Windshield Wipers Not Turning Off? (7 Reasons Why)

While it may not seem like much, your windshield wipers are a crucial part of your windshield because they keep your vision clear while you drive. However, your windshield wipers may not always work as you would expect them to.

You may be curious as to why your windshield wipers will not turn off. I did the research, and here is what I learned!

Windshield Wipers Not Turning Off?

Your windshield wipers are not turning off due to an issue within the windshield wiper system, such as a bad relay or damaged wiring. Additionally, switches or buttons that are used to switch your windshield wipers on and off may be damaged, so if you left the wipers on, you would not be able to turn them off.

Are you interested in learning about more reasons why your windshield wipers do not turn off? I compiled a list of possibilities below, so keep reading!

1. Bad Park Switch

One of the most common reasons why your windshield wipers will not turn off is that you have a bad park switch.

Generally, there is a motor within your windshield wipers that has the electrical park switch.

This electrical park switch is used to switch off your windshield wipers once you put your car in park, hence the name park switch.

If your park switch gets damaged, it will not be able to respond when your car is in park, which will keep the windshield wipers on.

Additionally, a bad park switch will allow an electrical charge to keep running to the windshield wipers, keeping them moving.

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As such, you can expect your battery life to deplete quickly because the windshield wipers will be using energy from the car’s battery.

2. Bad Relay

Another common cause of your windshield wipers staying on is that you have a bad relay.

A relay is an operated switch powered by electricity that has contacts or a circuit that helps turn things on and off.

For windshield wipers, relays allow windshield wipers to move or stay in place without you doing any of the work.

If you have a problem with the windshield wiper’s relay, they can keep your windshield wipers moving but will not let them stop.

Alternatively, malfunctioning relays can make your windshield wipers stay under your car’s hood but never move.

Typically, you can fix this issue by replacing the relay for your windshield wipers to make them move as needed.

3. Damaged Windshield Wiper Control

Generally, the main cause of why windshield wipers do not turn off is that there is a damaged windshield wiper control.

A windshield wiper control is a switch that controls the windshield wiper’s motor, and the motor is what makes the windshield wipers move.

Since you would use the switch for the windshield wiper control often, the switch will go through a lot of wear and tear over time.

Alternately, the windshield wiper control switch could get damaged, which can occur due to a collision, a recent interference during repairs, etc.

Once the windshield wiper control switch gets faulty, you can lose control over the windshield wiper’s operation.

For instance, if your windshield wipers are turned on, a bad windshield wiper control switch will not let you turn them off.

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4. Damaged Wiring

Damaged Wiring

Generally, most windshield wipers have wires that connect the wipers to various control systems and switches to use the windshield wipers when needed.

If you have recently been in an accident where your car got hit, or you had repairs done under the hood of your car, the wiring could have gotten damaged.

Additionally, the wires can be damaged due to debris, rodents biting on the wires, etc.

Once any of the wires for your windshield wipers get damaged, your windshield wipers can malfunction.

While damaged wiring would normally make you unable to switch on your windshield wipers, damaged wires can also keep them switched on.

This is because there is an interference with the wiring connection, which will make your windshield wipers malfunction.

Another example is if the wires suddenly get severely damaged while using the windshield wipers, you may not be able to switch them off.

5. Loose Wiring

Even if your wires are not broken, they could still be the problem because loose wiring can keep your windshield wipers from turning off. 

As stated earlier, your windshield wipers work because there are wires that connect to the windshield wipers’ various parts.

Therefore, if any part of the wiring system for your windshield wipers gets damaged, your windshield wipers may not react when you try to turn the windshield wipers off.

For instance, if the wire on the windshield wiper gets loose while the windshield wipers are still on, you may not be able to turn off your windshield wipers.

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Ideally, it would be best to have a mechanic check the wires and reattach them since it can be difficult to spot a loose wire.

6. Damaged Button On Steering Wheel

Depending on what type of car you have, you can normally find the button to activate your windshield wipers on your steering wheel.

Most buttons will have contacts within them that help activates the windshield wipers whenever you press the button.

If you frequently use your windshield wipers, the contacts can eventually wear out, so you may not be able to switch off your windshield wipers.

7. You Did Not Turn Them Off

Sometimes, a simple reason your windshield wipers will not turn off is that you did not actually switch them off.

You may not have realized that you did not press the windshield wiper button hard enough or turn the switch properly.


Windshield wipers are convenient devices that you can turn on and off as needed, but they can still malfunction and not turn off.

Normally, windshield wipers will not turn off because of issues with your park switch, relay, bad wiring, etc.

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