Have You changed Your Wiper Blades Lately?
An easy way to remember to proactively change your wiper blades is to replace them seasonally. In as little as 6 months, your wiper blades will start to begin to deteriorate in performance. You will see them gradually grow worse over time, so it is our recommendation to replace at least twice per year; once in fall and once in spring to deal with weather changes that affect them.
Tips/Things to Look for on Wiper Blades:
- Broken frame – 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.
- Flex 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.
- Check squeegee wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality.
- Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm.
- Check that squeegee is secure in the wiper frame.
Wiper Blade Maintenance Tips
Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. So remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize visibility, efficiency and reliability. It’s a good decision to have your trusted mechanic (AKA Integrity Automotive) check your wiper blades between every oil change. That way, you will be able to stay on top of them for maintenance purposes.
Wiper blades deteriorate due to many environmental factors, including:
- Sun: Ultraviolet light and ozone deterioration
- Oil: Car waxes and exhaust hold rubber-deteriorating oil
- Airborne debris: Sand, mud and dust carried in the wind
- Moisture: Acid rain and salt water
Common Wiper Problems
- Streaking occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
- Skipping occurs when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use (e.g. left in the ‘parked position’ for an extended length of time).
- Wearing occurs with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared.
- Splitting is caused when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, causing it to breakdown and separate from the frame.
- Bent Frames cause inconsistent contact with the glass surface, creating streaking or skipping.
Extend the life of your wiper blades by following thse simple steps:
1. Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
2. Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil on occasion.
3. Never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster spray to melt snow or ice.
4. Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice buildup on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.
Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safe operation as clean oil and good tires. So remember to change your wiper blades at least twice a year, and to inspect them frequently for wear and tear as you get on the road.