Even though they are literary always in front of your eyes, windshield wipers are the most neglected part of any vehicle. However, their condition and proper work are a crucial safety feature. Especially, during the winter, when most accidents happen due to low visibility. So eventually you may say that windshield wipers are that part of your driving experience that you start to appreciate only once you lose them.
Windshield wipers are mostly inexpensive and pretty easy to buy at any car service or shop. But they save a lot of nerves and money for drivers. No to mention that driving without wipers or with faulty ones during rain or snow blizzard, you put yourself, your passengers, and other fellow-drivers and pedestrians in grave danger.
Here at OHS Body Shop, we often see how faulty wipers may lead to serious accidents and costly repairs. And while we are always happy to see you at our branches in Kalispell, Whitefish, Polson, and Columbia Falls at Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, it would be much better if you come for routine checkups and accessories like windshield wipers instead of complicated repairs caused by disregard.
So if you are curious, how often you should check your windshield wipers the answer may vary between 6 months and a year. Of course, it depends on the climate and weather conditions in your area.
With this article, we want to help you understand when your windshield wipers should be replaced and work out your maintenance routine.
How do I know that it’s time to replace windshield wipers?
Although most mechanics and manufacturers will tell you that wipers lifespan is somewhere between 6 to 12 months, they may of course last a bit longer. But sometimes, you need to change them urgently, no matter how old your wipes are. Here are some signs that it’s time to say goodbye.
- Vibration and noise. Those are pretty annoying symptoms that are hard to ignore. Vibration and chattering noises may appear because the blade may move faster than the wiper. It is usually caused by the uneven surface of the damaged or cracked wiper.
- Squeaky noise. Another bothering and annoying symptom is the loud squeaky noise that happens because the rubber or silicone of your windshield wiper is damaged and rubs over the windshield instead of sliding over it smoothly.
- Spots and tracks. If after wiping you see some significant wet spots or tracks of water and dirt on the windshield, it shows that your wiper is torn or cracked at some point. This damage will spread faster than you think, leaving you without any wipers in no time.
Remember, even if your wipers don’t show any of those signs, you should change them regularly. Those who are lucky to live in sunny states also shouldn’t neglect the wiper changing routine. Excessive temperatures, sand, dust, and UV light also influence the lifespan of your wipers.
What if I don’t replace windshield wipers on time?
It may seem that the wiper’s changing routine is not that crucial as engine or battery check or oil change. But neglecting your windshield wipers may lead to some serious (and costly) consequences:
- Once it starts raining or you are caught in a snow blizzard, windshield wipers will determine your safe drive. Unless you don’t mind to stop and wait till nature shows some leniency.
- From a long-term perspective, faulty wipers will lead to serious damage to the windshield. While there won’t be any rubber or silicone buffer between metal and plastic parts of the blade, they will start scratching the glass.
Proper vehicle maintenance is all about timing and paying attention to irregularities. A cheap and disposable part as a windshield wiper, may save a lot of time and money and sometimes even your life.
OHS Body Shop serves the Greater Flathead Valley and offers auto body repairs and more at our service centers in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Visit the closest to you to get comprehensive consultation from our qualified mechanics and the best prices in the area for all kinds of service.