Knowing how to turn off windshield wipers is like flipping a switch. It is straightforward! 

While different models and wiper control systems have their ways of controlling windshield wipers, you can still see a pattern here. 

Firstly, locate the wiper control lever, which is usually found on the right side of the steering wheel or on the stalk that extends from the steering column.

Identify the lever position that corresponds to the “Off” setting. 

It is always between the “Low” and “High” speed settings, or it may be labeled “Off.” Move the lever to this position, and the wipers should stop.

But what if the vehicle has an intermittent wiper control, a wiper “pulse” feature, or the wiper is simply just malfunctioning? 

Whatever the situation may be, we got you covered! 

How To Turn Off Windshield Wipers

How to turn off windshield wiper
Credits: New Africa

Before proceeding, we first need a vivid picture of how the windshield wiper works. 

This will help us better understand how to locate it and when it is faulty. 

So the modern windshield wiper system is made up of several components. This includes the wiper switch, electronic motor, linkage assembly, two wiper arms, and a washer fluid reservoir.

Activating the wiper switch triggers a compact electric motor that turns, causing the linkage assembly to move.

This transforms the motor’s rotational motion into a side-to-side movement of the wiper blades, which results in their familiar sweeping pattern across the windshield.

When the wiper switch is “off,” it activates the park switch in the motor, which cuts off power to the linkage assembly and wiper arms and brings the wipers to a stop at the bottom position.

And going back to whether the vehicle has an intermittent wiper control or a wiper “pulse” feature, you need to understand this: 

Vehicles with a wiper “pulse” feature turn the wipers on and off quickly for a short period.

 In this case, to turn off the wipers, simply move the lever back to the “off” position.

Some vehicles have a wiper control system that allows you to turn off the wipers by pressing a button. 

To turn off the wipers, in this case, locate the wiper control button and press it until the wipers stop.

And lastly, for intermittent wiper control, you may need to move the lever to the lowest intermittent setting or until the wipers stop entirely. 

Why Won’t My Windshield Wipers Turn Off?

To determine the root cause, you may have to try replacing different parts through trial and error, starting with the simplest solution first:

Defective Relay

 All windshield wiper systems have an internal electrical switch called a relay.  If the relay fails, the wipers may not work at all or continue to operate even when turned off. 

Replacing the wiper relay is the easiest solution and may fix your problem. Wiper relays typically cost less than $20.

Malfunctioning Switch

The switch that turns the wipers on and off is complex and contains many internal circuits. 

Sometimes one or more of these circuits may fail, causing the wipers to stay on, often in low or intermittent mode.

Broken Park Switch

 When the park switch fails, the system no longer signals the wipers to stop at the bottom of the windshield, causing them to continue to run. 

Some systems include park switches built into the wiper motor, meaning the entire motor needs to be replaced.

And resolving the issue of windshield wipers that refuse to turn off usually requires swapping out the faulty component.

Have that in mind. 

Finding a replacement part is relatively straightforward, as they can be easily purchased online. Once you have identified the cause of the problem, it’s just a matter of buying the necessary part.

However, if you are unsure of the situation, it may be best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Wrong To Leave The Windshield Wipers On When The Car Is Off?

Leaving the windshield wipers on when the car is off can have negative consequences for both the car battery and the wiper motor.

The continuous running of the wiper motor can drain the car battery, potentially leaving you stranded.

In addition, the constant operation of the wiper motor can cause it to overheat. And this can potentially lead to permanent damage and the need for costly repairs.

Hence, turning off the wipers when the car is not in use is recommended.

Can I Turn Off The Windshield Wipers Manually?

Yes, you can turn off the windshield wipers manually. Turning off the wipers varies depending on the type of vehicle and the wiper control system.

In most vehicles, the wipers are off by moving the wiper control lever to the “Off” position.

And as said before, it is usually a detent position between the “Low” and “High” speed settings.

If you need help, consult the owner’s manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer.

Why Won’t My Windshield Wipers Turn Off?

There could be several reasons why your windshield wipers won’t turn off. A faulty wiper control lever or switch, a problem with the wiper control module, or a broken wiper motor can all cause the wipers not to turn off. 

Suppose the wiper control lever or button appears to be functioning correctly, but the wipers still won’t turn off. In that case, it may be necessary to have the wiper control system inspected by a professional. 

It is essential to address the issue immediately to ensure safe driving visibility.

How Do I Turn Off The Windshield Wipers On A New Car?

Turning off the windshield wipers on a new car may be different than on an older vehicle.

The best way to determine how to turn off the wipers is to consult the owner’s manual for specific instructions.

You can also contact the vehicle manufacturer for guidance if you do not have the manual.


So that is all for how to turn off windshield wipers.

And as you’ve seen for yourself, it is a straightforward process that anyone can do.

Whether you’re using a lever or a button, the process is the same. You have to locate the wiper control and move it to the off position. 

However, proper maintenance of your windshield wipers is crucial. And this includes turning them off when not in use. It helps extend their lifespan and improve performance when you need them. 

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