Windshield wipers are among the significant accessories in a car that enhance safety. They’re designed to move across the windscreen to take out dust, moisture, or films of ice to give a driver clear vision while driving. You can imagine how tough it would be driving on a rainy morning without windshield wipers.
However, windshield wipers are prone to malfunction like other car parts. A common issue is where they appear stuck in one position and won’t return to their resting position. For this reason, let’s explore how the wiper system works, what causes it to get stuck and possible solutions to such an issue in your car.
How Does the Wiper System Work?
A windshield wiper comprises several parts, i.e., the linkage assembly, arm, blade, electronic wiper motor, wiper switch, and washer fluid tank.
The flip wiper switch (located in either the turn signal indicator or a separate indicator level near the steering wheel) activates the electric motor. Then the motor moves and spins the linkage assembly to convert the motor’s rotational movement into a “side by side” movement. As a result, the generated force moves the arms side by side over the windshield. Using even pressure from the arm, the wiper blades clean any dust or moisture on the windshield.
What Causes Windshield Wipers Not Return to Rest Position?
There are several reasons why your wipers could be stuck. They include.
Dirt or obstructions on the windshield
While the primary function of windshield wipers is to clean the windshield, it’s not designed to clear big chunks of dirt, ice, leaves or snow, etc. Windshield wipers’ capability has its limits; thus, such obstructions may easily prevent it from swiping side to side. Consequently, it gets stuck and could also easily damage your wipers.
Worn-out or torn wiper blades
Wiper blades are often made from rubber or silicone composites, which wear out the more they rub against the windshield. They also tend to dry out as they age. Now, when the wiper blades are entirely worn out, they get stuck in one position on the windshield.
Incorrectly installed wiper arms
It’s possible and easy to install the wiper incorrectly after repairing or replacing other wiper system components. Misalignment is also a common problem that causes windshield wipers to get stuck.
A faulty wiper transmission
A wiper transmission connects the windshield wiper motor to the windshield wiper arm. Therefore, if this transmission is faulty or has stopped working, the wiper arm will automatically not work, thus causing the arm to stick in one position. This issue is often experienced if the linkage is worn out.
A weak or lousy wiper motor
A wiper motor powers windshield wipers by activating the linkage that moves the wiper arms back and forth; it helps in the summation of the wiper system. Therefore, having a malfunctioning motor means the wipers will barely work.
A burnt windshield wiper fuse
If your wiper motor is overloaded with power, it automatically blows a fuse. Consequently, the wiper system stops working
How to Fix Windshield Wipers not returning to Rest Position
What do I do if my wipers stop working? Here is how to fix it:
Clean the windshield
Suppose you have excess dust or a thick coat of snow, or a buildup of debris on the windshield; you should first clean it before switching on your wipers. It prevents jamming the wiper arms, bent wiper blades, or stoppage by the dirt on the windshield.
You may also consider installing sturdier winter wipers and blades if you live in areas with heavy snowfall.
Replace worn-out or damaged wiper blades
The best solution to worn-out wiper blades is to replace them as soon you note the issues. It’s not a costly fix, especially if you can do it yourself.
Reset your wipers to the park position
Resetting your windshield wipers to park position helps address problems related to wiper misalignment.
It entails removing the wiper arms at the point of attachment together with the transmission. Then you reposition each wiper to the desired position when the wiper motor is at rest.
Replace a damaged wiper transmission and motor
Do you want your wipers to attain the correct park position? Are the wipers on your windshield extremely slow? Replacing the damaged wiper motor and transmission is a great way to bring your windshield wipers back to life.
Replace burnt fuses
If you notice your windshield fuses have breaks in the filament or show fogs in the tube (for glass fuse), those are signs of a blown fuse. Consider doing a replacement with a fuse of the same amperage.
Take care of your windshield wipers
You should always observe maintenance practices to ensure your wipers are always in sound condition. It entails:
- Replacing the wiper blades at least once or twice a year
- Avoid running wiper blades on a dry windshield
- Prevent your wipers blades from long hours of direct sunlight
- Keep your windshield surface always clean
The windshield wiper is a “humble part” of your car that you’re likely to forget quite easily. However, it’s of much significance in enhancing safety while driving. In case of a sudden downpour, the windshield wipers help you drive safely by clearing your windshield and enhancing visibility as you drive.
Therefore, replace faulty parts of your wiper system and always clean the windshield before using the wipers. It will help you ensure the wipers are working all the time.