Unlike other vehicle components, windshield wiper blades don’t necessarily have a mileage point at which they should be changed. Instead, pay attention to certain symptoms that tell you they’re soon to fail.
If snow and ice are common where you live, consider changing your wipers before winter. Having new blades prior to needing them will help you maintain a high level of safety when hazardous weather approaches. Additionally, if you live in a climate prone to heavy rainfall, have them replaced before a rainy spring.
If the metal part of windshield wipers gets broken or bent, it’s time for an upgrade. Perhaps you strike it accidentally as you’re trying to get ice off the windshield, or rough handling during a cleaning makes the frame wonky. Whatever the case, close contact with the window can’t happen with a damaged wiper frame.
Like frames, the rubber part of wipers can become split, cracked or broken. More importantly, since this material is responsible for cleaning debris off your windshield, it’s vital the rubber stays in-tact.
A Streaky Finish
If you notice streaks across the windshield (especially after rain) or a thin film of grime and debris, this means the wipers aren’t effectively cleaning the windshield. The issue could be excess dirt or damage on the wipers, but either way, a part that can’t perform is one you should replace as soon as possible.
If parts of the windshield aren’t getting clean, it means the blades aren’t coming into complete contact with the glass. This generally happens in the center or corners of the windshield. Since a clear line of sight is vital for driving safety, you should have windshield wipers replaced immediately.
If you hear a noise as the windshield wiper blades brush across the glass, it means you need new wipers. Not only are they struggling to make contact with the window (the cause of noise), but that incessant cacophony is just plain annoying.
Replacing windshield wipers is a simple, inexpensive task you can do at home, so there’s no excuse to have old, worn-out wipers. If you’ve never replaced them before, simply head to the nearest auto parts store and an associate will tell you the styles that work best with your model. In many cases, they might even help you change them.