I think we often take windshield wipers for granted; they are sort of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Until something goes wrong or we need to replace them.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about windshield wipers that I hope you find useful.
Are windshield wipers universal?
The answer is ‘No’, windshield wipers are not universal. Windshield wipers vary in size, shape, and materials depending on your vehicle type. When you purchase wiper blades you will find several different adapters. This is to accommodate various types of wiper blade arms. (J-Hook, L-Clip, I-Clip, etc.)
The important thing is the size of the wiper blade. These most definitely vary from vehicle to vehicle. Most of the time one wiper blade is longer than the other. So how do you know which size to choose?
How Do I Know If Windshield Wipers Are Compatible?
Why Won’t My Windshield Wipers Turn Off?
- Broken windshield wiper controls
- Faulty Park Switch
- Bad wiring
Broken Windshield Wiper Controls: This is the most common cause for wipers to not turn off. The wiper controls are often used and can break down over time, which causes them to no longer work correctly. If this happens then you will be unable to switch off your windshield wipers with the control lever.
Faulty Park Switch: it’s possible that your park switch has gone bad and as such cannot stop power from running through your windscreen wipers when they’re parked in either position (parked on top of blades or up against glass).
Even if none of these other reasons apply specifically to you, it’s worth checking the park switch to make sure it is functioning properly.
Bad Wiring: We cannot diagnose this without opening your car up and inspecting, but if you have bad wiring then there’s a chance that power can’t be cut off from running through your windshield wipers.
This would also require an inspection by a mechanic before any repairs could be made.
Do You Have Other Windshield Wiper Problems?
Check out my article The 6 Most Annoying Windshield Wiper Problems and How To Fix Them
Can Leaving Windshield Wipers On Drain Battery?
Typically no, your windshield wipers will not drain your car battery. Your windshield wipers should turn off when you turn your vehicle off.
However, there may be some rare instances where you have a very small chance of your windshield wipers draining your car battery.
The first situation is if you leave your key in ‘ACC’ or accessory mode and you have your wipers on. The wipers are now running off of battery power rather than being supplied power from the alternator.
Why are you sitting in the car with your windshield wipers on? I don’t know, but most likely you also have your radio on, charging your phone, and maybe you left your lights on.
All of this is a good combination to have your battery drain while you are sitting there. But you would have to sit there for a while.
So while this scenario could drain your car battery, it is unlikely that leaving your windshield wipers on would be the sole culprit in running your battery flat.
The second more plausible situation in which your windshield wipers would drain your car battery would be having a short in the electrical system.
A short in the electrical system would cause a slow drain on your battery. Even though your wipers are not moving they are still putting a strain on the battery.
Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to detect until you wake up one morning and your battery is dead. Also, this would be hard to diagnose on your own; you would need a professional mechanic with the proper equipment to find this kind of problem.
Why Do My Windshield Wipers Come on By Themselves?
Do your windshield wipers seem to come on by themselves? Why does it happen sometimes for no reason? There is likely a short in the system, which caused an electrical charge to activate the wiper motor.
Regardless of why they’re coming on by themselves if you notice this happening then it probably means they are not working correctly- time to get car maintenance!
One way this happens is that dirt has built up somewhere and interfered with the connection between the switch inside your vehicle and the wiring harness under your hood, causing intermittent contact.
Also, moisture could cause interference in the relays, causing the wipers to come on at random times.
Another theory has to do with a fault in the wiring connected to your windshield wipers or their motor, which may be caused by aging components and could also lead to an electrical charge activating them without warning. Like all mechanical items on a car components eventually wear out.
It may be time to replace your wiper motor, the wiring, or the relay switch that activates the wipers. All of these can be diagnosed by a professional mechanic.
Can you use windshield wipers with a cracked windshield?
Let me open this question by saying that if you have a crack in your windshield, you need to get it fixed. Due to temperature changes, moisture and other factors that crack will continue to grow. There are most likely several professional glass repair companies in your area.
Now to get back to the question, ‘Can you use windshield wipers with a cracked windshield?’; the short answer is yes, but it is not recommended.
This is more of a windshield problem than a windshield wiper issue. If you have a crack get it fixed because it will eventually grow and then you will have to replace the whole windshield.
Can windshield wipers scratch my windshield?
You may be thinking ‘my windshield wipers are made of rubber; how can they scratch my windshield?’. But the truth is your windshield wipers can scratch your windshield. What are the reasons why your wipers may scratch your windshield?
One potential reason your windshield wipers might scratch your windshield is due to the material of the wipers. The rubber may be too hard, causing microscopic bits of rubber to break off and actually scratch the surface of your windshield.
The wipers could also have something on them that’s causing them to scrape against the glass, such as dirt or leaves. Even chunks of ice can cause some damage to your windshield.
You could also be experiencing too much pressure on the wiper blades, which could cause scratching to happen. In addition to this, your wipers may not be installed properly; causing your wiper arm to actually rub along your windshield.
Lastly, your wipers could simply be old and worn out. The metal framing could be rubbing on the windshield. It may be time for some new wipers.
How can you prevent your windshield wipers from scratching your windshield?
The easiest way to keep your windshield wipers from scratching your windshield is to keep them clean. Wipe them down with a soft cloth every once in a while to keep the dirt and debris from building up.
The next simplest way to prevent your windshield wipers from scratching your window is to replace them. If you know they are old and worn out go ahead and invest in a new set.
Well, there you have it, a few frequently asked questions about windshield wipers. I hope you found the information informative.
If you are looking for new wiper blades check out my review of the wiper blades I use, Clix Wiper Blades.
Lastly, if you have some more questions on windshield wipers, check out my other articles below.