Wiper blades are one of the top most neglected parts on vehicles. Wiper blades can become hard, brittle, cracked, and worn out from various weather conditions. Anything that can obstruct your vision is very dangerous! That is why, it is so important to know when you need to have your wipers replaced. Because your vision will be obscured due to rain, sleet, or snow; you should make sure you wipers are in good shape to help you see as well as possible.
Most experts will say that your blades should be replaced every six to twelve months. Obviously this time frame will vary from one situation to another. If you leave your vehicle out in the hot sun or cold weather all the time, then your blades will wear out sooner. Testing your wiper blades is a really simple and obvious procedure. If you turn your wipers on, and they are not producing a clean and clear surface and if they are streaking and chattering across the surface of your windshield then you need new blades!
Obviously if you bring your vehicle up to your local mechanic or local oil change place, then the mechanics there should inform you whether your blades should be replaced.
One thing about windshield wipers that most people are not aware of is the actual assembly of the wiper arms and holders. This part of the wipers is what creates tension. The spring that is located in the wiper arm can become worn out and not but enough pressure of the blade against the windshield. This is particularly common in older vehicles. Again, your local service department can check this for you.
You can generally replace your blades yourself. Most of the time you can find just the refill (just the blade) or you can replace the entire assembly. You would save money with just the refill, but there are times when you need to replace the entire assembly. It is relatively cheap and easy to install.
By Brad Troedel