How to Extend the Life of Your Windshield Wiper Blades?
Windshield wipers are integral to your driving experience, but they can easily become damaged and worn down. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving in rain, snow, or dusty sunshine, you depend on your wipers to drive safely.
Keeping them in tip-top shape is not a hard task, but an important one. A little extra thought on your part means better care for one of the most important parts of your car.
Compared to other car parts, wipers are relatively cheap, but that doesn’t mean you want to perform a windshield wiper replacement more than you should have to. If you want to make sure that your windshield wipers last as long as possible, here's what you should do.
Cleanliness is key.
Regularly clean your wiper blades. Wipe off the rubber and armature with a cloth or paper towel, but don't use harsh detergents as they can damage the rubber. Rubbing alcohol works great. You should aim to clean them once per month, more often if you live in a dirtier and dustier environment.
Cleaning them will save your windshield too. The dust and grime caught on your wiper blades will grind against the glass as you use them, potentially causing micro-scratches.
Cleaning your car once per month in the winter and twice per month over the summer when you're driving in rainier conditions will help keep dirt and grime off your blades.
Always keep your windshield washer fluid full. Not only is this one of the worst experiences to suffer through while driving, getting a filthy windshield and no way to clean it, but it’s bad for your wipers. Running wipers over a dry, dirty windshield will tear and degrade the rubber faster.
Don't let them soak in the rays.
You don't want to let your windshield wipers sit in the sun for too long. The sun can cause the rubber to deteriorate, dry out, and crack. On sunny days, aim to park in a shady spot if possible.
If you do find yourself with a cracked wiper blade, replace it immediately with a new one--they're inexpensive and easy to install.
Keep an eye and ear on your wiper blades.
Look for wear and tear. The first sign that you need a windshield wiper replacement is if they're no longer doing their job effectively, which can be determined by looking at them. Worn out wiper blades will leave streaks on your windshield, so check them regularly for any signs of fraying, cracking, or splitting.
If you want to increase the time before you find that your wipers are streaking, check them often.
Listen closely for strange noises while using your windshield wipers. Screeching sounds means there’s something wrong. Check the rubber and clean it.
Checking them often means catching little cracks and fraying early on. If the damage isn’t too bad, you can use a little sandpaper to remove the rough spots and buy yourself some more time with those wipers.
Ice and Snow are far more damaging than you think.
Ice and snow are far more damaging than you think. Getting ready for work in the morning and finding the windshield covered in snow and ice is not ideal. The temptation is strong to hop in the driver’s seat and flip on the wipers, but that’s a bad idea.
Heavy snow and most especially ice will decrease the life of your wipers significantly. Running over hard ice will wear them out faster than a dirty windshield. It’s best to suffer the cold and get out that scraper and scrape it off yourself before turning those wipers on.