How important is it to replace windshield wipers in a timely manner? Car owners spend a lot of time thinking about how best to care for vehicle components like engines and brakes, but it’s common for windshield wipers to get overlooked.
Windshield wipers play a vital role in keeping us safe on the road. Below, we’ll take a look at why we need to regularly replace windshield wipers. We’ll also let you know how often you should switch out your old wiper blades for a new pair.
3 Reasons for Regularly Replacing Your Car’s Wiper Blades
Regular blade replacement is important for the following reasons:
- Better visibility in rain and snow. Rain and snow are a fact of life for a broad majority of Americans. Every state in the U.S. gets at least some rainfall each year, with the rainiest states, like Hawaii and Louisiana, getting over 60 inches of the wet stuff annually. And according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in places that get more than 5 inches of snow each year. Wipers work hard to keep our windshields clear of rain and snow, and they’re essential for safe driving in wet or snowy weather. Over time, wear and tear can cause them to leave streaks and smudges. This can negatively impact visibility, and this is why regular blade replacement is important.
- Protects the windshield from damage. Wipers use metal arms and rubber blades to shuffle snow and rain from the windshield. Over time, the blades can become worn down. This will expose the wiper’s metal arms to the windshield, and the contact can create scratches on the glass. These scratches can develop into deep grooves over time. In some cases, the only solution for this damage is installing a new windshield, and this replacement can cost anywhere from $100 to $400. Regular wiper-blade replacement can protect your windshield from the type of damage that can ultimately lead to pricey repairs.
- Can save you money in the long run. Windshield wiper blades are relatively inexpensive, and choices are available that cost less than $20. When you consider the cost of replacing a scratched windshield — or the medical expenses that you could face if you have an accident in rain or snow due to poor visibility — regular blade replacement starts looking like a real bargain.
It’s a good idea to change your wiper blades every six to 12 months. In areas that get a lot of snow or rain, more frequent replacement may be warranted. Keep an eye on your wipers to make sure they’re getting the job done. If your car’s wipers begin to skip, smear, squeak or streak, it may be time for a new pair of blades.
Your windshield wipers are your car’s unsung heroes. They can keep you safe on the road, and regular blade replacement is key for consistent performance.
Check out all the vision and safety parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on replacing your car’s windshield wipers, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.