Mechanics

Windshield Wiper

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How to Replace Windshield Wiper Blades
A windshield wiper is a component on a vehicle that is designed to remove rain, debris, and moisture from the windshield. Wipers are created with corrugated ridges to maximize the wiping action. When a windshield needs to be cleaned the windshield wipers along with washer solvent can be effective in removing dirt and road grime. Windshield wipers are standard equipment on almost all vehicles.

Windshield Wipers
Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are designed to operate in different modes, 2 to 4 wiper speeds, and intermittent operation that allow adjusted intervals. Some vehicles are equipped a rear wiper, typically a single wiper that is designed to clean the center of the window. Windshield wipers are operated from an electric motor using a series of connecting arms or linkage.

Wiper Motor
Wiper Motor

If the wipers system is not operational check the wiper fuse first. Always replace the fuse with the manufacturer recommended replacement. If the wiper motor is operating but the wiper arms are not moving the linkage connected to the wiper motor has become disconnected. Disassemble to inspect linkage, repair as needed then reassemble and recheck system. Check the windshield wipers at least every six months and replace as necessary.

Do not allow the wipers to become cracked or separated because the metal frame that holds the wipers can damage the windshield. Inspect the windshield washer reservoir fluid level and refill as needed. This fluid or solvent is used to lubricate and clean the windshield while the wipers are in use. Avoid using your windshield wipers to remove ice from your windshield in the winter; this can cause damage to the wipers. To remove ice from the windshield an ice scraper should be used. Anytime wiper blades are not performing properly they should be replaced, visibility as well as safety relies on having wipers that are in good working order. Replacing wiper blades is a quick and easy process; most can be changed by releasing a clip.

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Wipers are control and powered by a wiper arm and motor mechanism with control arms connecting to the wiper pivots. A twelve volt motor is used to supply power to the wiper system. Most wiper systems are designed with two main pivot points that protrude through the body so the wiper arm can be attached.

Connected to these pivots are arms that attach to the wiper motor. A wiper motor contains an armature, park mechanism and electronics that control mode selector i.e. park, three to five variable speeds and pulse modes. A electronic switch a speed control determine how fast and in which mode the wipers will operate in. These modes can vary from high speed operation to just one swipe in thirty seconds.

When the wipers are demanded to operate in a duration pattern, duration meaning the time the wiper is parked in the down position it is called "pulse" or "pulse wipers". Some cars have been designed with an automatic rain sensing system that can measure the amount of rain is on the windshield and will adjust the wiper operation according to volume of rain at any giving time. This RSS system is handy when the amount of rainfall in a given storm varies greatly by allowing the driver to keep their attention on the road and not fiddling with a wiper switch.

If further assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready to answer your car questions.

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AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-11-19)