Windshield Wipers Not Working? (9 Reasons Why)

Windshield wipers are a key components of the front of your car since they help you see while you drive in the rain. However, windshield wipers will not always work as you expect them to, especially when something goes wrong.

If your windshield wipers are not working, you may be wondering what caused it. I looked up the facts, and here is what I learned!

Windshield Wipers Not Working?

1. Ripped Wiper Blades

One of the most common reasons that your windshield wipers do not work is that you have ripped wiper blades.

Wiper blades are the long rod-like items that compose the largest part of your windshield wiper, and the wiper blades move across your windshield.

Occasionally, wiper blades can get ripped due to normal wear and tear, but they often happen when you use your wiper blades during frostier weather.

Usually, ripped wiper blades may still move across the windshield’s glass, but you will likely not have a clear windshield because the blades will smear the water around or go over the ice.

2. The Windshield Wipers Got Stuck

Sometimes, windshield wipers will not work when you turn them on because the windshield wipers are stuck.

Windshield wipers can get stuck for various reasons, but most windshield wipers get stuck because the windshield wipers are covered in snow or ice.

If there is a lot of snow or ice on your car, it can harden or weigh down the wiper blades, which will keep the windshield wipers from moving.

Normally, most windshield wipers can handle small amounts of snow, but they will not be strong enough to push off a load of snow.

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Therefore, it would be best to brush off any ice or snow off your car before you use it, especially in the parts where your windshield wipers are.

3. Burnt-Out Fuse

Generally, many parts of your car, such as your windshield wipers, work because of electrical motors that have fuses.

Fuses are attached to electrical motors to protect the motor from damage, so the fuse will blow to save the motor from electrical damage.

Unfortunately, once the fuse blows, that means the electrical motor will also not make your windshield works because there is a disruption in the wiring.

Luckily, replacing the fuse can easily resolve the issue and make your windshield wipers work again.

4. Burned-Out Motor

As stated earlier, your windshield wiper runs thanks to an electrical wiper motor, but if the fuse is fine and your windshield wipers do not work, you probably have a burned-out motor.

For instance, if the fuse was not able to save the motor, there would be a power surge that can burn out the wiper motor.

Another example is that external damage from a collision or the weather can make the motor burn out.

When this occurs, you will generally have to replace the entire wiper motor instead of repairing it.

5. Loose Wiper Pivot Nuts

Loose Wiper Pivot Nuts

Another common reason why your windshield wipers have stopped working is that you have loose wiper pivot nuts.

Generally, the pivot nuts connect your windshield wiper’s arms to your car’s transmission.

Your windshield wipers may move a little bit if the pivot nuts are loose, but the windshield wipers will not work at full power.

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Moreover, each windshield wiper arm will be independent, so one windshield wiper can stop working while the other one will be fine.

Usually, this is a quick fix since you just have to tighten the pivot nuts to keep them properly secured.

6. Improperly Placed Blades

If you recently had new windshield wipers installed or had to take the windshield wipers out temporarily, they likely do not work because the blades were improperly placed.

Normally, this means that the windshield wipers were not properly mounted to your car, so they will not move.

Generally, it will be best to have a professional reinstall your windshield wipers if you have never done it before.

7. Obstructed Nozzle

If your issue is that your car will not spray fluid on your windshield on command, you probably have a clogged windshield wiper nozzle.

Your car’s windshield wipers have a nozzle that spray the washer fluid onto your windshield.

Occasionally, the nozzle can get clogged with dirt and debris, which will block the nozzle, and only a bit of dirt can clog the nozzle since the holes are small.

Normally, you will know that you have an obstructed nozzle if there is little to no fluid being sprayed, and the spraying of wash fluid may be very weak.

8. Lack Of Windshield Washer Fluid

If your windshield wiper’s nozzle does not have any obstruction, then your probably may be a lack of washer fluid.

Washer fluid is a specific type of fluid used to clean the windshield of your car since regular water will not properly clean your windshield.

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When there is not enough washer fluid in the reservoir, your car will not be able to spray washer fluid on command.

9. Broken Controls

Usually, you can control your windshield wipers thanks to the control in your car, which allow you to turn them on, stop them, make them faster, etc.

Usually, these controls will get used frequently, which means the inner components of the controls can go through wear and tear.

As such, the controls can break over time, especially if you have an older car or use the windshield wipers a lot.

There are various parts of the controls that can break, but usually broken controls means that there was a problem with the wiring of your controls.

For instance, turning the windshield wiper controls to the low setting may not work because there is a damaged or loose wire.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why SUVs are so popular, why bleed brakes, and why Ford is better than Dodge.


Normally, windshield wipers do not work due to damage, which can occurs to the windshield wiper blades or the motor itself.

Moreover, the windshield wiper could be improperly placed or torn, which can make it difficult or impossible to use the windshield wipers.

If you have issues with your windshield washer fluid, you probably have a clogged windshield washer nozzle or do not have enough washer fluid in your car.

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