As winter comes to a close and spring temperatures start to rise, it’s important to take a close look at your windshield wipers.
Windshield wipers are a key safety feature on any vehicle, and even the best wipers are prone to deterioration over time. Harsh winter weather, dirt, salt, and other debris can create cracks or tears; even oil from cleaners and waxes can cause wipers to wear prematurely.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your wipers in good shape:
Clean your windshield often.
As a rule of thumb, you should clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank. Salt, dirt, and other grime from the road can cause micro-abrasions in the rubber that accumulate into large tears over time. Keeping your windshield free of harmful debris will cut down on the chances of them getting torn from a stray twig or rock or built-up dirt.
You can also apply a windshield treatment every few months to help repel water if you want.
Handle with care.
When you clean the blades themselves, be sure to handle them with the utmost care. Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil. From time to time, you should also give them a good wash and dry with a glass cleaner and a towel.
Regularly inspect for damage—especially after the winter months.
If you live in New England, your wipers take a beating during the icy, snowy winter weather. Once the temperature is warm enough, it’s a good idea to give them a good cleaning, and visually inspect both the windshield and wiper blades and for wear.
Simply slide your finger along the rubber to feel for cracks, divots, and other damage. You should also visually inspect the blades for:
- Broken frames (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
- Flexibility. You can gently bend the 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.
- Rounding on the wiping edge, which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality.
- Secure installment. Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm. You should also check that squeegee is secure in the wiper frame.
Replace them before they bite the dust.
Changing your blades regularly is the best way to make sure you maintain visibility on the road—no matter what the weather throws your way.
We typically recommend changing your wiper blades at least once a year—at the very least. Most drivers will need to change them more often, especially in New England where harsh weather makes the blades more prone to wear and unexpected damage. Ideally, you should replace the blades before they’re broken to avoid any dangerous driving situations—driving with a damaged or missing blade can cause decreased visibility when you need it most, making accidents far more likely.
At V&F we know that efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safe operation as clean oil and good tires. From regular maintenance to unexpected repairs, we’re proud to be the best local auto repair shop in Agawam, MA. Call us at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.