When it comes to driving your vehicle, one of the most important things, if not the most important, is being able to see. Your vehicle’s windshield provides the first line of defense between you and the outdoor elements, and the windshield wipers, are the things that help keep your visibility to a level that is safe for you and other drivers on the road. Windshield wipers, like other components of your car, truck, and SUV, wear out over time. How often should you replace your windshield wipers? Let’s review.
How do Windshield Wipers Work?
Before we dive into how often you should replace your wipers, we wanted to cover the basics and review how windshield wipers work. If your windshield wipers work, that’s likely good enough for you and you may not think about the inner workings. However, if you want to understand these visibility makers a little further, we’ve got you covered.
Now a days, windshield wipers are much more advanced than they used to be. Many vehicles even have moisture sensors that automatically turn on your wipers at the first sign of wet elements. The windshield wiper is moved by a motor at the base of the window to scrape away water and other debris.
Windshield wipers work through force alone. The wiper edge makes contact with the glass, creating a barrier to block things from escaping without damaging the glass underneath. The design of the edge generally works best in a single direction. The edge will catch the moisture or debris as it wipes towards the outer edge of the windshield. This moves or flings everything off so the view remains as clear as possible (TheDrive).
There are multiple ways for the windshield wipers to be configured. Most cars have two wipers which move in sync with each other, but some models have a single wiper that covers a wider area of window. There are also some models of vehicle that come with a wiper on the back window, such as SUVs, hatchbacks, and minivans. We won’t get too deep into it, because you aren’t here to learn about the mechanics of your wipers, but to help you understand how often you should replace your windshield wipers.
How Often Should you Replace Your Windshield Wipers?
How often you replace any part of your vehicle generally depends on your driving habits, the weather conditions, and just basic wear and tear. Your wipers are no exception. The basic rule for how often you should replace your windshield wipers is every six to twelve months. Keep in mind, as we said, depending on where you live and how often you drive, you may need to replace them sooner. If you have your wipers changed at the same time as an oil change, it can help to keep your visibility at its best.
There are some signs that you can watch for that indicate that it may be time to get a new set of wipers.
- Screeching Noises: If your wipers are making squeaking or screeching noises as they are trying to clean away water and other debris, it could be an indication that the rubber or silicone are not in their prime and your wipers need replaced.
- Streaks and Wet Spots are Left Behind: If your windshield is left with streaks and lessened visibility, even with the use of your wipers, this is a sign that part of your blade is worn away and it is time to get some new wipers. Another sign is there are wet spots left behind. This means that your wipers are no longer intact in those areas, and need replaced.
- Vibration: A jerking motion or vibration and chattering sound happens when your windshield wipers are moving at an uneven rate. The gaps in the blade move faster than the pieces where the wiper contacts your windshield, causing vibration. This is a sign that it is time to replace your wipers.
Changing your windshield wipers is an important part to not only your vehicle’s maintenance, but to the safety of all drivers on the roads. How often you should replace your windshield wipers depends on your driving habits and conditions; however, if you are about to hit the road for a long drive, be sure to give them an extra inspection to ensure that they are good to go.
At Advanced Transmissions & Emissions we can help with your Phoenix, AZ vehicle needs. Our technicians understand cars, trucks, and SUVs inside and out, enabling them to address all makes and models’ problems. Most importantly, our team works quickly when we bring a car into our shop. We understand your time is valuable, and we want to get you back on the road quickly.