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My wipers aren't clearing my windshield effectively: what should I do?

Underperforming Wiper Blades

Windshield wipers that are streaking or smearing can be, at their best mildly annoying and at their worst a safety hazard. There are many things that can cause wipe quality issues. Here are some common causes and possible solutions for poor performance.

Top Causes of Poor Performance

  • Worn and dirty wiper blades 

  • A buildup of dirt or contaminants on the windshield 

  • Ice and snow build up during cold weather seasons

  • Old, worn out wiper arms in need of replacement, including wiper arms with worn springs

  • Use of a third party windshield treatment

  • Cracked or chipped windshields

  • Broken or damaged wiper blades, and rubber elements

  • UV (Ultraviolet) rays from long term exposure in the sun

  • Very light rain conditions or dry windshields can cause higher friction during operation of the wiper system which can result in some squeaking and skipping of the wiper blade. Some level of noise can be considered normal for wiper blades with natural/synthetic formulated rubber under these conditions.

Possible Solutions for Poor Performance

Clean the windshield regularly to keep it clear of debris and build up on the glass. Make sure to keep the glass free from tree sap, bugs, road contamination, and leaves.

Thoroughly inspect the surface of your windshield for chips, cracks and damage. If found, seek professional repair or replacement of your windshield. 

Soak a lint free paper towel or rag in a small amount of solvent and clean the length of the rubber element. This will remove items like tree sap and road grime that can build up over time.

Check your wiper blade assembly to make sure the connector is properly engaged to the arm, working properly and isn’t damaged. You may need to remove your wiper blade from the arm to fully inspect the assembly damage. 

Make sure that your wiper blade is making full contact with the glass as it sweeps across the windshield. Incorrect contact can often be the result of an older wiper arm that may need to be replaced or a connector that is incorrectly installed on the wiper blade.

Very light rain conditions or dry windshields can cause higher friction during operation of the wiper system which can result in some squeaking and skipping of the wiper blade. 

Your wiper blades should be inspected and/or replaced every 6 months. Replacing before winter and summer season ensures that your wiper blades are operating at peak performance. When it’s time to change your wiper blades, count on Champion. 

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.

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