Driving in wet weather can be a stressful experience, but a strong set of windshield wipers can make it easier. These small pieces of rubber or silicone make a huge difference for driver safety, but they don’t last forever. Keep reading to find out why you might replace your windshield wipers and how to know when you need new ones.
Why Is It Important To Replace Your Windshield Wipers?
Windshield wipers are a vital part of safe driving, keeping our visibility high in rainy or snowy conditions. While the mechanism that powers the windshield wipers can last for years, the rubber or silicone blades degrade over time, making them less effective at pushing rain and snow off the windshield. To ensure you’ve got high visibility on the road, it’s important to replace them regularly.
Replacing your windshield wipers also protects your windshield. When a wiper blade wears out enough, it can come off, exposing the metal piece that holds it in place. If you keep running the windshield wipers after the blade comes off, the metal piece can come into contact with your windshield and scratch it. Since new wiper blades are a lot less expensive than a new windshield, replacing them often makes good financial sense.
How Often Should You Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades?
Most drivers will need to replace their wiper blades every six to 12 months, depending on a variety of factors. Typically, drivers get their windshield wipers inspected when they get their oil changed or tires rotated. During that appointment, a technician can inspect the wiper blades and tell you whether they need replacing. Here are some factors that might determine when you need to replace your wiper blades:
- Type of blade: Conventional wiper blades, which are flat and attached to a metal hinge, might wear out quicker than beam blades, which are a solid piece of rubber or silicone.
- Blade material: While rubber blades are cheaper and more common, they typically wear out quicker than silicone blades, which cost more to install but withstand the elements better.
- Amount you drive: The more you drive, the more you might use your windshield wipers, causing the blades to wear out faster. If you only use your car a few times a week, your blades might last up to a year.
- Amount of precipitation: Drivers in wet environments might use their windshield wipers more than those who live in dry locations, which can make them wear out faster.
- Average temperature: Cold temperatures can cause rubber wiper blades to stiffen and become brittle. Using them for snow and freezing rain can put more wear on them than regular rain might.
- Exposure to sun: If you park your car outside and it gets full sun for several hours a day, the heat can cause the wiper blades to degrade faster than if the car was stored in a garage.
Signs You Need New Windshield Wiper Blades
While most people replace their windshield wiper blades at a regularly scheduled service appointment, you might find that you need to replace them between appointments. Here are some signs that you need new windshield wiper blades:
- They’re noisy when in use: While all windshield wiper blades might make a slight noise when they’re pushing moisture off your windshield, worn-out ones are usually a lot noisier. If your wipers are making a sharp, metallic noise, they may have worn down to the point that the metal is coming into contact with your windshield.
- They leave streaks: As a windshield wiper breaks down, parts of the rubber edge might erode more quickly than others. If you notice that your wiper blade is leaving streaks of moisture, it might mean that it’s wearing down unevenly because of a crack or dent.
- They’re dented or rough: Functioning windshield wiper blades are smooth, allowing them to push water evenly off your windshield. If you see dents, cracks, or bumps on the edge of the blade, it needs replacing.
- You see corrosion on the metal parts: Visible corrosion can indicate that the metal components of your wipers need replacing, rather than just the wiper blades. While this is a more expensive replacement than a blade, it’s still less expensive than other, larger car parts.
If you see any signs that your windshield wiper blades need replacing, take your car to a certified repair center, like the one at Huffines Hyundai McKinney. An expert technician can identify the issue with the system and recommend replacement parts.
How To Preserve Your Windshield Wiper Blades
By taking care of your windshield wiper system, you can make the blades and other components last longer. Here are some ways to keep this system in pristine condition:
- Scrape off ice and snow during winter: A windshield wiper system can push some snow or sleet off of a car’s windshield, but it’s not powerful enough to move ice or large amounts of snow. Before you engage the system, scrape or shovel off any snow or ice that’s settled onto your windshield.
- Make sure your fluid levels stay high: Windshield wiper fluid helps frozen precipitation melt and allows the windshield wipers to clean the windshield when they’re in use. Check your wiper fluid regularly to make sure the system has enough fluid to work properly.
- Clean your wiper blades regularly: Every few weeks, use rubbing alcohol and a rag to gently wipe your wiper blades and remove any particles that might be sticking to them.
- Remove visible dirt by hand: If you see dirt or grime caked onto your windshield, remove it with cleaner before engaging your windshield wipers.
Here at Huffines Hyundai McKinney, we understand how important both safety and value are for our customers. At our service center, our expert technicians are happy to help you find genuine Hyundai parts at low prices to replace your windshield wipers and other components. Make an appointment to see us today.