Windshield wipers are a seemingly trivial invention, but in fact, it’s one of the most important parts in an automobile in relation to safety and maintenance. Imagine a world with cars without windshield wipers. There would be so many accidents, and that would just be simply horrible. Thank God for windshield wipers. However, though they are very important, windshield wipers do not last forever. A time comes when you need to change the pair that you have for a new one. But, the question is, when should you change them?
Actually, it’s a basic question, and it’s very easy to answer. In anything, you would know that something is starting to get old if it shows signs of poor quality and performance. So in the case of wipers, there are three basic but major and easy-to-see signs that will tell if it’s time to change wiper blades. They’re also easy to remember. Just remember these: Sight, Sound, and Sensation (Feel/Touch).
The purpose of windshield wipers is to keep the windshield clear from anything that obstructs the view by wiping whatever the obstruction may be from the surface of the windshield itself. Most often, it’s just raindrops, but in some instances and places, it could be snow. But whatever the obstruction may be, make sure that the purpose is being fulfilled well. A new pair of wipers would keep your windshield super clear, but if it’s old and needs replacing, it would not be efficient in wiping. It could cause smudges, and the raindrops or snow will not be fully wiped. This is easy to SEE as you drive, and you better change it soon because there is a chance that it might even scratch the surface of your windshield, and you wouldn’t want that.
This is the most annoying part and the easiest to notice. To HEAR that annoying squeak is to cause much dilemma. It’s too annoying, so you turn the wipers off. However, you can’t see a thing so you turn it back on. So is the cycle of dilemma that cries out for one thing for sure: “Replace me!”
This is very subtle and it’s not easily noticed, but this is actually the cause of both the smudging and the squeaking. During hot, sunny days, the temperature of the windshield increases, and so does the temperature of the rubber wiper blades themselves. This causes the rubber to soften and deform for a little bit, flattening the tip, and therefore, making it inefficiently shaped. And once the temperature drops again, the blades harden. Again and again, this makes the wipers more and more inefficient. One tip is to raise the wipers during hot days so the wiper blades don’t touch the hot windshield. But you’ll be able to tell if it needs replacing if the rubber FEELS rougher and harder than when you first bought it.