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26- When do I need to change my windshield wipers?

Your windshield wipers need to be replaced when they don’t properly clean your windshield. That may be in 6 months or several years. The time may vary because of several factors, but the two primary factors are how you store your vehicle and how much you use the wipers.

If you live in an area where it rains a lot, your wipers see far more use than drier climates causing the rubber blades to wear faster.

Storing your vehicle in a garage or shaded area means the sun’s radiation won’t have as much of an effect on the rubber blades and they may last longer.

Wiper use and the sun’s effect on rubber plays a large part in wiper life; but there are numerous other factors that can come into play as well such as:

  • How good is the wiper to begin with? Is it a low-end rubber or a higher end blade?
    • Did you know there is a difference?
  • Was the blade properly installed so it lays properly against the windshield?
  • Do you use your windshield washers to clean your windshield or do you clean it by hand? Do you live in an area that has a lot of insects?
    • If you do, and you use the washers to clean off the windshield, the debris takes its toll on the wipers.
  • Do you live in an area that has a lot of fallout, tree sap, heavy industry or acid rain?
    • These all play a part in breaking down not only the wiper blades but also numerous other automotive components.

If your windshield is pitted from lots of drive time, the rough surface will eat up your wiper blades much sooner than a smooth clean surface.

The above listed reasons/circumstances can shorten the life of your car’s wiper blades; some can be prevented if precautions are taken.

So what can you do to increase the useful life of your wiper blades? Probably more than you thought before you started reading this blog!

Keep your car and especially the windshield clean. Wash the wiper blade edge when you wash the windshield and park in the shade when you can.

Be sure to purchase a high quality wiper blade from a major manufacturer such as www.tricoproducts.com or http://www.boschautoparts.com/WiperBlades/Pages/WiperBlades.aspx. Starting with a premium product gives you a much higher chance of keeping the blades in tact longer.

Also have your blades professionally installed so you don’t bend the wiper arms or break the retaining mechanisms. (Sometimes they are harder to install than they look!).

Regardless of what you do or don’t do, the blades are going to wear out eventually. For safety’s sake, please have your wiper blades checked at least annually or just replace them for peace of mind. If you see any cracks or splits in the wiping part of the rubber, they need replacing. And, don’t forget the rear blade if you have one back there too.

Wiper blades are an important part of automotive maintenance and more importantly your safety.

Please allow us at Sturken’s to inspect your wiper blades during your next visit. For an appointment, please call us now.

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