Wiper System

Top Symptoms Of A Bad Wiper System

Daniel McDonald
Daniel McDonald6 min read
Top Symptoms Of A Bad Wiper System

Top Symptoms Of A Bad Wiper System

If you cannot see the road clearly, it is impossible to drive a car securely. The windshield wiper system was designed to help you through drive snow, rain, debris, and dirt.

Functional wipers are essential since they play a significant role in safe driving. What enables the wiper blades to move and keep your windshield clean is the wiper motor.

When you initiate the wiper switch, you send a signal to the windshield wiper motor to trigger the windshield wipers. 

If the windshield wipers are not triggered properly by this signal, that can be a safety hazard. Continue reading to discover the top-causing symptoms of a failing wiper system!   

Symptoms Of Bad Wiper System 

Many symptoms show that your wiper system is not working correctly, and here are the most usual ones:  

Wiper Blades Moving Slow

You probably have a multi-function switch if you own a modern car or truck. You can notice the wiper blades not moving fast enough if you put them at high speed, and they move very slowly. This can happen to both wipers and only one windshield wiper.  

Slow-moving windshield wipers and wiper arms can indicate a bad windshield wiper motor. Furthermore, there can be issues with any of the components in the wiper motor that causes the slow working of the blades.

Also, there can be grime, debris, and particles affecting the work and the speed of the wiper motor.

If you see the wiper moving slower, then they should contact a certified mechanic to fix the issue. 

Wiper Blades Working In One Speed Only

This problem is the opposite of the first one; you try changing the wiper switch’s speed, and the windshield wiper blades move at the same rate.

When you change the windshield wipers’ speed, the wiper module sends a signal to the windshield wiper motor. 

Hence, the issue might be in the wiper module. This doesn’t mean that the windshield wiper motor is damaged. To prevent headaches and wasted money, take your car to the mechanic and figure out the real issue.  

Wiper Blades Don’t Work At All.

Another scenario is when you turn on the wiper switch, and the wiper blades do not work. If you can’t hear the wiper motor operating, it may be because it is damaged or has some electrical issue. 

If your wipers are not working, it may be because you have a faulty switch. To be sure, see if the turn signals are working. If the wiper switch works fine, the problem may be more serious. 

Wipers not working can indicate a problem with the windshield wiper motor, so do not hesitate to contact a mechanic. They can get rid of the issue before it does any more damage to other vehicle components.  

Wiper Blades Don’t Park In The Wrong Position. 

If you have a problem with the windshield wipers, and it is not that they don’t move, or don’t work, or operate at one speed only, it must be that they are not parked in the correct position.

You can recognize this problem easily; you turn the blades off, and the wiper pivot nuts are stuck and do not return to the primary position.

Instead, the wiper arm stays in the middle of your windshield, blocking your view. This is a bad sign since each wiper arm has its ending place and should park at the bottom of the windshield. 

This type of issue indicates a bad wiper motor and may require a replacement of the windshield washer motor. In most cases, the windshield wiper motor is unrepairable.

It is the wiper system’s main component and is relatively complex. That is why most ASE mechanics decide to replace the windshield wiper motor instead of repairing it.    

Weird Noises

If any previous wiper blade problems happen and a weird humming noise accompanies them, that is a good thing.

The noise comes from the wiper motor and indicates that the engine is receiving power and operating correctly, but something is wrong with the wiper motor connector. 

Since the humming indicates that the blades cannot receive power from the functioning windshield wiper motor, the problem can be settled by replacing the failed wiper linkage.

Still, you should contact a mechanic because there are about a hundred reasons your vehicle can produce a weird sound.  

Burned Out Fuse

A burned-out fuse indicates that the power is not reaching the wiper blades in correlation with the weird noises. Hence, they are not working at all or operating slowly and inadequately. 

However, if there is a burned-out fuse in the windshield wiper motor, you won’t hear a sound when you turn the switch.

If this is causing your wiper system to fail, an experienced mechanic will quickly locate the problem and replace the blown fuse in no time. 

Snow Buildup

If you live in a place with cold temperatures, the snow may cause your wiper system to fail. If you have a snow buildup on your car, you should clean it up before starting the wiper blades. 

Snow causes bent wiper blades, skipping wiper arms, blown fuses, and many other wiper motor problems with the wiper system.

To avoid this, you should replace the regular wiper blades with premium bean winter wiper blades. They are made especially for winter and prevent freezing joints. 

Failed Windshield Wiper Motor

A bad windshield wiper motor is the most severe problem in the wiper system. The wipers do not operate alone, yet they are a part of a wiper system controlled by the windshield wiper motor. The windshield motor supplies the power which moves the blades.

When the windshield wiper motor is working correctly, the windshield wiper blades should move smoothly and synchronize.

However, windshield wiper motors are connected to many connectors and linkages that fail over time.

If there are worn parts in the wiper motor, it will create many problems since you cannot replace the worn parts separately. In case of a malfunctioning wiper motor, the bad motor needs to be replaced with a new one.  

You can recognize that the windshield wiper motor has failed if you do not listen to any sound when you turn on the wiper switch.

If the wiper motor is still attempting to work, you will hear weird sounds when turning the wiper switch. Whichever the case, you should call your mechanic and replace the wiper motor with a new one. 

Wiper System Replacement 

As we stated earlier, if you have a bad wiper motor, you need to replace it. The positive side is that you won’t need to pay a fortune since the replacement cost is around $300.

While the wiper motor parts are pricey, the installation is very straightforward, and you can do it yourself. 

Still, you shouldn’t jump and replace the whole wiper motor immediately. If the problem is one blown fuse, you’ll only need to replace that one and spend a couple of dollars. 


There are many indicators of a bad wiper system. You may have noticed that the wipers are moving slowly or they are parking in the wrong position.

If the wipers suddenly stop working, check the switch. Many modern cars have a multi-function switch that tends to fail.   

Try to eliminate a faulty switch before looking for other issues. If the switch is working fine, and the wipers are still not doing their job, try listening for a weird noise. If there is none, the wiper motor is malfunctioning and needs replacement. 

In the worst-case scenario, you will need a new wiper motor. Contact your mechanic first to ensure the problem is in the wiper motor.    


How To Be Certain That The Wiper Transmission Is Not Working?

If you have a bad wiper transmission, your wiper will start to do strange rotations, stop moving, or make a grinding noise. 

How To Know If The Wiper Motor Is Failing? 

If the wiper motor fails, you will hear a weird grinding noise, or you won’t hear anything. The wiper motor fails if you hear a strange noise while the wipers are moving. 

Another possible cause may be if the wiper arm is too tight and provokes the motor to grind. 

How To Recognize A Bad Relay?

The relay is the switch that sends the signal to the wiper module, giving power to the wiper motor inside the system.

If the windshield wipers work at only one speed while trying to change to another, it can indicate a bad relay.