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Noisy Windscreen Wipers? What To Do.

There are certain noises in life that raise the hairs on the back of the neck. A screeching child demanding something, the sound of screeching tyres behind you, the screech in the wife’s voice as she finds your latest car parts receipt you thought you’d kept hidden…

But out driving, and suddenly that forecast rain hits earlier. You flick the wiper switch and screeeech, screeeech….back and forth and the fillings in your teeth are rattling.

How does this happen and what to do?

It’s potentially a combination of factors, but happily, it’s a short list. There are only two, three depending on how you look at it, things that are involved. One is the windscreen itself. The second and potentially third are one or both of the wiper blades.

How to approach this? Given the most likely source of the screeching is or are the blade/s, these would be the first ports of call for a visual inspection.
Lift the wiper arms up from the windscreen. Detach the blades from the arms and, using a good torch, inspect the blades themselves. Feel the blades with your fingers. Do they feel soft, malleable, easy to flick back and forth? Or are they dry, cracked, and brittle?

If any signs of a failing blade or blades are noticed, then a visit to your local car parts retail store to source new wiper blades is in order.

Once new blades are fitted and lowered, get the hose and give the windscreen a good squirt. Activate the wipers and listen. Still noisy? Then having eliminated one part of the equation, the other has to be the windscreen itself.

Specific window cleaning products do a fantastic job but what of the condition of the glass itself after the clean? Again, eyeball the window, and one method is to get that torch onto it at night and shine across the window. Look for a straight beam of light bouncing off it. If the reflection looks scatted, it’s likely the same reason we polish cars. The windscreen is likely to be pitted, scratched, and this form of damage will grab onto a wiper like a child to a lollypop. Hence the screeching later.

Depending on the condition of the glass, a treatment with IPA (iso-propyl alcohol) to further remove dirt and grime that may have become embedded and not removed by previous cleaning, may help. IPA may also be used, gently, to clean blades that are dirty but fine otherwise.   Professional services can offer a polishing of the glass and this does need to be professionally applied.

Unfortunately, the worst case scenario, but one that dramatically lifts the safety factor, is a windscreen replacement. Not only will new and smooth glass recues the friction levels and allow rainwater to run off easier, forward vision is less, far less in fact, likely to be reduced thanks to light scattering from the minute scratches.

Car parts websites have plenty of information about the right replacement blades to suit your car, and have plenty of handy tips and hints for ensuring your wiper blades are always in tip-top condition. If you’ve tried cleaning and swapping blades, and it’s worked, let us know via our feedback channels in our socials.

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