Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, hail, mud splashes, many wait to replace them only until they need them the most. Remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize your visibility and reliability.
When inspecting wiper blades look for the following:
Broken frames – detachment of frame arms at joints or connection points
Metal corrosion – especially at the joints and claws
Visible cracks, tears and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge
Flex rubber squeegee back and forth to see if it’s still flexible. Aged squeegees will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and create streaks.
Check squeegee wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality
Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm
Check that the squeegee is secure in the wiper frame
Common wiper blade problems:
Streaking occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
Skipping occurs when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use (for example: left in the ‘parked position’ for an extended length of time)
Wearing occurs with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared
Splitting is caused when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, causing it to breakdown and separate from the frame
Bent refill vertebra and bent frames cause inconsistent contact with the glass surface, creating streaking or skipping
Avoid these common problems – extend the life of your wiper blades by following these simple steps:
Clean your windshield every time you fill your petrol tank
Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil
How do you soften wiper blades? Dip a cloth into petroleum jelly and wipe it along the entire length of the rubber of each blade making certain that the jelly has a chance to soak into the rubber. Do not wipe off the blades, allow the petroleum jelly to air dry for at least 10 minutes. Lower the wiper arms back onto the windshield.
How to make wiper blades work better? Try using new wiper fluid and cleaning the windshield and wiper blades before you replace the blades. To clean your wiper blades simply wipe them with a clean cloth dipped in hot, soapy water. After you clean off the soap wipe the edge of the blade with rubbing alcohol.
How to temporarily stop windshield wipers from squeaking? For squeaking you can generally get away with cleaning the wiper blade itself. Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil. Keeping your windshield as clean as possible will help as well. However, you will eventually need to buy new wiper blades.
Efficient wiper blades
Efficient wiper blades are so important to a vehicle’s safe operation. Remember to regularly inspect them for wear and tear and change them every six months to a year or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility.