Common Causes of Windshield Wiper Squeaking

November 14, 2023
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Many drivers wonder, “Why do my windshield wipers squeak?” The reasons can be numerous. We’ll share key ways to identify the cause of that awful sound and how to fix your squeaky windshield wipers

Firstly, if you hear your windshield wipers making noise consider these things: 

  1. How old are my wiper blades? 
  2. Has the climate or weather been noticeably harsh?
  3. Is my windshield clean? 
  4. Is the glass on my windshield healthy? 
  5. Were my wiper blades installed correctly? 
  6. Are my windshield wipers in good condition?
  7. Did the manufacturer give me bad wipers? 
  8. Do I need a professional?

Once you learn how to stop windshield wipers from squeaking, you can quickly deal with them in the future. 

How Old Are My Windshield Wiper Blades?

The average lifespan of a wiper blade is roughly 12 months, but if a blade is cheaper that lifespan becomes 4-6 months. You may be thinking, “What impacts the lifespan?” and the answer is: use. 

If you use your windshield wipers daily, they will need replacing much sooner than if you only turn them on once or twice a month. 

Regardless, the blade’s rubber is exposed to the elements and can become brittle with age which could lead to your windshield wipers making noise

Has the Climate or Weather Been Noticeably Harsh? 

Besides age and use there is one massive outside factor that causes squeaky windshield wipers and it’s the weather. Places like Alaska and parts of Canada are examples of cold climates where specialized windshield wipes are necessary. 

Reinforce wipers to prevent ice from accumulating on the windshield and protect the blade.

Other places, like the east coast of the USA or even Hawaii might experience hurricanes or salt water residue, depending on their proximity to the beach, and this can also cause that obnoxious squeaking. 

Harsh climates mean your wiper blades will need replacing more frequently than in more moderate regions.

Is My Windshield Clean? 

Dust and road debris can gather on your windshield, contaminating the surface. If enough of a grime layer has solidified, it can prevent the wiper blades from swiping correctly, generating a distracting noise. 

You might think that learning how to fix squeaky windshield wipers is complicated, but in this situation all it takes is a rag dipped in vinegar. Wipe down your windshield and wiper blades with the rag, let sit briefly, and then rinse both with water. 

This will help break down surface grime. You must avoid using WD-40 on your windshield wipers since it is petroleum-based and can dissolve the rubber on the blades. 

Is the Glass on My Windshield Healthy? 

Once you have cleaned the surface, inspect further. Are there scratches or cracks preventing your wipers from completing a smooth swipe? If you find proof of windshield damage, then consider your environment. 

There may be a construction site that you drive by each morning on your way to work. A nail, piece of wood, or sand may have attached itself to the wiper blades.

Were My Wiper Blades Installed Correctly? 

Do they fit right? Wiper blades come in various sizes, and installing the wrong size can cause several problems, including damage to the windshield.

An easy way to find out which ones are right for your car is to check the car manual. According to the make and model of your car there will be a type best suited for your windshield. You’ll still need to measure the wiper arms before purchasing. 

Are My Windshield Wipers in Good Condition?

The condition of your windshield wipers often mirrors the challenges of the road. A squeaking sound may indicate a loose arm joint, a snapped wiper arm, a brittle blade, or even shredded blade rubber.

Any of these should be corrected immediately to prevent future driving hazards. 

Did the Manufacturer Install Bad Wipers? 

If your wipers have been squeaking since the first time you turned them on, chances are they need to be appropriately installed by the manufacturer. Perhaps the wipers were stored differently or held past their expiry date. 

You might be entitled to a refund if this is the case. Approach the dealership that sold you the car and explain your dilemma. 

Do I Need a Professional?

Kryger Glass can answer, “Why do my windshield wipers squeak?” and more. We are more than happy to provide the assistance you need. Our auto glass experts have seen it all, so we know how important safety is. A squeaking windshield can signal a more profound issue, potentially indicating the need for windshield repair. Don’t waste time forfeiting your safety on the road. Call us today to address the issue and ensure your windshield is in top condition.

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