Headlight wiper systems are only seen on a very small portion of vehicles on the road today, which is why most people aren’t aware of how they operate. Their purpose is simply to provide a clean headlight lens for the best view-ability of the road ahead.

How headlight wipers work

Headlight wipers each have a small wiper motor attached to a tiny wiper arm that is mounted directly beside, under, or over the headlight assembly. When the wiper operates, it swipes back and forth over the headlight lens, removing water, dirt and snow. Some headlight wiper systems come equipped with headlight sprayers also which spray washer fluid onto the headlight assembly as the wiper is operating.

The headlight wipers are turned on simply by using your windshield wipers. When the wipers are turned on, the headlight wipers continually operate in the same rhythm as the windshield wipers. If the headlights are equipped with sprayers also, those are controlled by operating the windshield washers.

The headlight wipers are purely a convenience item. If they aren’t operating, your headlights may not shine as brightly, and you will need to get your car washed. If the headlight wipers aren’t working because the windshield wipers aren’t functioning, you’ll need to have the wiper system looked at right away.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Do Headlight Wipers Work? and was authored by Jason Unrau.


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