windshield wipers

How To Tell If You Need New Windshield Wipers

During harsh weather conditions, windshield wipers work relentlessly to keep your windshield clear so you can view the road unobstructed. But, windshield wipers in poor condition do a poor job. We’ve done some research on the signs you need to replace your windshield wipers, and later we’ll look at the process of selecting the right blades, replacing the blades, and, if necessary, the wiper assembly. First, let’s look at the elements of the windshield wiper system.

The Elements Of The Windshield Wiper

The windshield wiper probably seems pretty straightforward. However, the system is composed of several elements. When one of these elements is defective, the entire windshield wiper’s system’s effectiveness gets severely impacted, and you likely experience decreased visibility during inclement weather.

The elements of the windshield wiper system:

Arm- Typically made of metal, the arm transfers the motor’s movement to the wiper.

Connectors- This element connects the wiper blade to the arm. The proper connector ensures that the wiper works quietly and efficiently.

Spring flexors- The spring flexors help the wiper blade maintain an even pressure to ensure uniform wiping action along the blade’s entire length. The curvature of the spring flexors should match your windshield for the perfect contact.

Blade- Made from natural or chloroprene rubber to ensure maximum flexibility as the blade changes its angle at each stroke’s end. The part that comes in contact with the glass is surface treated with a coating that includes graphite powder to reduce friction.

Spoiler- The spoiler, typically fitted on the driver’s side wiper assembly, improves aerodynamic efficiency and reduces wind-lift at high speeds.

Six Signs You Need To Replace Your Wiper Blades

Some signs mean adjustments need to occur, or other parts to the windshield wiper system require replacing. The first step is to check your wiper blades as that element of your wiper system typically wears first.

Don’t ignore these six signs that tell your wiper blades need replacing:

1. Scratching sounds

When the replaceable blades on the wipers wear down, you tend to hear a metal-on-glass sound during each wiper pass. Replace the wiper blades immediately to prevent further damage like scratches on the glass or other parts to the windshield wiper system.

2. Skipping

Worn out or dry rotted blade from use causes the blade to hop or skip across the windshield.

3. Streaking

Properly working blades clear water and snow from the windshield with ease. Where the blade doesn’t make contact with the glass, streaking appears.

4. Dirty Windshield

If even after maintaining and applying the windshield washer fluid, the wipers are making a mess rather than wiping away debris, dirt, and bugs, the blades aren’t making proper contact with the windshield. However, check the spring flexors to ensure they apply adequate pressure across the blade.

5. Bent Wiper Arm

If the frame or the blade is bent in any way, it won’t make contact with your windshield correctly.

6. Change In Seasons

Before winter, it is a good idea and a safe practice to replace the old wipers with specially designed blades for the brutal winter weather.

windshield wipers

Making Wiper Blades Last Longer

Let’s face it; wiper blades get expensive, especially if you don’t take steps to prolong them.  To get the most out of your wiper blades keep your windshield clean and free from debris. Always scrape away ice or snow before employing your wipers. Check windshield washer fluid and keep it topped off.

Keeping Safe

Windshield wipers probably aren’t the first thing when you consider the causes of car accidents. Since windshield wipers are a vital safety feature for any vehicle, accidents are more likely to happen when wipers don’t work correctly.  Year after year, the Federal Highway Administration reports that impaired visibility is a leading factor in almost 50 percent of fatal car accidents.

Your windshield wipers have a hard job. Sunlight and the oil from car waxes can cause the rubber on these blades to deteriorate. Sand, mud, and acid rain also can shorten the life of your blades. If your windshield wiper blades look worn, replace them immediately; you and your family’s road safety depends upon them.

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to have a VINsmart report run on the vehicle before making any vehicle purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, has been involved in a major accident, or has been listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a history of registration and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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