Your Windshield Wiper Stopped Working?

If your windshield wiper stopped working and it’s driving you crazy, good news, we have the solution for you!

If your windshield wiper stopped working it’s probably due to the following: Bad wiper blades, shorted/worn out wiper motor, electrical concern, or a loose retaining nut. 

Let’s take a peak at each of these causes and see if it applies to you!

Blades Have Had Enough!

Wiper blades will go bad eventually. They put up with some pretty extreme and harsh conditions depending on your location. As the wiper blade moves up and down or side to side across your windshield, eventually the rubber wears down or rips off the metal arm.

This eventually leads to the rubber coming off completely making the wiper have a difficult time making contact with your windshield.

Wiper blades are usually a snap on process and are usually very simple to replace. Each wiper normally comes with 3 different clips to modify it so you can attach it to your wiper arm.

These adapters are usually plastic and typically just snap into the wiper arm without much effort. Wipers are one of the most common and simplest repair procedures you can do for your vehicle.

This is one of the most common culprits if you are wondering why your windshield wiper stopped working. Replace your wiper blades as needed and always replace them in pairs.

Be sure to check for missing rubber, peeling rubber, and also make sure your wiper blade is fastened to the wiper arm all the way. If it’s out of alignment just by a little it can throw the whole wiper pattern off.

Windshield Wiper Stopped Working – Wiper Motor.

windshield wiper stopped working

What A Typical Wiper Motor Looks Like!

This is one of the more complicated repairs when it comes to your wipers system. This still can be a pretty relative easy repair but some vehicles may have an extra step or 2 that can be finicky.

Up by the windshield you should notice some black plastic in between the top of your hood/bottom of your windshield. The task here is to remove the arms and wiper motor after removing the plastic trim.

This is typically pretty simple but the repair differs from vehicle to vehicle. It’s all the same general concept, remove plastic, remove electrical connections, and then unbolt and remove the wiper motor.

Typically when this goes back your wiper will not move at all. The motor can fail which drives the arm up and down or left to right. When this fails and the motor inside no longer works or has a bad connection, typically that side or sides just will not move at all.

It’s at this point you should start looking at your wiper motor, it may need replacement. Don’t do that just yet though because it could be something in the electronics of your vehicle.

Check Electrical!

Instead of just throwing money at your vehicle, take the time to actually inspect your vehicle. Electronics fail, wiring can be pinched, and fuses can blow. A cheap .45 cent fuse is much more cost effective than a $50+ wiper motor.

Each vehicle typically will have 2 fuse panels, one under the hood, and one in the interior somewhere of your vehicle. Check each fuse related to the wiper system. Make sure you check both fuse boxes for anything related to the wiper motor.

A popped fuse can cause your entire wiper system to fail completely and is a super easy/cheap repair.

When you remove your fuse, make sure the metal prong inside is touching from end to end. If it’s busted or you see any burnt residue on the inside, replace the fuse with the correct size and amperage that fits in there.

Also be sure to check the fuse legs for any obvious signs of corrosion as this can cause a poor connection. A poor connection to a fuse can sometimes cause all sorts of electrical headaches as well!

Windshield Wiper Stopped Working – Wiring!

windshield wiper stopped working

Location of the wiper motor on most vehicles!

If you have checked your fuses and those are all set to go, you now need to inspect the wiring going to the wiper motor. Usually it’s one or two wire harnesses going to the wiper motor which have plastic clips on the end that secure it to the motor.

Make sure all electrical connections are hooked up. If any clips/retainers came off, reattach them and try them again. This is another common reason why your windshield wiper stopped working.

If it all looks secure and you still have no power it’s now time to inspect the wiring. Check for any pinched wires anywhere and look for any bare wire as well. It could be touching a piece of metal to your car body causing it to short out.

If you test you wires for power using a electrical test/ohm reader, etc… make sure you look up what specifications such as voltage or amps it should be pushing out. If none of the electrical components (wires/fuses/relays) are damaged, then you may just have to replace the whole wiper motor.

Check Bolt/Nut Tightness.

Your wiper blades are indeed fastened down using a retaining nut. The wiper blades do move and sometimes this nut can come loose. Most the time you will notice it first before it actually comes loose.

Your wiper blade may move off of its original path because it isn’t torqued down correctly.

This nut holds the arm down on the right angle and help guide it along your windshield correctly. When this nut comes loose, it usually starts the wiper blade off path and then eventually loosens up completely.

Once this nut comes loose it can eventually lead to the wiper arm not moving at all. These are all the core components to your wiper system. If checking all of these things has yielded no results then it’s time to visit a local shop.

You should have an idea now though for why your windshield wiper stopped working. Check all of these things over as this can be a very simple repair. Don’t immediately take it in and get charged a huge diagnostic fee.

Check over your entire wiper system first as it only takes a few minutes to do and could save you hundreds!

Invest In Good Wipers!

Good wipers keep a clean windshield, a clean windshield yields better visibility. Don’t cheap out on wiper blades guys and gals. If you know you live in a state where the weather is all over the place, get yourself a descent set of all season wiper blades.

If you live in places with nothing but snow and cold weather, then obviously you should invest in some winter weather blades designed for that type of weather. Cheap wipers wear down quickly. A common and very reputable company for wiper is Trico.

There other brands such as Rain X, Trico, Bosch, etc… just make sure you can actually see while you are driving!

That about wraps it up though, get checking your wiper system and get those wipers working again, be sure to check out other easy related pairs like our post on how to fix a car speaker!

Leave a comment below! What was wrong with your wipers? What did you do to fix it! We would love to know!