With the wetter months still in front of us, one of the most overlooked aspects of vehicle safety is perhaps one of the easiest to maintain: your windshield wipers. In this month’s article, we’re going to discuss the importance of making sure your windshield wipers are functioning properly, how to maintain your wipers to get the best performance out of them, and what to do if they need replacing. As always, you can give our experts at Quick Lane at Garnet Ford a call anytime and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

Checking the Condition of Your Current Wiper Blades

As a general rule, windshield wipers need to be replaced every six months to a year, but safety is always the first priority driving. When you notice a difference in visibility while driving, or hear sounds like squeaking and skipping, then it’s time to replace your blades regardless of when they were put on your vehicle. But don’t rely solely on driving conditions or noise to determine if you need to replace your wiper blades. Inspect the blades for other issues like broken frames, corroded joints or claws, tears or cracks in the rubber, or debris such as leaves or sticks that could be lodged between the rubber squeegee and the glass.

Extending the Life of Your Wiper Blades

While a quick Google search yields varying results on whether or not the “name brand” windshield wiper blades are as good as other brands, performing quick maintenance on your blades will extend the life of whatever blades you choose. Unavoidable environmental elements such as the sun, sand, mud, dust, and moisture all deteriorate the rubber on the blade.

Proper wiper blade maintenance comes down to keeping the rubber and your windshield clean.

Manually de-ice your windshield with a scraper or a defroster, never your blades.

Clean your windshield each time you stop to get gas.

Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp rag to remove dirt or oil.

Replacing Your Wiper Blades

If you consider yourself a capable DIY-er, it’s a relatively straightforward process to replace your wiper blades. Be sure you’re following the instructions provided by the manufacturer and that you’ve purchased the right sized blades. Some vehicles require two different sizes of wiper blades for the driver’s and passenger’s side. Consult your owner’s manual for more information.

Alternatively, bring your car into Quick Lane at Garnet Ford for a wiper blade replacement. We service any make and model. We’ll make sure everything is replaced properly and you can wait in our comfortable guest area while we do so.

Proper visibility is crucial to safe driving; if your blades are broken, no amount of maintenance is going to fix them. Replace them ahead of time, because you will need them sooner than you think.