Your windscreen wipers and windscreen work in harmony to help protect you and ensure you can see the road ahead of you in the case of inclement weather.
People often neglect their windscreens and wipers, which can lead to damage that requires the use of windscreen replacement services, as well as potentially breaking the law and causing incredibly unsafe driving conditions not only for yourself but for other road users.
After all, if your wipers are doing nothing but smearing water and streaks all over your windscreen during a particularly heavy rainstorm, you may be essentially driving blindly, risking the lives of other road users.
Thankfully, most common windscreen wiper issues are easy and cheap to fix, and if you keep your windscreen in good order your wipers will work better and vice-versa.
Wiper smearing in both directions is a common and incredibly annoying phenomenon where water is not in fact wiped away from your field of vision but instead smears in, obscuring your view in a different way.
Typically there are three causes for wiper smears:
- Inadequate wiper fluid – this is very common and the cheapest issue to fix. Try new fluid, and clean the blade and windscreen to get rid of residue and grime from the old fluid.
- Dirty blades/windscreen – when you drive regularly, a lot of gunk can end up on your windscreen and by extension on your wipers, from mud to grime, to residue. Clean your wipers with a clean rag dipped in hot soapy water, clean that off and wipe the edge of the blade with rubbing alcohol.
- Worn blades – If cleaning them does not work at all, it may be time to replace the wiper blades, but ensure that they are suitable for your model of car. Otherwise, they may not be making full contact with the windscreen.
A lot of people will notice wipers smearing in one direction, and in colder, rainy weather that is largely unavoidable, but if it keeps happening it may be a sign that your blades are the wrong size or have gotten too old.
Water beads are meant to wipe away from your windscreen very easily, in no small part because of the treatments that are applied to the glass that cause water to run off and bead instead of stick to your windscreen.
Typically the reason why water beads can sometimes just stick to your windscreen is caused by grime and residue, so ensure that you use a strong glass cleaner to thoroughly clean off any dirt or debris that is stuck to the windscreen that the water may be clinging to.
After this, use a water repellent product to help ensure the beads of water just run off of your windscreen.
By far the most annoying windscreen wiper issue, the rattling, chattering vibrating noise windscreen wipers make can not only be incredibly annoying during long-distance driving but can also be potentially dangerous as the water will not be wiped away properly.
It can be caused by wax, oil or grease build-up, so cleaning your blades and windscreen can help stop this. However, if you still hear chattering, the problem could be caused by a bent wiper arm.
The way to know for sure is to bring your wipers up to mid-stroke and ensure that they are making full contact with the glass and that the arms are parallel to the glass.