Informational Guide

Windshield Wipers Not Working Or Stopped? (How To Fix)

When your windshield wipers are not working, you often need a quick fix. We look at the possible causes & how to get them back up & running again.

When you are driving in your vehicle, you rely heavily on the windshield wipers to provide maximum visibility. So, what happens when the windshield wipers are not working? In this guide, we examine what might have happened when the windshield wipers stopped working.

Who invented windshield wipers? It turns out Mary Anderson invented them in 1902 when she was stuck in NYC traffic. While you only see the windshield wiper blade, there are many components working together to ensure that your visibility is at its best.

Here are a few of the components that make up the windshield wiper and how it works.

  • Windscreen Wiper Arm 
    This part connects the motor and the blade together. It pivots on one end where it connects to the motor. It can be made of plastic or metal.
  • Connectors 
    The windshield wiper linkage is responsible for moving the wiper blade and arm from the power created out of the motor. As time goes on, the linkage becomes worn and sometimes bent.
  • Spring Flexors 
    These are located either in or out of the rubber blade, ensuring that the blade itself maintains the appropriate amount of pressure on the automotive glass.
  • Rubber Element 
    This part that touches the windshield and keeps it clean is also the component that goes bad the most often. The rubber must be cleaned periodically and changed often to maintain visibility.
  • Spoiler 
    With some types of wiper blades, you will also find a spoiler that runs the entire length. This vital part ensures the blade remains close to the windshield, even during stronger winds.
Windshield Wipers Not Working

How To Fix Windshield Wipers That Stopped Working

To figure out how to fix windshield wipers that stopped working, you must first determine what caused the malfunction. What causes the windshield washer to stop working? We examine what causes the windshield wipers to not work.

Torn wiper blades

If you are experiencing squeaky windshield wipers or they aren't clearing the glass, it's simple to figure out how to fix the windshield wipers. When the rubber can't make contact, debris cannot be wiped away. To repair the problem, just replace the torn wiper blades with a new set for maximum visibility. You can also change the wipers every few months to avoid this situation.

Failed wiper motor

How do I know if my windshield wiper motor is bad? If the windshield wipers stopped working while driving, it could be due to the motor. This electrical part can short or stop working at any time. To repair the wipers, you must replace the motor, which can be a complicated job if you aren't mechanically inclined.

Burnt out wiper fuse

When the windshield wipers won't work, it could also be caused by a bad fuse. It could blow due to extreme stress, such as trying to clear snow or ice. How do I check my windshield wiper fuse? Look in the owner's manual to find the appropriate fuse and replace it with a new one. If the windshield wipers stopped working then started again, you might be facing a different intermittent issue.

Loose wiper pivot nuts

How about when the windshield wipers are not working, but you can hear the motor? Sometimes, this problem is caused by loose nuts on the pivot. If it becomes loose, the motor continues turning, but the wiper arm stops moving. To fix it, you should be able to simply tighten up the nuts. Otherwise, you might need to ask your mechanic what to do when the windshield wipers stop working.

Ice or snow on the windshield wipers

Are you asking yourself, why are my windshield wipers not working after bad weather? If you used the wipers to clear ice or snow, you might have damaged them. They can remove small amounts of debris, but nothing heavy like wet snow. You might have striped the pivots or worn out the motor, ensuring the windshield wipers won't move.

Bent or damaged

Why won't my windshield wipers work? If there is physical damage to the wipers, it could cause them to fail. The wiper is made of many components that must work together in harmony for ultimate visibility. However, if a small part becomes bent or damaged, the entire balance can be thrown off, causing the wipers to stop working.

How To Fix Windshield Wipers That Stopped Worked

Windshield Wiper Maintenance: Top Tips

You want to avoid a situation where the windshield wipers won't work, but the motor works, or worse yet, when the windshield wipers won't turn off. Here are a few factors that affect how well your windshield wipers work.

  • Sun and ultraviolet light
  • Rain or inclement weather
  • Vandalism
  • Airborne debris and contaminants

However, you can avoid learning how to fix windshield wipers that won't move by following these simple maintenance tips.

1. Replace The Blades At Least Twice A Year

If you are asking how often to change wiper blades, the answer is twice a year. However, you might need to change them more often if they are used heavily or start showing signs of wear.

2. Keep The Windshield Clean

Don't make your windshield wipers work harder than necessary. If you keep the windshield clean, the wipers have less debris to remove, thereby increasing their service life.

3. Never Run The Wipers On A Dry Windshield

The windshield wipers need to work on a wet surface to remain in good condition. If you run the wipers on a dry windshield, you are creating friction that breaks down the rubber and causes the motor to work harder.

4. Reposition The Blade During The Winter Months

If you are expecting snowy or icy weather, pull the wiper blade away from the windshield. This simple action ensures the blades don't freeze to the glass, creating more wear than needed.

How To Fix Windshield Wipers

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where is the windshield wiper fuse?

Whether you are dealing with the Chevy Traverse windshield wipers not working or the Hyundai Santa Fe windshield wipers not working, the location of the fuse will be in varying locations. Check your owner's manual for the appropriate spot in the fuse box.

Why is only one side of my windshield wipers working? How do I fix it?

If only one windshield wiper works and the other doesn't, it might be due to wiper pivot nuts. When only one windshield wiper works, try tightening the pivot nuts to see if that solves the problem.

How much does it cost to replace a windshield wiper motor?

The average cost for windshield wiper motor replacement is between $300 and $350. Because this is an electrical part, it isn't cheap to replace.

How do I know if my windshield wiper fuse is blown?

Whether your Volvo S40 windshield wipers are not working or the 1997 Ford F150 windshield wipers are not working, you will want to check the fuse. Get the appropriate location in the fuse box by looking at your owner's manual. Pull the fuse out and see if it needs to be replaced.


You don't have to fret when the windshield wipers are not working correctly. With our guide, you can hunt down the source of the trouble to start seeing clearly once again.