You always want to be able to see road conditions as clearly as possible when you’re behind the wheel. Anything that impairs your visibility, whether it be rain, fog, or dust, can ultimately compromise your safety. When you don’t have the proper tools to combat these hazards, the problem can only get worse. Having fully-functional windshield wipers is an absolute necessity for the safe operation of any motor vehicle.
Over time, the blades of your windshield wipers can become less effective due to wear and tear. Most drivers aren’t aware of this until they go to turn their wipers on in the midst of a rainstorm, only to find that their blades have essentially become useless.
When to Replace Wipers
Getting a routine auto inspection is a great way to address wiper blade issues before they become too serious. Additionally, you can become more aware of how long wiper blades tend to last and when you should replace them.
So how long do windshield wiper blades tend to last? Obviously this is a generalization and your mileage may vary, but most cars and trucks will need new wiper blades every two to three years. You may need them more frequently than that if you tend to drive in a lot of really hazardous weather conditions.
You can also pay attention to how well your wipers are actually working. If you see streaks across your windshield, that means the wipers are falling apart and it’s time to replace them. If your wipers leave paste on the windshield, that means it is definitely time to invest in new blades!
Preserving the Life of Your Blades
With a little bit of routine maintenance, you can actually extend the lifespan of your wiper blades. One thing you can do is wash your windshield regularly, especially removing things like bird droppings or caked-on dirt and grime. This will help spare your blades from having to take on too much.
If your car ends up with snow and ice on it, take a minute to scrape away the build-up around your blades. Forcing your blades to try to cut through layers of ice can cause them to become dulled or corroded well before their time.
Finally, take a few minutes to rub your blades with a clean cloth dipped in just a bit of rubbing alcohol. This is a small and easy way in which you can care for them and keep them running a bit longer than they might otherwise.
Replacing Windshield Wiper Blades
Of course, you will have to replace your wiper blades sooner or later. The good news is that blades are fairly inexpensive auto components and installation is often pretty easy. If you have any questions or uncertainties about your vehicle’s wiper blades you can always consult your local auto professional.