why do windshield wipers skip

Why Do Windshield Wipers Skip and How to Fix It?

Windshield wipers are vital for clear vision while driving, but sometimes they skip, causing concern. Why Do Windshield Wipers Skip? This issue typically relates to wiper blade conditions, windshield cleanliness, and mechanical factors. Understanding these reasons is crucial for troubleshooting and ensuring effective wiper function.

Why Do Windshield Wipers Skip?

Windshield wipers may skip across the windshield for various reasons, but fortunately, these issues are often easily fixable. Based on our experience, we’ve identified several common causes and solutions.

Worn-out Blades

Over time, wiper blades can lose their flexibility, becoming brittle and leading to skipping. We suggest regularly checking for cracks, tears, or any signs of hardening rubber.

Dirty Blades

Accumulation of grime, dirt, and debris is a frequent issue. As per our experience, cleaning the blades regularly can prevent skipping and enhance their effectiveness.

Improperly Installed Blades

If wiper blades are not securely attached or correctly angled, they won’t make proper contact with the windshield. We recommend ensuring that your blades are installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Dried-out Blades

Wiper blades require moisture for flexibility. Exposure to sun and freezing temperatures can dry them out, causing them to skip. To avoid this, we suggest parking in shaded areas and using a windshield cover in extreme temperatures.

Dirty Windshield

A windshield covered in dirt, grime, or bugs can impede the wipers’ function. Regular cleaning of the windshield is essential for optimal wiper performance.

Windshield Treatment Residue

Some treatments for windshields can leave a residue that leads to skipping. We recommend using quality products and applying them as instructed to avoid such issues.

Damaged Windshield

Although less common, a cracked or chipped windshield can disrupt the path of the wipers. If you notice any damage, it’s best to get it repaired promptly.

Loose Wiper Arm

A wiper arm that’s loose or damaged can cause uneven movement of the blade. Checking the arm’s condition and tightness during routine maintenance is advisable.

Faulty Wiper Motor

A malfunctioning wiper motor, though rare, can lead to erratic or skipping wiper movements. In such cases, professional inspection and repair are necessary.

How to Fix Windshield Wiper Skipping?

Fixing windshield wiper skipping can be simple. Based on our experience, here’s a guide to help you get clear visibility back in no time.

Clean Windshield and Wiper Blades

Dirt and grime are often the culprits. We recommend using a glass cleaner for the windshield and rubbing alcohol for the blades. This simple step can make a huge difference.

Inspect and Replace Wiper Blades

Check your blades for any signs of wear, like cracks or hardening. We suggest choosing quality replacements that fit your car model. Proper installation is key, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.

Lubricate Wiper Blades

A silicone-based lubricant after cleaning can greatly enhance blade flexibility and performance. Apply it sparingly to the rubber part of the blades.

Adjust the Wiper Arm Angle

If the blade isn’t contacting the windshield evenly, a slight adjustment to the wiper arm might be needed. We advise caution here; it’s easy to bend the arm too much. Looseness can cause skipping. Check the arm’s attachment to the motor and tighten if necessary. This can often resolve skipping issues.

Replace the Wiper Arm

In cases where the arm is visibly damaged or rusty, replacement might be the best option. We recommend consulting a professional for this task.

Inspect the Wiper Motor

A malfunctioning motor can cause irregular movements. If simple fixes don’t work, this might be the issue. Professional diagnosis is recommended.

How to Avoid Windshield Skipping?

To avoid windshield wiper skipping, engage in regular maintenance and smart driving practices. Clean your windshield weekly with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth, and the wiper blades with rubbing alcohol or a dedicated cleaner.

Regularly apply a silicone-based lubricant to the blades to maintain flexibility, especially before winter. Proactively replace wiper blades every 6-12 months with the right fit for your car.

Parking in the shade helps prevent blade damage from sun exposure. Use quality rain repellent on the windshield to lessen wiper usage. When driving, avoid using wipers on a dry windshield; use washer fluid instead to protect the blades. These simple steps can significantly reduce wiper skipping and ensure clear visibility for safer driving.


Driving with windshield wiper skipping is annoying because they do not clear or wipe the water completely off the windscreen. However, if you need to stop and fix the wiper skipping, we must first figure out why windshield wiper skipping can help the situation.

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