Worn wiper blades can limit driving visibility, which is potentially unsafe. Experts recommend that you check your blades at least once every six months and replace them if they are worn. But what are you looking for? Here we take a look at the most common windshield wiper problems and offer some solutions that will give you a clear view of the road ahead in even the worst weather.
To help you recognize the signs of blade wear, here is a list of the five major signs of wiper blade wear. These include streaking, chattering, smearing, split rubber and squeaking.
Visual inspection of the wiper blade reveals rubber that has hardened and/or cracked due to exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, tree sap, and road tar, automotive chemicals like oil, brake fluid, coolant, and road grit. Bands of water remain after each wiping stroke.
Extreme hot or cold temperatures or extended periods of non-use can cause blades to exhibit chatter, as the blades skip and vibrate over the windshield. The characteristics to look for include a choppy wiping action or an overall performance set or curve to the blade rubber in one direction and a smeared windshield appearance while wiping.
Smearing from Worn Rubber
When the wiping edge of the blade is no longer sharp, but rounded in shape or appearance, the wiper will smear the water across the windshield instead of clearing it off. This causes cloudy and impaired visibility.
Age or physical damage to blades can result in unwiped areas. A visual inspection of the blade can help determine if there is physical damage.
The old or worn rubber of the blade does not move quietly across the windshield.
Bent Wiper Arm
Automatic car washes and the wear and tear that results from aggressive removal of snow and ice build up can cause considerable damage to the wiper arm assembly and blade and negatively impact its performance as the blade loses contact with the windshield.