With the rainy weather soon approaching, Cowichan Auto Repair would like to remind you about the importance of having properly working windshield wipers on your vehicle. As drivers, we depend on our vehicle’s wiper blades to wipe away rain, sleet and snow. It is important to inspect your wiper blades every six months and replace them at least once a year, or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. This includes when your wipers start to squeak, skip, smear or streak.
Common wiper blade problems include:
- Squeaking is most often caused by dirty wiper blades or a dirty windshield. Squeaking can also be caused by stiff rubber and loose fasteners.
- Streaking happens when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
- Skipping happens when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use.
- Wearing happens with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared.
- Splitting is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, making it breakdown and separate from the frame.
Having clear visibility is extremely important to safe driving. When your wiper blades don’t work well visibly, and leave patches or streaks on your windshield, you should replace them. Common wiper blade problems, such as those listed above, are signs that you should change your wiper blades before your visibility gets any worse.
When checking your wiper blades, look for these following things:
- Broken frame – detachment of frame arms at joints or connection points.
- Metal corrosion – especially at joints and claws.
- Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge.
- Check rubber squeegee and see if it is still flexible. Old squeegees will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and it will cause streaks.
- Check squeegee wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality.
- Gently tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm.
- Check that squeegee is secured in the wiper frame.
If your vehicle’s wiper blades have any of those issues listed above, you should change them as soon as possible before they deteriorate any more. Anytime you see wear or damage to the blades, replace them immediately.
There are things that you can do to avoid having common problems with your vehicle’s wiper blades. Follow these easy steps to extend the life of your wiper blades:
- Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
- Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil.
- Never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice.
- During the winter months, pull your wiper blades away from the windshield to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee. This also prevents them from sticking to the windshield.
Windshield wiper blades play a crucial part in vehicle safety. It is very important to have properly working wiper blades on your vehicle. Clear visibility is extremely important to safe driving. Remember, wiper blades should be checked every six months and replaced at least once a year. So, when was the last time you replaced your vehicle’s wiper blades?