Sometimes our windshield wipers become a part of our vehicle we just forget about. That is, until we need them. Typically we don’t use them that often, so not only are we not thinking about them, but we’re also assuming that they’re not damaged because we don’t use them often. But there are many things that can affect the function of your windshield wiper arms, not just debris or a worn out blade.
Recently, a Subaru recall, which included nearly 1 million vehicles, stated that because of a contamination it’s possible for the windshield wiper motor bottom or top cover to melt if something like a buildup of ice or snow prevents the windshield wiper arms from moving.
As the windshield wiper arms are blocked, the windshield wiper motor will most likely overheat (but this is not always the case), causing the covers to melt and the motor to fail. The melted covers can also cause a fire. Regardless, when the motor fails, there is no hope for your windshield wiper arms to work at that point, compromising your visibility.
Here are some common indications of a problem with your windshield wiper motor, so you can get your motor fixed at the first sign of an issue, not when it quits altogether!
Your wiper blades are moving slower than you programmed them.
If you have set your windshield wiper blades to a high speed but they’re not going very fast, then there is likely an issue with your windshield wiper motor. It could be as minor as a clogged motor, but it could lead to far more dangerous problems if you don’t fix it.
Your wiper blades speed isn’t changing.
If you try to change the speed of your windshield wipers and they remain at the same speed, then you have a problem. It could be a faulty module or windshield wiper motor, either way you want to get it fixed. You don’t want to be caught out in a downpour with an average wiper speed!
Your windshield wiper blades don’t return to the normal position.
Under normal conditions when you turn off your windshield wipers, they will return to their position at the bottom of the windshield before they stop, no matter what point they’re at in the cycle. When your turn off your windshield wipers and they immediately stop, without returning to a position where they are no longer in your eye-line, then you may have a problem with your windshield wiper motor and should have it checked immediately.
Typically your windshield wiper motor will last a lengthy amount of time, and the motor is so complex that it’s often just replaced if there is a problem. If you notice a problem with your windshield wiper blades, it’s best to have your motor replaced as soon as possible. It’s likely you won’t run into too many more problems once you’ve replaced the windshield wiper motor once.
Then your windshield wipers will function when you need them and won’t cause any damage to your auto glass either!