Windshield Wiper Not Touching Glass Causes and DIY Fix

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In this article, we are going to discuss the case of windshield wiper not touching glass.

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A windshield wiper is an important safety feature on a car. Driving with a dirty or smeared windshield can make it difficult to guarantee visibility. Because of this, the chances of an accident happening is much more likely. Weather-related car accident statistics show that an average of 556,151 occurs during rainfall.

That’s 46% of weather-related crashes!

According to Federal Highway Administration, depending on the type, length, and rate of precipitation, a driver may behave differently behind the wheel — making winter car accidents all the more common.

The wipers should be able to move across the entire windshield and clean all areas of the window. If your driver’s side wiper is not working, you need to get it fixed. Thus, we are going to teach you how to fix the windshield wiper.

Causes of Windshield Wiper Not Touching Glass Issue

The issue of windshield wiper blades not touching glass can be caused by many factors. Below are the top five reasons for this problem and how to fix the windshield wiper.

1. Worn-Out Rubber Strip

The most common cause is wearing out of the rubber strip of the wiper blade. The rubber strip is used to attach the blade to the arm at the base of each wiper. It keeps the blades in place while they are working. Once that covering wears out, it will have poor contact with your windshield, which will eliminate the wiping ability of your wiper blades.

To fix this issue, you will need to replace the rubber strip. Luckily it is a cheap part and can be purchased at most automotive parts stores. There are no special tools required for this procedure either. Although the repair may require you to remove some panels of your car’s bodywork to access the wiper arm area directly.

Here’s a video tutorial from 4DIYers on how to replace the windshield wiper refills on your vehicle:

2. Wrong Wiper Blades

Another common cause of the windshield wiper not touching glass is using incorrect blades for your car. There are many types and sizes of wiper blades to choose from, so if you install a blade that is not properly matched with your existing ones, it will not be able to wipe properly either. 

You should compare all the features of the blades before buying them and make sure that you are getting the right ones for your car.

To fix this problem, you may need to remove the wiper arms. Then replace them with the correct blades. This is a fairly easy process. Usually, it requires some screws or bolts to take off the arm. The new part should have come with an installation guide that will show you how to put it on your car correctly.

3. Bad Spring in the Wiper Arm

Worn-out wiper blades can be the result of bad springs in the arm. Also, when you replaced the wiper, you may have inadvertently damaged or released the spring. The spring is what allows you to use a manual adjustment lever on your wiper arm to move your blade up and down. 

If there is too much tension on this spring, it will not allow the blade to move freely. This can also result in poor contact between the rubber of the blade and your windshield, causing similar issues to those discussed above.

To fix this problem, you will need to replace your spring or dampers. You should be able to do this by removing the screw in the arm that allows you to manually adjust the position of the blade. And then taking apart both pieces to access the spring and dampers. Any professional mechanic should be able to do the adjustment for you, or if you feel comfortable taking apart your car’s internal components, you could replace them yourself as well.

4. Poorly Attached Wiper Arm

Another cause of this issue is a poorly attached wiper arm to the body of your car. Over time, your car’s wiper arm can get worn out and become loose. This will cause it to malfunction and not perform as it should. You will know that this is your problem if you notice the arm floating around freely or even wobbling as it moves.

If this happens, how to fix the windshield wiper? You simply need to tighten the bolts on your wiper arms using a wrench or socket set. Be sure that they are tight enough so that everything is in good working order again.

5. Windshield Replacement Curvature

Did you have your windshield replaced before? If you have tried replacing your wiper blades and still have the issue of the windshield wiper not touching glass, then the windshield curvature may be a factor. When your windshield is installed, it is supposed to fit with the curvature of your car’s body so that when you stare straight ahead, you are looking at the middle of the glass.

If it does not have this curve and matches up perfectly with the hood so that there is no gap between them, then it is not supposed to be that way. In this case, you may need to take the car back to where you had it installed and have them fix whatever is wrong with it. Ideally, they will re-install a new windshield for your issue to go away completely at its source.

Another common problem with windshield wiper is when the washer fluid won’t spray.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions related to “how to fix the windshield wiper?”

Why is my rear windshield wiper not touching the glass?

The rear and front windshield wipers are usually controlled separately. If it’s the rear one, check that the windshield wiper motor is still good. If it works just ok but not enough then most probably worn-out blade can cause problems for another wiper too.

My wiper arm has not enough pressure

There could be several reasons for this. First, try to determine if the problem is with the wiper blades or arm. Maybe you have installed a new blade but it’s not touching glass properly and doesn’t leave a streak-free path after wiping it. 

It can also be that there is something wrong with your wiper arm; it may be bent or the spring which allows you to move it up and down may be damaged.

Why is my windshield wiper missing the middle spot?

You can try to bend or straighten the wiper arms. This is a cheap and simple fix that can make your wiper blades touch the glass evenly. This is also applicable if your wiper is missing the end spot on your glass.

Why do my windshield wipers leave haze?

This is an unfortunate side effect of the rain repellents solution on your windshield. Because they are hydrophobic, they leave a residue after wiping, which is referred to as haze. This is something that happens when you are cleaning or washing the windshield with water and chemicals. 

Don’t worry, there’s an easy fix for this problem. To avoid this, you should use only plain water and microfiber cloths to wipe your windshield clean. Be sure that you don’t use anything else when washing your windshield. If it still leaves a haze after, then see if it’s caused by too much detergent on the clean sponge or wash non-water-based cleaning products.

Read more:

Learn how to replace your wiper blades as part of the 10 Basic Car Repair and Maintenance that every driver should know.

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