Windshield wipers are often overlooked safety features on your vehicle. You won’t really pay much attention to them at all when they’re working well, but as soon as they start leaving behind streaks and smears, creating visibility issues, they suddenly become a big problem. Without wiper blades that work properly, it will be difficult for you to see hazards that pop up on the road when it rains or snows.
Fortunately, replacing windshield wiper blades is an easy process, and making sure you have good-quality blades ensures you’ll always have maximum visibility while behind the wheel during inclement weather. This is especially important during the summertime, considering the frequency of rainstorms during the monsoon season here in Arizona.
Wiper blades are made out of rubber, and even when used on a relatively limited basis, they can still wear down. You should regularly inspect your blades. As a general guideline, you should replace them at least once or twice a year. Check for cracks, tears and other signs of heavy wear—this sort of damage will prevent the blades from properly gripping the windshield, which means they’ll struggle to remove snow, mud, rain or sleet. Your blades will take an especially heavy beating during the winter.
Here’s some information from a mechanic in Phoenix, AZ about how to go through the process of replacing your wipers, but if you’re not confident in your own ability, you can always have a technician do it for you at your next oil change:
- Measure: Measure the length of your wiper blades, or look in the owner’s manual of your vehicle to find the correct blade size.
- Remove the previous wiper: Lift up the wiper arm from the windshield. There should be a small tab on the bottom of the wiper close to where it connects to the wiper arm. Press that tab in, then slide off the blade by pulling in a downward motion.
- Connect the new blade: Once you’ve removed the previous blade, you’ll be able to attach the replacement. You should hear a clicking sound when the new blade properly locks into place. You can then lower the arm back onto the windshield and repeat steps two and three with the other arm. Keep in mind that most wiper sets have one longer and one shorter blade, so you should make sure you’re attaching the correct-sized blade to the proper side.
- Test: Once you’ve completed the installation, test out your wipers to make sure they’re working properly. Turn the vehicle on, spray some wiper fluid onto the windshield and use the new blades to wipe it off to see how they perform. It’s better to test the blades now, when it’s convenient to do so, than during the middle of a storm—you want to be prepared for those heavy rain scenarios.
Being proactive about wiper blade maintenance and changes as needed will help ensure a safer, smoother driving experience in inclement weather. For more information about changing your wiper blades this summer, contact a mechanic in Phoenix, AZ at S & J Auto Repair & Rental.