Sacramento Auto Repair

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How to Check to See If You Need New Wiper Blades

It's easy to take some parts of our car for granted when thinking about what might need a repair or replacement. We often think of repairs and replacements that our engine might need, or another complex, expensive part of our car. Our windshield wipers are easily forgotten about. When they play such a vital role in ensuring we can see clearly when we drive, it's important to maintain them.

While it's recommended to replace your windshield wipers every 6-12 months, the length of time wiper blades and frames last can vary. The best thing to do is to inspect them regularly and if you see any signs that they're damaged or wearing out, take your car to a mechanic for an inspection and replace the wipers if needed.

Signs of Damage

It's easy to say that you need to inspect your blades regularly. But what do you actually need to look for? How do you know if you need new windshield wipers?

  • Streaks and Smears: Windshield wipers are supposed to keep your windshield clean so you can see the road clearly. When the wipers are damaged or wearing out, they won't do this so well. Worn out wipers are likely to leave streaks on the glass as they move across it which are especially visible when it rains.
  • Chattering Sound: If you hear a chattering sound when your windshield wipers are on, it's usually because the wipers aren't running across the glass smoothly. This could be because the frame of the windshield wiper is bent or broken. Bent frames also mean the wipers will wear out unevenly and so they need replacing.
  • Dried or Cracked Rubber: You can check for this by feeling and looking at the blades. If the rubber is cracked, dried, or has bits missing, your wipers need replacing. The blades should be flexible.

What Causes Damage

Windshield wipers wear out over time like any other car part, but some things can shorten their lifespan.

  • The Sun: The heat from the sun dries out the rubber on the blades, causing them to crack sooner.
  • Wax/Oil: Wax or oil used to clean your vehicle can cause the rubber to break down faster. The good news is you can prevent this by popping the wipers out when you clean your car.

Getting a Replacement

Luckily, windshield wiper replacements are relatively cheap and easy. If you need new wiper blades, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!