When was the last time you replaced your windshield wiper blades? If you can’t remember, or if the blades are making an awful scraping or squeaking sound as they pass over your windshield, don’t wait to replace your windshield wiper blades!
Find out why, when, and how you need to replace your windshield wiper blades from the pros at Jack’s Glass!
Why You Need New Windshield Wiper Blades
There are two important reasons you need to replace your windshield wiper blades regularly.
First and most important, windshield wiper blades are a key safety feature in your car. They allow you to see through your windshield by wiping away rain and clearing away dirt and debris.
It can be easy to overlook the condition of your windshield wiper blades—until they stop working, and you’re suddenly blinded by rain or dirt on your windshield. If that happens, it could be too late to avoid an accident.
Second, old and worn-out wiper blades can actually damage your windshield! Windshield wiper blades are made of plastic or metal and rubber (or silicone) parts. The part of the blade that touches your windshield is made of rubber or silicone. When that part eventually wears away, what’s left is plastic or metal scraping across the glass. Over time, the scratches can reduce your visibility (a safety hazard) and cause serious cracks in your windshield.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: a pair of new wiper blades is cheaper than windshield repair or replacement.
When You Need to Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Windshield wiper blades simply don’t last forever. Like other parts of your car, they wear out. Sun and salt deteriorate rubber, dirt from the road causes nicks, and oils and chemicals from your car’s exhaust and windshield fluid cause additional wear and tear. Eventually, the rubber part of the windshield wiper blade becomes less effective or even disintegrates. Instead of quickly squeegeeing the water off the windshield, the blades just smear the water across the windshield. At that point, it becomes impossible to see right in front of your car: everything’s a blur.
Of course, you don’t want to wait until your blades are useless in a rainstorm to replace them. So when should you replace your wiper blades?
On average, you should replace your windshield wiper blades every six months to a year.
It also depends on how often you drive and where you live. People who live in more moderate and dry climates can often get away with replacing their blades less often, but in Ohio and northern Kentucky, we need replacements more often.
Before purchasing new blades, you should inspect them. (Sometimes, all it takes is a good cleaning with glass cleaner or windshield wiper fluid to remove dirt from the blade’s rubber and get it to work properly for a while longer.)
It’s time to toss the wiper blades when the rubber on the blade is chipped or rigid. You can also tell that it’s time for replacements when the blades leave streaks of water, miss areas entirely, or smear water instead of wiping it away.
Don’t replace just one blade! If one is in poor condition, it’s likely that the other one is as well. Always replace them in sets.
How to Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
When choosing wiper blades, the most important factor is that the blade fits your windshield. Windshield shapes can vary, so don’t just listen to what one person or website says is the “best” wiper blade.
Another big factor is the type of windshield wiper that came with your car. If your car came with a conventional blade, you can replace it with that. If your car came with a beam blade (a more expensive blade that doesn’t use an external frame), that is what you should get. You might also consider blades with silicone parts over rubber, which tend to last longer.
To install new windshield wiper blades, you have two options. You can do it yourself or have someone else install them, like a mechanic or auto parts store. (Some auto parts stores will install the blades for free if you buy them at the store.)
If you decide to go the DIY route, make sure to reference your owner’s manual. You don’t want to break anything while trying to remove the blades! We also recommend protecting your windshield with a towel or something similar to protect your windshield from scratches while you do the replacement.
We’re Here for All Your Windshield Needs
Jack’s Glass is your windshield expert. If your windshield is scratched, chipped, or cracked, call Jack’s for professional, fast, and easy repair or replacement. We’ll even come directly to your car and work with your insurance company on your behalf.
Call us today to learn how we can help you!