How Often Do Windshield Wipers Need to be Replaced?

While generally not considered as frequently or diligently as other car parts, windshield wipers are nonetheless an integral component of driving safety, allowing those behind the wheel to maintain visibility under a wide variety of unfavorable weather conditions.

Wipers are made of rubber, a material that wears and degrades over time and with use; because of this, they generally need to be replaced every six to twelve months for optimal performance and driver safety.

How Do I Know My Windshield Wipers Need To Be Replaced?

There are a number of telltale signs to watch out for.

  • When in use the wipers leave streaks and/or smear instead of wipe. This may or may not be accompanied with a clicking sound. In either case, this is a clear sign the wipers are no longer performing effectively.
  • The blades of the wipers are frayed, cracked, and/or have uneven edges. Without a solid blade, the wiping function cannot be ideally performed.
  • There are lines or cracks on the body of the wiper blades. This is often a result of exposure to the elements; again, rubber is degradable. Therefore, this is a sign the material is worn out and a replacement is the best course of action.

How Do I Assess the State of My Windshield Wipers?

Such signs and symptoms of worn out wipers may be observed during regular use, although there is a recommended manner of checking the degree of their performance.

First, clean your windshield with a paper towel or rag and cleaning fluid. This ensures the wipers are performing on a clean, smooth surface and will allow the wipers to be assessed without the impediment of grime or buildup.

Next, spray some water or additional cleaning fluid on the windshield and turn on the wipers to assess their effectiveness. This may be done from outside the vehicle, inside the vehicle, or both for further assurance.

Important reminder: Even the most high quality windshield wipers will not have a lifespan that exceeds twelve months due to the nature of their material. Performance aside, if your wipers are more than a year old, it's best to have them replaced to ensure proper car maintenance and driver safety.

If you need windshield wiper replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle into Willow Bend Automotive today!