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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-25-2008, 12:20 PM
gunship911 gunship911 is offline
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Noisy Skipping Windshield wipers

Here is another quirky, idiosyncratic BMW trait. Why does the windshield wipers skip and chatter across the windshield? The blades are new and clean. The windshield is free of any grime or dirt. But in light or heavy rain, in intermittent or constant setting the damned blades can't do it's job quietly. I just bought the 303 wiper treatments and I hope they will work. Thanks for letting me vent.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2008, 12:35 PM
freethrowdunk freethrowdunk is offline
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I get this too. Under the same circumstances described above.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2008, 05:48 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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No problem with mine yet. Are you using BMW refills?
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2008, 06:15 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
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This was on my E38 back in 2002, but maybe it will give you some ideas. My wiper chatter was only my driver's side. I tried so many things:
Dealer checked alignment of the blade.
OEM inserts changed.
OEM blade changed.
OEM arm changed.
Basic aftermarket inserts tried.
Bosch and Trico more deluxe aftermarket blades tried.
P21S washer fluid "intensive" additive
Cleaned with Stoner's Invisible Glass.
Cleaned with SprayAway Glass Cleaner.
Cleaned with Windex.
Cleaned with Bon Ami.
Had a new OEM windshield installed. ($$$!)
Finally, the PIAA Sporza worked for me, but only on the driver's side. Using the PIAA on the passenger side was bad... it clicked loudly at the end of each swipe. PIAA on the driver's side, OE on the passenger side. Working great the last six years with no other product (like Rain-X, etc.) on the glass. Some swear by the Bosch Microedge, others the Trico Exact Fit. Sounds like it's alot of trial and error to get the right combination.

PIAA on the driver's side. Fin looks close to the BMW passenger side.




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E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
E30 1987 325i Royal Blue
E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray
R56 2010 Mini Cooper S British Racing Green


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  #5  
Old 11-25-2008, 06:16 PM
Oh haha Oh haha is offline
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I use rain-x on all of my cars and I do not have any skipping/chattering whatsoever.

I don't use my wipers very often as I don't need them with the Rain-x.
I also wax the windows whenever I do the paint. I use my orbital buffer to polish them.
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2008, 07:21 PM
pinkslip1 pinkslip1 is offline
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i also use rain x it works wonders. before i had the same problem after smooth as ice.
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2008, 09:52 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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I have used RainX in the past, but I dislike the fact it wears off fast in the wiper path. I've been using the acrylic synthetic wax, Klasse All-In-One, on the windshield when I apply it to the paint. It works as well as RainX and stays on much longer. Another option is a product called AquaPel, which is supposed ot last longer than RainX. I have never used AquaPel so I am certain of that.
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2008, 10:54 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
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AquaPel was the next thing I was going to try when I found my solution. I heard good things about it, but it was not a DIY product.
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E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
E30 1987 325i Royal Blue
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2008, 05:57 AM
gunship911 gunship911 is offline
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I have used Rain X in the past. However, I dislike it because it gums up on the windshield after awhile. I will google aquapel and see what that's all about. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2008, 09:47 AM
BruceSEA993 BruceSEA993 is offline
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Hey Guys,

The reason wipers chatter and skip is the blade is not perpendicular to the glass. When the wiper sweeps one way it is smooth as it is not leaning into the glass. On the return it is leaning into the glass and chatters. Changing blades and arms sometimes can help but doesn't fix the problem.

You can look at this by turning off the key while the wipers are on and stop them in the area where they chatter. You should be able to see the blade "leaning" into the glass.

To fix them, twist the arm (the part attached to the motor post being carefull not to torque the motor) so the rubber blade is at right angles to the glass. I have used a couple of cresent wrenches with a shop rag over the wiper to protect the black finish.

Cheers!

Last edited by BruceSEA993; 11-26-2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: shpelling!
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2012, 04:31 AM
ruff2001 ruff2001 is offline
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Noisy skipping wiper blades

I agree with bruce this is a logical reason for the blades to skip, I will try this fix, since changing the blades did not work. I will post results.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2012, 04:59 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceSEA993 View Post
Hey Guys,

The reason wipers chatter and skip is the blade is not perpendicular to the glass. When the wiper sweeps one way it is smooth as it is not leaning into the glass. On the return it is leaning into the glass and chatters. Changing blades and arms sometimes can help but doesn't fix the problem.

You can look at this by turning off the key while the wipers are on and stop them in the area where they chatter. You should be able to see the blade "leaning" into the glass.

To fix them, twist the arm (the part attached to the motor post being carefull not to torque the motor) so the rubber blade is at right angles to the glass. I have used a couple of cresent wrenches with a shop rag over the wiper to protect the black finish.

Cheers!
And why would an arm twist out of its original position that would require the amount of force you will apply with a wrench to straighten it? Something seems odd.

A wax or glaze on the windshield can cause this. Bon Ami cleaner (use ONLY bon ami) can be used to remove the wax/glaze from the windshield. It will not scratch glass. I've also had a theory that with wear in the linkage bushings the wiper may start to chatter and with the slop in the bushings, the arm resonates which causes the chatter. Not sure if bushings can be replaced or if the linkage assembly is the replacement part. In various cars owned, never had any luck replacing the blades or arm assemblies to solve the problem. Never have this issue on low mileage vehicles, only after years of wear and tear
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2012, 11:41 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just for the record, mine make no noise whatsoever.

Of course, it hardly ever rains in California ... but when it does rain ... my wipers don't make any undue noise.

If it helps, I replaced my rubber inserts as described in this thread:
- How to buy E39 25" driver side & 22" passenger side wiper refills

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2012, 01:27 PM
BruceSEA993 BruceSEA993 is offline
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Quote:
And why would an arm twist out of its original position that would require the amount of force you will apply with a wrench to straighten it?
I usually see this happen from snow or ice on the windshield and that puts a load on the blades. I am sure there are lots of other ways to get them out of alignment.

I have stopped the chatter on about 5 or 6 cars with this method so it works for me. YMMV!
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2012, 04:15 AM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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I never get any chatter on my beemer!

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  #16  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:15 PM
Wayne's World Wayne's World is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceSEA993 View Post
I usually see this happen from snow or ice on the windshield and that puts a load on the blades. I am sure there are lots of other ways to get them out of alignment.

I have stopped the chatter on about 5 or 6 cars with this method so it works for me. YMMV!
I can confirm this resolved the issue for me with an E39 M5. Even left the old blades in and just adjusted the angle on the driver side and chatter disappeared. Replaced the blades and it's even quieter.
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2012, 04:31 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Just a clarification to an earlier post on this thread: Aquapel is a DIY treatment. And it is similar to Rain-X but lasts 3-4 months. Highly recommended.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2012, 05:02 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Have been using Aquapel for the last couple of years now--this stuff really lasts--along with that the best wiper refills I ever used --Trico bought at the Local Advance Auto--26 inch length--the height of the baldes are just a little taller and they are Silent while working back and forth. To install them, I removed the metal from my old blades and them trheaded the Rubber blades into the arms and then threaded the Bmw blades into the wipers--tight fit but worked and they are the best that's been on the car since I have owned her new--245k miles now
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  #19  
Old 12-12-2012, 05:43 PM
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moots moots is offline
wat's dat noise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne's World View Post
I can confirm this resolved the issue for me with an E39 M5. Even left the old blades in and just adjusted the angle on the driver side and chatter disappeared. Replaced the blades and it's even quieter.

yup.what bruce said.
fixed this on other car makes and cured chatter.
it chatters because the rubber blade is going against the sweep direction and not sweeping with it.....like painting a house door with a 2 inch paint brush

sometimes its fixed by replacing wiper blades sometimes by adjusting the arm angle.

some instance when the wipers are not used for prolonged periods,the blade tend to 'rest' in one angle and 'forms' itself to that angle state...and the first sweep will cause chatter as the blade is pointing 'to' the sweep direction....
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2012, 03:24 AM
Tuskfish Tuskfish is offline
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Aquapel is the best and longest lasting product of it's type I've used you just won't find it on the shelves of the local auto parts store.

There is a rain repellant that works way better than RainX and is easy to find locally. Check out Rain Clear, it's a gel by Glass Science.
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2012, 08:01 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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EDIT: Opps, alignment was mentioned in earlier posts. Sorry for the oversight. Meantime, I hope these instructions will help on the details of adjustment.

In addition to issues listed above, consider the angle the wiper arm/blade makes to the windshield. If the angle is too far off, the wiper will skip & streak or chatter.

The TIS procedure for checking & adjusting the angle





And an image of the BMW tool with angle indicated
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Last edited by rdl; 12-13-2012 at 08:07 AM. Reason: typos
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  #22  
Old 12-13-2012, 08:15 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Come to recall, another source of noisy wipers (although not so much for chattering) is wear in the blades and spoiler. See this thread describing my eperiences.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=583984
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