Living in British Columbia, we are no stranger to rain, and sometimes when it rains, it pours and because of that, we use our windshield wiper blades often. Imagine driving the Coquihalla and losing visibility due to old or overused wiper blades. You probably already know how important it is to get things like oil changes and tire rotations done, regularly. However, do you know how important it is to replace your windshield wipers? This is an important part of caring for a vehicle.

How Often Should Wiper Blades Be Replaced?

Wiper blades should be replaced every six months or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. They are designed to move over your windshield surface in a smooth, simple motion. When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, smear, or streak reducing driving visibility. Unfortunately, blades damaged or broken will not work as designed.

How Do You Know Your Blades Need Changing?

Other than the sound of the blades and wipe quality, here are a few ways to inspect the wiper blades for replacement:

  • Check squeegee wiping edges. If the edges are worn, this can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduce wipe quality.
  • 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.
  • Tug or lightly pull wiper blade to ensure has been securely installed on the wiper arm.
  • Check that squeegee is secure in the wiper blade frame is in place.

Why Do Wiper Blades Deteriorate Quickly?

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, and ice build-up in winter

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. Remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize visibility, efficiency, and reliability. When winter is just around the corner, do not wait until you need your wipers during the first frosting, and you have missing rubber pieces on the squeegee.

Another trick to keep your wipers in top condition longer is to use a windshield de-icer in the winter months. Snow and ice can deteriorate your wipers more quickly. De-icer uses a formulation designed to melt ice from your windshield before you activate your wipers.

Remember to keep a spare set of blades, even your old set, and washer fluid when you hit the highway. It could save your life.

Not sure if you need new blades, just ask.

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