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Windshield wiper drama


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15 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   machoman1337

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 09:57 PM

This is a fun story and hopefully others will also learn from my experience too!

 

I picked up the car at 20 months old as a demonstrator model, in May 2014. I started using the wipers around September 2014, and initially they were fine. Throughout November and December, when Vancouver gets bombarded with the most rain of the year, the left-side wiper began squeaking every few turns. Only super-heavy rain would allow it to be quiet. I removed and reinstalled the blade, and cleaned it thoroughly, and it didn't help.

 

The rainy season ended early and I forgot all about the issue. In July 2015, during a 3-month heat wave that caused a drought in western Canada (the government even had to enforce water restrictions!), I finally remembered the wiper and asked the dealer to replace the left-side wiper blade during a service appointment. This cost me $19 + tax including labour. After taking my car back, I tested the wipers once and they seemed good.

 

During the heat wave my car was always parked outside, often under the hot sun without any shade, while I was at work. I didn't realize this would be a problem until much later.

 

The rainy season finally returned in October 2015... and when I turned on the wipers, I swear the squeaking was MUCH worse than it was with the old blade that originally came with the car! This was quite shocking since the blade was just purchased 4 months prior. I repeatedly tried cleaning the wipers and my windshield manually with soap, and it would be a temporary fix that lasted one day at best. Even in heavy rain, the squeaking could be heard. I was too busy to book a dealer appointment so I just turned up the volume on my stereo and lived with it.

 

3 weeks ago, the right-side wiper blade began to squeak too, during an unusual cold spell (temperatures dropping to -10C, not common in Vancouver). Fortunately, I'd finally booked a dealer appointment for December to fix the 15S16 door-latch recall. That's what I did this morning... not the best way to begin my Christmas holidays. 

 

At the dealer, I informed the service advisor of the problem, stressing that the ear-splitting squeaks were happening with a nearly brand new wiper blade. I suspected that the rest of the wiper assembly (the part actually connecting to the car) was to blame since the motor wasn't always turning at a consistent speed. Since blades aren't covered under the Ford ESP, I was hoping I'd be right because I didn't want to pay for any repairs.

 

I finally got my car back this evening, and it turns out that they ended up replacing both blades after all, and I was out $40. The advisor explained that even though the left blade was brand new, it had become misshapen (especially the rubber) during the summer heat wave, and the cold weather this month made the problem even worse, with the misshapen rubber hardening into an improper shape. At least these two new blades were finally as silent as I'd wanted. 

 

Moral of the story: Do not get wiper blades replaced during the hot rainless part of the year. You could risk throwing away good money (like I did) by having to replace them yet again prematurely.

 

I am curious though, are all car wipers generally this vulnerable, or is Ford sourcing lower-quality parts? My old Fusion had somewhat loud wipers, but they didn't emit ear-splitting squeaks, and I never had any work done on the wipers at all in the 2 years I owned it (not to mention at the time I lived in Ontario which has more extreme summers and winters). My parents' Lexuses also haven't had the wiper blades replaced for a few years, though those cars didn't spend as much time in the hot sun as mine does (shaded carpark at my dad's office), and they're still totally silent. 

 

Anyway, with this problem taken care of along with the 15S16 recall, my car is finally trouble-free for now! I don't even have 25,000 km on it yet so it may be too early to tell :P


Edited by machoman1337, 21 December 2015 - 09:59 PM.

My precious: 2013 Fusion Hybrid SE Ice Storm - Luxury Package (Dune), Navigation, Tech Package, Active Park Assist, Moonroof (ugh), 18" premium painted luxury wheels. Built in July 2012, bought CPO (former demonstrator) in May 2014. 6.3L/100 km lifetime fuel economy

 

Current temporary ride: 2003 Lexus LS430 w/navigation and parking sensors. Bought in December 2002, selling when I graduate








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#2 OFFLINE   Texasota

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 04:51 PM

Anyway, with this problem taken care of along with the 15S16 recall, my car is finally trouble-free for now! I don't even have 25,000 km on it yet so it may be too early to tell :P

Until you need to replace wiper blades again after the 2016 hot/dry season.  ;)


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#3 OFFLINE   Cobra348

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 06:03 PM

I replace the blades on both cars in the late fall when I put the Winter rim/tire sets on.  Usually no bad side effects.


Larry - aka Cobra

 

Big Red: 2017 FFH SE, Ruby Red, Med Light Stone leather

602A SE Luxury Package, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control w/stop & go

Driver Assist Pkg (lane keeping, BLIS, auto high beams, auto wipers, heated steering wheel)

My additions:  WeatherTech lasercut floor mats, in-channel wind deflectors (dark smoked)

Steeda strut tower brace, Steeda rear sway bar, Steeda hood struts, Ford donut spare

Summer rims/tires - 17" Verde Regency rims with OEM tread

Winter rims/tires - 17" OEM rims with Goodyear UltraGrip WRT Ice

 


#4 OFFLINE   machoman1337

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 09:58 PM

Until you need to replace wiper blades again after the 2016 hot/dry season.  ;)

 

I'm going to search for shaded parking at work this summer ;) Work days are when my car gets exposed to outside weather for the longest period of time


My precious: 2013 Fusion Hybrid SE Ice Storm - Luxury Package (Dune), Navigation, Tech Package, Active Park Assist, Moonroof (ugh), 18" premium painted luxury wheels. Built in July 2012, bought CPO (former demonstrator) in May 2014. 6.3L/100 km lifetime fuel economy

 

Current temporary ride: 2003 Lexus LS430 w/navigation and parking sensors. Bought in December 2002, selling when I graduate


#5 OFFLINE   talmy

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 10:32 AM

The local Costco has a sale on wiper blades at the start of the rainy season each year. I always replace them at that time. I also have a large can of Silicone spray that I run over all the rubber door gaskets to keep them supple.



#6 OFFLINE   machoman1337

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 11:29 AM

Ah, thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely look into buying some Silicone spray, and also investigate the prices of generic wiper blades rather than buy them from the dealership each time.


My precious: 2013 Fusion Hybrid SE Ice Storm - Luxury Package (Dune), Navigation, Tech Package, Active Park Assist, Moonroof (ugh), 18" premium painted luxury wheels. Built in July 2012, bought CPO (former demonstrator) in May 2014. 6.3L/100 km lifetime fuel economy

 

Current temporary ride: 2003 Lexus LS430 w/navigation and parking sensors. Bought in December 2002, selling when I graduate


#7 OFFLINE   Cobra348

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 04:17 PM

I get rid of OEM blades as soon as I can.  I've got Anco Winter Extreme on the Fusion right now ... and (I think) Anco Contour on the Fiesta.  Everyone I know with a Ford has gotten rid of the standard blades for various reasons.


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Larry - aka Cobra

 

Big Red: 2017 FFH SE, Ruby Red, Med Light Stone leather

602A SE Luxury Package, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control w/stop & go

Driver Assist Pkg (lane keeping, BLIS, auto high beams, auto wipers, heated steering wheel)

My additions:  WeatherTech lasercut floor mats, in-channel wind deflectors (dark smoked)

Steeda strut tower brace, Steeda rear sway bar, Steeda hood struts, Ford donut spare

Summer rims/tires - 17" Verde Regency rims with OEM tread

Winter rims/tires - 17" OEM rims with Goodyear UltraGrip WRT Ice

 


#8 OFFLINE   machoman1337

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:22 PM

I see you live in upstate NY and could reach Toronto by boat... that explains why you'd use "winter extreme" blades. Thanks for sharing those brands - I will order them online next time my wipers start giving my ears grief.


My precious: 2013 Fusion Hybrid SE Ice Storm - Luxury Package (Dune), Navigation, Tech Package, Active Park Assist, Moonroof (ugh), 18" premium painted luxury wheels. Built in July 2012, bought CPO (former demonstrator) in May 2014. 6.3L/100 km lifetime fuel economy

 

Current temporary ride: 2003 Lexus LS430 w/navigation and parking sensors. Bought in December 2002, selling when I graduate


#9 OFFLINE   Cobra348

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 08:52 PM

I got the blades thru the local Goodyear store, so if you want to go that route, it's an option.  I would also think auto stores might carry them or be able to get them for you as well. <shrug>

 

Now if it would just flippin' SNOW!  Where I park is a mudhole from all the rain and today was 64 degrees F out!  What?!?


Edited by Cobra348, 24 December 2015 - 08:53 PM.

Larry - aka Cobra

 

Big Red: 2017 FFH SE, Ruby Red, Med Light Stone leather

602A SE Luxury Package, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control w/stop & go

Driver Assist Pkg (lane keeping, BLIS, auto high beams, auto wipers, heated steering wheel)

My additions:  WeatherTech lasercut floor mats, in-channel wind deflectors (dark smoked)

Steeda strut tower brace, Steeda rear sway bar, Steeda hood struts, Ford donut spare

Summer rims/tires - 17" Verde Regency rims with OEM tread

Winter rims/tires - 17" OEM rims with Goodyear UltraGrip WRT Ice

 


#10 OFFLINE   FernMTL

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 07:36 PM

You can spray Rain-X on your windshield too. It does miracles!



#11 OFFLINE   ElectricFan69

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:37 AM

 

I'm going to search for shaded parking at work this summer ;) Work days are when my car gets exposed to outside weather for the longest period of time

I detect the very distinct odor of bovine excrement that the dealer is shoveling.  

There is no legit reason a wiper blade should deteriorate into squaculence (how's that for an invented word? :rating: ) in 4 months.  Either the design, or materials, or both, are deficient, or you have environmental pollution that is creating the problem.  

 

Here in FL, temps in excess of 30 C are a regular feature, albeit in combination with morning dew that requires use of wipers on a daily basis unless you mange to keep the 'stuff' explosion and are able to use your garage.  The only times i've had 'skippy' type problems is after a car wash with the 'spray-on' wax - and that was removable by Windex and alcohol combination.  

 

Also, way back when, I got suckered in to the 'water beading' product that caused a skarting sound a couple of weeks after initial application;  took me hours to clean the glass from the crud so wipers worked smoothly again.  Also had issues when I commuted to an industrial zone with all sorts of crud in the air (nearby were phosphate fertilizer plant, a lead/acid battery plant, an asphalt plant and several industrial enterprises with uncertain emissions profiles.  That car developed 'paint discoloration' that I could never fully remove after a month, and the wipers would squart and streak.  I was REALLY glad that contract got completed after 3 months and I didn't have to go into that area again.

 

So, I'd suggest that the root cause is contamination of the glass or the blades due to environmental conditions, for which brand-new wiper blades are a temporary fix.  If this supposition is correct, you'll need to either address the root cause (like with a car cover or more effective glass and blade cleaning) or be ready for regular blade replacement   


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#12 OFFLINE   ElectricFan69

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:40 AM

You can spray Rain-X on your windshield too. It does miracles!

Rain-X and its ilk end up creating a maintenance dependency on the product.  The stuff deteriorates after a relatively short time, and this deterioration will force you to re-apply or suffer streaking and squarting.  Getting 'clean' from it is a major PIA/chore.



#13 OFFLINE   machoman1337

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 07:26 PM

I detect the very distinct odor of bovine excrement that the dealer is shoveling.  

There is no legit reason a wiper blade should deteriorate into squaculence (how's that for an invented word? :rating: ) in 4 months.  Either the design, or materials, or both, are deficient, or you have environmental pollution that is creating the problem.  

 

Here in FL, temps in excess of 30 C are a regular feature, albeit in combination with morning dew that requires use of wipers on a daily basis unless you mange to keep the 'stuff' explosion and are able to use your garage.  The only times i've had 'skippy' type problems is after a car wash with the 'spray-on' wax - and that was removable by Windex and alcohol combination.  

 

Also, way back when, I got suckered in to the 'water beading' product that caused a skarting sound a couple of weeks after initial application;  took me hours to clean the glass from the crud so wipers worked smoothly again.  Also had issues when I commuted to an industrial zone with all sorts of crud in the air (nearby were phosphate fertilizer plant, a lead/acid battery plant, an asphalt plant and several industrial enterprises with uncertain emissions profiles.  That car developed 'paint discoloration' that I could never fully remove after a month, and the wipers would squart and streak.  I was REALLY glad that contract got completed after 3 months and I didn't have to go into that area again.

 

So, I'd suggest that the root cause is contamination of the glass or the blades due to environmental conditions, for which brand-new wiper blades are a temporary fix.  If this supposition is correct, you'll need to either address the root cause (like with a car cover or more effective glass and blade cleaning) or be ready for regular blade replacement   

 

Thanks for the informative response! You are probably right that the dealer isn't telling the whole truth.

 

During the 4 months it took for my brand new wiper to deteriorate, I was parking near a construction site which throws a ton of particles into the air (apart from that, my city is quite pollution-free with superbly clean air). Either that is contaminating the glass/blades, or the Ford OEM blades are of sub-par quality.


My precious: 2013 Fusion Hybrid SE Ice Storm - Luxury Package (Dune), Navigation, Tech Package, Active Park Assist, Moonroof (ugh), 18" premium painted luxury wheels. Built in July 2012, bought CPO (former demonstrator) in May 2014. 6.3L/100 km lifetime fuel economy

 

Current temporary ride: 2003 Lexus LS430 w/navigation and parking sensors. Bought in December 2002, selling when I graduate


#14 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 10:39 PM

I use my wipers (and washer) almost every day after first start-up because of tree sap etc. The car is now 14 months and 18,000 mioles old and the wipers perform perfectly. In general, our air is very clear and clean.


IMG_2641c_160w.jpg


#15 OFFLINE   billford

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 12:36 AM

My wipers are original, 2 years old. Still work properly.

Only thing I do is clean the windshield with windex and apply rainx once a month. A few times a year, I take the blades off and clean them with ordinary hand  soap and water with a small bristle brush. Quite a bit of dirt and oil comes off this way and it makes a difference. 


Edited by billford, 02 January 2016 - 12:16 PM.


#16 OFFLINE   ElectricFan69

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 12:20 PM

 

Thanks for the informative response! You are probably right that the dealer isn't telling the whole truth.

 

During the 4 months it took for my brand new wiper to deteriorate, I was parking near a construction site which throws a ton of particles into the air (apart from that, my city is quite pollution-free with superbly clean air). Either that is contaminating the glass/blades, or the Ford OEM blades are of sub-par quality.

Parking near a construction site is a REAL wild card.  If they used a sprayed-on waterproofing (likely if the facade is concrete), or various types of paints, the over spray could have been the root cause.  A thorough cleaning of the car (including claying the finish) could be in order.  Lots of the construction folks are sloppy and ill-trained in use of products - to the detriment of the neighbors.   






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