Wiper blades are an important part of any vehicle, as they allow the driver to see no matter the weather. There are many different kinds of blades on the market to choose from, and some styles can be a small investment. Therefore, it is important to know a few ways to extend the life of your wiper blades and get your money’s worth out of them.
1. Wash Them
This may prove to be a more difficult task during those pesky winter months when washing your car feels like the last thing you want to do. However, washing your wiper blades every time you clean your car is integral to them lasting longer. Gently lift the blades and wipe them down. Also, wipe thoroughly underneath. Built-up grime and dirt can interfere with the blades functioning properly.
2. Cool Them Off
Allowing your wipers to bask in the sun for long periods of time during the day is not healthy for them. The rubber does not respond well to direct sunlight and can actually become dehydrated and deteriorated. Try parking your vehicle in a shaded area as often as possible during hot weather so that you can help prolong the life of your wiper blades.
3. Clear Away Dirt
Sticks, dead bugs, rocks, dried up leaves, and other pieces of garbage can get stuck under the windshield wiper blades, causing them to work inefficiently. Always inspect your windshield wipers on a regular basis and remove any dirt or debris you notice. It may just be one leaf or twig today, but if it builds up, it can pose a huge problem tomorrow. This is especially important if you park your car frequently under a tree or near a construction site; debris can easily fall under the wiper blades.
4. Don’t Clear Ice and Snow
In the winter months when it snows, there is nothing worse than hopping into your car to a covered windshield. Some drivers will try to scrape their windshield using their wipers to clear away ice and snow. But this, in fact, is damaging your blades. The sharp edge of the scraper blade can wreck the rubber wiper blade and potentially tear it. Wait until your defroster melts the ice and snow and then use your blades to wipe away the water.
5. Elevate Wiper Blades When It Snows
When snow piles up on your windshield, it becomes heavy and can weigh down the wiper blades. Additionally, the snow can turn to ice that will actually freeze the wiper blades to the windshield, making them next to impossible to turn on and use. The next time it starts to snow, lift up your wipers so they are off the windshield and won’t stick.
6. Only Use When Wet
Wiper blades work to clear rain, snow, moisture, or washer fluid. Therefore, they need to operate in wet conditions only. Running your windshield wiper blades on a dry windshield will only cause them damage. If you want to brush something off your windshield but do not necessarily need water, spray the washer fluid anyway to keep the blades moving smoothly and efficiently.
7. Clean the Windshield Regularly
Make a routine of always washing or wiping down your blades when you fuel up your vehicle. This way, you will regularly be checking them so that build-up dirt and grime is not possible. Most gas stations offer the equipment to clean your windshield, but it doesn’t hurt to pack the tools necessary to do so in your trunk or back seat. For example, some items you will need are paper towels, water bottle, and cleaner, if desired.
Without windshield wipers, it would be nearly impossible to drive in all weather conditions. Windshield wipers allow drivers to safely commute in rain, snow, sleet, and sun, but if they are not taken care of, they can become a huge safety hazard.
There are many easy ways to keep one’s wiper blades clean and functioning properly. The next time you find yourself struggling to see out of your windshield, or your blades are leaving streaks everywhere, try using one of these 7 suggestions above to ensure your wiper blades are living their longest and most useful life.