Windshield or windscreen wiper blades are one of the many vehicle parts we usually take for granted because they’re small, unimpressive and just there. In reality, however, wiper blades perform an important role that keeps us safe while on the road.
Their primary function is to keep the windscreen clear — especially when it’s raining, snowing or if there’s some other type of precipitation. Wiper blades also help ensure you have a good view of the road, even when it’s dusty or muddy.
Just like other parts of your car, wiper blades deteriorate with normal wear and tear and will need replacement once in a while. But how often should you change wiper blades?
How Often to Change Wiper Blades?
As one of the hardest-working auto parts, wiper blades need to be changed every once in a while, as their longevity depends on environmental conditions and the material used.
Windshield wipers are composed of metal and rubber or silicone composites, whilst the frames are usually made of aluminium, with smaller parts made of steel. The rubber or synthetic parts are usually more sensitive to outdoor elements, so they tend to wear out faster. The metal portions, although generally tougher, also get worn from repeated use and age.
For example, Perth’s hot summers and rainy winters can wreak havoc on your wiper blades and cause them to deteriorate much faster.
How to Tell If You Need New Windshield Wipers
Knowing how often to replace wiper blades is crucial to maintain their functionality, but calculating when to change windshield wipers is not an exact science.
As a general rule, you should replace them every 6 to 12 months. While your auto mechanic can inspect them during servicing, you also need to be responsible for monitoring the performance and quality of your wiper blades as different conditions will affect their rate of wear and tear.
Therefore, be on the lookout for the following signs that indicate the need to replace your wiper blades:
- Cracked or damaged rubber around the blades: Frequent or constant exposure to the elements can damage your wipers. So if the rubber has already begun to crack or seems brittle, replace it. A damaged wiper blade won’t function correctly, as it won’t be able to make proper contact with the windshield — and your vision on the road could get compromised.
- Strange noises in the background: If there’s any chattering or dragging across the glass when your wipers are in use, it may be a sign that you need to replace them. Noisy wiper blades are not normal, so get them checked or replaced immediately.
- Streaky windshield: When you notice streaks on your windscreen even after using your windshield wipers, it could mean they’re not working anymore. This could also mean your wiper blades are just dirty. It’s best to get them checked right away.
- Bent or damaged frame: Wiper frames can wear faster with sun and rain exposure. So if yours are already bent or misshapen, get them checked and replaced fast.
- Failing rubber adhesive: The rubber adhesive keeping the blade attached to the frame can also get old and worn, resulting in poor functionality and little to no contact with the windshield. If the rubber adhesive is already loose, it can start to flop around.
- Rust and corrosion on the arms and joints: When you observe signs of corrosion or rust on the arms and joints of your wiper blades, the entire wiper blade frame could fall off anytime. So, before an accident happens, get them replaced.
- Wet spots: If you find wet spots (which are worse than streaking) that never clear, it means the blade is no longer capable of wiping away moisture or water. This is a disaster waiting to happen, so get rid of those old wiper blades fast!
Remember, not replacing your wiper blades when you clearly need to could lead to glass damage on the windscreen and pose safety risks.
Get High-Quality Wiper Blades at Odin Auto Parts
It’s easy to overlook damaged wiper blades, which incidentally, are among the most inexpensive car parts that can save your life.
Damaged or worn-out wiper blades are no joke. They can compromise your safety when they can no longer do their job of keeping the windscreen clean.
So if you notice any signs of deterioration, make sure you buy the necessary replacement parts and get them installed at an auto shop.
At Odin, we’re your go-to supplier for genuine and aftermarket auto parts that let you drive safely on the road. We also stock brand-new, genuine spare parts for renowned global auto manufacturers like BMW, Ford, Toyota, Jeep, Mazda and many others.
We can check your wiper blades for free and advise you if you need replacements. We can fit them for you as well.
If you need more information or assistance regarding wiper blades, please get in touch with Odin Auto Parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
- If Only One Wiper Blade Is Worn, Should I Still Replace Both Wiper Blades?
Yes. We recommend you replace both wiper blades. There are variations in wiper blade design and quality, so you should always get them in pairs.
- How Much Does It Cost to Replace Windshield Wipers?
In general, wiper blades replacement can cost you around $30 to $150 depending on the brand and model. But if the wiper motor (the small electric motor that powers the wiper blades) is not working anymore, you could be spending between $100 and $550, depending on your car make and model.
- What Can I Do to Ensure My Wiper Blades Last Longer?
There are some best practices you can start implementing to maximise the functional lifespan of your wiper blades.
- Clean the windshield whenever you stop by the petrol station to refuel.
- Wipe off the rubber element to clear away trapped dirt or debris. Just use a damp paper towel.
- Protect your car (including the wiper blades) from bad weather by parking your vehicle in a shaded carport.
- How Do I Clean My Wiper Blades?
You can use a simple solution combining some vinegar diluted with a little water to clean the wiper blades. For an extra clean and clear windscreen, you can also wipe it with newspaper plus some of the vinegar solution.
Avoid using strong chemicals, household detergent, dishwashing liquid, etc., because these can damage the wiper blades.