How long do windshield wiper blades usually last?

Written by RS Honda and published on

Unlike other vehicle components, windshield wiper blades don’t necessarily have a mileage point at which they should be changed. Instead, pay attention to certain symptoms that tell you they’re soon to fail. You always want to be able to see road conditions as clearly as possible when you’re behind the wheel. Anything that impairs your visibility, whether it be rain, fog, or dust, can ultimately compromise your safety. When you don’t have the proper tools to combat these hazards, the problem can only get worse. Having fully-functional windshield wipers is an absolute necessity for the safe operation of any motor vehicle.

Over time, the blades of your windshield wipers can become less effective due to wear and tear. Most drivers aren’t aware of this until they go to turn their wipers on in the midst of a rainstorm, only to find that their blades have essentially become useless.

5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Wiper Blades

Checking the windscreen wiper

If you’re like most drivers, you probably don’t put a lot of thought into your windshield wiper blades, but you should. Windshield wipers are one of the most important parts of your car. Just imagine driving through a rainstorm or a blizzard without them. It doesn’t matter how much modern safety features your car has if you can’t see where you’re driving.

While wiper blades are cheap to replace compared to other parts of your car, it’s still important to take proper care of them. Try these five tips to extend the life of your wiper blades.

Keep It Clean

If your wipers are leaving streaks on your windshield, give them a good cleaning. Wet a towel with rubbing alcohol and wipe it along the edge of the blades to remove the dirt, debris, and grime that builds up over time. Clean your blades once a month to keep them in prime condition.

Washing your car often also helps extend the life of your wipers by preventing dirt from building up in the first place. Give your car a bath at least twice a month in the summer and more often in the cold and wet seasons.

Check the Rubber

Are your wipers dragging across your windshield making a high-pitched screeching sound? If so, they’re likely leaving little scratches in the glass as they move from side to side. Chances are, the rubber on the blades is worn out, a surefire sign your wiper blades need to be replaced.

Postpone the need to buy a new set by inspecting your wiper blades often. Check to see if they are hardened, worn out, torn, or cracked. If the damage isn’t too bad, use sandpaper to remove any rough spots.

Stay Out of the Sun

Warm weather wreaks havoc on your wiper blades, causing them to dry up and crack. Extend the life of your blades by finding a shady place to park your car rather than leaving it out in the hot sun.

Refill the Fluid

You know that heart-stopping feeling when a truck drives by on a slushy spring day and sprays muddy water all over your windshield? You turn on the wipers but no washer fluid comes out. With your window covered in muck, it’s impossible to see the road. There’s not a driver on the road who hasn’t been in this situation. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Check your washer system often and refill the fluid if it’s low. Be sure to use the right mix of antifreeze and washer fluid for the weather. Never use water. It freezes when the mercury drops and builds up bacteria in warmer weather.

Clear the Ice

As tempting as it is to use your wipers to clear snow and ice from your windshield in the winter, try to resist the urge. Hard ice damages the blades, causing them to wear out faster. Turn on the defroster to warm up the windshield, and use a plastic scraper to remove all of the ice and snow.

You depend on your wiper blades in poor weather so they need to be in top shape at all times. Use the five tips provided above to extend the life of your wiper blades.

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