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How Often Should I Change My Windshield Wipers?

Wiper Blades

On average, you should change your wiper blades about once every six months to a year or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. Some indicators that signal your windshield wipers need replacing are screeching sounds, skipping motions across the windshield, leaving behind a streaky residue, and missing areas when cleaning. Once you check these off your list, you'll know it's time for new wipers!

Because winter and spring bring questionable weather conditions, it's important to have working wiper blades during these seasons. To prepare, here are a couple of ways to ensure your wiper blades are ready to do the job.

  • Broken frame - Detachment of frame arms at the connection points.
  • Metal Corrosion - Especially at joints and claws.
  • Squeegee damage - Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee edge.
  • Squeegee flexibility - Move rubber squeegee side to side to check for flexibility. Aged squeegees will be stiff and not as flexible causing streaks, skips, etc.
  • Secure blades - Give them a pull to make sure they are securely fastened
  • Secure squeegee - Make sure it's not loose from the frame

The wiper system keeps excessive water, snow and dirt from building up on the windshield while maintaining clear visibility. Many factors can accelerate the replacement interval of wipers, including operating conditions, frequency of use, material/type of wipers, and weather conditions. Believe it or not, warm temperatures are just as, if not more, brutal than cold temperatures on the condition of your wipers.

  • Sun Ultraviolet light and ozone deterioration
  • Oil - Car waxes and exhaust hold rubber-deteriorating oil
  • Airborne debris - Sand, mud and dust carried in the wind
  • Moisture - Acid rain and salt water (in moist air both near the shore and inland)

Additionally, don't forget about the rear wiper blade! It experiences just as much wear and tear as the front wipers and requires the same amount of attention. Here are a few ways to extend the life of ALL your wiper blades:

  • Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
  • Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil.
  • Never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, use either an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice.
  • Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build-up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from freezing to the windshield.

Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle's safety as clean oil and good tires. So, remember to change your wiper blades at least once a year, to inspect them frequently for wear and tear. If you practice these car care tips, and you'll have a clear view of the road.

This article was written with the help and resources from the non-profit Car Care Council. The "Be Car Care Aware" campaign is a consumer education program about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair, designed to provide knowledge from all segments of the automotive aftermarket industry.

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. To view the Car Care Council's consumer education website, visit www.carcare.org 

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