Windshield Wiper Maintenance
You may not be able to change a flat tire, change your car’s oil, or even hook up jumper cables correctly. There is one car maintenance item that even you, yes you, can probably manage to pull off effectively: Changing your car’s windshield wiper blades.
Changing wiper blades is one of those vehicle maintenance tasks you can do yourself. As soon as you determine your wiper blades aren’t effectively cleaning your windows, you should replace them. Being able to clean residue from your windshield, and cleanly whisk rain, snow, and mud spatter off your windshield is essential to your visibility and safety on the roadways.
How to Tell if Your Wiper Blades Should be Replaced
As a general rule of thumb, blades should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on such factors as the climate where you live and whether your car is usually parked in the open or in a garage.
Rubber (the material wiper blades are made from) is subject to cracking, tearing, melting, and dulling over time. As they slowly degrade, they grip the windshield less effectively. If you detect any abnormalities in the rubber, or notice the blades aren’t cleaning as effectively as they once did, it’s time to replace them.
How to Install Windshield Wipers
You can, of course, leave changing wiper blades to a professional. But if you do it yourself, you’ll probably be less likely to procrastinate. The steps are simple.
First, consult your vehicle owner’s manual to find out what size replacement blades you need to purchase. You can find blades at any auto parts store, or online.
Next, remove the old wipers. Lifting the wiper away from the windshield and look for a small tab on the bottom of the wiper, where it connects with the wiper arm. Press down on this tab and pull the blade downward to slide it off.
Attach the new blade by pulling it on to the wiper arm until it locks in place with a clicking sound. Place the wiper arm back down on the windshield. Move on to the next one and repeat the steps.
Finally, turn your vehicle on, squirt washer fluid on to your windshield, and test your blades to make sure they’re cleaning crisply. Voila! You have replaced your windshield wiper blades. You may feel such a sense of accomplishment that you’ll be motivated to learn how to change a flat tire!
Prevent Future Wiper Damage
Treating your windshield wipers with 303 Automotive Protectant can help prevent future damage and frequent wiper changes. Simply remove your wipers, spray 303 Automotive Protectant on to a microfiber towel and wipe down the rubber of your windshield wipers.