Windshield wipers are a key safety feature but even the best wipers are prone to deterioration over time. Harsh sun, moisture, oil from cleaners and waxes, airborne dirt, and other debris can create cracks or tears, like the one pictured. Here are a few things you can do to keep your wipers in good shape:
Clean your windshield frequently.
As a rule of thumb, you should clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank. You can also apply a windshield treatment every few months to help repel water, if you want.
Keeping your windshield free of harmful debris will cut down on the chances of them getting torn from a stray twig or rock, or even build up dirt.
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 glass cleaner and a towel.
Regularly inspect for damage.
While cleaning, you should 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 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 it’s time.
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.