By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Updated: November 28, 2021 at 9:46 am
Windscreen wipers are essential in keeping our view of the road clear, but we’ve all winced at the dreadful squeaking noise they make from time-to-time.
When it happens, do you book your car straight into the local mechanic? Before you drop by your nearest auto parts store or pick up the phone, here are 5 reasons your wipers might be squeaking and how you might be able to silence them yourself with a quick fix.
1. Your windscreen is too dry
Picture this: you’re driving your car, clouds are gathering, and a few pesky drops of water hit your windscreen.
While those few drips aren’t hindering your view, they’re annoying, and so you flick on the windscreen wipers.
Within seconds you regret your decision as the wipers screech across the glass.
The problem: your windscreen is too dry to provide enough lubricant to give your wipers a smooth track to run across.
If this happens, spray a bit of water onto your windscreen and flick the wipers on again. If there aren’t any other issues, your wipers should screech no more.
2. Grime or dirt has built up
Over time, grime and dirt accumulate on your windscreen and wipers, which you might not easily see.
Dust, sand and small rocks can all cause your wipers to squeak, but more seriously, they could scratch the glass as they rub against it.
The solution is simple. Purchase an automotive glass cleaner from a reputable supplier and give your windscreen a clean.
While you’re at it, run a wet cloth along the rubbers to remove any dirt. Once cleaned, run the windscreen washer to rinse the rubbers and window.
If cleaning the rubbers fails to fix the squeaking, you may need to replace them.
3. You’re using the wrong windscreen washer fluid
If your vehicle’s windscreen washer bottle is empty and you don’t have the correct fluid, it might be tempting to use something we all have under the kitchen sink. Don’t.
Dishwashing liquid makes your dinner plates squeaky clean, but add it to your windscreen washer bottle and it’ll create a film on your window and make your wipers squeak.
Use a formulated automotive windscreen washer bottle additive.
If you’re in a remote location or on the road and run out of windscreen washer fluid, you can get away with plain water – but even then, water doesn’t have the power of a specialised cleaning fluid to remove grime and dirt.
4. Your wiper blades are faulty
If none of the previous remedies stop your wipers squeaking, the underlying problem could be a ‘flip’ flop.
What’s this? The angle of the wiper blade or holder might not be flipping over at the change of direction section of the arm.
Wet the windscreen and operate the wipers to check that the blades flip over when they change direction.
If they’re not flipping over, you might need to speak to a professional, who’ll bend the arm and allow proper operation.
You should also check the blades haven’t been installed too tightly and can freely move and flex in the blade holder.
5. Your rubbers are worn out
Still squeaking after your best efforts? Check the rubbers. If they’re cracked and dried out, it’s time to replace them.
Use good quality rubbers. You might need to spend a little more, but they’ll perform better and last longer.
If you’re unsure how to replace them, check with your favourite auto retailer as many will install the blades if you’ve bought replacements from them.