How to Fix Squeaky Windshield Wiper Blades

car wiper blades

When you head out on the road, you expect a relaxing and enjoyable ride. However, if it’s rainy, it could quickly turn into a nightmare if you have squeaky windshield wiper blades.

In this article, I look at why windshield wipers squeak and how to fix them. I also examine the replacement cost of windshield wipers.

Why Do Windshield Wipers Squeak?

1. Contamination

Your car’s windshield is going to collect dust and road debris as you drive. Even when you can’t see these contaminants on the windshield, they are there. 

When you activate the windshield wipers, these contaminants can cause the wiper to jump or drag across the glass. The debris can also lead to a build-up on the wipers.

2. Bad Installation

If you have the guys at the auto parts store put your wipers on, there’s a chance it won’t be done right. While it’s a great way to avoid doing the job yourself, not everyone has the basic knowledge needed to finish the installation right.

These are not trained technicians working at the auto parts store. With a complex wiper assembly, you might do better having a professional do the work. 

3. Worn-Out Rubber

Even when properly cared for, the rubber on the wiper blade can wear out. This happens even more frequently if you drive in dusty or dirty conditions. 

Additionally, the rubber can crack over time. Not only will this create a squeaking noise when the wipers are used, but it can also leave streaks behind. 

4. Defects

If you haven’t bought wipers from a reputable manufacturer, they could have defects. If the wipers squeak from day one, this is likely the cause. 

Sometimes, the wipers will have sat on the shelf too long, and the rubber will have hardened. Other times, they are simply cheap wipers that can’t get the job done. 

replace windshield wipers

How to Fix Squeaky Wiper Blades?

1. Clean the Blade

The easiest fix is to clean the blades. Over time, the windshield wiper is going to build up grime and debris. Thankfully, you only need a couple of common household products to clean the rubber. 
Start by cleaning the windshield with a glass cleaner. Use a squeegee to remove the cleaner with a streak-free finish. 
Now, you can apply that same cleaner to the wiper blade. Use a clean cloth to wipe the cleaner off along the entire length of the blade. While you do this, you can check the condition of the blade to ensure it is still in good shape.

2. Fill Windshield Washer Fluid

If there’s not enough lubrication on the windshield, you might hear some extra noises while the blades move. To correct this, you will want to ensure there is enough windshield washer fluid in the reservoir and use it liberally.
Look for the reservoir under the hood and fill it up with the help of a funnel. Once it is full, lubricate the windshield with a few sprays and see if that helps. 

3. Soften the Blade

If the blade has been sitting, it could have hardened. It isn’t difficult to soften the blade up a little with some finesse.
Apply some rubbing alcohol or WD-40 to a paper towel and run it across the wiper blade. Dry the blade with a clean cloth – you don’t want either of these substances on your windshield. 

4. Remove Wax Coating

If you recently washed your vehicle and applied Rain-X or a similar product to the windshield, you might need to remove some of it. Dampen a clean cloth, ensuring that it isn’t soaking wet. Gently wipe off the windshield. 
Then, use some glass polish to rub the windshield in a circular motion. Make sure you treat the entire windshield. Rinse down the windshield with water. 

5. Adjust Wiper Assembly

It’s possible that the wiper assembly tightness needs to be adjusted. It could have become too loose or too tight over time. 
With a flathead screwdriver, ratchet and socket, you can adjust the nut and bolt that holds the wiper in its position. This process will be one of the final steps of trial and error as you figure out the appropriate firmness to apply.

6. Replace Wiper Blades

If the wiper blades are worn-out, cracked or torn, you need to replace them. The rough edges aren’t going to glide across the glass the way they should. 
To replace the blade, lift the wiper arm up. Pull the blade out and replace it with a new one. Make sure the blade locks in place or you use the retaining clips that are on the assembly. 

Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement Cost

In general, new windshield wiper blades should only cost about $50 or less for a pair. However, if you drive a larger or luxury vehicle, the cost could go up slightly. Additionally, you can easily install the wiper blades yourself or have them put on at the auto parts store to avoid labor charges. If you have a complicated windshield wiper assembly, you might prefer paying a professional for the replacement, which might cost between $25 and $40.

RELATED: 10 Best Winter Wiper Blades

Categories: General, Guides, Maintenance

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