Windshield Wiper Blades in Winter
You make split-second decisions while driving based on your visibility of the road and the other vehicles around you. If that visibility is obstructed by a murky windshield, during wet weather conditions when careful driving is imperative, it’s likely due to windshield wiper blades that have worn out since the last time you encountered inclement weather. Like most folks, you probably don’t think about your windshield wiper blades until you find yourself driving through a storm and struggling to see. It’s a dangerous situation that can easily be avoided by having replacement wiper blades installed.
Even if your wiper blade use is minimal, regular replacement is necessary to account for damage from conditions including dry climate, acid deposition, ozone and pollution. This is in addition to actual wear from wet weather, so common to Colorado in winter months, such as rain, snow, sleet and hail.
In addition to the conditions listed above, exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your wiper blades. When cars are regularly parked in hot, sun-exposed areas, their wiper blades are prone to bake and harden, leaving them unable to conform to the windshield properly and creating gaps that streak. Freezing temperatures also harden the rubber and make it brittle, which often leads to cracking. And age alone eventually wears rubber out, causing the blades to lose the flexibility needed for performance.
Extensive use, as you might have guessed, is also a culprit in the life of your windshield wiper blades. All the elements the blades encounter while working, including dirt, road splash and solvents cause the blade edge to deteriorate, leaving it unable to wipe effectively.
So, now that you know the main causes of wiper damage, how do you determine if your blades are ready for replacement? A quick glance is helpful to detect obvious wear and tear like cracks, nicks and splits, which indicate that replacement is necessary. However, your blades may look fine and still be brittle or warped to the degree that they will not contour to the windshield to give you optimum visibility. So, the next step is to run your windshield washer. As your wiper blades wipe the washer fluid across your windshield, look for chattering, streaking, glazing, or vibrating. This also indicates that your windshield wiper blades need immediate replacement.
Most experts, including our ASE Master Certified Technicians, agree that every six to twelve months is how often wiper blade replacement should occur. So, if you haven’t had a wiper blade replacement in the last six months, this December, as we approach the coming harsh winter weather, is a great time to schedule this service.
With many auto repair shops to choose from; consider that, at Downing Street Garage, your vehicle will be serviced by the best Denver auto mechanics. We’ll keep a record of your wiper blade replacement date in case you forget, and we’ll make sure the best wiper blades, in the correct size, are installed (note that some vehicles are designed to have different sizes on each side to achieve maximum visibility).