It’s amazing how the smallest and least expensive part of the car can have a tremendous impact on safety. Take windshield wipers, for instance. Most people don’t even think about them as a key auto maintenance factor until they encounter a driving rainstorm or the first slushy mess of the winter.
Natural rubber rots, so windshield wiper replacement should be done annually, depending on your climate, whether or not your car is garaged, and how often you drive. Fall is the optimal time for this, especially if you have noticed streaks, wiper “chattering,” scuffing, or any instance where the blade is not clearing the windshield properly. (Never run the wipers on a dry windshield!)
The easiest way to determine if you’re due a replacement is to run your fingers along the rubber part of the wiper. If it’s not smooth as butter, it won’t do the job right and you run the risk of not being able to see the road during a storm. If you drive a minivan or SUV be sure to check the rear wipers as well.
When it’s time for replacements keep the following in mind:
- There is no need to measure your blades as New Concept Auto Service will have a record of which sizes your vehicle needs. Most vehicles have different length blades on each side.
- You get what you pay for. As with most any car part, quality is reflected by price. Blades can run from under $10 to over $25. The higher priced blades are reinforced with spring steel, which is more aerodynamic and presses against the windshield harder, providing substantially better clearing.
- Be aware that when the rubber blade is off the wiper arm it has the potential to snap back and crack the windshield. Always keep your arm hooked around the wiper arm when it’s in a perpendicular position. You may want to lay a coat or towel on the windshield just in case.
To prolong the life of your blades, use your windshield washer weekly to remove bird droppings, bugs and dirt. Also, if it is going to freeze overnight be sure your wipers are off when you turn the car off so you don’t burn up the motor the next morning when they are frozen in place. It is never a good idea to use wipers as tools to clear snow and ice from a windshield – let the defroster run until you can scrape and the wipers come loose.
Call New Concept Auto Service today with any questions or concerns about your wiper performance. If you are a current customer we can tell you when they were last replaced. Remember, if you take care of your car, your car will take care of you!