It’s just one of those things I suppose. It always seems to be something you can put off for another day until you get time…Maybe at the weekend!!.
When it comes to checking over your windshield wiper blades, which of course is something we all do once a week at least, (yeah right) we certainly pay special attention to the most important section of our wiper blades don’t we?
I can almost see that blank look on your face from here you know!
This is the problem we all run into with windscreen wipers, where a quick look to see how they are going basically just shows us they are a rubber strip thing which is generally black.
As far as anything else goes, what is supposed to be looking at that will tell us if they are safe or in decent condition?
And here is the information you need then.
As you know, your windshield wiper system is made up of a couple of metal arms that each holds a sprung metal shoe that clips on to a thin rubber compound blade that sits on top of your windshield.
As your wiper motor is turned on, the arm has oscillated in a manner that allows each arm to drag the rubber wiper blade up the screen and then in reverse it tips the blade the other way and drags it down again. The importance of this drug action is to ensure that the real working part of each blade is the part that operates on your windshield for best streak-free cleaning.
If you look closely at these rubber blades, you need to focus on the lower edge of the blade-part specifically, as this is 99% where your wiper blades either work well or let you down.
Firstly, wiper blades are made from a rubber or silicon compound in order that they don’t scratch your windshield during use. So they shouldn’t scratch, squeak, shudder or streak.
However, the long bottom edge of the rubber blade itself is actually made with a square cut less than 1mm wide, with clean square ‘sharp’ corners. As these sharp lengths are dragged at about 45 degrees across the windscreen they quite efficiently scrape away the dirty rain, mud, grit and other road debris that constantly plates your windshield every day, regardless of the weather.
What this debris and soil do is very quickly wear away the sharp edges of your wiper blades and also scratch your windshield itself if not cleaned away by using decent blades and periodic fresh water flushing. Obviously, as these edges become ever more rounded they do a better job of smearing your windshield and scratching your glass to provide headlight glare.
So, this is the part you are supposed to be monitoring at least weekly, as well as paying regular attention to the metal (sometimes plastic) shoes and the metal arms to ensure they are rust free.
Of course, although nobody likes the thought of spending upwards of $25 for a set of new blades, both finding them and then physically changing over the old set are probably even more daunting jobs anyway. Of course, we all know that wiper blades are designed not to come off cars once they have been in place for a week, aren’t they?
However, a little bit of technology is all that is required and the entire trauma of changing over your windscreen wipers can be avoided for as long as a couple of years if you keep an eye on them and treat them well. Then you can have them changed for you during service.
Weekly I would suggest you wash your windscreen and wiper blades with a mild detergent and fresh water. This will better extend the life of your blades anyway and provide far better value from what you purchase. It will also help your screen remain less scratched.
However, if you really want to save yourself a fortune, help the ecology with around 6 times less waste and save yourself a ton of work and stress changing your wiper blades over, then you need to take a quick look at the link shown below.
Personally, I have only ever purchased 3 sets of new blades in more than 40 years of driving, so just think of the cash, ecology value, effort and frustrations benefited.