Learn How Windshield Wipers Function (Part 1)

Windshield wipers were not automatically functioning using a press of a button. Originally, it was manually operated by turning a lever. Nowadays, the windshield wipers have evolved, and it can operate with less intervention. The wipers can silently work in the background while keeping your windows clear from distractions.  It can move back and forth across innumerable times to keep rain or snow is away from your view of the road. In this post, you will learn the different mechanisms that affect windshield wipers.

Windshield wipers are not only found on your cars, but it is also present in airplanes, buses, and other means of transportation. Now, let’s focus on inside the wipers first.

vehicle wiper on vehicle windshield

What’s Inside the Wipers?

There are two technologies that help wipers do their tasks:
  • The electric motor and gear reduction gives power.
  • Meanwhile, a linkage transforms the rotational movement to back-and-forth motion you normally see wipers do.

Motor and Gear Reduction

  • Wipers would need a huge amount of force to accelerate to allow the blades to quickly move back and forth. To do this, a worm gear is necessary.
  • Inside the motor, there is an electronic circuit that checks if the wipers are down. Moreover, it is the circuit’s responsibility to ensure that the wipers stay at the bottom at all times. Additionally, if you set it to intermittent setting, it is the circuit that will maneuver the wipers in between positions.


  • A camshaft is added to the gear reduction, and this will be spinning as the wiper motor rotates. There is an attached long road; when the cam twirls, the rod will operate back and forth. Now, we will now proceed with the specific functionalities of the wiper blades.

Wiper Blades

  • The wiper blade is held up in six different positions to allow even pressure distribution. The wiper act as sponges, and the arms yank a rubber strip over the windshield to keep the windshield free from water.
  • When the wiper blade is new, the rubber will work seamlessly. It will be clean, and it will have NO visible cracks to interfere with the wiping. If the rubber is damaged, it will leave marks or streaks on your windshield.
  • So, check your wipers from time to time. Clean it and keep it free from grime and dust build-up. If you notice any nicks, cracks, or any signs of aging, make sure to replace it. Because if you don’t, more dirt will come off the wipers. Dirt and dust will hide in these little spaces.
  • Another thing to consider is the length of the rubber. The wiper blades are made to stick to the middle, but some rubber wipers stretch out like a branch of a tree. If ice or snow accumulates in these spaces, it will start to form streaks. So, you better get some winter blade with a special rubber to drive away any sign of snow and ice from your windshield. More details will be discussed on Learn How Windshield Wipers Function (Part 2).