Windscreen wipers are a highly important and often forgotten car part; they make it possible for you to see the road ahead, and they don’t last forever! In fact, most wiper blades will last six months to a year if cared for correctly. Worn blades could damage your windscreen, which is far more expensive to replace. And don’t forget, you’ve likely got one on the back window too!
So, how can you tell if you need new ones?
- Firstly, just take a look at them! Wiper blades are made of thin rubber to ensure they don’t damage your windscreen, so they can be quite fragile. If there are visible cracks or bumps then they need replacing, whereas a build-up of dirt and debris may just require a gentle clean with a paper towel.
- When they leave streaks on your windscreen. This can mean your blade has developed cracks
- If they’re squeaking. This likely means the rubber has worn down, and the blade is making uneven contact with the glass.
- They leave smears. If your blades just move the dirt around rather than clearing it away, this can be a sign that your blades are worn.
- They skip across the glass rather than glide. If your blades bounce across your windscreen rather than glide smoothly then they may have distorted. This can even be caused by parking in bright sunlight!
If you see any of these signs, it may be time to replace your wipers! With all of this considered, there are a few ways you can help your wiper blades live for longer…
- Clean your windscreen every time you top up with fuel. A thin layer of dirt and grime will build up while you drive and removing regularly this will help your wiper blades avoid damage.
- Clear ice and snow before using your wipers. Learn more about defrosting your car here!
- Only use your wipers when there’s water on your windscreen. Using them will your windscreen is dry will wear the rubber down much faster.
- Don’t let your washer fluid run out. A combination of the two previous points – your windscreen needs to be clean and wet to use your wipers effectively!
- Park out of direct sunlight. UV rays can wear the rubber, and excessive heat can warp the plastic, too!
- Don’t park under trees. Tree sap, bird poo, leaves and dirt will all leave you with a dirty windscreen!
- Use a windscreen cover when parked. Prevention is better than a cure! During the winter, put your wiper blades on top of your cover to avoid them getting iced to the glass, too.
- Invest in a water repellent, such as rain-x which keeps your windscreen clearer for longer in the rain, meaning you need to use your wipers far less.
- Invest in different blades for summer and winter. Wiper blades are cheap and easy to fit, so it’s well worth buying winter blades for when the ice and snow comes!
Before you buy new wiper blades, check your owner’s manual to find out what type and size wipers are recommended for your car. If you’re unsure, feel free to pop in and see us at B&M Worx!