Skipping/Chattering wipers.. Tried and true remedy?

Skipping/Chattering wipers.. Tried and true remedy?

From day one, I've had chattering/skipping wipers - which has now become a real PITA as the daily rains have returned to Seattle... When the problem first appeared, I tried several fixes, to no avail. Cleaned with 91% isopropyl alcohol, window cleaner, etc. Cleaned the blades as well. Tried AqualPel (which I use successfully on my other cars), etc. Currently, still using the OEM blades that came with the car (June build), and the windshield remains treated with AquaPel. Any suggestions? If recommending new blades, please be specific as to what blades you are recommending, and if they are direct replacements to the OEM blades. I'm trying to avoid having to take a Porter Cable and glass compound/Bon Ami/Bar keepers friend to the windshield, if possible.

P.S. The SC is an hour drive each way, with traffic, so that's my last resort. Also, not interested in using RainX of any sort.

FISHEV | 18 november 2019

I wonder if the wipers are bent or misaligned. There’s nothing special about the Tesla windshield. The Tesla wiper blades are mid level but decent so nothing special there. Really shouldn’t do it. If changing wiper blades doesn’t work, I’d wonder about the mechanics setup of the wipers. Find one that doesn’t chatter and see what the difference is?

CincyM3 | 18 november 2019

Get one from Amazon, try it and I am sure it will fix your problem. If not, just return it back and take your car to SC because it would clearly mean that there is something wrong with your wipers (misaligned or something).

gmr6415 | 18 november 2019

The owners' manual clearly states to not use any water repellents because it can cause exactly what you are describing.

Page 150 of the owners' manual
Caution: Do not add formulated washer that contain water repellent or bugwash. These can cause streaking, smearing, and squeaking or other noises.

I accidentally got Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax on my windshield and found it actually made the wipers work better. You might want to try it. I'm still on my original wipers 8-18 build in Central Florida where they get used a lot.

M3phan | 18 november 2019

Sorry to hear the SC is relatively far away for you, when mine started chattering two months after delivery summer 2018, the service center replaced them free of charge and they’ve been fine ever since for over a year.

Frank99 | 18 november 2019

90% of the time, chattering wipers are due to someone putting snake oil on the windshield for (repelling water, protecting the glass, whatever) or oil/spooge getting deposited while driving. The other 10% are due to old rubber inserts, and a vanishingly small percentage due to bent wiper arms/blades.

Wipers are designed to work on clean glass, their operation Is actually remarkably sophisticated. Replace your blades/inserts, clean the windshield with a razor blade/windex, and if that doesn’t solve the problem then replace the wiper arms.

Patronus | 18 november 2019

You need to twist the wiper arms so that the blade is dragging instead pushing. This takes some observation. First, note what direction they chatter. Second, twist the wiper arm such that the blade drags more than pushes the blade. This is hard to describe, but it works. I usually use a rag over the wiper arm and twist with pliers as to not scratch the arm.

gmr6415 | 18 november 2019

@Patronus, So once they wipe up the windshield do you have to bail out and twist them the other direction before they wipe down the windshield?

That makes no sense at all. The tip of the wiper blade should naturally twist based on the direction they are going.

The OP states he/she has applied AquaPel. That's most likely the problem.

Patronus | 18 november 2019

"That makes no sense at all. The tip of the wiper blade should naturally twist based on the direction they are going."

Well, it makes sense if the arms are twisted such that in one direction they push and the other direction they drag, but drag at too high of an angle. Believe me, this works. I have done it on cars with this problem for 40 years or more.

jebinc | 18 november 2019


Yeah, I did that for 40 years as well, but these cars have flexible “beam arm” type, and not the rigid “spring arm” type wipers. Makes a difference.


As for the AquaPel, I tried that after all else failed, so not that originally. And yes, the glass was cleaned very well before application. As I mentioned in the OP, not my first rodeo with AquaPel.