A common but very annoying sound is that obnoxious windshield wipers squeak. To figure out how to fix them and get rid of the squeak, the best approach is to think about the causes first and then fix those squeaky windshield wipers.
We’ll go over the top causes of why your windshield wipers are squeaky and, of course, how to fix this nuisance.
1. Dirty windshield
As lame and evident as it may sound, a dirty windshield is the most common cause of squeaky windshield wipers. It’s a fact.
And it doesn’t need to be amazingly dirty to cause issues. Small particles of dirt, sand, and other stuff that may have gotten on your windshield will cause friction when the blade of the windshield wiper passes over – this will lead to the unwanted squeaking.
So clean it regularly! And clean those wiper blades, too (see below) while you’re at it.
2. Dirty wiper blades
Apart from a dirty windshield, dirty wiper blades can also cause the ‘lovely’ squeak. They can also collect part of that dirt that got on the windshield.
I wouldn’t even debate this one: if you’re cleaning the windshield, why not clean the wiper blades too?
I usually clean my wiper blades with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel – no problem whatsoever.
3. Dry wiping
If everything is clean and dandy, it might just be the case that there is not enough moisture for the rubber squeegees to get lubricated and not cause any noise when going over the windshield. Maybe it’s just a sprinkling of rain or just a little shower.
Don’t be shy and use that washer fluid to make everything nice and lubricated – and clean! Chances are, the squeaking problem will be solved.
4. Hardened rubber on wipers
Sometimes, the rubber on your windshield wipers can become hard. Usually, this happens from a lot of exposure to the sun, but of course, there are many other reasons.
Fixing this is quite easy, and if you do what I do at point 2 above, you might never encounter this issue: just apply rubbing alcohol to the rubber part to soften it up. Yes! That easy!
Just clean your wiper blades with rubbing alcohol, and you’ll probably never suffer from hardened rubber on wiper blades ever again.
5. Windshield wipers went bad
Sometimes things just need replacing. This might be the case too, wiper blades get worn out as time and usage accumulates.
The service manuals usually recommend changing them every 6 to 12 months. If you know it has been over one year since you last replaced them, do consider replacing them.
To be fair, if your car hasn’t seen much usage and the weather was not so harsh… they might last longer than one year. At the time of writing this articles a couple of Bosch windshield wipers have well passed the 1 year mark and run just as good as when new. (garage car, few miles per week)
How do you know if your windshield wipers need replacing?
Apart from the age thing (6-12 months), sometimes there are some dead giveaways: the rubber on the edge of the wipers gets loose, broken or excessively torn. Other times, the rubber just gets flaky, too bendy or even extremely harsh. Just take a close look, and you’ll probably be able to tell if they are on their way out, as rubber tends to look nasty when it’s over-used.
6. Not so common
There might be other causes too, but to be completely honest I haven’t had any ‘bad luck’ of running into stuff like: wiper blades position issues, fasteners issues, or wiper blade assembly issues.
Now I am not saying it’s not possible, but do check one of the fixes above before anything else. You might end up just having to do some cleaning, and your issues are gone!
If you applied some sort of surface protectant, like Rain-X (a good product!), friction might be increased between the wiper blades and the windshield – this may lead to squeaking. Not bashing and throwing blame, just stating the facts! So try removing the protectant if you think this might be your problem.
Squeak be gone!
I hope this article helped you get rid of the annoying windshield wipers squeak, and you now know how to prevent it from ever appearing – or what to do when it comes back!
Oh, and of course, all of this can also apply to your rear windshield wipers if you car comes equipped with one.
Be sure to share this one if you’ve found it useful! I bet other people will find it helpful too!