9 Ways to Fix Squeaky Windscreen Wipers

squeaky windscreen wipers

Last updated: July 13, 2021 at 12:23 pm

There are few things more annoying when driving than squeaky windscreen wipers. If it’s raining, you can’t turn them off, and that piercing squeak every few seconds feels like it’s going to drive you mad. This is especially true if you’re working towards soundproofing your car.

In this article:

We’ll explain what causes windscreen wipers to squeak, and 9 different solutions to try and stop the problem.

How to Stop Windscreen Wipers Squeaking

1. Clean the Wipers and the Windscreen

Dirt is the number one cause of squeaking from your wipers. So, it’s essential to clean the windscreen and all the parts of the wipers to eliminate the squeaking noise completely. You’re likely to drip dirty water on the windscreen when you clean the wipers, so do it last.

Gently lift your wipers off the windscreen. Clean them with a clean cloth and some hot, soapy water. Make sure you remove all dirt and debris. Next, you need to move down to the wiper arm and the place where it hinges onto the car. Clean off the cloth and add more soap and clean them thoroughly. Leave them to dry so there will be no more drips or dry them with a clean cloth.

Next, cover the windscreen thoroughly with glass cleaner. Wipe down the whole thing making sure all dirt and grease is removed. It’s best to use a microfibre for this, but if you don’t have one, use a cloth that won’t leave lint or fibres behind.

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2. Turn Down the Speed

If the squeaking noise doesn’t start as soon as you use them, it may be that they’re on too high a setting. If there isn’t enough moisture, the wipers will stick against the window and squeak while they’re moving. Try using your wipers at a lower speed and see if that fixes the problem.

If they’re still squeaking when it’s pouring, enough moisture won’t be the problem. Look at another solution on our list.

3. Refill Your Wiper Fluid

As explained above, if there isn’t enough moisture, then the wipers will squeak against the window. That’s why you need to check that your wiper fluid is topped up so that enough solution is being provided when you clean your windscreen. This is something you should do regularly anyway as part of basic car maintenance.

4. Adjust the Position of the Wipers

Sometimes your blades and screen might be clean, but if the wipers are in the wrong position, they can still squeak. Start by turning your wipers on while you’re parked and look at how they move across the windscreen. They should not be in a vertical position as they move, and they should not be too far away from the screen or digging in.

If they don’t look right, carefully adjust the blades. If you still can’t get the angle right, you might also need to gently twist the arm to correct the problem. After each adjustment, pop the wipers back on and check how they look and if they’re still squeaking.

5. Replace the Wiper Blades

Wiper blades wear out, so they should be replaced every year or so. If they get worn out, this can also lead to a squeaking sound. Wiper blades don’t cost a lot, and many shops will fit them as you wait, so if your blades are more than a year old it’s best to replace them. If they’re more than six months old but less than a year, it’s possible that the rubber has hardened.

Changing wiper blades yourself is really easy, and shouldn’t require help from a garage (they just click on). The video below is helpful:

6. Soften the Rubber

Sun and a number of other things can cause your rubber to harden so that they don’t move smoothly across the windscreen. It’s fairly easy to fix, so if your wipers are less than a year old, give it a try. Simply apply a little rubbing alcohol onto kitchen roll and rub it up and down the blades. This should soften the rubber and get the wipers working again.

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7. Replace the Wiper Assembly

The wiper assembly doesn’t need to be replaced anywhere near as often as the blades, but it will get old and worn down over time. With years of use, their shape may warp, and they will stop working correctly. It may need slightly more difficult to replace than the blades, but it’s still pretty easy.

Buy a new assembly at a car part shop or online. Once you have it, unscrew the nut at the bottom of the old assembly and remove it. Then pop the new assembly in place and tighten the nut. Finally, check that it’s moving smoothly across the window and if the squeaking is fixed.

8. Remove Any Protection Fluids

Many garages and valet services apply a coating to windscreens that cause rain to bead up and run quickly off. Unfortunately, it can also cause increased friction so that the blades don’t move smoothly and make a squeak. If this problem has only occurred after the protector was applied, then think about getting it removed and see if that resolves the problem.

9. Look At the Condition of the Windscreen

This is at the bottom of the list because it’s the least likely cause and also the most expensive to put right. Unfortunately, like any other part of your car, your windscreen can erode and become damaged over years of use. The windscreen is the first point of contact for dirt, contaminants, and severe weather. Eventually, these things can damage the surface of your windscreen, causing it to become rough and uneven. An uneven surface can lead to an annoying squeak.

If you’ve ruled out all the other options above, then it’s worth taking a look at the windscreen’s surface. You can also gently run your fingers across it and check if it still feels smooth. If there is damage, there’s no fix besides replacing the windscreen. It’s expensive but it’s one part of your car that needs to be in good condition so it will be worth it over time.

Conclusion

Most of the time, squeaky wipers don’t indicate any serious problem. They’re just an annoyance and one that you can easily fix yourself. Try out the above steps one at a time, and remember to clean your windscreen and top up your fluid regularly anyway. Basic maintenance will resolve a lot of problems and return you to peaceful driving.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ writes about living a quieter life, soundproofing tips and recommending the best quiet products here on Quiet Living.

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