Windshield wipers are a part of an automobile that is often overlooked by vehicle owners. In fact, wipers are designed to keep you and your vehicle safe while driving on the road. Whether you are driving in rain, snow, sleet, icy rain or dry conditions, your wipers can come in handy. Neglecting to address a dirty windshield can be very dangerous. You’ve probably attempted to use your windshield wiper fluid once or twice, only to realize that the reservoir is completely empty. Similarly, you may not know that your windshield wipers need service or replacement. It is important to service this part of your vehicle. It’s just as important as an oil change or tire rotation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Assess your windshield wipers today or have a trusted service center check your wipers for you.
Inspecting the Windshield Wipers for Your Vehicle
The good news is, a simple inspection can help you determine if you need new wiper blades. This is a relatively affordable part for your vehicle. Keeping up with this maintenance is very important. When you inspect your wiper blades, lift each arm and check the rubber edge of the blade. This rubber should be free of tears, cracks or rough edges. You may notice that there is a problem when you are driving and engage your wiper blades. Streaking, skidding and loud noises can indicate an issue with your wiper blades. Some blades may just simply need a good cleaning. You’ll want to use windshield wiper fluid on the rubber to prevent anything from streaking your windshield. You may still need some new wiper blades in a few months. At least for now, you can buy a bit of time with a good cleaning.
Preventing Issues with Your Wiper Blades
Using your wiper blades will inevitably lead to your blades wearing down. However, there are some steps that you can take to lengthen the life expectancy of your wiper blades. For example, make sure that you clear snow and ice off your windshield before you engage your wiper blades. Wiper blades are not designed to remove a large covering of ice from your windshield. This could very easily damage your blades. If there is any other dirt or debris on your windshield, this should be cleaned off as well before using your wipers. Lastly, make sure that you turn your wiper blades off before you turn your vehicle off at the end of the day. If you get into your vehicle the next morning and start it up, you could damage your windshield wipers by having them automatically start up before your windshield has been cleared.
Replacing Your Wiper Blades
When the time comes that you need to replace your windshield wiper blades, make sure that you replace both of your blades at once. If one of your wiper blades is worn out, it is likely that the other one is going to break down shortly. If your vehicle has another wiper blade on the back of your vehicle, you’ll want to check this blade as well. You probably don’t use that one as much, but the rear wiper blade can break down with time just like the front ones do.
Shopping for New Wiper Blades
Windshield wiper blades come in a variety of sizes. Your front windshield may have two different sized blades on it. You’ll want to look at your owner’s manual to find the exact size of your wiper blades. If you don’t have this information readily available to you, you can stop by a local service center to have your vehicle sized for a new product. Some of the more popular windshield wiper blade brands include ACDelco, Goodyear, Anco, Michelin and Rain-X.
While prices can vary quite a bit for new blades, make sure that you pick a blade type that is going to serve you well while you are driving. You could opt for something cheap but using an inexpensive wiper blade could create unsafe driving conditions. Try to stay away from replacing just the rubber insert. This can be a difficult process. If you don’t complete the job properly, you could end up damaging your windshield. The couple of dollars that you save just isn’t worth the hassle. If you aren’t sure how to replace your blades on your own, have a professional help you. Don’t assume that an expensive pair of blades is your best option. Do some research or ask someone you know what they use for their vehicle.
Different Types of Windshield Wiper Blades
Aside from different sizes, there are several different types of wiper blades available on the market. Conventional wiper blades have a rubber blade that can be replaced. The rubber blade fits into a metal frame that is spring-tensioned. That metal frame is what can wreak havoc on your windshield if you don’t make sure that your wipers are always in good condition. Beam blades do not have their own external frame. They have a steel spring that is manufactured right into the rubber blade. This results in a much more consistent form of pressure on your windshield. A lot of windshields are curved. This type of blade would work well for that vehicle. They may be a bit more expensive, but the bracketless beam blade is a great investment.
If you are even the littlest bit handy, you should be able to shop for windshield wipers near me and install your new wiper blades on your own. Many people do. This is an easy process if you have the convenience of replacing your blades on a nice day. Many people notice that there is an issue with their wiper blades in the rain or snow. This might not be the best time to realize this! If you have access to a professional who can do the job for you, this will be the safest option. Proper removal of your old blades is very important. It is also important that the new ones are put onto your vehicle properly. Even if you have installed wiper blades on your own before, there is a lot of room for error if you aren’t in the right frame of mind. Having to replace your windshield because of major scratches or cracks caused by improperly installed wiper blades is expensive, inconvenient and avoidable.
Windshield wiper blades will break down with daily wear and tear. That’s just part of owning a vehicle. Their life expectancy will be less if you are using them in very harsh weather conditions. Debris from the road, dirt, snow, ice and sun can all contribute to the breakdown of your wipers. You’ll need to replace your wiper blades every year or so. This will ensure that your visibility level is acceptable while driving. You don’t want to damage your windshield with a scratch because of a broken wiper blade. Think about purchasing your next set of windshield wipers from a name brand shop or service center windshield wipers near me. The technicians at the location will be able to help you pick out what you need. They may even install the wipers for you.