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How do I Adjust Tension on Windshield Wipers?

Updated February 21, 2017

After a period of time, your windshield wiper blades start to lose their ability to wipe well, mainly because of continuous exposure to the weather. When you notice your windshield wiper blades continue making a squeaking or chattering sound, this means the wiper blade has problems rolling over the centre and needs adjusting of the tension. This situation also means the wiper blade lost its flexibility. The blade begins to chatter or skip across the windshield. Adjust the tension in your windshield wiper blades to help keep you and your passengers safe.

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  1. Turn your car ignition to the "On" position, without starting the engine.

  2. Turn on the windshield wipers and then stop them in the "Park" position, the lowest part of the wipe pattern.

  3. Manually lift one of the wiper blades off the windshield, then release it, letting it hit the glass. This procedure adjusts the tension in the wiper blades.

  4. Examine the park line, which looks like a small, horizontal mark on your windshield. Make certain your windshield wiper blade heel parked within 5mm or almost 1/4 inch of the park line.

  5. Reposition the wiper blade heel just above the park line if the wiper blade tip hits the cowl screen excessively during normal use. The cowl screen exists as the area between the engine and the windshield. Ensure you have the wipers in the "Park" position before repositioning.

  6. Tip

    Replace your windshield wiper blades if they start smearing or streaking the windshield, even after you clean them. Check the owner's manual for your vehicle to find the correct windshield wiper blade size and installation technique. Replace your wiper blades at least every six months. Clean your wiper blades every month by wiping them with a clean cloth soaked in windshield washer fluid, which removes dirt, bird droppings and oil.


    Chrysler has a recall of 2008 Jeep Liberty vehicles, as of Nov. 3, 2010. The windshield wiper motors of these vehicles contain excess adhesive that can cause the windshield wiper system to fail. This failure reduces visibility while driving, putting occupants at risk of a crash. Chrysler dealers will replace the motor for the windshield wiper for free. Call the hotline number of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety at 888-327-4236.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ignition key


About the Author

Chyrene Pendleton

Chyrene Pendleton has been a business owner and newsletter editor for more than seven years. She is a freelance writer with over 25 years experience and teaches a variety of topics, including alternative health, hair care and metaphysics. Pendleton is a certified television show producer, radio talk-show host and producer, and a computer programmer with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

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