I am just wondering. What should I (or any driver) do if I were driving in a heavy rain and all of a sudden the windshield wipers stopped working? Thank you very much. abfunex
If this is a concern of yours, there are some things you can do to prevent disaster if this were to happen to you. First, replace your wiper blades once a year or as needed. If you’re cheap, get Anco, nothing cheaper, and avoid those silicone blades; they streak too much. Replacing them regularly will prevent them from falling apart when you need them the most. Second, treat your windows with Rain-x. That stuff is amazing on the highway. Third, do not EVER turn on your wipers in the winter unless you know they are not frozen to the windshield. The wiper linkage will likely break, and some of them can be popped back together, but once they’ve been popped out once, they are never as strong as they once were. As far as if something goes wrong while you’re driving, turn on the hazard flashers, get pulled over as soon as you can and either wait out the rain or get someone to pick you up. Most experts agree that it is impossible to safely drive a car you cannot see out of.
I actually had this happen on a Chev Impala; the wiper motor gave out, stalling both blades.
I cranked down the window to at least be able to see something, and quickly got on the shoulder of the road. I phoned my wife to pick me up and retrieved the car when the rain stopped.
Many of us are used to driving through heavy snow storms with temporary absence of visibility. The secret in not to panic; if you have power windows, lower both the driver’s and passenger’s window and get off the road as soon as you can!
As other say, make sure you have good blades and replace them regularly. You cannot, unfortunately predict when the motor will fail.
First, I would check the fuses and look to see if something might be interfering with the motion of the wipers. If those efforts were unsuccessful, I would pull over under a shelter, clean the windshield, and apply some RainX or an equivalent product. This is no substitute for windshield wipers, but it will get you where you can have them fixed properly or a place where you can stop until the rain stops.
I want to watch (from a safe distance) as you check the fuses while driving in a downpour with inoperative wipers.
Why would you assume I would do that while driving?
“First, I would check the fuses … If those efforts were unsuccessful, I would pull over”
One assumes you would still be driving if you hadn’t “pulled over” yet.
Okay, here’s the full quote.
“First, I would check the fuses and look to see if something might be interfering with the motion of the wipers. If those efforts were unsuccessful, I would pull over under a shelter, clean the windshield, and apply some RainX or an equivalent product. This is no substitute for windshield wipers, but it will get you where you can have them fixed properly or a place where you can stop until the rain stops.”
It certainly implies that your sequence of operation is:
- Check fuse.
- If fuse is okay, then pull over.
The correct sequence would have been:
- Pull over
- Check fuse.
- If fuse is okay, do other stuff.
Surely, you can see the way that it reads?
Sometimes the best way to prepare for an emergency is simulate it in a safe way. If you experiment turning off your wipers in a bad rain storm you can see what you are dealing with. The only way to do this safely is to be sure you have no cars in front or behind you. On a straight stretch of road turn off the wipers for a “one, two” count. Then turn them on. Then do it again for a “one, two, three” count and so on. You’ll likely see that the windshield will be “smeary” but you can still discern the pavement in front enough to move the car over to the shoulder. This should give you some confidence and if the wipers go out unexpectedly you would be less likely to panic and “over steer” the car into trouble.
The real issue is if the wipers fail at night. Now that is too risky to practice. Yet, again the driver needs not to panic, but hit the emergency flashers and gradually steer to the right shoulder and slow the car to a safe stop.