wipers are made from rubber material but they do wear and tear from constant use. It's fine when you use them to clear your windshield during rainy weather but they can easily wear when used to remove snow. Some people who are in a rush often have the habit of using their wipers to clear snow on their car's windshield but this is not a good idea. The wiper blades are doing hard work when used to scrape snow and they can easily get deformed.

Apart from snow, using your windshield wipers on dirt and other debris is another way of shortening the life of your wipers. Keep in mind that using the wipers on dry glass is never a good thing to do. If you see leaves, sticks and other debris on your windshield and you need to wipe them off, make sure you use a washer fluid to allow the blades to move smoothly on the surface. If you're not using a fluid, you can cause scratches on your windshield when the blades scrape off those debris.

One sign that your wipers need a new replacement is when you start to hear sounds when using them. Another sign is when they leave streaks on your windshield. Wiper blades are not that expensive but it's a good idea to invest in a quality one.

However, if you want to save on replacing your wipers every time, there are some steps you can do using only common ingredients found in your kitchen. To remove frost on your windows, just get a clean spray bottle and mix one part water with three parts white vinegar. Before spraying the solution on your windows, shake well first. Using this solution will no longer allow frost to form on your truck's windows. Make sure you do this every two weeks to protect your windows.

Don't forget to clean your wiper blades as well. Using vinegar is the trick. Get a clean cloth, wet it with vinegar and then wipe it on each of your blades. Prepare a second cloth and this time, damp it with water to use it to clean off the vinegar you earlier applied. Doing this step will ensure your blades will continue working for a long time. This will save you money moving forward as you no longer have to buy new ones all the time.

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