Proper visibility is essential for vehicle and driver safety. If your windshield wipers are making noises when in use, leaving streaks on your windshield or leaving your windshield dirty, it may be time to clean or replace them. If you bring your car to a mechanic, they may entice you to change your wiper blades even though they just need a simple cleaning. This guide will help you diagnose your windshield wiper issue and describe how to fix it yourself.
If your windshield wipers are leaving your windshield streaky and dirty, they are not working efficiently and the problem needs to be fixed immediately. The first step is to physically examine the wipers; if the wiper has any broken parts, the squeegee is cracked or any part of the mechanism is misshapen, it is time for replacement. If the wipers do not have any visible defects, try cleaning your wipers. Make sure that the windshield itself is free of grime and there is no debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) on the windshield. If you have done all those things and the wipers are still not working properly, they likely need to be replaced.
Sometimes the toughest problems have the easiest solutions. You can clean your windshield wiper blades in 30 seconds with materials you likely have on hand. Just take a clean, microfiber cloth and saturate it with warm water, glass cleaner or vinegar. Wipe the cloth up and down the blade a few times and watch all the dirt come off. You may have to repeat this process a few times if the blades are especially dirty. You should try to do this about once a month to keep your blades functioning well.
If you have determined that the blades are beyond cleaning and need replacement, it is time to purchase new ones. You can buy windshield wipers at most mechanic shops, larger supermarkets, and even online. Make sure you buy wipers that operate with your car model and are good quality. Sometimes an employee will install them free of charge but if you are expected to pay extra or there is no one available to do this, it is simple and quick to install them yourself. Most wiper blades contain a tab or pin where the blade meets the arm that you pull and the blade will release. To install the new blade, just insert onto the tab and push it down. It is recommended that wiper blades be replaced every six months.
Whether you are buying or leasing a car, it is vital that you check the status of your windshield wipers. It is easy to do yourself and can save you from a potentially dangerous situation.