Car Care Tips from our Team
Were back with our series on basic car care tips and advice from our managers. We began with Charles’ recommendation for using dielectric grease, and Alan’s plug for oil stabilizers and fuel treatment. Now it’s time to hear from Betty about windshield wiper blades and why you shouldn’t ignore them until its way overdue.
Griffin Store Manager
Checking and replacing your windshield wipers is a relatively easy, inexpensive maintenance task. It is often overlooked, however, until it’s desperately needed.
“Check your wiper blades on a regular basis!”
Most standards recommend replacing wiper blades as often as every 6 months or at least once a year. According to Rain-X, “When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility.”
What to look for
When you check your wiper blades, first look at the frame. Confirm that the joints are all moving smoothly and there are no broken connections or metal corrosion. Move on to the rubber squeegee and look for any cracks or tears, be sure the rubber is still flexible, and finally look at the wiping edge. A rounded edge is showing signs of age and will need to be replaced soon.
A few more tips to protect your windshield and wipers
- Clean your wiper blades with glass cleaning wipes. Sometimes dirt can cause streaking or smearing. Before you replace your wipers, give them a quick cleaning to see if that was all you needed. If you carry the wipes in your car, you can clean your wiper blades every time you get gas, or every time you wash your car.
- Protect your windshield with Rain X water repellent. A treated windshield causes water to bead up and roll off your windshield. It makes the glass surface less likely to collect dirt and easier to clean. The product is easy to apply (just follow the instructions on the bottle) and can really make a visible difference.
- Don’t use your wipers to clear ice from your windshield. If your wipers are frozen in place and then you move them, the rubber edge is very likely to tear. Once the rubber is torn, the wiper blade will have to be replaced. If you know a freeze is coming, it can be a good idea to lift your wipers up off your windshield overnight. Even if you miss that step, the biggest thing is not to move them until you have removed the ice by yourself or with your defroster.
- Choose a proper wiper fluid. Filling that little reservoir with water can lead to frozen lines in winter and bacteria growth in summer.
Thanks for reading, we hope the information was helpful! As always, if you have any more questions, head in to your closest NAPA store and our parts professionals will be happy to help.