Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Even though drivers depend on their wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. So remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize visibility, efficiency and reliability.
Avoid problems and extend the life of your wiper blades by following these simple steps:
- Clean your windshield often and at least 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.
- Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.
Wiper blades should be replaced every year or as soon as you notice a squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility.
An easy way to remember to proactively change your wiper blades is to replace them at same time each year. Pick a birthday or other special date that coincides with the beginning of the rainy season.
When inspecting wiper blades, look for the following:
- Broken frame – detachment of frame arms at joints or connection points
- Metal Corrosion – especially at joints and claws
- All joints hinge freely
- Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge
- Flex rubber squeegee back and forth to see if it is still flexible. Aged squeegees will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and create streaks.
- Check the squeegee’s wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making proper contact with the windshield
- Ensure wiper blades have been securely installed on the wiper frame
If the frame assemblies are in good condition you can save yourself a few dollars by just replacing the rubber squeegee with a refill.
Remember to check your wiper blades as part of your regular preventative maintenance program!
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