Common Wiper Blade Questions
Where do I buy wiper blades?
You can buy windscreen wiper blades from the RAC online store. There are a few different types of blades to choose from. Flat blades are quiet and very efficient, while blades with a spoiler give the best performance, because they prevent wind lift. There are standard wiper blades which are quite inexpensive, but that lack those features. We provide detailed compatibility listings, so it is easy to confirm that the blades you are looking at will fit your car.
Can they be cleaned?
If your windscreen wipers have mud on them ou can lift them up off your car window and wipe them clean with a rag or towel. However, the biggest problem with wipers isn’t usually mud, but rather general wear and tear. The rubber starts to crack and decay after prolonged exposure to the elements, making it less flexible. This is what causes the wipers to become less effective, and is the reason that you should replace them regularly.
Can they be recycled?
Windscreen wipers cannot be recycled as-is, but you may be able to dismantle them and take the rubber and the metal to a recycling facility and have each part handled separately. Alternatively, some people use windscreen wipers as improvised squeegees to clean their windows, but you will only find this effective if you replaced the windscreen wipers while they were still in relatively good condition.
Can faulty blades cause an MOT failure?
When you go for an MOT, your entire car will be looked at – including the windscreen wipers and washer system. If your washer bottle has run out of water, then you could fail your MOT! If your windscreen wipers are cracked or damaged, then you could fail the MOT for that as well. It does not cost a lot of money to replace your windscreen wipers, so if they are not in perfect condition, change them – even if it’s the middle of the summer.
Common Wiper Blade Problems
Windscreen wipers are a relatively simple part, but they can give you a lot of hassle if you don’t take good care of them. Here are some common problems with wiper blades, and what you can do about them.
Why do my wiper blades make a noise?
Noisy windscreen wipers are perhaps the most common issue that drivers encounter. They can be irritating and rather distracting too. The good news is this is quite an easy issue to fix. The windscreen wiper blades become noisy if they are poorly adjusted, the wiper blades should turn on the screen in the back and forward motion. You can fix this by gently twisting the arm of the wiper until the blade moves freely forward and back against the glass.
Another thing that can cause noisy wiper blades is if the blades are dirty or overly hard. You can fix this by wiping the blades clean with warm soapy water.
Why do they leave a streak on my window?
If your windscreen wipers are leaving streaky lines on your windows, this means that the rubber is starting to perish or become hard and that the wipers need to be replaced. The lines are caused by beads of water being left behind. If you notice this, it is important you change the blades as soon as possible, because the harder the rubber gets, the worse the beading will become, and eventually it will start to impair visibility.
Why do they chatter/judder and jump?
In addition to making a noise and leaving strange lines and bands on the windshield, windscreen wipers can sometimes judder and jump. This can be caused by several things, including a worn blade, using the incorrect adapter (or fitting it incorrectly). If adjusting the blades does not work, then you should replace them.
Blades can sometimes jump because of wind lift. You may find that fitting a multi-finned blade instead of a conventional blade will help with this.
Make a habit of inspecting your windscreen wipers on a regular basis. You will probably need to replace them every six months. The spring time and the autumn are good times to replace them, so that they are fresh during the periods where they are likely to be used the most. Damaged and worn wipers can actually cause damage to your windscreen, so you should not try to ‘get by’ with ones that are clearly worn. Do not try to use them to clear ice or snow off your windscreen either, because not only can this damage the wipers themselves, it could put undue strain on the wiper motor and blow a fuse. Use an ice scraper to clear the windscreen by hand before clearing with your wipers.
If your windscreen wipers are not working, check the fuse, since this is a common cause of issues. If the fuse is fine, then you should take the car to your garage, so that they can inspect the rest of the system.