Stay safe with a clear windshield
One of the most important safety features of your vehicle isn’t the latest computer gizmo or gadget. Introduced over a century ago, your car’s windshield wipers deliver a clear view of the road, which is paramount to safe driving. Without clear sight lines of the road and your surroundings, your safety and the safety of your passengers are compromised.
When should I change my wipers?
Experts recommend changing your wipers on a regular basis, at least every six months. If your wipers aren’t clearing your windshield effectively, you should get new wiper blades installed immediately.
What to look for
When inspecting your windshield wipers, there are many signs of wear to look for.
Some you will discover upon physically examining your blades while other problems will become apparent when you use your wipers.
Worn and dirty wiper blades are a major cause of streaking
If your wiper blades go unused for a long period of time, they can develop a curvature that causes them to not make proper contact with the windshield. This can result in a skipping or chattering sound when you use them.
Cold weather and freezing temperatures make the rubber hard and brittle, which can result in your wiper blades splitting.
If there is buildup of dust, dirt or other debris on the windshield glass, the wipers won’t make a smooth pass and can make a squeaking sound.
Refill blade or wiper blade?
Some people choose to replace the entire wiper blade assembly so they don’t have to worry about the refill not fitting the blade. On some blades, another option is replacing the rubber wiping element with a wiper blade refill. Cheaper than buying a new blade, this is a viable option as long as the blade isn’t bent. Beam type blades use an integral wiping element. If your vehicle has beam blades, replace the complete blade assembly.
There isn’t a correct answer to the wiper blade versus wiper blade refill question – it comes down to what you are most comfortable with, especially if you are doing the installation yourself.
I’m still having issues – what should I do?
If none of these solutions help solve your problem, then it is time to replace your wiper blades. If one wiper blade or wiper blade refill is worn out, it won’t be long before the other wiper blade or refill needs replacing. It is recommended that wipers be replaced in pairs. If you drive an SUV, minivan or hatchback, be sure to keep an eye on the wiper blade on the rear window for signs that it needs replacing.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic.
We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.