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When to change your windscreen wipers

When to change your windscreen wipers

It starts to rain, and your vision of the road starts to become hazy. Naturally, you switch on your windscreen wipers only to discover the ear-piercing squeak of old, worn out blades.

When your vehicle’s windscreen wipers don’t do the job that they were made for, it’s time for new ones. Here’s the tell-tale signs of when to change them and reasons for why they deteriorate over time.

How often should I replace my windscreen wipers?

The general rule of thumb is to change your vehicle’s wiper blades every six months to a year. The best way to tell if they need changing is when the wiper blades dry up, no longer touch the windshield surface, and don’t actually clean your windshield properly. This is when they can begin to make funny noises and skip along the windshield instead of gliding smoothly.

What are some of the signs that I need to change my blades?

Change your windscreen wiper blades if they are:

  • Squeaking
  • Skipping
  • Streaking
  • Splitting
  • Smearing
  • Obstructing visibility 

What are some common wiper problems and why don’t they last?

Like many vehicle parts, wiper blades wear away over time due to weather conditions and continuous use. Sun, oil, airborne debris and moisture can all play a part in aging your windscreen wipers. Ultraviolet light from the sun, acid rain, saltwater, sand, mud and dust carried in the wind contribute to drying them out and wearing them away. 

How can I maintain my wiper blades for longer lasting use?

To maintain your windscreen wiper blades, try to make checking them a regular habit. Here are a few ways to get longer lasting use out of your blades:

  • Clean your windshield every time you stop for petrol.
  • Remove any loose dirt or oil by gently wiping the rubber squeegee with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • To prevent ice build-up on the rubber squeegee, pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during colder months when it’s parked or not in use.
  • Windshield wipers and icy windshields don’t mix well. So never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Use an ice scraper or defroster instead.

Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safety as is regular servicing. So, remember to check your blades every six months and change them once a year to avoid reduced visibility and slow reaction time while behind the wheel.

Another helpful tip is to always ensure the windscreen washer reservoir is topped up with a water and a windscreen washer solution. This way you’ll have a clean and clear view of the road when you need to clean your windshield.

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