Having up-to-date windshield wipers is a matter of safety. If you do not keep up with replacing your windshield wipers, you run the risk of being visually impaired during rain, snow, sleet, hail, dust, and insect swarms. If you are not sure if you should replace your windshield wipers, NAPA has three tips on how to tell if it is time. Plus, a tip on how to avoid waiting too long between blade replacements.
Are Blades Causing Streaking, Smearing, or Clicking?
Any of these are the earliest signs of needing to replace your blades. NAPA says that if streaking, smearing, or clicking continues after you clean the blades and windshield, you should replace the blades. Streaking and smearing lead to visual impairment and possible endangerment of you and the passengers. Clicking could cause damage to the blade motor.
Are there Uneven Edges and Missing Pieces?
You should check to see if your blades have any missing chunks or uneven edges when you are cleaning them. Having missing pieces or uneven edges comes from clearing salts and mud. If your blades have uneven edges or missing chunks this will lead to streaking and possible endangerment for you, passengers, and others on the road.
Are there Visible Cracks on the Blades?
Cracks on blades are like a tire deteriorating due to weather, temperature, and time. Exposure to the elements leads to cracks. If you see any cracks on the blades it is time to replace them with a new set.
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How Long is too Long?
Some people go years without replacing their blades. That is far too long. At the very least you should replace your blades once every 12 months. However, blades can start to show wear and need to be replaced as early as three months. It is best to check your blades every few months to see if you need a new pair. It is also best to be proactive and change them out when you start to see wear.
If you live in a climate that sees below-freezing temperatures and snow frequently, maybe try a pair of winter blades for the colder months. These blades are more expensive but are worth it for safety. Once spring comes back around, you can put on regular blades again.
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