How To Know When To Repair Your Windshield Wipers

by Billy Price

Most drivers never think about the condition of their windshield wipers until they get stuck in bad weather. A blizzard or snow storm can openly expose the ineffectiveness of your wipers to clear away rainwater, mist or snow, but it could be too late by then as you might already be in a deadly situation due to poor visibility.

Instead of waiting until you are in a perilous situation, desperately squinting through your hazy windshield trying to see what's ahead after your wipers fail you on the road, you should at least take precautions to ensure the wipers will be reliable when you need them to be. Here is a look at common signs that your wipers need maintenance or replacing.

Streaking

Wiper blades, when in tip top shape, should be capable of wiping water or snow off your windshield in one clean sweep without leaving any streaks on the glass. Unfortunately, the rubber padding on the blades can harden and crack over time, losing its shape and the snug fit against the windshield glass.

This limits the ability of the wipers to clean everything up in one complete action, and streaks of water of snow will inevitably result. Contact between the blades and the windshield can also be interrupted by tree sap, road tar or debris, underlying the need to keep the wipers properly cleaned.

Annual maintenance of the wipers would easily reveal any distortion or bending of the blades that would render them ineffective in extreme conditions.

Irregular movement

Instead of moving smoothly, your wiper blades might sometimes judder on operation, resulting in ineffective wiping. This is usually caused by ragged edges that form as a result of a bent refill or wiper frame. The blades can easily get bent by ice scrapers, automatic car washes or even vandalism, which is why you should inspect them weekly to ensure they are in good shape.

The irregular movement can also result from worn or split rubber on the blades. Normal wear and tear around the edges of your wiper or direct sunlight will eventually split the rubber padding around your wipers, affecting their ability to glide smoothly across the face of the windshield. If you notice any ragged frames, split rubber edges or any other distortion, should consider replacing the wiper blades right away by contact a local auto parts outlet.

Chattering

One of the giveaways that your wipers have a problem is a chattering noise as the blade moves back and forth. A well-functioning wiper should ideally be silent, so squeaks, screeches or scrapes could indicate worn our blades or a curve in the wiper due to a prolonged period without use.

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