Windshield Wiper Not Touching Glass: Causes and Fixes

Windshield Wiper Not Touching Glass: Causes and Fixes

Properly functioning windshield wipers are essential for safe driving, especially during inclement weather. However, when you turn on your wipers and notice that they are not making contact with the windshield, it can be frustrating and potentially hazardous. There are several potential causes for this issue, ranging from simple fixes to more complex mechanical problems.

In this article, we will delve into the various reasons why your windshield wipers may not be touching the glass and provide solutions to get them working properly again. So, if you’re facing this issue with your car, read on to find out the possible causes and fixes for your windshield wipers not touching the glass.

What Causes Windshield Wiper Not To Touch Glass

What Causes Windshield Wiper Not To Touch Glass

The windshield wiper is an essential component in every vehicle as it helps to maintain a clear and unobstructed view of the road while driving in adverse weather conditions. However, there may be times when the wiper fails to touch the glass properly, leaving streaks or patches of water on the windshield.

This can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue for drivers, and it is crucial to understand the various factors that can cause this problem. In this article, we will discuss the common reasons why windshield wipers do not touch the glass and how they can be remedied.

1. Worn-out Wiper Blades

The most common reason for ineffective windshield wipers is worn-out wiper blades. Over time, the rubber on the wiper blades can wear down due to constant use, exposure to sunlight, and harsh weather conditions. As a result, the blades become less flexible, and their ability to make proper contact with the glass is reduced, resulting in streaks and patches. It is recommended to replace wiper blades every six months to ensure they are in good working condition.

2. Faulty Wiper Arms

The wiper arms are responsible for holding the blades and moving them across the windshield. If the wiper arms are damaged or bent, they will not be able to apply enough pressure on the blades, causing them not to touch the glass properly. This can occur due to accidents or mishandling of the wipers. Inspecting the wiper arms and replacing them if necessary can resolve this issue.

3. Poor Wiper Blade Installation

Sometimes, the wiper blades may not make proper contact with the windshield due to incorrect installation. If the blades are not placed in the correct position or are not securely attached to the wiper arms, they may not sit at the right angle to effectively sweep the water off the glass. This can also cause the wipers to chatter or make a squeaking noise while in use. Ensuring that the blades are installed correctly can solve this problem.

4. Build-up of Dirt and Debris

The windshield wipers are subject to dirt, dust, and debris accumulation, especially if the vehicle is often parked outdoors. This build-up can affect the blades’ flexibility and cause them to lose their ability to make proper contact with the windshield. Regularly cleaning the wiper blades and removing any debris can help ensure smooth and effective operation.

5. Bent Wiper Blade Frames

The wiper blades have a metal frame that allows them to be flexible and follow the curvature of the windshield. If this frame is bent or damaged, it can prevent the blades from staying in contact with the glass. This can happen due to exposure to extreme weather conditions or using the wipers on a frozen windshield. Checking for any signs of damage and replacing the blades if necessary can resolve this issue.

Having Improper Wipers

Having Improper Wipers

Improper wipers can have a significant impact on the safety and functionality of a vehicle. As a mechanical engineer, it is my responsibility to understand the potential consequences of having improper wipers and to ensure proper functioning of wipers in any vehicle I design or work on.

Wipers play a crucial role in maintaining visibility while driving in adverse weather conditions such as rain, sleet, or snow. Their primary function is to clear off any water, snow, or debris from the windshield, allowing the driver to have a clear view of the road ahead. However, when wipers are not working correctly, it can lead to a range of issues that can compromise the safety of the driver and passengers.

One of the main problems of having improper wipers is reduced visibility. If the wipers are not functioning correctly, they may leave streaks or patches on the windshield, obstructing the driver’s view. This can be extremely dangerous, especially during heavy rain or snow, as it can impede the driver’s ability to see the road and potential hazards. In some cases, it can even lead to accidents.

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Improper wipers can also damage the windshield itself. If the wiper blades are worn out or damaged, they can scratch or chip the windshield, affecting its clarity. This not only obstructs the driver’s visibility but also compromises the structural integrity of the windshield. Over time, these damages can spread and require costly repairs or replacements.

Another issue that can arise from improper wipers is noise. If the wipers are not functioning correctly, they may produce loud squeaking or scraping noises while in use. These noises can be distracting and irritating for the driver, making it difficult to focus on the road ahead. They can also be a sign of worn-out blades or other underlying issues that need to be addressed.

In addition to safety and functionality concerns, having improper wipers can also lead to increased maintenance costs. If the wiper blades are not functioning correctly, they may cause damage to other components of the wiper system, such as the motor or linkage. This can result in costly repairs or replacements that could have been avoided with proper maintenance of the wipers.

To prevent these problems, it is essential to regularly inspect and maintain the wipers of a vehicle. This includes checking the condition of the wiper blades, ensuring they are properly attached and making sure that the wiper system is functioning correctly. It is also crucial to replace wiper blades at least once a year or whenever they show signs of wear and tear.

A Bent Wiper Arm

A Bent Wiper Arm

A wiper arm is a crucial component of a vehicle’s windshield wiper system. It is responsible for holding the wiper blade and moving it across the windshield to clear rain, snow, or other debris. One common issue that can arise with the wiper arm is becoming bent, which can greatly affect its performance.

A bent wiper arm can occur due to a variety of reasons. It can be caused by external factors such as a heavy buildup of snow or ice on the windshield, or from accidental contact with a high curb or other obstacle. It can also be a result of wear and tear over time, especially in areas with harsh weather conditions.

The main problem with a bent wiper arm is that it disrupts the smooth movement of the wiper blade across the windshield. This can cause streaks, smears, or even missed spots while wiping, ultimately hindering the driver’s visibility and compromising their safety on the road. It can also put unnecessary strain on the wiper motor, leading to premature failure.

To fix a bent wiper arm, the first step is to identify the bent section. This can be easily done by observing the wiper arm while it is in motion. If there is a noticeable kink or curve, then the arm is most likely bent. The next step is to carefully remove the bent wiper arm from the vehicle. The arm is typically attached with a nut or clip, so it can be easily unscrewed or pulled off.

Once the wiper arm is removed, it can be straightened using pliers or a specialized wiper arm straightening tool. It is important to be gentle and gradual while straightening the arm to avoid causing further damage. It may also be necessary to lubricate the joint where the arm connects to the wiper motor before reattaching it to ensure smooth movement.

Replace The Wipers

Replace The Wipers

As a mechanical engineer, I have a deep understanding of the various components that make up a vehicle, both inside and out. One essential part of a car that often goes unnoticed but plays a crucial role in ensuring safe driving is the wipers.

Wipers are a simple yet critical component of a car’s windshield system. They are responsible for keeping the windshield clean and clear during inclement weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or sleet. Over time, wipers can wear out and become inefficient in performing their job, which can be dangerous for the driver and passengers.

Therefore, it is essential to replace the wipers regularly to ensure optimal functioning and safety. Here are the steps involved in replacing the wipers:

1. Determine the type and size of wipers needed

The first step is to check your car’s manual to know the size and type of wipers required. Different car models have varying wiper sizes and types, so it is crucial to get the right ones for your vehicle.

2. Lift the wiper arms

Lift the wiper arms away from the windshield to make it easier to access the wipers.

3. Release the old wiper blade

The wiper blade is attached to a hinge, and there are different mechanisms in place to lock it. Some have a tab to press, while others have a lever to lift. Once released, carefully remove the old wiper blade from the arm.

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4. Install the new wiper blade

Take the new wiper blade and fit it onto the arm. Ensure that it is secure and locked in place.

5. Repeat for the other wiper

It is recommended to replace both wipers at the same time, even if only one is not functioning correctly. This ensures balanced and efficient wiping for both sides.

6. Lower the wiper arms

Gently lower the wiper arms back onto the windshield.

7. Test the new wipers

Turn on the wipers and test them to ensure they are working correctly.

Tighten The Bolts

Tighten The Bolts

Tightening bolts is a crucial part of mechanical engineering and is essential for the safe and efficient operation of machines and structures. Bolts are mechanical fasteners that are used to join two or more components together. They are designed to withstand a significant amount of tensile, shear, and compressive loads, and are an important element in ensuring the structural integrity of any mechanical system.

The process of tightening bolts involves using a wrench or other tightening tool to apply a controlled amount of torque to the bolt, creating tension between the bolt and the connected components. This tension creates a clamping force that holds the components together, preventing any movement or separation.

There are several factors to consider when tightening bolts to ensure a proper and secure connection. The first is the correct amount of torque to be applied. Too much or too little torque can lead to a loose or over-tightened bolt, both of which can have detrimental effects on the overall structure or machine.

Another important consideration is the use of a torque wrench. A torque wrench is a tool specifically designed for tightening bolts to a specific torque value. This ensures consistency and accuracy in the tightening process, preventing any unnecessary stress or damage to the bolt or components.

The type of bolt being used is also a crucial factor in the tightening process. There are various types of bolts, including hex bolts, carriage bolts, and flange bolts, each with its own unique properties and tightening requirements. It is necessary to understand the specific specifications and instructions for each type of bolt to ensure proper tightening.

One common practice in tightening bolts is the use of a torque sequence. This involves tightening bolts in a specific sequence, starting from the center and working outwards in a crisscross pattern. This ensures an even distribution of tension across all bolts, preventing any unwanted stress concentrations.

Tightening bolts is not a one-time job; it requires regular maintenance and re-tightening to maintain the integrity of the connections. This is especially important in applications where vibrations or other external forces may cause bolts to loosen over time.

Fixing A Bent Wiper Arm

Fixing A Bent Wiper Arm

A wiper arm is an essential component of a vehicle’s windshield wiper system. It connects the motor to the wiper blade, which moves back and forth to clear the windshield of water, dirt, and debris. However, due to various reasons, such as accidents or wear and tear, wiper arms can sometimes become bent, affecting their functionality and overall performance.

A bent wiper arm can cause several issues, including scratching the windshield, leaving streaks, or even not functioning at all. Therefore, it is crucial to fix a bent wiper arm as soon as possible to ensure clear visibility while driving. This task can be easily done by following a few simple steps, and it does not require any specialized tools.

The first step in the process is identifying the bent wiper arm. It is usually quite apparent as the arm will not be in its proper position and may have a visible kink or curve in its shape. Once the bent wiper arm is identified, the next step is to detach it from the vehicle’s wiper system. This usually involves removing a nut or clip that holds the arm in place.

After the wiper arm is detached, it can be gently straightened using your hands. It is essential to avoid using excessive force as it can result in further damage. If the bending is severe or the arm cannot be straightened manually, it may need to be replaced altogether.

Once the wiper arm is straightened, it is essential to check if it is sitting in its correct position. It should be parallel to the windshield and have enough pressure to ensure proper contact with the wiper blade. If necessary, adjustments can be made using pliers or similar tools to achieve the desired position.

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After the wiper arm is straightened and adjusted, it can be reattached to the vehicle’s wiper system. It is important to make sure that the nut or clip is tightly secured to ensure the arm does not move or become bent again.

Finally, it is recommended to test the wiper arm by turning on the wipers and checking if they move smoothly across the windshield without leaving streaks or making any unusual noises. If the wiper arm still does not function correctly, it may need to be replaced with a new one.


In conclusion, a windshield wiper not touching the glass can be caused by various factors such as worn out wiper blades, loose wiper arm, or a damaged wiper motor. It is important to address this issue promptly as it can affect your visibility and pose a safety hazard. By regularly inspecting your wipers and following the correct maintenance procedures, you can avoid this problem and ensure efficient functioning of your wipers.

Additionally, with the help of some simple fixes like adjusting the wiper arm or replacing the wipers, you can easily resolve this issue. It is always recommended to seek professional assistance if the issue persists or if you are unsure about the cause.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my windshield wipers not making proper contact with the glass?

There are several potential reasons, including worn-out wiper blades, faulty wiper arms, poor wiper blade installation, build-up of dirt and debris, and bent wiper blade frames.

How often should I replace my wiper blades?

It is recommended to replace wiper blades every six months to ensure they are in good working condition and maintain proper contact with the windshield.

What can cause poor wiper blade installation?

Poor wiper blade installation can occur if the blades are not placed in the correct position or not securely attached to the wiper arms. This can lead to ineffective sweeping and chattering noises.

How do I address a build-up of dirt and debris on my wiper blades?

Regularly cleaning the wiper blades and removing any accumulated dirt or debris can help maintain their flexibility and ensure smooth and effective operation.

What impact can improper wipers have on vehicle safety?

Improper wipers can reduce visibility, damage the windshield, create noise distractions, and lead to increased maintenance costs. These issues can compromise the safety and functionality of the vehicle.

How can a bent wiper arm affect wiper performance?

A bent wiper arm can disrupt the smooth movement of the wiper blade, causing streaks, smears, or missed spots on the windshield. It can also strain the wiper motor and compromise overall visibility.

What steps should I follow to replace my wipers?

  • Determine the type and size of wipers needed.
  • Lift the wiper arms away from the windshield.
  • Release the old wiper blade and install the new one.
  • Repeat the process for the other wiper.
  • Lower the wiper arms and test the new wipers to ensure proper functionality.


Why is tightening bolts important in mechanical engineering?

Tightening bolts is crucial for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of machines and structures. Proper torque application prevents issues such as loose or over-tightened bolts, maintaining structural integrity.

What factors should be considered when tightening bolts?

Considerations include the correct amount of torque, the use of a torque wrench for accuracy, the type of bolt being used, and adherence to a torque sequence for even distribution of tension.

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