You know how important windshield wipers are for your car. You need to be able to rely on your windshield wipers to keep working optimally. When they start having problems, it can create trouble for you on the road. If your wipers aren’t able to keep your windshield clear of obstructions, then you’re going to be in danger.
Sometimes, windshield wipers will just stop working and you might be left scratching your head. It isn’t always apparent what the problem is. Even so, you will be able to fix things up if you can figure everything out. You just need to diagnose the problem and then look into what needs to be done to fix things up.
In this handy guide, I am going to go over how you can go about fixing windshield wipers that have stopped working. Once you have read through this information, you should have a better idea of how you can fix your problems. You don’t have to be a car expert to make these repairs either. Read on to learn everything that you need to know to get your wipers working properly again.
7 Causes and Fixes For Wipers that Stopped Working
1. Fuse Problems
One of the most common reasons why a windshield wiper is going to stop working is due to fuse problems. If your fuse goes out, then the wipers simply will not do anything when you try to turn them on. Fuses can burn out over time and they will need to be replaced. Luckily, fuses are very inexpensive and it should not be difficult to replace one of these.
If you need help locating your fuse, then you should refer to the owner’s manual of your car. The fuses will be located in different spots depending on what type of car you are driving. Many fuses are located underneath the dashboard by your steering wheel, but this is not always going to be the case. It shouldn’t take you long to locate your fuse so that you can move forward.
2. Wiper Motor Issues
You also need to make sure that your wiper motor is working properly. This is another part that can sometimes encounter problems. When a wiper motor stops working it is going to need to be replaced. The motor may have shorted out due to years of use and you’ll just have to buy a new part.
Replacing a windshield wiper motor is a pretty straightforward task. You will simply need to remove the cowl to access the wiper motor. Sometimes, the wiper motor will be covered by other things and these may have to be removed as well. Once you have made it to the wiper motor itself, it should be easy to remove it and then replace it.
3. Loose Wiper Pivot Nuts
You may wind up experiencing wiper problems due to something as simple as loose wiper pivot nuts. When these nuts become loose they can cause your windshield wipers to stop working properly. These nuts are responsible for connecting the arms to the wiper transmission. If they are not tight enough, then the wipers are not going to be able to work well at all.
Tightening the wiper pivot nuts will not take much time at all. This is a very common problem that you can fix in a matter of minutes. You should notice the wiper blades working again once you have tightened the nuts back up. If only one of your wiper blades has been working, then a loose wiper pivot nut is likely going to be the cause of your problem.
4. Torn Wiper Blades
Torn wiper blades might be the reason for your windshield wipers not working. It is not unusual for the rubber edges of your wiper blades to become torn. When the wiper blades are in this condition, they will not be making proper contact with the window. This will cause them to be ineffective at best and you will need to remedy the situation fast.
Wiper blades in this condition will not be able to clear away debris or wipe away the rain. This is going to make it so that you have very poor visibility while on the road. This puts you in danger and you should avoid driving until you get things fixed up. No one wants to be caught in a rainstorm with wiper blades that do not work properly.
You also want to replace the wiper blades to avoid damaging your windshield. When there is a gap in the rubber part of your wiper blades, it puts your windshield at risk. You could wind up scratching or scraping your windshield with the metal or plastic parts of your wiper blades. For this reason, you want to replace things immediately.
The best thing to do is to go ahead and buy a new set of wiper blades. Wiper blades are not overly expensive and you need to replace them every six months or so anyhow. You should be able to replace the wiper blades in a matter of minutes once you have bought new ones. Don’t wait to get this done if your current wiper blades are torn up.
5. Ice and Snow Problems
If you live in an area that has heavy snowfall, then you might need to think about whether this is the cause of your problems. Ice and snow can cause your windshield wipers many different problems. If you have been using your wipers to try to clear away snow, then it is actually possible that you may have damaged them. Snow is pretty heavy and this weight can wind up bending your windshield wipers if you are not careful.
Ice is also going to be very bad for your wipers. Caked up ice can cause damage to your wipers over time. You will want to do your best to remove built-up ice from your wipers whenever you can. Breaking up the ice is a good idea and you should do this when you are clearing your windshield with an ice scraper.
Remember to take the time to remove the snow from your windshield using your scraper. You want to avoid trying to turn your wiper blades on to remove the snow. Snow is too much for normal wiper blades to handle and you are likely just going to damage the blades. Take the extra time to clear things off manually before you start driving.
It’s also a smart idea to go ahead and purchase winter wiper blades. These wiper blades are made with snow and ice in mind. They are more durable and are capable of dealing with snow more effectively. Depending on where you are located, this may wind up being a necessity.
6. Wiper Relay Problems
Sometimes, your windshield wiper issues are going to be caused by a faulty wiper relay. When a wiper relay is not working properly, your wiper blades will not be able to function right. It is possible that your wiper relay may be stuck or that it may have stopped working. You should be able to test this out simply enough by observing it.
Get a friend to turn the wiper switch on while you examine the relay. If it is not working properly, then it will need to be replaced. Replacing this part is not going to cost too much money, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. This should be one of the first things that you check if your wiper blades are not working at all.
7. Wiper Control Switch Issues
You may also encounter wiper control switch issues. When the control switch stops working right, it is not going to be able to tell your wiper blades when to turn on. This may have stopped working due to a bad contact inside of the switch. You can check this out at the same time that you’re checking out your wiper relay.
When you turn the control switch on, it should make the wiper relay click. If it is not doing this, then you are either dealing with a bad control switch or a broken wiper relay. Buying a replacement control switch should not be pricey. You’ll be able to get this taken care of fast if this winds up being your problem.
More on Faulty Windshield Wipers
There are many different reasons why your wiper blades may not be working. Now that you know the reasons, you will be able to get to work fixing your problem. One of the above reasons is the likely culprit and you should be able to get things working again swiftly. Don’t fret when your windshield wipers stop working, as you will be able to fix things without it being a cumbersome process.
As long as you take the time to troubleshoot what is wrong, you should be able to narrow things down pretty fast. You will determine the cause of your problems and you will be able to get the part that you need. In some cases, all you will need to do is replace a simple fuse. Once you have the wipers working again, you won’t have to worry about being able to see during the next rainstorm.