Wiper System

What Is The Most Common Problem With Wiper System And How To Avoid Them

Daniel McDonald
Daniel McDonald5 min read
What Is The Most Common Problem With Wiper System And How To Avoid Them

What Is The Most Common Problem With Wiper System And How To Avoid Them

Until it starts raining, we give very little thought about the wiper system of our vehicle. Usually, we don’t notice that anything is wrong with the windshield wiper system until it is too late.

Aside from being annoying, a windshield wiper system that is not working correctly is a safety hazard. The windshield wiper system is your only way to see the road when there is snow, rain, dust, or debris.

Therefore, the wiper system must work properly at all times. Keep reading to grasp the most common problems with wiper systems and how to avoid them.

7 Most Common Problems With Wiper Systems

Some problems have a simple fix, while others may require a new set of wiper blades. To help you settle on whether to buy a new pair or change the washer fluid, here are the most common problems with wiper systems and their solutions:  

Wiper Blades Not Moving Properly

If you notice that the wiper blade is not moving correctly or is either slow or unable to adjust, it is safe to assume that the wiper motor is at fault. You first need to check if any blockages prevent the wiper blades from doing their job.

If there are none, and the wiper blades are still not working, the wiper motor is probably broken.  


How To Avoid It?

A broken wiper motor will produce a humming sound. If you can’t fix the broken windshield wiper motor, it is better to replace it. Replacing the old with a new wiper motor is an easy and inexpensive fix. Just get your mechanic to take a look, and it will be fixed in no time.   

Windshield Wipers Smear In Both Directions

Another common problem with windshield wiper systems is when the windshield wipers smear in both directions. This can happen if the wiper blades are worn out, the windshield or the wiper blade is dirty, or there is an issue with the wiper fluid.

How To Avoid It?

You can avoid this problem with the wiper system by replacing the old with new wiper fluid and cleaning both wiper blades and the windshield. You can clean the wiper blades with a clean cloth, a little soup, and warm water.

After whipping them with soap, you can try rubbing alcohol on the top. This cleaning technique will reduce the streaks from the wiper blade on the windshield.

Windshield Wipers Smear In One Direction

If your windshield wipers smear only in one direction, it may be due to the harsh weather conditions. If there is smearing in one order when the weather outside is cold, there isn’t a real solution to the problem.

Still, if the smearing happens, your wiper blades may be old or the wrong size for your windshield, even if the weather is not cold.

How To Avoid It?

There is nothing you can do to prevent the malfunctioning of the wiper system in your vehicle created by cold weather; your wiper blades will continue to smear in one direction regardless. You can try replacing your old ones with rain-sensing wipers and see if that helps.

If they smear in one direction only when the weather is hot, you need to replace them with new blades.

Windshield Blades Are Chattering

Almost every driver has experienced that creepy sound of wiper blades chattering on the windshield. It is so annoying! This happens when a buildup of oil, wax, or grease prevents the wiper blades from wiping the water off the windshield.

As a result, you get streak marks all over the windshield, plus the annoying sound of the wipers chattering.

How To Avoid It?

This issue can be prevented if you clean your windshield regularly and adequately. Don’t be afraid to scrub a little bit; this will prevent the chattering. Also, you need to clean the wiper blades.  

 The Wiper Control Is Not Working

This is another type of problem; if the wiper controls are broken, it will interrupt the power between the wiper motor and the control, which will result in non-functional wiper blades. To be sure, you need to check the turn signals.

If the wiper control is not working, the turn signals will also not be working.

How To Avoid It?

It cannot be avoided; a mechanic can fix it. So, if your wiper control is not working, you must take the car to a mechanic who can detect which mechanical components are failing.  

 Wiper Arms Are Detached

This is a widespread problem with wiper blades. If the wiper arm is loose, the pivot nuts will also be open. The pivot nuts secure the wiper arms and connect them to the wiper motor via a wiper linkage. If even one nut is loose, the contact between the wiper motor and the wiper blades will be lost.

How To Avoid It?

A simple solution for this issue is to find the loosened nut and use a socket wrench to tighten the wiper arm.

 Faulty Wiper Motor

The wiper blades receive their power from an electric motor. And like all electrical stuff, the motor can suddenly fail, leaving you without wiper blades in the middle of the road. Don’t expect to hear any sound when the wiper motor completely fails.

If by any chance you hear weird sounds from the wiper motor, it is a sign that the struggle is real.

How To Avoid It?

If you feel that your wiper motor is about to fail, the only thing you can do is to take the car to a mechanic. They will find the source of the problem, replace the wiper motor if needed and give you fully functional wiper blades.


If you own a car, you know this; anything can go wrong at any time. There can be several reasons why your wiper system is not working as it should. In this article, we shared the most ordinary ones and gave you a solution to each one of them.

So, the next time you have a problem with your wiper system, you should know how to fix it.


How To Detect A Failing Wiper System?

A few indicators can tell you that your wiper system is failing: the windshield blades work at only one speed, don’t work at all, or make a humming noise.

Why Do Wiper Blades Chatter?

Chattering happens when your windshield and wiper blades are not clean. Another cause may be a bent wiper arm or wiper blades that are ancient and need replacement.

How To Check If The Wiper Switch Is Broken?

You can be confident that your wiper switch is broken if the wiper blade doesn’t turn on/doesn’t turn off, you cannot change the speed, and the turn signals are not working.