Windshield Wipers Hitting Each Other: Causes and Quick Fixes

Windshield wipers clashing in mid-sweep is a common issue that drivers may encounter. Addressing this problem is important for both safety and visibility during driving.

Properly functioning wipers are crucial for maintaining clear visibility through the vehicle’s windshield, especially during adverse weather conditions. When wipers collide, they can become damaged or disconnected, which impairs their ability to clear water from the windshield effectively.

This presents a risk as it could obscure a driver’s view of the road, potentially leading to hazardous driving situations.

Two windshield wipers collide in a heavy rainstorm

We often take windshield wipers for granted until they malfunction in some way. Aside from the annoyance and potential distraction caused by the noise and sight of wipers hitting each other, this malfunction can also lead to further complications.

It can cause premature wear of the wiper blades or damage the wiper arms, leading to additional expenses for repairs or replacements.

Selecting the Right Windshield Wipers

Selecting the right windshield wipers for your vehicle is crucial to maintain visibility and safety during diverse driving conditions. Each type of wiper blade and arm has a specific role to play in providing a clean sweep of your windshield.

Understanding Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are the rubber elements that actually contact your vehicle’s windshield. They must be of the correct size and type to prevent them from hitting each other or missing areas of the glass.

Regular inspection of wiper blades for signs of wear, such as cracks or splits in the rubber, is essential for efficient performance.

Types of Wiper Arms

Wiper arms are the metal components that hold the wiper blades and move them across the windshield. There are different types:

  • Conventional: This common type uses a metal frame with multiple pivot points.
  • Beam: These have fewer exposed parts and a spring steel construction that applies uniform pressure.
  • Hybrid: These arms combine the durability of conventional arms with the windshield-hugging features of beam blades.
Ensure the replacement wiper arms match the original design to avoid issues like the wipers hitting each other.

Impact of Weather on Wiper Choice

Weather conditions have a significant impact on the choice of wiper blades. Rubber squeegees are common and inexpensive but may not perform well in all weather conditions. Silicone squeegees are a more expensive option; however, they can be more durable and perform better, particularly in harsh weather conditions, as they provide a cleaner wipe and have increased longevity.

Season Rubber Squeegee Silicone Squeegee
Summer Quality may deteriorate quickly. Resistant to heat, provides longer service.
Winter Can harden and lose flexibility. Maintains flexibility in cold weather.

Maintaining Your Wiper System

Proper upkeep of your wiper system ensures optimal visibility and extends the life of your components. Our focus here is on regular maintenance through inspection and replacement when necessary.

Regular Inspection and Cleaning

We must frequently check and clean our wiper blades and arms.

Environmental elements like dirt, grit, and debris can accumulate over time, hindering the performance of your wipers. Neglecting this buildup can lead to your wipers dragging across the windshield or worse, striking each other.

Here’s our method:

  • Initial Inspection: Check for visible signs of wear or damage such as tears or cracks on the rubber.
  • Lift the Arms: Carefully lift the wiper arms away from the windshield to prevent any undue stress on the motors when cleaning.
  • Clean the Blades: Using a soft cloth, mild soap, and water, gently wipe down the edge of the wiper blade to remove any dirt or grime.

Regular cleaning of the windshield is also paramount; a dirty windshield can decrease the effectiveness of your wipers and cause them to wear out prematurely.

Replacing Worn Wipers

Replacement of wiper blades should be done as needed to ensure proper function.

We must remember to replace our wipers at first sign of ineffectiveness—typically every six to twelve months, depending on their condition and your environment. Here are the steps we follow:

  • Choose Quality Replacements: Select blades that are appropriate for your model and climate.
  • Installation: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely when installing new wiper blades to avoid improper fitting that could lead to them hitting each other or malfunctioning.

Remember, a malfunctioning wiper motor can cause erratic or uncoordinated movement of the blades, so it’s essential to address any unusual wiper behavior promptly. Additionally, regularly check the washer system to make sure it is delivering fluid properly as it works in conjunction with wipers to maintain visibility. Proper maintenance is easy but crucial for safety.

Troubleshooting Common Wiper Problems

In this section, we’re addressing the typical issues that can cause windshield wipers to hit each other. We’ll cover how to handle streaking and smearing, fix malfunctions, and resolve electrical problems.

Dealing with Streaking and Smearing

If your wipers leave streaks or smear water across the windshield, it’s typically a sign of dirty blades or a windshield. Here’s what to do:

  • Clean your wiper blades with a cloth soaked in hot, soapy water, then wipe the edge with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wash your windshield thoroughly to remove grime and oily residue.

Addressing Wiper Malfunctions

When wipers are motionless or not following their normal path, they may malfunction due to various issues:

  • Inspect the wiper assembly for any loose components or damages.
  • Confirm that the wiper blades are correctly installed and not worn out.

Electrical Issues in the Wiper System

Faulty electrical connections can cause erratic wiper behavior. We’ll check the following elements:

Component Action
Wiring Inspect for fraying or disconnection.
Fuse Check the fuse and replace if blown.
Wiper Motor Test for failure and look for signs of corrosion.
Tip: Use a multimeter to check the motor’s power supply.

Professional Wiper Services and FAQ

When windshield wipers malfunction and hit each other, it’s often a sign of underlying issues that require professional attention. We will discuss the importance of consulting a mechanic and answer some common questions you might have.

When to Consult a Mechanic

Indications that You Need a Mechanic:

  • Wiper arms collide during operation
  • Wiper movement is uneven or jerky
  • Sudden changes in wiper performance

Common Questions Answered

Question Answer
What causes windshield wipers to hit each other? Loose nuts on the wiper arms, worn out or damaged linkage, and incorrect installation are common causes.
Can I tighten the wiper arm nut myself? Yes, if you have the proper tools and feel confident, but be cautious as overtightening can cause damage.
When should I replace my wiper linkage? If adjustments and tightening don’t solve the problem, or the linkage is visibly worn or damaged, it’s time to replace it.

Customers frequently ask us about their windshield wiper problems and whether they need professional service.

We often see cases where the linkage is the culprit, requiring precise adjustments with special tools.

Repairs can range from a simple tightening of a nut to a full replacement of the wiper linkage.

It’s best to consult us for an inspection, as the precise cause of the wipers hitting each other can vary and DIY fixes may not be long-term solutions.

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