Winter wiper blade prep will help get you through the worst weather of the year as smoothly as possible by making sure you have a safe view of the road ahead at all times. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to drive in a blizzard without being able to keep your windshield clean or sitting there helplessly watching the slush get smeared from one side of the glass to the other because your blades aren’t up to par. Check out these helpful tips for making sure your wipers can handle winter weather.
The first step in winter wiper blade prep is to make sure you use the right blades. Summer wipers are typically too flimsy to deal with the snow and ice that are part and parcel of the coldest months, and they can end up breaking if pushed past their limits. Winter wipers are much thicker, both in terms of the rubber used on the blade itself and the structure used to protect the blade and the wiper body from the elements, which gives them a fighting chance against the elements.
If you have winter wipers installed on your car or if you’re confident that your all-season, high-end wipers are up to the task, the next phase of winter wiper blade prep is to verify the condition of the units themselves. Heat and cold can both cause the rubber in the blade itself to crack. Even small cracks can reduce the rubber’s flexibility and make it harder to conform to the contours of your windshield. This leads to streaking and ultimately dirty glass. Finally, ensure the blade and frame have a secure connection that won’t leave the rubber behind one cold morning if the blade is frozen in place.
Proper Wiper Fluid
Your car’s washer fluid, although it may not seem directly connected to the blades, is also part of prepping for the winter months. Traditional washer fluid is typically water and a few detergents, but as the mercury drops you need to fill your reservoir with a fluid that has been formulated to resist freezing at low temperatures. If you spray washer fluid on your windshield and it immediately turns to ice, then you’ll be just as blind as having no wipers at all. If the same fluid freezes in its tank, you’ll be unable to keep anything clean — period.
Simply put, prep your wiper blades properly so you can better deal with terrible weather conditions out on the road.
Check out all the Vision and Safety products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on winter wiper blade prep, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.