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Are Your Wiper Blades Ready For Winter?

October 20, 2014









Regularly changing your wiper blades is often a “back burner” item that is easily forgotten about, and it shouldn't be. You don’t want to realize your wiper blades need replacing when it begins to rain. Suddenly, you can’t see out of your bug-smeared windshield, putting yourself and fellow motorists in danger.

“The most important thing about properly functioning wiper blades is visibility. Visibility is key to driving safely,” said Peter Bukaty, group brand manager for ITW Global Brands. “When you’re using your wiper blades, response time is critical because it’s either raining, sleeting or snowing. Your response time needs to be as quick as possible because your braking distance has increased due to the wet, icy or snowy roadway.”

Generally, wiper blades should be changed every six months to a year, or when you notice a decrease in visibility. Even the most dutiful motorists admit that remembering when to change their wiper blades can be a chore that easily falls by the wayside. As fall begins, don’t find yourself having to pick between the lesser of two evils, and check to see if you need new wiper blades.

Take the time to inspect for the following on your windshield wipers:

  • Broken frame
  • Metal corrosion
  • Visible cracks, tears and missing pieces
  • Squeegee flexibility
  • Security of all parts

“Some consumers naturally change their wiper blades as they start to winterize their car. Transitioning from summer into fall may cause you to think about changing your vehicle’s coolant and making sure the battery is working. It’s also a good time to change your windshield wipers,” Bukaty said.

UV rays and areas with high ozone levels are the predominant culprits of damaged wiper blades. These summertime effects are a good reason changing out your blades in the fall is a good idea.

“Exposure to UV rays and high ozone levels can cause the edge of the rubber to crack. Those small cracks can cause streaking on the windshield, because the blade isn’t getting good contact,” Bukaty said. “If you’re in an area that it doesn’t rain a lot, don’t think that your wiper blades don’t need replacement. Climates with hot, dry environments and a lot of ozone and sun exposure, degrade wiper blades faster than areas where it rains a lot.”

Inspecting and replacing your wiper blades requires a small amount of effort on your part in comparison to the big job they perform. When it’s time to change the clocks, bump changing your wiper blades up your priority list, too.


The above was written by Lauren Guthmann and was published by go.drive magazine 9/18/14.