What causes windscreen wiper scratches?

My daughter recently bought a used Micra from a Nissan Dealership. But when using the windscreen wipers for the first time, following a spell of dry weather, she noticed several light scratches on the screen directly in her vision.

On contacting the dealership they advised the scratches were due to debris having collected on the wiper rubber due to the dry weather. When used, the "grit" has scratched the glass, they claim.

They have declined to consider the matter further by advising she should contact a windscreen repair company if she wants to have the scratches removed. As the windscreen was wet prior to the wipers being activated how probable is it that grit on the blades was the cause? My daughter has owned the car for less than a month and has driven less than 100 miles.

Asked on 8 September 2021 by Graham Cowperthwaite

Answered by Dan Powell
When the weather is warm and dry, grit and dirt can easily build up on the windscreen and under the wiper blades. If your daughter used the wipers for the first time without any washer fluid then it's possible this dirt and grit has become trapped between the wiper and glass, scratching the windscreen.

The dealer's reaction is disappointing. But I'm not sure how your daughter can hold the seller liable. The dealer will reasonably argue that the damage occurred after the sale and it will be very difficult to counter this argument without any evidence.

You could attempt to fix the scratch yourself. There are various scratch repair kits online - some of our readers claim using toothpaste followed by polishing the area is a great DIY fix - but we've not tested anything to repair fine windscreen scratches before. In fact, trying to polish the scratches out could make it a bigger issue.
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