Windshield wiper problems don't appear out of the blue. They start small and build over time, until you're stuck in a thunderstorm or snowstorm with thick streaks of ice or water keeping you from seeing the road ahead.
The average lifespan of windshield wipers is about four to six months, depending on weather conditions where you live and how often you're out in bad weather. Each time the blades rub across your windshield, a little more rubber comes off and pits start to appear. As soon as you see streaks, it's time for new blades. Here are some tips to get the most life out of every set of blades that you buy.
Keep the Car Clean
Keeping your car, windshield and wipers clean is the best way to preserve your wipers. Take off heavy dirt, bird droppings or ice and snow by hand before you turn on your wipers. They're not built for tough jobs and will deteriorate quickly if you work them too hard.
Don't use your wipers to remove snow and ice in the winter. Rubbing across the uneven surface of snow and ice tears tiny nicks into the blades. Lift the blades so they're away from your car, scrape the windshield thoroughly, then run the defroster to melt any remaining ice before you start the windshield wipers.
Keep the windshield fluid reservoir filled, so that you know you'll get fluid when you turn on the windshield cleaner. Most cars run an automatic cycle to clean the windshield. You can't stop it once its begun, and if there's no fluid, you're running the wipers on a dry, dirty surface and ruining their edge. Look for wiper fluid with a built-in rain guard.
Be careful about using your wipers when it's misting or drizzling, especially if you've got a dirty windshield. Run the wipers just often enough to maintain safe visibility.
Treat Wipers with Care
Use this wiper blade size chart to get the right size blades for popular models from Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford and Honda sold in the United States.
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