Do I need to buy new wiper blades?
Old, cracked or hardened Wiper Blades are a common reason why your windshield wipers might be smearing water is worn wiper blades. Even premium wiper blades are made out of soft rubber, so they inevitably wear out and need replacement over time. In fact, many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing wiper blades every six months.
Visibility out your front windshield is essential to being able to drive safely. Your windshield wipers play a significant role in keeping you safe, especially during rain or snowstorms.
Check out these six signs that you need new windshield wipers. If you even suspect your blades aren’t doing a good job, it’s time to replace them.
1. Wiper Blade Rubber Cracked or Split.
Take a close look at your entire wiper blade. Is the rubber all one smooth piece or is it slightly cracked, split, or broken off in places? If you see any imperfections in the rubber, that means it’s time for new wiper blades. The blade may also get a rounded look, which means it’s gotten too old and you should find premium wiper blades to replace it with.
2. Windshield streak and not wiping away all the water
When your windscreen wiper blades cause streaks on your windshield, it’s pretty obvious, especially if you’re caught in snow or rain. But if you notice a consistent film of grime on your windshield, even after you’ve sprayed fluid to clean it off, that’s another sign your wipers are dirty and need to be replaced. Sometimes wiping the blades with a paper towel will clear up this problem, but if it keeps happening, you know what to do.
3. Wiper Blades make a chattering Sounds on the glass
Do you know that awful noise your wipers make when they drag across the glass? That means they need to go. Not only is that noise irritating, but it usually means the wipers aren’t cleaning your windshield the way they should because they’re only in contact with the glass some of the time. The inconsistent job left behind can cause vision problems while you’re on the road.
4. Bent Wiper Frames
The metal part of your wiper refills can get bent or damaged for all sorts of reasons. Hacking the ice off your windshield in winter can do it, as can some car washes. Even rough handling of the wiper blades or wiper arm when you wipe them down can bend them. If the frame or the blade is bent, it won’t come into contact with your windshield properly, and even if the blades seem to function fine now, they won’t be soon enough. Time to replace them.
5. Bad Windshield Contact
When it’s raining hard, it’s really obvious when your wipers stop reaching certain parts of your windshield. If the blades aren’t coming into contact with the corners or some spot in the middle anymore, you need new ones. They’ve pulled up from the windshield because of old rubber or because of a bent frame, and your windscreen wipers aren’t doing their jobs anymore.
6. Season Changes
In colder climates, before winter starts, get new wipers that are specially designed for winter, even if your blades are functioning fine, now. The ice and snow in winter will damage regular wiper blades much faster than those manufactured to withstand cold temperatures and frozen windshields.
Although a typical vehicle shop often won’t stock a range of wiper blades and wiper blade products that include those for different seasons – more specialist retailers will.
Your windshield wipers are essential for driving safely because they either improve or inhibit visibility. They’re one of the easiest parts of your car to maintain. Your owner’s manual will tell you the right wiper blades dimensions – so you can choose the length and type of wiper blade refills best suited for your car.
Matt is the founder of Autohero.com.au and has been hooked on cars and repairs ever since childhood. A veteran in automotive since leaving school, Matt has completed his trade as a panel beater and is across all things with wheels.
His first car was a 1967 FORD XR Wagon followed by a string of collectable Holden’s.
Have a question for Matt? Leave a comment below.