Torque Tips | When should you replace your windshield wiper?

When should you replace your windshield wiper?

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-wipe away a few worries-

When recently asked in conversation when last I changed my windshield wiper blades, I just shrugged the question off as inconsequential and quickly moved onto something else, but this got me thinking… yes wipers are a small part of Safe Driving 101 but are seldom of use in this semi-arid country that we live in, yet they play a huge role to keep us safe on the road when the downpour eventually shows up. If you are like me, the only thing you know about your windshield wipers is that with one flick of a finger the army-thingies will start to move up and down to clear your vision for you, then you’re in luck! For I, your local conqueror of queries have gone through extensive investigation to find you the hidden gem that is the satisfaction of answers, today in this helpful tip to our readers.

Windshield wipers should, depending on the brand and its durability, be replaced every six months to a year. When you start to notice that the wipers aren’t working as optimal as they used to, check to see if the rubbers are cracked or if the edges are round, if they are then it’s time for a change. It is a wise decision to change both wipers at the same time to save yourself unnecessary hassle as the second one will also need to be replaced in the near future. Always keep an eye open for rust and metal corrosion as well as the rubber squeegee flexibility to ensure that your wiper is always of excellent shape.

Streaking, squeaking, splitting and skipping are all signs that your wipers need to be replaced. This can be caused by the rubber drying, foreign substances (such as waxes, polish, oils, tar and tree sap) collecting on the glass or blade and extensive or lack of use that causes the blade to deform. Nature can also play a role, the sun’s UV rays, airborne debris such as dust and sand as well as moisture can be detrimental for your wipers and their vitality.

If you find that when using your wipers that they don’t clear your windshield adequately, don’t bolt to your nearest auto shop. If they are still fairly new and have not been exposed to the extremes, chances are that they are only dirty. It is crazy to think that just a dollop of mild dishwashing liquid and a damp sponge can save you precious pennies. Though it cannot be delayed forever, when the day comes to swap those ruined rubbers for sparkling new ones, you should not be nervous and overwhelmed. Simply measure your wipers’ or remove one when you reach the shop as a sample and ask your local spares shop for their advice on which brand would suit your vehicle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for explanations- at the end of the day the only thing that is important, is your life and thus it should not be risked by something as insignificant as two little army-thingies.

Written by: Nita Stadler