Like all parts of your vehicle, your windshield wipers can degrade over time as they are used. Windshield wipers experience a greater amount of friction and wear than other parts of your car, however, simply because of their function. Wiper blades that have worn down may seem like a small annoyance, but it can represent a substantial amount of danger to you and your vehicle. Without properly functioning wiper blades, your visibility will be significantly impacted. Being aware of some of the warning signs associated with windshield wipers that are nearing the end of their lifespan and thus are becoming less efficient can help you figure out when you should have them replaced.
The first sign of windshield wiper damage that you will likely notice is streaking on the glass of your windshield. This happens when the bottom of the wiper blade becomes covered in grime and dirt, or when it becomes damaged enough so that they do not make complete contact with the glass. In both cases, your windshield wipers will be unable to properly remove all of the water that they pass over, leaving streaks that can continue to obscure your vision.
On a related note, a clear sign that your windshield wipers should be replaced relatively soon is when they create a significant amount of noise when they move. Squeaking and screeching points to a worn away wiper blade, which means that the arm is likely making contact with the glass at certain points. When this occurs, your wiper blade will also have trouble clearing water off of your windshield.
3. Visible Gap
You should also take the time to inspect the arms of your windshield wipers. Your arms should press your wiper blades flat against your windshield at all times. If you are able to spot a gap between the blade and your windshield, and if you can see that your windshield arm is visibly bent at any point, it may be time to think about replacing your windshield wipers and potentially having your arms repaired as well.
4. Cracking Rubber
Finally, when inspecting your windshield wipers, you should also take a look at the condition of the rubber of the blades themselves. Wipers that are in good condition should be completely smooth and uncracked. Older and well-used wiper blades can have cracks and missing pieces, which can affect the amount of traction that your blades have with the windshield and how well they can clear water. For more information, contact an auto parts company such as Joy Automotive Products Inc.