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Summary
  • Windshield wipers usually skip across the glass when they’re too dry, dirty, or worn. A bent wiper arm can also cause the wipers to skip.
  • To prevent your windshield wipers from skipping, be sure to regularly clean and lubricate your windshield wipers. Cleaning the windshield and checking the angle of the wiper arm can also help.
  • Windshield wiper maintenance varies depending on the weather conditions of where you live. If you live somewhere hot and dry, you’ll have to check frequently for cracks or fraying. If you live somewhere cold and wet, you’ll have to lift your wiper blades after parking to prevent ice from freezing over them.

A skipping windshield wiper might not seem like a pressing issue, but it’s actually a matter of safety. Wipers clear off rain and other debris from your windshield, clearing your view of the road ahead. If your wipers are malfunctioning, you’re likely to end up witblh a dirty windshield that’s hard to see through.

Why Do My Windshield Wipers Skip?

Figuring out the culprit behind skipping wiper blades shouldn’t be too hard. There are only a few issues that can cause it, such as the following:

Dry Wipers

For windshield wipers to work properly, there should be enough moisture between the blade and the glass. If your wiper blades are skipping, then they probably need a splash of washer fluid.

Dirty Wiper Blades

If your windshield wipers are also smearing all over the glass, then it might be time to clean them. Dirty blades will cause your wipers to smear, skip, and chatter against your windshield. Not only are they useless against the rainy weather, they can also be very distracting.

Old or Worn Wipers

Most wiper blades are typically made of rubber. They’re cost-effective, readily available, and effective against rain, dust, and light snow. However, they also have a pretty short lifespan compared to other types, such as silicone wiper blades.

If the rubber on your wiper blades is worn, damaged, or hardened, they won’t be able to conform to the glass properly. They’ll likely skip and chatter whenever you use them.

Bent Wiper Arm

A bent wiper arm is also likely to cause your windshield wipers to skip. If the wiper arm isn’t holding the wiper blade at the correct angle, the wiper won’t work as expected. You’ll have to angle the bent arm correctly or replace it with a new one.

How To Prevent Windshield Wipers From Skipping

Preventing wiper skipping is a lot easier than most people think. All you have to do is keep up with your windshield wiper’s maintenance. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to prevent your wipers from skipping:

Cleaning Your Windshield Wipers

Clean windshield wipers are less likely to malfunction than dirty ones. Your manufacturer might recommend a specific way of cleaning your wipers, but the process is similar for most vehicles.

You typically have to lift and secure the wipers and wipe the edge with a clean, lint-free cloth to get rid of dirt and debris. Then, apply some washer fluid on another cloth, and wipe the edge of the blade until it stops leaving residue on the cloth.

Lubricating Your Windshield Wipers

After cleaning your wipers, don’t forget to lubricate them too. Spraying a small amount of silicone lubricant on the pivot of the wiper arm and the hinges of the blade length ought to do the trick. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

Cleaning the Windshield

If your wipers are skipping even after cleaning them, then they might not be the issue in the first place. A buildup of dirt and grime on your windshield can cause friction, forcing your wipers to skip. Consider giving your windshield a good clean before replacing your wipers.

Choosing the Right Wiper Blades

In some cases, cleaning and lubricating your windshield wipers aren’t enough to solve the issue. You might have to replace them, which means you’ll have to choose the right kind of wiper blades for your vehicle.

You can go for the most cost-effective choice, which is the traditional wiper blade. Beam blades are also a great option because they’re more effective than conventional blades, but they can also be much more expensive. If you’re looking for something in the middle, you can also try hybrid blades, which combine the designs of traditional and beam wipers.

Installing the Wiper Blades Correctly

To keep your new windshield wipers from skipping, you’ll have to make sure they’re installed correctly. Be careful not to mix blade types as this can interfere with their performance. Unless you’re fine with accidentally bending the blade, avoid pushing or tugging on it too hard.

Checking the Angle of the Wiper Blades

Consider inspecting the angle of your wiper blade. Is the blade’s edge perpendicular to the windshield? If it isn’t, then you might have to adjust or replace the arm to make sure it’s angled properly.

Windshield Wiper Maintenance

Answering the question “how do I clean my windshield wiper blades?” isn’t as easy as it seems. This is because different weather conditions will call for different kinds of maintenance. Consider some of these tips:

In Hot Weather

Wiper blades tend to wear faster when it’s hot, so you might want to check on them more often. Look for any cracks or fraying in the rubber, and clean your windshield regularly to keep dirt from catching on the blade.

In Cold Weather

If you live in an area where it snows often, then you know how annoying it is when your wiper blades are stuck to the windshield because of ice. Avoid this by lifting your wiper blades away from the glass before leaving your car.

You can also switch to wiper blades that have a protective covering over their frames to prevent ice buildup.

In Rainy Weather

Contrary to popular belief, the rain won’t wash away your dirty windshield. All that dirt and rainwater are bound to affect your wiper’s performance. Once the rain clears, consider giving your windshield and wiper blades a good clean to get rid of any sludge.

In Extreme Weather Conditions

There’s not much you can do to control the weather, so you’ll have to be creative if you want to keep your wiper blades in top condition. If it’s super hot and dry, consider using a sunshade to protect your windshield and blades from the sun. If you live in an area where it constantly rains or snows, frequently check your wiper blades for any ice-related damage.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Car Body , DIY
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