How to Use Windshield Wipers (Step by Step)

Do you want to know how to use windshield wipers? If so, you are on the right page.

When learning how to drive, one additional control you will need to understand early enough is windscreen wipers. This knowledge is important for rainy days or when the car’s windscreen is due for a cleaning. It is equally important to enable you to pass your Show Me Tell Me questions during your practical driving test.

The stalk or lever at the right of the car’s steering wheel column is usually the windscreen wipers’ operator. The windscreen wiper sign is a guide to finding the windscreen lever.

The windscreen wipers’ operation can vary due to differences in cars or country, yet all USA cars use similar methods to those we’ll be explaining here.

Intermittent wiper speed operates when the lever is raised one notch and is often used during light showers of rain or drizzle. This might be labeled at the wiper lever as ‘int,’ and they have a short pause in-between each blade while they wipe.

Some cars have a collar that can be rotated to control the intermittent wipers’ speed. It’s called the variable wipers speed.

Like some drivers would find the variable speed wipers useful, other drivers use ‘pre-set’ operated, where the wiper stalk is lifted or lowered. You will notice two notches up for an ongoing normal speed, while the fastest speed has three notches up. Hold the lever towards the off direction for the windscreen wipers to turn off.

In winter, ensure you scrape any ice or snow on your windscreen (including your rear window) and that you don’t have frozen wiper blades.

Operating your wipers on an icy/frosty windscreen might damage your wiper blade rubber, and when you activate frozen wipers, it might damage your mechanical wipers system.

Check out this video for more tips on how to use windshield wipers

Where Is the Windshield Wiper Located?

The stalk at the steering wheel’s right side controls the windshield wipers. Usually, it has wiper symbols and other cryptic marks (these will be talked about later).

Although this guide is generalized, the wiper stalk location is accurate when referred to most cars of different models in the United States Of America.

Now, to the main windshield wipers operation

Also Read: Where to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid

How to Use Front Windshield Wipers

Step 1: Find the Control Stalk of the Windshield Wiper on Your Steering Wheel’s Right Side.

The control lever lets you control the wipers off and on, and it is located on the right side in many cars. You can see a dial at the control stalk that will let you adjust the wiper speed – this will be covered soon.

Some cars have their windshield wiper control on the left side. This doesn’t change how they work.

Step 2: To Run the Wipers Once, Push up the Stalk and Back Down.

Most cars have a “mist” mode to let you ON(use) the wipers for one to two wipes. This mode can be used anytime the windshield gets wet on a dry day or whenever it’s misting out lightly.

If you hold up the lever manually, it keeps the wiper running until you bring them down. This happens in some cars.

When the stalk is pushed up in most cars, an “intermittent” wiper mode will be activated, and the wipers will run every few seconds.

Step 3: Turn the “Continuous” or “Intermittent” Wipers on by Pulling Down Your Control Stalk.

In most cars, when you push down the control stack once, it turns the “intermittent” wipers on, which means that they’ll run almost every second. If the stalk is pushed on again, it’ll give you a “slow continuous” mode. A “fast continuous” mode is achieved if the stalk is pushed down once.

Pushing down the control stalk of a car with rain-sensing windshield wipers may activate “auto” mode, which lets the car choose the right frequency for its wipers.

In heavy rain, pick a “continuous” mode, whereas light or medium rain calls for an “intermittent” mode.

Step 4: Use the Control Stalk Dial to Set the “Intermittent” Wiper Speed.

Find the part on the wiper control stalk where the symbols, arrows, or numbers increase. Turn the dial towards you for the wiper speed to increase, and to reduce, move it away from you.

Typically, cars have between three to ten wiper speeds. Some Vehicle wipers can be turned on by turning the dial to yourself without pulling down the control stalk.

Usually, “auto” mode activates a rain-sensing system that helps you calculate safe wiper speed.

Step 5: Return the Lever or Dial to the “Off” Position to Turn off the Windshield Wipers.

When a control stalk has a dial, move back the dial to the starting point. In many cases, you will have to turn the dial from yourself. If the lever and wiper speed change, pushing the lever up move it to the original position.

How to Use Windshield Wipers

How to Use Back Windshield Wipers

Step 1: Find the Back Windshield Wiper Controller on the Control Dashboard or Stalk.

Find a rectangular symbol with a singular wiper line angled through its center. To ON your rear wipers, use the rear wiper dial when you find the symbol on your control stalk. When the symbol is on your dashboard, you’ll have to press a button to control your back wipers.

The rear windshield wiper dial is usually found on the main windshield wiper dial. Other cars might have a button that can be pushed at the end of their control stalk, which may be their back windshield wiper controls.

Back windshield wipers are not found in all cars. The owner’s manual will clarify you better when you’re unsure if you have the wipers or if your controls look dissimilar.

You can get specific instructions guiding your own car’s model or make concerning your wiper.

Also Read: Windshield Wipers Won’t Turn Off (Causes & Solution)

Step 2: To Turn Your Rear Wipers On, Push the Button or Rotate Your Dial.

Your back wipers dial should be turned to face the “on” position on your lever. But for those with a button setting, just push the button. And in other cases, turn the wipers on a continuous slow mode.

Step 3: Press Your Button for the Back Wipers to Turn Off, or Put the Dial Back to the Original Position.

To turn the wipers off, line up the white line or symbol on the movable part of the dial with the “off” label. You can also press the button again if you have rear wipers controlled by a button.

How to Use Windshield Wipers

How to Use Windshield Washing Feature

Step 1: The Lever Should Be Drawn Towards Your Direction to Let the Wiper Fluids Release on the Front Windshield.

The lever should be held for some seconds for the fluids to be released before letting go. Many levers return to the original position themselves. The wipers clean your windshield as they operate for some cycles and then turn themselves off.

Windshields that are too dirty should be cleaned by hand.

Step 2: Wash the Rear Windshield by Turning Down Your Rear Wiper Dial.

Find the symbol with dashed lines illustrating wiper fluids and indicating the rear wiper symbol. Turn the dial to align the “washing” symbol with the white line found in the movable area. Hold for some seconds before releasing.

In cases where a car won’t use the dial system, the control stalk should be pushed away so that the wiper fluids meant for the car’s back window will be released.

The component that lets one wash their back window with wiper fluids is not attainable in all cars. Find out your car’s model and check it online, or check the owner’s manual to be sure.

Also Read: How Far Can You Drive An Overheating Car?

Step 3: Whenever There’s an Indication That the Washer Fluid Is Running Low, Refill It.

Replace the washer fluid if you observe signs relating to washer fluid replacement or If a wiper fluid indicator light is seen on the dashboard.

Locate your fluid reservoir by the engine block, and fill it up (a fill line will guide as an indicator that it’s filled).

How to Use Windshield Wipers

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Use Windshield Wipers

How do you manually use windshield wipers?

To wipe your windshield, push the wiper controller at your steering yoke. And to get your washer fluid onto the windshield, push and hold your wiper button. When the button is released, two more wipes are done depending on the environmental conditions and vehicle, then a third wipe after some seconds.

Where is the windshield wiper switch generally?

Most vehicles activate their windshield wipers with a lever at the steering wheel’s right. Bringing the lever down activates your windshield wipers to the lowest point.

How do automatic wipers work?

Automatic wipers send out signs when there’s water on your windshield. The beam of light, or the sign it sends out, reflects at several angles. This makes the system activate the car’s wipers and adjust wiper frequency and speed depending on the car’s speed together with the strength of your precipitation.

What happens if you leave your windshield wipers on?

When the wiper blades are left on, they can damage the windshield. When the spring gets tightened up too much, the wiper snapping back against your windshield will be its result, and if the snap is hard enough, your windshield glass could crack.

Conclusion; How to Use Windshield Wipers

In summary, For most cars, you need to raise the lever to operate their front windscreen wipers. The raise will determine the speed it’ll operate with as they have different speeds.

We hope this post was of help to you. Please feel free to check out our other blog articles if you want to get more tips for fixing and preventing car troubles!

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