Does it seem like a mystery as to why your wiper blades suddenly start screeching across your windshield? They go from being totally fine one day to being completely annoying the next. This screeching noise is typically accommodated with water smearing across your window, leaving a blurred mess behind.
Most drivers believe they need to replace their wiper blades when this happens, but there’s a reason behind this problem and a solution to follow. In this article, we’re going to share some tips on how to care for wiper blades. We will also give you a simple 3-step process on how to properly install wipers.
If you feel like you are consistently playing a game of buying windshield wiper blades for your vehicle, this article will come in handy. Keep reading to learn more about how to get your wiper blades to last two times longer, if not more.
Why Do Windshield Wiper Blades Fail?
Think about the environment that your wiper blades are constantly subject to. In the summer, they sit atop an incredibly hot piece of glass, and during the winter, they wick away ice, rain, or snow in frigid temperatures. On a year-round basis, they also push away dirt and debris and try to ward off UV damage.
When you think of it this way, you might wonder how they last as long as they do, to begin with. These blades are designed to last a long time. However, drivers rarely do any maintenance on them, which makes them wear out faster.
Cleaning Your Wiper Blades
It’s time to go beyond the typical car wash to clean your wiper blades. Whether you do this by hand or you drive through a professional car wash business, your wiper blades require more attention than either one of those methods offers. Our suggestion is to get denatured alcohol and a shop rag to clean the rubber blades. You’ll want to clean them two or three times to make sure the dust and debris are removed. You can tell they are clean by looking at your shop rag and no longer seeing the dirt there.
Clean Your Windshield
Part of good wiper blade care is making sure that your windshield is free of built-up dirt or debris. Sometimes a car wash can get rid of this, but if it’s stuck under the blade you will need to clean that area at the bottom of your windshield. The bottom of your windshield harbors dirt that will eat away at the rubber of your wiper blades. When you turn on your wipers, this grit smears across your windshield and typically leaves that screeching noise and blurry mess.
Pick the Right Blades
Most wiper blades are made of rubber and plastic, which tend to wear down due to weather and other outdoor elements. You may consider looking for silicone-based wiper blades since they last two times longer than rubber blades. Silicone tends to be more flexible than rubber but is still incredibly strong. That combination results in longer wear. You will want to follow the same maintenance suggestions listed above to preserve and protect the blades. Silicone wiper blades are also more environmentally friendly because they do last longer than traditional rubber blades.
It may be harder to find these in your neighborhood hardware store because they last so long, and retailers don’t make as much money by selling them. Your best bet is to do an online search to find silicone windshield wiper blades on websites such as eBay and Amazon.
Easy 3- Step Installation
Some windshield wipers can be a little more complicated than others to install, so check your owner’s manual for a little direction. Here is a three-step process to get you going.
Step One: Measure.
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but use a tape measure and measure your windshield wiper blades. You’ll also want to measure both your passenger and driver side blades. Don’t assume these blades are the same size.
Step Two: Removal.
Grab a bath towel and set it on your windshield underneath your wiper blades. This is going to act as a barrier in the event your windshield wiper gets away from you. You don’t want it to snap across your windshield. You’ll then want to remove the rubber blade from the mechanical arm. With some wipers, you’ll need to pivot the blade to remove the rubber section. For others, you will have clips to tackle or wrestle to release them.
Step Three: Replace
To replace your wiper blades you will want to slide them into place similarly to how you removed the old ones. This may require pivoting the mechanical arm, or once again, wrestling with the clips on the blade. Make sure you double-check how secure they are on the mechanical arm before you test out your blade on your bear windshield. Too many times, blades are not secured well enough, and they pop off the mechanical arm. That metal arm then slides across your windshield and scratches it.
With a little extra care and attention to your windshield wiper blades, you can prolong their longevity and protect them from the outdoor elements. If you have any more auto glass questions or need help with repairs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.