Updated: Mar 1, 2019
The windscreen wiper blades are the only thing keeping your vision clear when it’s raining outside, and a built-in component to clean dirty windscreens.
During everyday driving conditions and normal usage, wiper blades wear and deteriorate from the sun’s UV rays.
Windscreen wipers typically last from 10,000 to 25,000km on average, however, some wiper blades may need to be replaced sooner while others last much longer.
It works out roughly to wiper blade replacement once per year. The charge to replace your wiper blades is nominal, only costing around $15 to $30 per wiper blade although some speciality models may be more.
If you have a rear wiper blade, you might expect it to last longer than the front wipers because of lesser use, but that’s not always the case – sun and heat can cause the rubber to break down just as quickly as the fronts!
Wiper Blades Replacement
WHAT IS A WIPER BLADE?
When you attempt to clean your windshield, two arms sweep up from the windscreen cowl and wipe across the glass.
At the end of each of the arms is a flexible frame made out of plastic or metal. And at the bottom of that frame where it contacts the glass, there’s a thin rubber strip.
That frame and rubber together make up a wiper blade.
Most cars have two wiper blades to clear the front windscreen. On hatchbacks and SUVs, there may be a third wiper blade to clear the rear window also.
On rare occasions, you’ll see small wiper blades on the headlights of expensive cars and SUVs too. Once the rubber edge on the wiper blade becomes stiff and dry from heat and sun, or cracks or roughness develop on the rubber edge, your wiper blades need to be replaced.
SYMPTOMS THAT YOUR WIPER BLADES REQUIRE REPLACING
- Sections of the windscreen aren’t clear after the wipers have cycled.
- Streaks of water are left behind after the wipers pass over the windscreen.
- The wiper blades are loose on the wiper arms due to broken clips.
- The ends of the rubber edge are torn and hanging loose.
- The wiper blades ‘chatter’ or squeal against the windscreen.
HOW ARE WIPER BLADES REPLACED?
- The wiper blades are lifted away from the windscreen with the ignition off.
- The clip connecting the wiper blade to the wiper arm is squeezed and the wiper blade slides off.
- A new wiper blade is positioned in place, then firmly pulled until the clip snaps into place.
- The wipers are tested on a wet windscreen to check operation.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- Some cars may have wiper blade refills – just the rubber blade edge – available for replacement. While it’s slightly cheaper, it can be frustrating to change the refills alone.
- Opt for the whole wiper blade for easier replacement.Try not to use the wipers when the windscreen is dry. It creates unnecessary wear on the rubber edge.
HOW IMPORTANT IS REPLACING YOUR WIPER BLADES?
Wiper blades that clear poorly can restrict your vision, making travel dangerous. For the minor cost of new wiper blades, there’s simply no reason to prolong wiper blade replacement on your car.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit Airlie Auto.
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