Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Windshield wiper streaks

Windshield wiper streaks — How to fix

Windshield wipers streak for one of three reasons; either the rubber squeegee portion is worn or cracked, the wiper blade frame is bent or damaged, or the wiper arm pivot is rusted

Wiper streaks caused by worn rubber squeegee

The rubber portion of the wiper blade is designed to

replace wiper blades

Sharp edge on wiper blade squeegee

squeegee water off your windshield. To do that, it’s formed with a sharp edge. But over time and use, that sharp edge can wear down due to road grit on the windshield. Or, it can crack from prolonged exposure to the sun.

worn wiper blade

Wiper streaks caused by a bent wiper blade frame

bent wiper blade

This is an extreme example of of a bent wiper blade. But even a small bend can cause streaking.

The wiper blade frame is designed to apply even pressure across the entire surface of the rubber. If the blade frame has been damaged or bend, it will apply uneven pressure that can result in wiper streaking. The only fix for a bend or damaged frame is to replace the wiper blade.

Wiper streaks caused by a rusted pivot or broken arm spring

The wiper arm and blade apply pressure to the windshield via a tension spring mounted at the base of the wiper arm. As the blade wipes across the curved glass, it must pivot near the base to allow full motion across the curved glass. Over time the pivot can rust and cause the wiper arm to bind. That results in uneven pressure on the arm which can cause streaking.

To check for binding at the pivot, lift the wiper arm off the glass and then move it down toward the glass. If the arm moves smoothly, that’s not the cause. But if the wiper arm stays in the upright position, apply oil to the pivot area and work it back and forth until the oil works into the joint.
images of wiper arm, wiper blade, tension spring and wiper arm pivot
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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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