5 Things about windshield wiper blades
Vehicle Maintenance Tips From Auto Pedigree: Five Things You Should Know About Windshield Wiper Blades
Living in South Africa, a generally sunny country for the most part, we don't usually give much thought
A vehicle's wiper blade lifespan varies, depending on the area of the country in which you drive, but all climactic conditions and weather patterns have an effect, whether they're dry summers, wet winters, or anything in between.
Heat deteriorates your wiper blades a lot faster, despite how often or not you use them. The more you need to use them, the faster they'll wear out, but there are also other factors that cause deterioration - such as oils, waxes, sand, and grit.
Silicone blades are more resistant to deterioration than the rubber variety, however, caring for your existing rubber blades will help them to last longer and save you money in the long run.
These are a few common wiper blade problems and tips on how to prolong their lifespan:
Skipping/chattering: this can happen when the vertebra or frame-of the blade becomes bent, curved, or warped, sometimes caused by lack of use, causing contact between the glass and the rubber to become inconsistent. Check that you wiper fluid is topped up, wiper fluid adds 'wetness' to water, helping the wipers glide more easily.
Streaking: unless your wiper blade has accumulated foreign objects or substances, such as tree sap or road tar in the squeegee, streaking can happen when the rubber becomes hard and dry and eventually begins to crack. Keep your windscreen wiper blades soft by cleaning them regularly with rubbing alcohol or a rubber protectant.
Smearing: keep the accumulation of dirt and grime off of your wiper blades by wiping them clean with white vinegar every now and again.
Squeaking: the cause could be too much tension or friction between the glass and the rubber. Check that the blades or wipers are not too tight.
Splitwiping : aged rubber squeegees lose flexibility and softness, making it difficult for them to maintain proper contact along the length of the rubber. Sun damage on the rubber can also cause damage to the squeegee. Try not to use petroleum-based products to soften rubber blades - although this may offer a temporary solution, these can worsen the situation over time. Rubbing alcohol will keep the blades soft, but blades that are too old should be replaced.
Wiper blades that are badly bent should be completely replaced rather than just having the rubber refilled as distorted blades could cause damage to your windscreen.
In a country where we depend so much on our cars for everyday transportation, as mundane as wiper blades may seem, they are a critical safety aspect of driving.
If you're looking for more tips on how to best care for your vehicle, be sure to check out AutoPedigree's blog.
Tips and advice on this website are for guideline purposes only. Auto Pedigree and the authors cannot be held responsible for any advice given, written or verbal. Do your research thoroughly and use at your own discretion.