- What does the lifespan of wiper blades depend on, and how can we extend it?
- When Is It Time to Replace Worn Out Wiper Blades, and Why Are Worn Out Wiper Blades Dangerous?
The lifespan of wiper blades depends on several factors. We have to be aware of the fact that the wiper blade rubber is a very thin and delicate rubber, which must remain flexible and function perfectly in very demanding conditions. Namely, the windscreen wiper has to remain in perfect condition in order to ensure several thousands of movements during its lifetime. Each even the smallest defect (including micro defects that are invisible to the human eye) influences the quality of wiping performance.
Tips To Extend the Lifespan of Your Wiper Blades and What It Depends on:
- The lifespan of windscreen wipers depends on the quality of the rubber that the wiper blade is made of, as well as from additional treatments (for example, the graphite or Teflon coating, that ensure a long-term optimal wiping performance).
- The wiper blade rubber is a very thin, flexible and sensitive rubber, thus it shall not get “baked” on the windscreen during the summer. If your car is standing in the sun for a longer time, you should lift the windscreen wipers from the glass. Likewise, it is not recommended to let the windscreen wipers “freeze” on the windscreen during the winter, since its lift-off can also damage the rubber (even when the defects are invisible to the human eye, they too can affect the quality of wiping performance). Therefore, if the temperatures are near freezing or our car is parked outside, you should lift the windscreen wipers from the glass.
- Many damages on the wiper blade rubber are caused by turning on windscreen wipers when there is frost on the car’s front window. This action can cause devastating damages to the wiper blade rubber. Therefore, you should always use windscreen sprays or fluid for de-icing.
- Furthermore, windscreen wipers should not be used on dry glass, since this action causes strong friction between the glass and the wiper blade rubber. If you need to clean dirt off the windscreen, you should use the windscreen washer fluid first.
- Even some windscreen washer fluids can damage the rubber as they contain substances which harden the wiper blade rubber. This can result in a non-flexible wiper blade rubber, making it difficult to deliver high-quality results.
- Wiper blade rubber can also be damaged by excessively dirty windscreen. For example, bird droppings (Did you know that bird droppings contain acids that can permanently damage the paint on your vehicle?), dirt that is splashed up on our windscreen from other vehicles, driving through puddles, driving on macadam roads, etc.
- Statistically, cars that are parked in garages and thus less exposed to the weather have a longer lifespan of their wiper blades than those cars that are parked outside and exposed to all weather conditions (UV light, extreme heat or extreme cold, frozen windscreen, dirt that accumulates under the edge of the wiper blade, etc.).
When Is It Time to Replace Worn Out Wiper Blades, and Why Are Worn Out Wiper Blades Dangerous?
As you can see above, there are many different factors that affect the lifespan of wiper blades. We have to be aware of the fact that wiper blades are so-called “consumable” goods, which is why they should be replaced at least once a year. Namely, worn out wiper blades can strongly reduce the visibility during bad weather, especially at night when the visibility is already deteriorating. Poor visibility means greater risk in traffic for both you and the people around you.
In addition to the already mentioned factors, worn out (hard) wiper blades can also damage the windscreen. Namely, the wiper blade rubber dries out over time and causes micro-scratches, which can be very disturbing, especially when driving towards the sun. Therefore, wiper blades should be replaced in time, since a damaged windscreen cannot be polished again, and a new one can be very expensive.
In extreme cases, worn out wiper blades can cause even more damage to the windscreen. If the wiper blades were not replaced for a very long time, then the rubber can tear, causing the frame to skip and “jump” across the windscreen. That can lead to immediate damage of the windscreen, and eventually you will have to replace the windscreen, since such damage cannot be remedied.
In general, wiper blades are no longer usable when they start to leave streaks of water or mist on the windscreen, when they start to “jump” or make funny noises. These are all signs that your wiper blades are getting old and need to be replaced. In principle, the rule applies that wiper blades need to be replaced as soon as we have the feeling that due to their imperfect wiping performance we no longer have a 100% clear view of the road. So, as our slogan says, choose visibility – choose safety!