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Windshield wipers - Extending Their Lifespan, and When to Replace Them

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Do you find yourself wishing for clearer vision on the roads? Perhaps your windshield wipers are creating an annoying “buzz” when they move across your windshield & your visibility is becoming impaired. For our November blog, the Walt’s Auto Service team wants to focus on your vehicle’s windshield wipers! Your vehicle’s windshield wipers do the most to protect you while you’re on the roads, and it’s imperative to keep them in good condition. Below are our tips and tricks to extend their lifetimes & to know when it’s time for a fresh pair- especially as we head into the winter/rainier months. 

How to Extend Windshield Wipers lifespan

Wipe - As you can imagine, in the fall/winter weather, we have an increase in dirt, leaves & other debris that can easily attach themselves to your blades & under the wipers themselves. If left for long periods, that grime begins to harm your windshield & your blade’s lifetime. By running a clean cloth along with your wiper blades & in the inner channels, you are taking a simple step to keep your wipers at maximum efficiency. Perhaps once a month (or every few), create a reminder on your phone! Only take a few moments, and it is something you can do as your vehicle warms up.

Use a Rubber Protectant - Using a rubber protectant after cleaning can extend the life of the wiper blade & create a smoother wipe. An excellent hack is first to clean your blade with some vinegar. Then use a rubber protectant and rub it into the entire edge with a clean cloth. This helps keep the rubber ‘hydrated’ and less prone to cracking. Overall a great step to make your blades last!

Wash Your Vehicle - By washing the exterior of your vehicle, you are also improving the life of your windshield wiper blades! By clearing away debris & muck from your car, you clear potential buildup.

Check the Blade - If your wipers are dragging or screeching on your windshield, it’s time for a change. Not only is it incredibly irritating, but they are causing damage. The noises you hear are actually little scratches on your glass; this generally means the rubber is wearing out & new blades are needed! 

Refill Fluid - When another vehicle sprays dirt & roadside debris onto your car, or perhaps a bug has had its final moment right in the middle of your windshield, we usually turn on the windshield wiper fluid to clear it away. It’s miserable when your wiper fluid is out & it can impair your vision on the roads. Make a point always to check your fluid level & be sure to refill when low.

Pro-Tip: Be sure to use the appropriate mix of antifreeze & cleaner in the winter months; it can improve your visibility significantly! Remember never to use just water, it can freeze and cause damage to your reservoir in the winter, or bacteria can grow in the hotter months. 

Clear Ice - As tempting as it is to turn on your wipers to clear ice from your windshield, please resist! The hard ice that’s frozen overnight can seriously chew down your blades as they fight hard to scrape the ice off. Your wiper blades will thank you & wear down at a slower rate if you turn on your defroster first. Let the heat work its magic and clear away the ice before you run your blades. 

 

When to replace your windshield wipers

One can often know it’s time for new blades; if you suspect that they rent doing well & the tips above haven’t worked, you know it’s time. 

With the winter season approaching & darker days, now is a great time to assess your windshield wiper blades. Experts recommended changing them every six months for the best visibility, but below are a couple of other signs it may be time. 

 

Screeching Sounds - As mentioned before, when your blades screech across your windshield, they are causing damage to themselves & your glass. The inconsistent job of their wiping is dangerous & should be addressed immediately. 

 

Rubber Cracks - When looking closely at your blades, if you notice cracked, split, or broken-off pieces, it’s time. The edges should be smooth and together in one piece. 

 

Windshield Streaks - When there are streaks, it’s undeniable. Getting caught in a snowstorm or heavy rain with half your vision is not ideal and can become deadly. Even after you’ve sprayed your fluid to try and wipe the streaks away, and these streaks remain, you know it’s time. 

 

Before the winter months arrive, Walt’s Auto Service experts recommended investing in new windshield wiper blades. Look into wiper blades that are meant for the colder seasons as well! Ice and snow can damage regular wipers much more easily; why take the chance? Windshield wipers are essential for your safety and those around you on the roads; visibility is everything. Still unsure about what you should do? Please call Walt’s Auto Service at (310) 803-9220, or schedule an online appointment with us today to experience the great team at Walt’s Auto Service. We are located at 340 Van Ness Ave Unit C, Torrance, CA 90501

We look forward to your visit!

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