How to Stop Windshield Wiper Chatter

Windshield wipers are supposed to work freely while wiping the water from the glass surface in a uniform manner, enhancing the visibility for the driver and passengers of the car. It is a common misconception that wiper bounce is caused by the wiper blades and they need to be replaced, or the windshield is dirty or has a film that must be cleaned off which is simply not true. Of course the wipers must be in good condition, but that's not all, the "action" of the wipers must be correct or they will chatter, skip or bounce. Fortunately, this is an easy fix which most people can do at home with everyday tools.

What Goes Wrong?

Wiper blade arms are constructed to hold the blade so it contacts the windshield glass at a perpendicular 90°angle, this allows the back of forth action of the blade lip. If something strikes one of the wiper arms while they are in operation, or a car wash gets a hold of them they can become bent or twisted causing the aforementioned chatter or bounce.

Let's Jump In!

1. When a wiper is working it changes directions, back and forth, the wiper travels up the windshield and then to a stop before it travels back down the windshield face. The blade lip action must change directions as well. If the lip of the wiper stays in one direction you will get that annoying noise and diminished wiping action. While looking at the end of the blade it should be perpendicular to the glass, you can also see the wiper lip position, either straight, flopped right, or flopped left. The example below is straight.
straight wiper blade

Here is an example of the wiper blade that chatters and skips while traveling upward on the windshield because the wiper lip part of the blade is forced to stay in the wrong direction. You can see the wiper arm is twisted, while looking at its reflection in the glass the entire wiper is twisted upward, this will cause the rubber to catch the glass and skip.
twisted wiper blade

Now for the fix, the wiper arm must be gently bent, using a crescent wrench, pliers or vise grip to bend the arm so it is perpendicular to the windshield. Pro Tip: Anytime you are working with tools around the windshield lay a towel on the glass to avoid chipping or accidently breaking the windshield.
bend wiper arm

Continue to adjust until the wiper lip can "flop" back and forth easily in both directions, this will solve the problem, the image below is flopped left.
wiper flop left

This wiper lip is flopped right, this back and forth action will help the wiper work correctly and help the wiper last longer.
wiper flop right

Watch the Video!

Please watch this video of the job being done by Ryan, on our YouTube Channel.


Our certified technicians are ready to answer wiper questions for free. We hope you saved money and learned from this guide. We are creating a full set of car repair guides. Please subscribe to our 2CarPros YouTube channel and check back often for new videos which are uploaded regularly.

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