Wiper Blades, Wiper Fluid, Windshield WiperWe all know the adage, “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” Spring is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to check your car’s windshield wiper blades. Quickly clearing your windshield is vital when caught in a sudden springtime downpour. While wiper blades maintenance may seem like a minor service, visibility while driving depends on well-functioning wipers and a full windshield wiper fluid tank. Deteriorated wiper blades, a bent wiper arm, or insufficient wiper fluid can leave windshield streaks that can be distracting and hazardous while on the road. 

Common Wiper Issues

It’s common to have perfectly working wipers one minute and ineffective wipers the next. Extreme temperatures (hot or cold), sudden temperature changes, excessive wear and tear, or even not using them at all can negatively impact the life span of windshield wipers.

Windshield Streaks

The wiper frame and rubber blade should conform to the exact shape of your windshield glass, providing a clean swipe with each pass. If you start seeing windshield streaks or spots on the glass, there’s a good chance that the wiper blades are worn out and need replacement. 

Skipping or Bouncing Wiper Blades

If your wiper blades skip or bounce on the glass as they swipe, the rubber blade may have hardened, or you may have a bent wiper arm. A service technician can determine the cause quickly and get them operating correctly again.

Excessive Wear

If the rubber edges appear rounded off instead of flat and square, then the wipers have exceeded their life span and must be replaced. If the wiper blades routinely remove crusty road grime, the rubber may be missing chunks or torn in areas of high use. Worn wiper blades require replacement.

Splitting Wiper Blades

Just like your rubber tires, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can harm the rubber wiper blades over time. When extreme heat and direct sun penetrate the rubber, the blade may separate from the frame and become ineffectual. If this happens, replace the wiper blade or schedule a service.

Bent Frame or Blade

Rough handling, freezing temperatures, and even mechanical car washes can slightly bend a windshield wiper frame or blade enough that it can impede the effectiveness of the wiper. Replace bent wipers to prevent skipping, streaking, or window damage.

Windshield Wiper Components

When replacing windshield wipers, the base and wiper arm are usually permanently installed on the vehicle, and only the wiper frame and rubber blade are replaceable. Windshield wipers can vary a lot from vehicle to vehicle, but most windshield wiper components have the following similarities:

Windshield Wiper Base

The base of the wiper is attached to the motor, which powers the back-and-forth motion.

Wiper Arm

The wiper arm is attached to the base and provides a place to mount the wiper frame and rubber blade.

Rubber Blade

Some wiper types have the wiper frame and rubber blade as one unit; in others, the rubber blade(s) are replaced separately from the frame.

Routine Windshield Wiper Maintenance

Inspect your windshield wipers and wiper fluid levels monthly or every time you fill your vehicle’s tank with gas.

Windshield and Wiper Blades

Take advantage of the gas station’s windshield washing supplies. Thoroughly clean your vehicle’s windows and wipe down the rubber blades with a moist paper towel to remove road grime, dust, and other foreign debris. If you have a rear window wiper, clean it, too, even if you rarely use it. 

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Purchase a gallon of windshield wiper fluid appropriate for your climate and needs, and store it in your trunk or garage. Then, frequently refill the reservoir (your owner’s manual shows its exact location) so you can always clean the windshield when needed.

How Long Do Windshield Wipers Last?

Rubber can deteriorate from exposure to UV light, freezing temperatures, and ice build-up. Windshield wipers may last 3-12 months, depending on your locale and use. A good rule of thumb is to replace your wipers twice a year when the temperature changes.

Need Wiper Blades Maintenance?

Contact Wentworth Automotive today online or call (858) 541-1044 to schedule a multi-point inspection. We will happily top off your vehicle’s fluids, check your tire pressure, replace windshield wipers, and notify you of your next recommended oil change service.