‘How can I make my wiper blades last longer?’ [Newbie Guide]

Updated Sep 08, 2021 | Same topic: Beginner's Guide

This will make you better prepared for the rainy season.

One of your car’s important features is the windshield wiper. Despite their flimsy looks, the wipers are responsible for maintaining forward visibility in cases of adverse weather conditions, such as rain. They also help clear out mud and other gunk from the windshield when you go off-roading. 

wiper blades

Wipers are an important part of your car, despite their size

It’s easy to take them for granted, especially since they’re typically not needed when driving in pleasant weather. But not having such a small part of the car working properly (or at all) can have huge consequences, especially as far as driving safety is concerned. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can look after your wipers to make them last longer, helping you avoid to replacing them before they’re due.

1. Clean your wiper blades  

As far as tips go, this one’s pretty obvious and should go along with the rest of keeping your car clean. Dirty wipers can leave streaks behind as they travel along your car’s windshield, and this renders them ineffective in doing their job. 

Wipers with leaves

Obstructions prevent your wipers from doing their job

Dip a washcloth or paper towel into a pail of hot soapy water and wipe down along the edge of the blade. How long this takes will depend on the amount of grime present. Cap it off by wiping the edge of the blade with rubbing alcohol, to remove any soapy residue. Cleaning your wiper blades this way once a month will produce the best results.  

2. Don’t operate your wipers dry 

Windshield wipers are intended to work when there’s a liquid element involved such as water, which provides the lubrication necessary for the blades to glide across the glass surface. Without it, the friction will only stress out the blade’s rubber component, apart from producing an annoying squeak or screeching noise. This damages not just the wipers, but the windshield as well by letting dry debris leave permanent scratches. To that end, always make sure that your car has enough windshield washer fluid in the reservoir.    

3. Lift wiper blades when parked under the sun 

One rule of thumb when parking the car is to use indoor facilities whenever possible, as prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can wreak havoc not just on your vehicle’s looks. If that’s not an option, raise the wiper blades when you have to leave the car parked under the sun. 

Wipers while driving

Poorly maintained wipers are the last thing you need whn driving in the rain

Some say this has something to do with the blade sticking to the windshield on account of the heat on the glass surface, producing jarring motions when the wiper starts moving. Others hold the more plausible view that it prevents dirt from accumulating between the blade and the glass.    

4. Use rubber protectant 

Even wiper blades could use some pampering now and then. There are rubber protectant products available in the market that can help preserve and prolong the life of your wiper blades. 

In the case of brittle wiper blades, another option is to wipe it down with a washcloth moistened with a little vinegar, then following it up with water. After drying the blade, apply petroleum jelly, making sure that the entire blade soaks up the lubricant, then air dry.    

Find more tips for beginner car owners at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kapatilya

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