What could be more annoying than hearing wiper blades squeal for miles? Most often, this noise is caused by a dirty windshield or wiper blades. You just need to clean them to go away, but sometimes the noise has another cause, such as a worn rubber blade or a problem with the articulated arm. If you haven't changed your brushes in a while, look no further - it's time to replace them and they'll be quiet.
Method 1 of 3: Clean a windshield and wiper blades
Step 1. Clean your wiper blades
Lift them by pulling them away from the windshield. Prepare a small container of hot, soapy water or isopropyl alcohol. Soak a clean cloth or paper towel in it and clean your brooms well.
- Also clean the metal parts, the arm and the joint. Dirt also collects there and can contribute to squealing.
- To remove most of the dirt, use pieces of paper towels. If the latter is a little too thin, do not hesitate to double it, otherwise take a rag.
- If a wiper blade does not hold properly, hold it with one hand and clean with the other. If it does not hold on its own, the spring is damaged: the arm must be replaced.
Step 2. Thoroughly clean your windshield
Cleaning is done with a special cleaning product for windshields. Spray a little product all over the windshield, then scrub thoroughly with a soft lint-free cloth. At the end, to avoid leaving any marks, rub from the top of the windshield downwards instead.
- Instead of window cleaner, use pure white vinegar. Put it in a spray bottle and use it as a window cleaner. Do not put too much vinegar on the painted parts.
- There are still a few ammonia-based window cleaners available. This compound attacks the paint and degrades the plastic. Prefer products without ammonia.
Step 3. Clean the windshield with sodium bicarbonate
If your windshield is very dirty, use a generous amount of baking soda on a damp cloth (or paper towel). To avoid streaking, rub from the top of the windshield down.
Step 4. On the road, think about alcoholic towels
When you are on the road and the rain starts to fall, if your windshield wipers start to make noise, use disposable alcoholic towels. Stop for a moment and clean your blades, it will get better straight away.
Method 2 of 3: Solve a wiper squeak problem
Step 1. Fill the wiper reservoir
The noises can come from a windshield that is too dry. Check the cleaning fluid reservoir two or three times a year, top up if necessary. If your windshield wipers start squealing, give a little squirt and they'll shut up.
Step 2. Change the position of the brushes
A wiper blade is designed to be pulled by the arm and the angle of the blade should reverse on return. If the arm is slightly deformed, this movement does not go well, hence the rubbing noises. If so, straighten them by hand to make them look straighter.
- A broom that presses too hard on the windshield does not turn well with each change of movement, hence those unpleasant squeaking or chattering noises.
- A wiper blade should have an average incline, the rubber should not be crushed against the glass, nor should it brush against it.
Step 3. Soften the rubber of the brushes
Over time, the rubber becomes hard and its passage through the glass produces a squeak. The rubber on some wipers is very stiff from the start, others become stiff after months of use. Any brush that has been installed for more than a year must be replaced. As for those which are newer, soften the rubber with certain products.
- Take a small paper towel and pour in a good dose of ArmorAll. Using circular motions along the blade, work the product in to soften the rubber.
- Take a small paper towel and soak it in isopropyl alcohol. Then gently run the product over the entire blade.
- Use a little WD-40 penetrating oil, as too much will dry out the rubber. Spray a very small amount on a paper towel and apply a thin layer to the blade, then dry thoroughly.
Step 4. Adjust the arm pressure
By lifting them several times, see if the arms are resting too much or not enough on the windshield. Too much or too light pressure can cause sliding noises (squealing like chattering).
- The arm pressure is adjusted at the base of the arm by means of a bolt. If you defeat it (counterclockwise), the pressure is less. If you tighten, the pressure is stronger.
- It's up to you to see which support setting works. As a guide, a wiper blade should press down sharply on the windshield, to remove water, but not too much so as not to generate extraneous noise.
Step 5. Do not put any product on your windshield
Some conductors pass a protective product (such as Rain-X or any other type of wax) on their glass surfaces. The slightly dry film which then covers the glass may be the cause of the noise. To stop hearing them, remove this film using a suitable product.
The parasitic noise when brushing is explained by an increase in the friction of the rubber on this protective film, even if your arms are properly adjusted. Depending on the product, you will have a squeal or chatter
Method 3 of 3: Replace parts of a wiper
Step 1. Install new rubber blades
It goes without saying that if the various elements of your windshield wipers are in good condition, there is no need to replace them. The same is not true of rubber blades, however, which suffer wear either from friction or from the elements (the sun, in particular). If necessary, remove and replace the blades.
Step 2. Regularly change your wiper blades
Pull the metal arm of the wiper away from the windshield. At the junction of the arm and the broom, there is a joint that you can move. There is a locking system there that must be operated to release the broom. Disengage the retainer, slide the old broom out, insert the new one in the opposite direction and be sure to hear the lock “click”.
- On some cars, to release the wiper blade you have to push or pull a small tab. This is done by hand and once the broom is unlocked you usually have to slide it out from the side of the arm to remove it.
- Everyone has their own idea of how long a wiper blade will last: six months, one year. To do this well, you have to replace them just before the bad season, so you can drive safely.
Step 3. Replace the wiper assembly
At the base of the windshield, the wiper is held by a bolt that fixes everything on a rotating axis. Undo this bolt with an open-end wrench, remove the damaged wiper, replace it with an identical one, then put the bolt back in place.
Over time, even if you regularly change the blades, the metal parts can play and thus contribute to the squeaking of your wipers
Whether it is for the blades or for the brushes, if you have to change them, remember to write down the different references so as not to look for them the next time
- Never put dishwashing liquid in your washer fluid. Your windshield wipers would get louder.
- Do not use your windshield wipers when the windshield is frosted. The rubber of the blades is sure to be damaged by ice crystals.
- A windshield does not wax: the glass and rubber will become very slippery, wiping will become catastrophic and the thin film of wax will prevent you from seeing the road well.
- Dirt on the road is often the cause of noise. Try not to drive at high speed in the puddles that inevitably form after a thunderstorm: dirty water will inevitably land on the windshield.
- Replacing the wiper blades is not complicated, but it can be problematic. Indeed, each manufacturer has installed brushes that do not all fit in the same way.