Windshield Wiper Tips
To ensure that your windshield wipers are providing you with the best visibility possible, it is vital that they are maintained properly and are replaced when necessary. Windshield wipers contribute to the overall quality of your auto glass, and if left neglected for too long they have the ability to streak and scratch your windshield.
The proper steps must be taken to ensure the best possible outcome for both your wipers and auto glass.
Windshield Wiper Maintenance
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 emits ultraviolet light that slowly eats away at the flexible blade of the wiper. Debris such as sand, mud, and dust can also deteriorate your wipers over time.
- 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 do environmental factors affect wipers, but also car waxes and exhaust hold rubber deteriorating oils.
So, with all these factors affecting the quality of your windshield wipers, what can you do to ensure proper upkeep?
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 using a vinegar spray 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 place a cover underneath the wiper to protect the vehicle from drips or over-spray.
Finally, once winter hits, it is best to clear well established ice on your windshield with an ice scraper. Using your wipers over thick ice may scratch the wipers surface and result in a shorter lifespan of the blade. Pro tip -When it is snowing, lift your wipers away from the windshield to prevent ice buildup.
When to Replace Windshield Wipers
Although we try our best to keep wipers in top shape, they do deteriorate eventually and will need replacing. Knowing when you should be replacing your windshield wipers is important. As a general rule, every year is ideal (or as soon as you notice your visibility becoming impaired). If one windshield wiper is failing, the other will soon follow, so its best to replace both. It is a good habit 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, and other debris that become embedded in the blades.
- Wearing down/splitting/cracking of rubber – Often times you can tell your wipers need to be changed just by looking at them. 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 can scratch your windshield. Likewise, a worn blade will be inefficient at wiping away debris and therefore need to be replaced.
- Patches missed – This 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 condition. 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 Wiper Blades
Windshield wipers come in a variety of brands, sizes, mounting clips, and prices. Finding the correct set of wipers for your vehicle starts with knowing the size. Your owner’s manual will have this information, or you can simply measure the blades.
Prices will vary dependent on size and brand, and can range anywhere from $10-$80 in total. Once you have purchased the wipers, you must install them in your vehicle. This involves knowing how to properly remove the old wipers and replace them with the new ones.
Here at Windshield Surgeons, not only do we offer windshield wipers at an affordable price, but we can also install them in your vehicle for you. We have tested hundreds of wiper blades and will help you find wipers that perform the best without breaking the bank.
Whether you choose to purchase our windshield wipers, or even if you have purchased wipers elsewhere, we are happy to install yours free of charge. This is a great service and will be done quickly and efficiently so you don’t have anything to worry about. Ultimately, we want your experience and safety to be unmatched.