New seasons are an ideal time to check your wiper blades.
It's a no-brainer that a clear windshield constitutes safer driving. You depend on your wipers to clear your windshield in the rain, sleet or snow, but most drivers don't replace them until they encounter a situation where they need them. Maintaining wiper blades often will prevent the squeaking, streaking and smudging of old wiper blades.
Wiper blades don't last forever - here are some environmental factors that deteriorate your wiper blades over time:
- 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 (in moist air both near the shore and inland)
Checking your blades semiannually and changing your blades every year will keep your driving experience a visible and safe one.
These are the most common wiper problems
- Streaking happens when the rubber on your wiper blades dries and hardens.
- Skipping will eventually happen once your old wiper blades become misshapen.
- Splitting is common when the sun breaks down the rubber content in your blades. Extreme weather changes causing the rubber to expand and contract rapidly can also cause splitting, this is why a winter wiper checkup is important.
To maximize the life of your windshield wipers, follow these simple steps:
- Keep your windshield clean. A quick wipe with a squeegee every time you fill gas is ideal.
- Remove any loose dirt from your wiper blades after heavy rains or mud.
- Don't use your wipers to scrape off ice from your windshield.
- Always pull your wipers away from your windshield in winter months to prevent the rubber from freezing onto the windshield.