Without a doubt, you’ll surely agree with me that windshield wiper blades play an essential role in your driving and overall safety. They are designed to remove rain, dust, dirt, snow, and pollen from the windshield (both front and rear), ensuring you see clearly when driving.
As important as the windshield wiper blades are, you need to understand that, under certain circumstances, they can harm your car. This could happen when the wiper blades are worn out or improperly installed.
For instance, improperly installed wipers could always cause a lot of harm to your car. Also, worn-out or squeaky wiper blades could scratch your windshield, preventing you from seeing clearly when driving. That said, for you to avoid damaging your windshield, you need to inspect your wipers from time to time.
What are the warning signs to understand that it’s time to replace your wiper blades? Can wiper blades damage your windshields? What are the common causes of bad wiper blades? As you read through the rest of the article, you’ll find answers to the burning questions above.
How Do You Know If You Need To Replace Your Windshield Wipers?
There’s no denying that the wiper is one of the least talked about components of a car. Your windshield wipers are only used once in a while – when there is a need for them. Because of that, most drivers don’t always give a lot of attention to them. However, that isn’t supposed to be so.
Your windshield wipers play a pivotal role in your driving and overall safety. Because of that, you need to keep them in good working conditions at all times. For you to keep them at optimum working conditions, you need to perform a regular inspection and maintenance on your wipers.
There are several different warning signs that you’ll get to understand that it’s time to replace your windshield wipers. Let’s have a quick look at some of them below:
- Is the rubber on the blades cracked?
One of the warning signs that you’ll get to understand that it’s time to buy new wiper blades for your windshield is “when the rubber on the blades is failing or cracked.” This is a common issue that most drivers experience.
One of the few causes of this issue is the exposure of the rubber to UV rays. If regularly exposed to ultraviolet rays, the rubber on your wiper blades could crack and fail. If this happens, the wiper blade will fail to have proper contact with the windshield to perform its job.
Another factor that could make the rubber on your wiper blades crack is the “continuous exposure of the device to petroleum-based substance.” A good example of a petroleum-based solvent that could affect the rubber over time is the original WD-40. This is why it’s advisable to only use the product once in a while and not regularly.
- Are your wipers leaving streaks on your windshield?
Have you ever noticed the surface of your windshield covered with streaks when driving and using the wipers? If yes, this is a good sign that you need to replace the wiper blades.
It’s normal to experience a little streak on the windshield. However, when the streaks start becoming too much, it’s not normal again. For example, let’s say after spraying wiper fluid, you can still notice debris and film of grime on the windshield, this is certainly a sign that you need to replace the blades.
- Are your wiper blades giving you a squeaking sound?
The squeaky wiper problem is one of the most common issues that drivers face when driving their cars. This issue can be caused by several different factors.
For instance, if your wiper blades are giving you squeaking and chattering sounds, this could be a sign that your wiper blades are improperly installed or their rubber part is worn out. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to replace the wiper blades with new ones.
- Are the blades failing to make close contact with the windshield?
If the wiper blades are failing to make proper contact with the windshield, there’s no way they’ll be able to perform their functions well. This issue could be because the rubber adhesives are failing.
The adhesive is added to hold the blades firmly to the rubber frame. However, when it starts failing, one of the effects is that your wiper blades won’t make consistent contact with the windshield. If this is what you’re currently experiencing, the best thing you can do is to replace the wiper blades.
Can Wiper Blades Damage Your Windshield?
Wiper blades can always damage your windshields. While that’s the fact, you need to understand that this is only possible if your wiper blades are not in good working conditions.
For instance, worn-out wiper blades can always scratch and damage your windshield. Here’s the thing, wiper blades are designed to push firmly and make proper contact with the glass to clean it. However, if the wipers are worn out, the metals inside the frame will be unprotected, scratching your windshield.
Streaking or squeaking of the wiper blades during wiping is another situation where the devices can damage your windshield. The sounds can even be annoying, distracting you from driving properly.
The bottom line is that wiper blades can always damage your windshields. This could happen if the wipers are not in a good shape or are improperly installed.
How Do You Ruin Windshield Wipers
There are a couple of ways to ruin your windshield wipers. One of them is when you fail to perform regular maintenance on them. In this case, the accumulation of dirt and debris will most likely make the wipers malfunction.
Another way to ruin your windshield wipers is when you constantly clean them using petroleum-based products, such as WD-40, to clean them. These products, over time, will attack the rubber parts of the wipers, making them weak and useless.