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How to Tell If Your Windshield Wipers Need to Be Replaced

Man inspects windshield wipers

If your windshield wipers need to be replaced, they’ll let you know. How? There are several tell-tale signs and symptoms of ineffective, damaged, or worn-out windshield wipers and blades. If you notice any of these on your vehicle, then it’s time to replace your old windshield wipers with new ones.

What can you see?

  • Streaking | When you turn on your windshield wipers in the rain, you’re left with streaks or bands of water on the window after each swipe.
  • Cracking | The windshield wiper blades appear cracked or hardened.
  • Wearing | Rather than a sharp edge, the wiper blades are rounded from wear.
  • Smearing | Bird residue, pollen, or other window grime is smeared across the window surface when the wipers are activated.
  • Splitting | The rubber splits or is torn from the wiper blade and drags behind it.
  • Warping | The plastic frame that holds the blade is bent or damaged.

What can you hear?

  • Squeaking | As the windshield wiper moves across the wet windshield, it makes a squeaking or squealing noise.
  • Scratching | If the rubber has worn down completely, the frame can drag and scratch along the glass.
  • Skipping | The wiper blades bounce, jerk, or vibrate across the surface, rather than smoothly connecting with the entire windshield.

If you’re experiencing one or more of the above signs or symptoms, it’s time to replace your windshield wipers. Wipers can fail for any number of reasons. Dirt, grime, road tar, tree sap, salt, sun exposure, excessive temperatures, seasonal changes, improper installation, disuse, abrasive cleaning liquids, and age can all contribute to windshield wiper problems. In fact, most manufacturers recommend replacing your windshield wipers at least once a year. The more often you use your windshield wipers, the more often you will need to replace them.

Optimally-functioning wipers will leave a smooth, clear window surface in their wake. This is an essential vehicle safety feature, as unimpeded sightlines are crucial for effective handling and control. Don’t risk an accident because of poor visibility. 

Stop into Metro Motor to have our team of AAA-approved, ASE-certified technicians inspect your windshield wipers and replace them if necessary. It’s a quick, cost-effective fix that will keep you safe on the roads.

Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.

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