Maintaining your vehicle is essential in ensuring that it’s always safe to drive and will perform properly. When you think about vehicle maintenance, you might consider tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid flushes to be among the most important. These tasks certainly are crucial, but they’re not the only things that you need to do regularly. Changing your windshield wiper blades frequently is another important maintenance task that improves visibility, which enhances your safety and the safety of those around you.
Importance of Windshield Wipers
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Although windshield wipers are only a small part of the vehicle, they play a significant role in your overall safety when you’re behind the wheel. When you’re out on the road, debris and precipitation can come flying into your line of sight. If snow or dirt spread across the glass or hit directly within your view, you won’t be able to see the road ahead. As a result, you could crash into another vehicle, navigate out of your lane by mistake, or hit something on the side of the road. Maintaining proper visibility is a critical aspect of safe driving.
The windshield wipers on your vehicle are made of metal or hard plastic. They operate like arms, dragging a thin blade across the glass to clear away debris and provide a better view of what’s ahead. The blade on the windshield wipers is made of silicone or rubber, but these materials can break down over time due to exposure to the elements and frequent use. Changing the wiper blades often can protect you and the other drivers around you.
Change Your Windshield Wipers Often
Most automotive manufacturers recommend changing the wiper blades every six months to a year, although the weather conditions in which you drive play a role in the frequency. If you live in an area with a lot of sunshine, the harsh UV rays can break down the blades faster. Those who drive in snowy areas may also need to replace their blades more often due to the salt or other materials used to improve traction on the roads. Another factor to consider is the material of the blades, as silicone blades typically last a little longer than rubber blades.
Some of the warning signs that it’s time to replace your wiper blades include:
- Chattering or squeaking sounds when the blades go across the glass.
- Visible tears or cracks in the blades.
- A skipping motion in the movement of the wipers.
- Smears or streaks on the glass that don’t clear when the blade goes across.
- Reduced driving visibility.
If you don’t change your blades often, the rubber or silicone material could shred or break off the wiper, putting your safety and the condition of your vehicle at risk. Not only will you have decreased visibility, particularly when it’s raining or snowing, but the bare plastic or metal wiper arm could scratch the windshield glass when it moves across.
You don’t want to wait for a storm to change your wiper blades, as it may be too late if you’re already on the road. Instead, change them as soon as you notice any of these signs or keep up with a regular replacement interval every six to 12 months.
How To Replace Wiper Blades
Now that you understand the importance of your windshield wiping system and how the blades work, you can use this helpful guide to replace your wiper blades. The process is pretty straightforward, as long as you follow the necessary steps.
Step 1: Get Replacement Blades
The first step in replacing your windshield wiper blades is purchasing a set of new blades that you can put on your vehicle. Check your user’s manual or search online to find the proper size for your windshield wiper. Using improperly sized blades can cause damage to your glass and decrease visibility. Some newer cars have flat windshield wipers and require specific blade types, so follow the recommendations from your vehicle’s manufacturer.
Step 2: Remove the Old Blades
With the new and properly sized blades in hand, you can start the process of removing and replacing the old ones to improve visibility and protect your vehicle. Park your car in a place where you can easily move around it, particularly in the front. Lift the windshield wiper up off the windshield into an upright position. It should remain there, allowing you to work with the existing blade.
You should find a tab at the bottom of the joint between the wiper arm and the attached blade. This tab keeps the blade in place, even through fast movement when the wipers quickly move to clear the windshield in a major storm. Press the tab and slide the blade downwards; it should come off easily. If you have one, repeat with the other windshield wiper(s) on your vehicle, including the rear wiper.
Step 3: Attach the New Blades
The third step is similar to the second step, but in reverse. Leave your windshield wipers in their upright position and position one of the new wiper blades under the hook from which you removed it. Press the blade into the hook until you hear a clicking sound. Tug gently on the blade to make sure it’s firmly attached. If it doesn’t move too much or slide off the windshield wiper, you can carefully lower the windshield wiper against the glass in its proper position.
Repeat the process by attaching the other wiper blade to the second windshield wiper arm. If you have a rear wiper, replace its blade at the same time as you replace the ones on the front of the car. Before you start driving, get into your car and test the function of the windshield wipers to make sure the arms can move freely and slide smoothly across the glass.
If you’re having any trouble removing or replacing your windshield wiper blades, the technicians at Huffines Hyundai McKinney can perform this maintenance task on your Hyundai vehicle. Our service department specializes in a wide range of maintenance services for all the models in the Hyundai lineup, and we can remove and replace your wiper blades as a stand-alone service or when performing other important tasks.