Windshield Wiper Tips
To have the best possible visibility and windshield wipers for your vehicle, it is vital that they are maintained properly and are replaced when necessary. Windshield wipers contribute to the overall quality of your auto glass over the years. They perform great if properly maintained but also have the ability to scratch and streak your glass if not.
The proper steps must be taken to ensure the best possible outcome for both your wipers and auto glass.
Windshield wipers deteriorate due to a broad variety of circumstances. Example factors are:
- Extreme temperatures, hot and cold. These are unfortunately difficult to prevent.
- The sun, for example, provides ultraviolet light and ozone that slowly eats away at the flexible blade of the wiper. Debris from the earth can also affect wipers, such as sand, mud, and dust.
- The geographic location of your vehicle also comes into account. If you live by the shore, such as California, salt water in the air is something to be aware of. The same goes for areas with acid rain and extreme cold conditions.
- Not only environmental factors affect wipers; it is important to note that oil such as car waxes and exhaust actually hold rubber deteriorating oils.
With all these factors affecting the quality of your wipers, it is important to maintain them properly.
Give them a physical cleaning every three months, and more often in harsh winters and during periods of extreme weather. Dirt can build up on the blades and result in deterioration and streaking of your windshield itself. Some have suggested cleaning with vinegar as a method for quick and efficient cleaning.
Secondly, it is a good idea to give your blades a good protective coating. Rubber protectant is widely available and will greatly add to the life span of your wipers. Make sure to apply the protectant once the initial cleaning has been done, so any dirt or debris does not get caught inside. Pro tip - either remove the wipers first or ensure to cover the vehicle underneath for drips or over-spray.
Finally, once winter hits, it is best to clear ice with an ice scraper. Using your wipers over thick ice scratches the wiping surface and results in a shorter lifespan of the blade. When it is snowing, lift your wipers away from the windshield to prevent ice buildup.
When to Replace
Although we try our best to keep wipers in top shape, they do deteriorate eventually and need replacing. Knowing when it is a good time to replace windshield wipers is important. Every year is ideal as a general rule, or soon as you notice your visibility being impaired. It is proactive to check the condition of your wipers every 6 months. Signs that your wipers may need replacement include:
- Streaking – Streaking is a common side effect when most wipers begin to decline. It is often caused by dried, cracked rubber, or by tree sap, road tar, or other debris that become embedded in the blades.
- Wearing down/splitting/cracking of rubber – checking the blade is a crucial aspect of knowing when to replace wipers. The blade is the direct point of contact to your auto glass, and must be in top condition to ensure great visibility. Cracked or split rubber may pick up debris and actually scratch your windshield. Likewise, a worn blade will be inefficient at wiping away debris and therefore need to be replaced.
- Patches missed – can be caused by bent frames or when wipers are not curved perfectly to the slope of your windshield. Areas on your windshield will be consistently missed (or ‘skipped’), leaving your view of the road spotty and distracting.
- Rust and Metal Corrosion – take a look at the frames and metal surrounding the rubber to see if it is still in good quality. Inexpensive wipers are usually less rust resistant and can start to stain the area underneath. If this occurs, the stain can be removed with a cleaner without much difficulty.
How to replace
Windshield wipers come in a variety of brands, sizes, and prices. Finding the correct set of wipers for your vehicle starts with knowing the size; the owner’s manual will have this information, or you can simply measure the blades themselves. Prices vary dependent on this, and can range anywhere from $10-80 in total. Once you have purchased the wipers, you have to install them in your vehicle. This involves knowing how to remove the old wipers and making the switch.
Here at Windshield Surgeons, we offer windshield wipers at an affordable price. We have tested hundreds of wiper blades and have chosen the option that performs the best without breaking the bank. Certainly a good and reliable choice for any vehicle.
If you choose to purchase our windshield wipers, or even if you have already purchased wipers elsewhere, we are able to install yours free of charge. This is a great service and will be done quickly and efficiently so you don't have to worry about it. Ultimately, we want your experience and safety to be unmatched.