How long do windshield wiper blades last ?
Windshield wiper blades aren’t a complicated part that you need a detailed explanation to understand. Still, if you search the internet for “how long do windshield wiper blades last?” you will get a wide variety of answers.
There are a few things you should keep in mind about these components. Learning about when to change your wiper blades can save you money, keep you safer, and prevent you from damaging your windshield glass.
Windshield wipers are an essential part of any vehicle, providing visibility during rain, snow, and other poor weather conditions. However, like all car parts, windshield wiper blades wear out over time and require replacement. Knowing how long your windshield wiper blades last can help ensure you replace them before they become a safety hazard while driving.
In this article, we will discuss how long windshield wiper blades last, the signs of wear and tear, and tips for maintaining them to prolong their lifespan.
How long do windshield wiper blades last?
The lifespan of windshield wiper blades varies depending on several factors, such as weather conditions, frequency of use, and quality of the blades. However, as a general rule of thumb, windshield wiper blades last approximately six months to one year, depending on how often they are used and the weather conditions they are exposed to.
Signs of Wear and Tear:
One of the most common signs of worn-out windshield wiper blades is streaking. Streaking occurs when the rubber on the blade has worn out and is no longer able to clear the windshield effectively. Streaking can decrease visibility while driving, making it difficult to see in front of you.
2. Skipping and Hesitation:
If your windshield wiper blades skip or hesitate while moving across the windshield, it may be time to replace them. Skipping occurs when the blade misses sections of the windshield, while hesitation occurs when the blade slows down or stops moving altogether. These issues can decrease visibility while driving and create safety hazards.
3. Noisy Operation:
If your windshield wiper blades create chattering or squeaking noises when in operation, it may be time to replace them. These noises occur when the blade vibrates or bounces across the windshield. Noisy wiper blades can be distracting and annoying, leading to decreased visibility.
4. Worn Rubber:
Worn or damaged rubber edges on the windshield wiper blades can also indicate a need for replacement. Over time, the rubber on the blade can become cracked, split, or worn, making the blade less effective at clearing away debris and water from the windshield.
5. Bent or Damaged Blade:
If your windshield wiper blades are bent, twisted, or broken, they need to be replaced immediately. A damaged blade can scratch or damage the windshield, leading to decreased visibility while driving and creating safety hazards.
How often should you change your windshield wiper blades?
Most makers of windshield wipers recommend that you replace them every six to 12 months. Some say the blades can last two to three years, but that’s dependent on everything from blade material to where you live. Some mechanics inspect your wipers’ condition when they change your oil, and this can be a good way to keep track of them. If your mechanic doesn’t do this, consider replacing these components before every autumn at the very least. This gives you a schedule and coincides with the rainy season in most regions.
What happens if you don’t change your windshield wiper blades?
If you don’t use your wipers a lot, it’s easy to forget to change your blades regularly. They may not be as important to your vehicle’s operation as the engine, but bad windshield wipers do cause issues.
In the short term, broken wiper blades don’t clean the windshield as well. This may not be a big problem on a misty morning, but you may not be able to see in heavy rain or snowfall.
In the long term, the blades will continue to break down from use and the conditions outside. Eventually, there will be nothing between the metal or plastic of the wiper arm and your windshield. The hard material can scratch your glass, requiring expensive repairs or replacements.
What factors affect windshield wiper blades longevity?
Before you can figure out “how often should I change my windshield wipers?” you need to know what influences how long they last. Beyond age itself, these factors can make your wiper blades wear faster or slower:
Usage: The more often you use your wipers, the more often you need to replace them. The hard glass of your windshield wears down the blades a little bit with every pass, eventually rendering them unable to work.
Environment: Even areas without precipitation can be hard on windshield wipers. Heat causes the rubber material to expand while cold causes it to contract. Lack of moisture can also cause the blade to crack from dryness. All of these conditions cause the wipers to become brittle, which can lead to breakage.
Storage: Rubber breaks down when exposed to UV light from the sun. If your car spends most of the day uncovered, the blade material will weaken.
Beyond parking indoors, there are only a few things you can do to make your wiper blades last longer. This has more to do with how you use them rather than when.
Tips for Prolonging Wiper Blade Lifespan:
1. Clean Windshield Regularly:
Maintaining a clean windshield can help prolong the lifespan of your wiper blades by reducing the amount of dirt, debris, and grime they come into contact with.
2. Lift Wiper Blades During Winter Months:
During the winter months, it’s a good idea to lift your wiper blades when you park your vehicle. This prevents them from freezing to the windshield, which can cause damage and wear to the blades, resulting in a shorter lifespan.
3. Avoid Using Wipers on Dry Windshield:
Using your wipers on a dry windshield can cause excessive wear to the rubber blades, reducing their lifespan. Only use your wipers when necessary on a wet windshield.
4. Replace Blades Regularly:
Regularly replacing your windshield wiper blades every six months to a year can ensure that they are always in good working condition, providing optimum visibility while driving.
Changing your windshield wipers is the sort of job that anyone can do. It’s an easy process that takes less than a minute. Replacing them often can make the work even easier by not allowing the blades to get stuck on the wiper arms. Shop at Topex now for windshield wipers before the rainy season starts.
If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.