CC: One of the most important safety features of your vehicle isn’t what you may think. Introduced over a 100 years ago, your car’s windshield wipers deliver a clear view of the road, which is vital to safe driving. Unless you live in a rainy climate, they’re also easy to overlook. If you don’t use them regularly you might not know they need to be replaced – until you really need them. Without clear sight lines of the road and your surroundings, your safety and the safety of your passengers are compromised.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about when to change your wiper blades but depending on where you live, you might have to change your blades more frequently. In hot and sunny climates, dry heat and ultraviolet radiation can break down the rubber blades, causing them to crack, warp, or split. At the other end of the climate scale, extremely cold and icy weather can also cause problems. Cold makes the blades brittle and icy conditions can cause them to freeze to your windshield, making them easy to damage while loosening them from the glass. Year-round dirt such as road salt, dust, tar, and other debris from road work can also shorten their service life. If any of these conditions apply to you, check your blades monthly or even weekly.
Another option is to check and replace your wiper blades on a regular schedule. Ideally you should inspect them at specific times, such as the beginning of each season. As the seasons change, take time to inspect your wipers for signs of wear. If necessary, use the calendar on your phone to set a reminder. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends checking your blades, and replacing them, if necessary, before taking road trips. Anytime you see wear or damage to the blades, replace them immediately. Otherwise, follow the blade manufacturer’s recommendation for replacement – typically every six to 12 months. And don’t forgot, if you drive an SUV, minivan, or hatchback, be sure to keep an eye on the wiper blade on the rear window for signs that it needs replacing also.
This video is sponsored by ANCO.