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When Should I Change My Windshield Wipers?

Monday, March 26 2018 9:57 AM
By 360 Administrator
When Should I Change My Windshield Wipers?

Windshield wipers are an important part of your vehicle that you forget about until you need them. When they’re new, they’re great, but when they’re old, driving can get tricky. The good thing is, windshield wipers are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. However, many of us don’t regularly check to see how much life is left in our wipers.

Ask yourself these four questions to make sure your vehicle is safe and ready for the road:

Can I see clearly when it’s raining?

It may seem obvious, but we’ve all been there. You’re driving to work, and it starts raining. You twist the knob to turn on your wipers, but instead of clearing the rain, you smear dirt and water all over your windshield. Since you’re in a rush, you add “buy windshield wipers” to your to-do list only to forget about it until the next time it rains.

Maintaining your driving visibility is an extremely important safety precaution, especially in inclement weather. According to a study compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 46% of all weather-related accidents occur when it’s raining.

Can I see any damage?

While windshield wipers are engineered to take a beating, they can’t last forever. Wind, rain, snow, heat and cold all take their toll on your wipers. Similarly, road and environmental debris can cause damage.

It’s always smart to give your wipers a once-over before you hop in the driver’s seat and shift into drive. Before you embark on your next trip, check your windshield wipers for the following:

  • rust or corrosion
  • damaged or loose rubber
  • broken or bent frame
  • loose pieces
  • rocks, leaves and debris

Can I hear any weird sounds?

The next time you turn on your wipers, turn down the radio and listen for any unfamiliar noises. Some noises are more subtle—thudding or flapping can indicate that the rubber on your windshield wipers is worn. If you hear a chattering noise, the wiper blade could be warped from excessive sun or cold exposure.

Most importantly, a screeching noise indicates that a metal or plastic piece of the blade is making contact with your windshield. If you continue to use your wipers, you could damage your windshield. Replacing or repairing your windshield is much more expensive than purchasing a new pair of wipers.

Can I remember the last time I changed my wipers?

When in doubt, most experts recommend installing new windshield wipers every 6-12 months. If you live in a harsh climate with hot summers, cool winters or floods of precipitation, you may want to err on the side of six months. If you don’t drive often, you live in a mild climate or your vehicle spends most of the time in a garage, you may be able to get a year of life out of your wipers.

If you have any questions about your windshield wipers, or if you would like a service professional to do all the work, contact our East Service Center at (316) 688-6450, or our West Service Center at (316) 729-1300.