Windshield wipers might seem like an insignificant aspect of your vehicle, but they play a crucial role in your safety and your car’s drivability. Mainly, your windshield wipers will directly affect your visibility which is one of the most essential factors in safe driving. Odds are, if your windshield wipers are not performing properly, you will notice a few obvious symptoms. However, in case you are not sure about what to look for, here are some signs that you may want to replace your windshield wipers to ensure safety every time you get behind the wheel.
Squeaking or Scratching Noise
If you hear a squeaking noise as your windshield wipers go across the glass, you should consider replacing the wiper blades. It is likely that the material the wiper blades are made of (probably either rubber, silicone, or graphite) has started to go bad by hardening. This will only get worse over time as the wiper blades become less and less effective. Replacing them early on when you first notice this is the wisest option, that way you don’t accidentally get stuck in a storm with bad blades that you could have replaced earlier.
Bad Contact with Windshield
There are several different reasons that your wipers are not making contact with the entire windshield, and you will start to notice that your wipers are not catching all the water that they should reach. For instance, if there is a gap in the middle of your windshield where the water doesn’t get wiped away, you know that there is an issue. This is likely due to either a bent frame or bad blades, so you might want to take a closer look before replacing either to save yourself some trouble and unnecessary repair costs.
Your wiper blades are very susceptible to wear and tear, and depending on the climate of where you typically drive your vehicle, your wiper blades might wear out faster than others. The blades on your wipers can become cracked or even broken off in some places, and when you notice this happening, it is time to replace them! In order for your windshield wipers to work effectively, the blades need to be firm with a solid straight line. Once those blades are compromised, they will not be able to function as they should, costing you visibility while on the road.
Streaks on your Windshield
When you use your windshield wipers, they should remove all the residue on the glass. If you start to notice streaks in the wake of your wiper blades, or if your windshield seems to have a film-like substance built up, this is likely an issue with your blades. It is possible that your blades just need to cleaned off which can be done with a paper towel. When you are messing with the wipers, be mindful of how you are handling the frames! If you are not careful, they can easily become bent which will cause bad contact with your windshield. If after cleaning the blades, you still notice streaks, you will want to have them replaced altogether so that your windshield stays clean and your visibility stays unobstructed!