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My windshield wiper will NOT clean anything off except for the ends. My wiper arm was cracked at the bottom, so I replaced the entire arm. While I was at it, I replaced the entire wiper. Everything is brand new!! And it still does not touch the windshield in the middle of the blade to clean it. I am SO frustrated!! I can't see at all in the rain!! Help?

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Pictures would help - Rory suggested the spring at the base of the wiper arm (near where the whole assembly pivots to wipe the windscreen). A picture of the wiper itself might help as well - maybe something is bent. –  Bob Cross Apr 12 '13 at 21:43

7 Answers 7

When you replaced the wiper, you may have inadvertently damaged or released the spring which pulls the wiper blade towards the windscreen. Depending on what type of car you have, this could be of various different types but you usually find it at the wiper pivot. When you try to pull the wiper away from the glass does it resist?

An alternative is that you may have fitted the wrong type of wiper blade - have you checked it is compatible.

Have a look in the user manual to identify the spring or tensioner for your vehicle, and check.

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Yes, this sounds like there isn't enough tension in the arm. –  Bob Cross Apr 12 '13 at 15:29

if you really care about what your car looks like, what you do to it and/or what others think or say about your ride please disregard this option but it's free, quick and you dont have to replace anything:

  • If you have a steel windshield wiper arm and the wiper is experiencing little contact with the windshield, just bend the windshield arm about 4 inches away from the link tip (to assure you don't mess up the connector). Bend it about 2 to 3 degrees (not too much) and thats it. my trucks been good for months now.

  • You'll need pliers and a monkey wrench (or whatever helps you sleep at night) for a precise bend.

  • 2 minutes tops.

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I have had many contact issues with the OEM style metal frame wiper blades. They make the worst contact and are also the worst performers in snow/ice because the internal linkage instantly gets bound and clogged.

I prefer to use a beam style wiper blade. They are more expensive but they work much much better. I use Trico NeoForm blades and they work great. If you are concerned about the price (it is recommended to change wipers every 6months) you can actually remove them from the vehicle during the dry seasons and throw on the stock crappers during that time to prevent the rubber from drying in the sun. You will get more mileage out of the wipers this way if you are willing to change them before and after your wet seasons. Doing this, I bet you could easily get 2+ years out of a set of high quality wipers.

First make sure the wiper arm is giving adequate downforce though.

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To answer the problem of the ends of the wiper not toutching the windshield, it could be caused by the windshield glass which has a depression in it (Defective windshield curvature) where the wiper does not touch.Although the blade is flexible, it cannot follow the curvature or the windshield at that precise area where the depression exist. I suggest that you check this fact by putting the edge of a metal ruler at that area on the windshield (which is a very straigt object) or any other very straight similar object and try to insert a sheet of paper to see the gap or compare with other area on the windshield. If it is so refer the problem to your car dealer. You can add a add-on wiper arm spring called Sure Wipe to increase the pressure on the blade which will reduce this area, but might not solve this problem completely.

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FROM RALPH SMITH, MISSISSAUGA ON.CANADA. I HAD THIS PROBLEM WHILE DRIVING LONG HAUL TRANSPORT . TRUCKS . AND AT A REAL TRUCK STOP. YOU CAN BUY 2 APPROX 6 IN. LONG .AND ALL THE PRESSURE GOES TO THE CENTER OF THE WIPER BLADE. I EVEN USE THEM ON MY 1964 FORD FAIRLANE.. AND ALSO I HAVE BOUGHT (NEW WIPER ARMS ) MY OLD ONES WERE BETTER. BUT WITH THESE TRUCK TENSIONERS .YOU WILL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED . COST ABOUT $10-$12 FOR A PAIR. I BOUGHT 2 PAIR SO I HAVE A SPARE SET. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY MAY COME UNAVAILABLE. ALL THE BEST, AND YOU WILL SEE THE ROAD NO PROBLEM . FROM A RETIRED 70 YR. OLD DRIVER. SAFE DRIVING.TO ALL.

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re. above comment I forgot to mention . if you were to trade your car . you should remove these arm tensioners , as they fit just about any vechile. and hou have them for your next car + plus a spare set. blame the forgetting on my year,s old ralph smith –  RALPH SMITH Feb 4 '14 at 7:48
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Welcome to the site. If you had a brand name for these tensioners or a link online to what you are talking about, I think your answer would be better accepted. Also, lay off the capital letters. In internet parlance IT MEANS YOU'RE YELLING AT EVERYONE! –  Paulster2 Feb 4 '14 at 11:22

I am of the mind of making things last forever, avoiding adding to landfills and saving money. Rubber gets oxidized and collects contaminants like oil and other chemicals on the road, coming off other cars, trucks and semis. To make my wiper blades (and everything else that is rubber) stay good for YEARS, I wipe them regularly...give them a good scrub with a damp paper towel when I stop for gas. Never use them on your windshield when there is still ice. This puts little cuts into the edges of your wipers and they will leave streaks forever afterwards. Also, every month or two, I will take lacquer thinner (or carb and choke cleaner in a can is easier to store) and I spray some on a shop rag... just a small spot on the rag...and I rub rub rub the wipers. Do not spray it next to the vehicle. You do NOT want to get this on the paint. You should get lots of black on the rag depending on how oxidized or contaminated they were. Feel the wiper before and after. Afterwards, it should feel very supple. If your doors are sticking in the winter or anytime, do the same thing with them. Be careful not to get the thinner on the paint. If the seals have left residue on the door/paint, use a little wax on a rag and wipe it off gently. This is also a process I use to keep rubber hoses clean...like compressor hoses, oxy-acetylene system hoses, welder cables, and extension cords pretty and lasting a lifetime. Cleaning those requires more solvent(thinner) so wear rubber gloves. Remember that your skin is the largest organ of your body. Don't contaminate it.

When I take the time to do this, I've had wipers last more than 5 years. ;)

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Welcome to the site! We appreciate you posting here. While this information is in deed useful, it's not really pertinent to the content of the question. If you would, please take the tour and read the help pages, which will give you a better idea about how Stack Exchange works, how to ask questions and what you should to do be answering. Again, welcome. Hope to see you posting! –  Paulster2 Feb 12 at 16:35

hopefully you didn't bought the same model of the wiper as it was before in the car that cause problem as curvature of different windshield are different an if you bought it just now wait for it to settle as the rubber would have dried and shrinked while kept in storage

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That link doesn't have any guidance on the problem Cindy has. –  Rory Alsop Apr 12 '13 at 15:41

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