Most of the time we aren’t inclined to change our wiper blades until we hear the shrill squeaking sound of the back and forth during a light rain shower. Wipers are designed to last between 6 months and a year, varying with a number of factors:
As soon as you feel like your visibility is hindered or reduced because of your wipers, you should look to get them changed as soon as possible. Look out for these tell-tale signs that they might need replacing…
If you notice these kinds of streaks left on your windscreen after using your wipers, there could be one or two problems:
- The rubber has worn – lift both wipers up and check the rubber for any visible cracking or splitting.
- There could be debris – if your wipers are free from damage, it may be debris on your windscreen causing it to look streaky, such as grit or dirt.
Wipers that ‘skip’ are usually down to lack of use, which means you’re probably lucky enough to live somewhere mostly warm and dry! It could be you notice this happening just after summer when you’ve not needed to use them as much. Either way, your wipers can become out of shape, which causes this ‘skipping’. Parking your car under a shelter, or using a car cover in particularly hot weather can help to combat this, but if you’re noticing this when the rain picks up it might be time to get them changed.
Perhaps the most annoying sign of all that your wipers need changing: the squeak. Squeaking is most likely caused by incorrect assembly, and most of the time this can be resolved by either tightening or loosening the wiper arms, depending on how freely they move. If you’ve done the necessary tweaks and the problem persists, again it might be time for a new set!
It’s often hard to distinguish whether your wipers are streaking, skipping or smearing, but generally smearing is caused from either worn blades, a dirty windscreen or poor quality washer fluid. Smearing is easier to identify than streaking, as a larger portion of the windscreen will be covered and visibility significantly reduced. If you’ve cleaned your car and tried a different screenwash but your wipers are still smearing, it’s best to get them changed.
How to make your wiper blades last for longer
To reduce the risks of damaging your windscreen and your wipers, there are a few things you can do:
- Keep your windscreen clean
- Don’t rely on your wipers to get rid of snow and ice
- Keep washer fluid topped up
- Park in the shade on hotter days
- Try to limit overuse of both your wipers and your screenwash
- Get rid of any debris with water before using your wipers
At Halfords, WeFit new wiper blades from £2, and if you pop in and see us in store we can advise on the best wipers for your car AND replace them on the spot.
Find us at your local store here.