When to replace your windscreen wipers

13 June 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

Windscreen wipers are a very important part of your vehicle. They are responsible for cleaning up and smoothing out any dirt build up on your windscreen so that you have clear visibility of what is in front of you.

Like most parts of your vehicle, the windscreen wipers will deteriorate over time - making regular checks and replacements necessary. In this article, we will cover the key signs that your windscreen wipers are in need of a replacement.

What to look out for when inspecting wiper blades

A good way to recognise when your windscreen wiper blades need replacing is by knowing what to look out for. The common signs of a bad wiper blade can vary from:

  • Hardened rubber squeegee

  • Aged/whithered squeegee

  • Streaking - when the rubber squeegee is dried out or has noticeable cracks or tears formed the wiper will leave streaks on the windscreen

  • Wear and tear - the edge of the rubber squeegee becomes rounded (instead of squared)

  • Curvature - when the windscreen wiper hasn't been in use for a long period of time, a curve forms which causes the blade to skip or streak.

If at a glance you are unsure whether you have bad wiper blades, you can simply carry out small tests to see if they are still fit for the job. Start by gently pulling on the squeegee to make sure everything is still intact and secure to the wiper frame.

To test out the flexibility, simply flex the rubber back and forth to see if there is ease of movement.

As aged or dried out squeegees are unable to glide effortlessly across your windshield, it will create streaks as it wipes across. So, if you are noticing streaks as you use your wipers, it's highly likely that your wipers are aged.

How often should I replace my windshield wipers?

It is recommended that you replace your wiper blades every 6 to 12 months depending on the condition they are in. If you notice the performance of the blades is deteriorate before that time period, you should consider a replacement. So for example, if your windscreen wipers are barely touching the windscreen surface, squeaking as they wipe across, or smearing residue across the shield, it is time to invest in some new ones.

Importance of windscreen wiper maintenance

As you know, having a clear view of the road is important to ensure you are driving safely. You do not want to find out that your wipers are in need of replacement when you need them most i.e. in harsh weather conditions. Therefore, with efficient wiper maintenance, you can have peace of mind knowing your visibility will not be compromised whilst driving.

We recommend that you wipe off any dirt or oil from the rubber part of your wiper blade with a damp paper towel. This way you prevent any residue from causing micro tears in the blade whilst it cleans the windscreen. You also want to avoid using the wipers to de-ice the windscreen. What you should do instead is pull the wiper blades away from the windshield to prevent any ice build up on the squeegee.

With that said, don't forget to check your rear windscreen wipers.

If you have any further questions or would like to get into contact with a local garage, please feel free to contact us.

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