Come rain or shine, your vehicle’s windscreen wiper blades are integral to the operation of your car. Whilst they may not be as well thought of as the components under your bonnet, they still have a vital role to play in ensuring optimum visibility throughout every journey. More than 20% of car collisions are the result of poor or restricted visibility and failure to keep your windscreen clear can even result in a £1,000 fine which makes the maintenance and replacement of your wiper blades just as important as the upkeep of any other car part.
Our vehicle maintenance team make a point of ensuring every vital component on each car or van that comes through our doors is up to scratch, and this includes your windscreen wipers, that’s why we’ve compiled a handy guide detailing the common FAQs many of our customers or motorists across the country need answering…
When to replace your windscreen wipers
Unbeknown to many, windscreen wipers should generally be changed every 6 to 12 months, however there are a number of signs that will indicate replacement is needed. A reduction in visibility is obviously the most noticeable sign but there are more subtle clues that this invaluable part of your vehicle may need to be upgraded. Regular replacement at least every year will ensure that your car can cope with all that the British weather throws at you.
Streaking is a common issue with windscreen wipers that are reaching the end of their life, and wiper blades that are in optimum condition should have no problem clearing away rainwater and other debris with one swipe to produce a streak free finish. If unusual sounds are emitting from your wipers then this may also mean replacement is on the horizon; squeaking, screeching and scraping point to wipers damaged by wear and tear, and blades that are in good condition should operate effectively silently or at least with minimal noise. The movement of your wipers should also be carefully observed, movement must be smooth with no juddering. Inspecting the condition of your wipers should form a part of your regular maintenance regime, and as well as noting movement, view the wipers closely to ensure that the blades aren’t ragged or distorted, and when in motion, have full contact with the glass.
Do it yourself or call a professional?
Many professionals offer blade replacement at a very competitive price point but you can actually save your hard-earned pennies by completing this task yourself, and it’s not as complex as it may seem.
The first step is removing your old wiper blade, this can be done by raising the arm away from the windscreen and pushing the locking tab inwards. Next, take your new wiper blade ensuring that the one you choose is the right way up for the screen side you are working on, this can then be inserted by again holding the locking tab inwards and allowing the new blade to click into place. The wiper arm can then be lowered, and work on the other side can begin.
Choosing the right wiper blades
Replacement simply can’t go ahead without the right wiper blades. Whilst there are only three types of blades to choose from – standard, spoiler or flat – the sheer volume of brands available can make the buying process daunting as motorists are often greeted by rows and rows of various makes and models of wipers. There are online tools that you can use to identify which wiper blades are right for your particular vehicle, and many just require your car registration number to uncover the ideal blade type.