Smearing water, chattering wipers, water that just won’t wipe away?! Don’t suffer through poor visibility on your next drive. An astounding 90% of all driving decisions are based solely on visual cues, reports the American Optometric Association. Keep your vision crystal clear. Try one of these quick fixes when your windshield wipers aren't working properly and learn the signs that it’s time to replace your wiper blades.
What to do when...
Your wipers smear water all over the windshield.
If your windshield wipers smear water all over your windshield, they aren’t doing any good. Luckily, there are a few different reasons why this might be happening and they all have easy solutions!
A common reason why your windshield wipers might be smearing water is worn wiper blades. Wiper blades are made out of soft rubber, so they inevitably wear out and need replacement over time. In fact, many automotive manufacturers recommend replacing wiper blades every six months.
If your wiper blades are new and you’re confident that old rubber isn't the culprit, try these steps next:
- First, try cleaning your windshield thoroughly – dirt and grime can actually cause this annoying streaking and smearing.
- Clean your wiper blades by wiping them down with warm, soapy water, and wipe the edge of the blade with rubbing alcohol.
- If you’re still having issues with smearing water, try upgrading your wiper fluid.
Your wipers are chattering against your windshield.
If your wipers are obnoxiously chattering away when you’re trying to use them, you’ll likely be left with smears and streaks. There are a few causes: either your wiper blades or windshield aren’t clean, the wiper arm is bent, or your wiper blades need replacing.
- First, give your windshield and wiper blades a deep cleaning.
- Wipe down the windshield with a strong glass cleaner.
- Clean your blades with warm, soapy water.
- This will remove any build-up, hopefully reducing the chattering and improving the wiper’s effectiveness.
If the wiper arm is bent the blade might not make full contact with the windshield, causing the chattering. Bring the wiper blade to your windshield and check if the blade is parallel to the glass. If it isn’t, you can use pliers to bend the arm back into proper shape or have a technician take a look!
If everything is clean and your wiper arm looks okay, it’s time to retire your current wiper blades and get some new ones!
Water droplets won’t wipe away.
If the water droplets clinging to your windshield won’t budge, your visibility is going to go downhill, fast. If you’re dealing with this problem, you’re likely in an area with high pollution. The droplets are sticking to the layer of dirt and grime on your windshield instead of running off the glass like they should.
The best way to fix this is to give your windshield a thorough cleaning, followed by a water repelling treatment.
- First, remove all the grime with a powerful glass cleaner. It’s important to remove this layer of dirt so that you can apply a water repelling treatment directly to the windshield.
- After you’re satisfied with the windshield’s cleanliness, apply the water repelling treatment per its instructions.
Don't forget! The American Optometric Association reports that 90% of all driving decisions are based solely on visual cues.
That means that having the best windshield wipers is essential for safe driving vision! If these tricks don’t fix your wiper problem for good, it’s time to get your wiper blades replaced. Firestone Complete Auto Care is proud to carry TRICO® wiper blades.