Tech Tips: Wiper Blade Maintenance

Wiper blades are fundamental for safe driving around Michigan.  Efficient wiper blades are as important as good tires and clean oil for your vehicle’s safe operation, yet are often overlooked until there is a problem.

A few simple steps will help you extend the life of your wiper blades, and keep money in your pockets.

  • Every time you fill up with fuel, clean the windshield.  Removing contaminants that damage the blades just makes good sense.
  • Wipe the rubber blade with a damp paper towel.  This gentle maintenance will remove loose dirt and oils that build up.
  • Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during freezes.  Breaking the wiper blade loose from the windshield with a scrapper or under power creates micro damage that continues to destroy the rubber integrity over time.
  • Never use the wiper blades for the purpose of ice removal.  As the blade scrapes across the ice build-up, with each pass it damages the rubber.  Using an ice scrapper, de-icing agent, or your defroster are best bets.

You will know it is time to swap out wiper blades when you find issues arise.  Streaking can be caused by debris on the windshield, such as tree sap or road tar, or from dried and cracked blades.  Bent frames and deformation from a lack of use will create skipping and missed areas.  Excessive wear can cause the blade to break down and eventually miss areas. Splitting of the blade from the frame can occur from physical damage to the system or from UV rays deteriorating the rubber blades.

Your wiper blades are bound to decline over time.  Picking a date to remember when to swap them before it is a problem is a great idea. Identify a birthday, holiday, or season change to stay on top of this maintenance. Mother Nature will do enough to break them down with UV, acidic or salt water, dust, mud, and ice.

If you are not sure the condition of your wiper blades, or would like help swapping them out with the correct size and type for your vehicle, any of us at Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts are happy to keep you seeing clearly, and driving safe.

Ask us to check your windshield wipers during your next appointment, or call our auto repair shop in Walled Lake at (248) 668-1200.

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