How Your Windshield Wipers Affect Your Windshield

Posted on: 27 July 2016

A scratched windshield is not only unattractive: it can be dangerous as well. Scrapes and scratches lower your ability to see, especially during inclement weather. Pouring rain and a marred windshield are a recipe for dangerous driving. One way to stay safe is to use and maintain your windshield wipers.

Regular Use

Even when your wipers are in good shape, mistakes on your part can lead to a scratched windshield. First, you need to keep your windshield clean. Do take advantage of the windshield cleaning station when you fill up for gas and don't forget to wipe off your wipers then as well. When you let dirt and road grit accumulate on the glass, simply running your wipers can cause a scratch. Experts also warn you not to run your wipers on a dry windshield. The best of wipers can't protect your glass from being damaged under those conditions. 

Worn Wipers

Like many drivers, you may be guilty of letting your windshield wipers deteriorate without taking action. Over time, the best wipers are going to wear down. When they do, you will get distracting streaks and smears on your glass. Eventually, the rubber will tear and pull away from the blade, leaving some pretty serious marks on the glass. Once your windshield is damaged, you will have trouble with reflected light. Water may follow the scratches away from your wipers, causing more visibility issues. When you finally replace the old wipers, the existing scratches can prematurely wear out your new pair. Although you may be able to polish away some of these scratches, they won't go away entirely. You may end up having to replace your windshield. 

Solutions

The easiest solution is to simply replace your wiper blades once or twice a year. One expert advises that you do so every year on groundhog day, something that is easy to remember and that can help you drive more safely through the remaining weeks of winter. You should inspect your wipers every few months, looking at the frames as well as the rubber blades. If your windshield is heavily scratched, consult with your automotive glass expert to see if you need a replacement. 

Windshield wipers are one of the easiest things to maintain on your vehicle. Even the mechanically impaired can follow directions and change them without help. If you don't want to attempt it, simply have the professionals take care of it whenever you have your oil changed. Windshield wipers are generally quite inexpensive, so you have no real excuse to ignore this task.

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