How To Check your wiper blades

By David Sholicar

No matter how little you know about car maintenance, there are a few routine jobs that can easily be undertaken yourself, and checking your wiper blades is one of them.

Close up of wiper blade in hand

Hardly noticed by the average motorist, wiper blades actually perform an incredibly important function. Your safety behind the wheel depends to a great extent on having a clear and unrestricted view of the road ahead, and with a dirty windscreen, that safety is compromised.

Checking the condition of your wiper blades should be part of your regular routine tasks, to ensure that your car is roadworthy. A good time to check is when you wash your car, but if you rely on car washes, then you need to instigate a system of checks to make sure that your windscreen wipers never compromise your visibility when driving.

One of the most fragile components of the average car, windscreen wiper blades are made from thin rubber. They should operate smoothly and quietly, sweeping water and dirt away from your field of vision to give you a clear view of the road both in front and behind you. Because they are exposed to the elements, the heat of the summer sun and sub-zero temperatures in winter can cause the rubber to perish over time, causing your wiper blades to distort, stiffen and crack.

As a general rule, you should aim to replace your wipers every six to twelve months, depending on their overall condition.

Protyre offer Wiper Blade replacement as one of their many Garage Services. Click the button below to view our full range.

Pay attention to the way they operate and take note of any of the following signs, which could indicate that your current wiper blades are approaching the end of their useful life:

  • Lines or bands on your windscreen: These are indications that your wiper blades have become damaged by exposure to the elements, and are failing to perform correctly as a result.

  • Streaks across the windscreen: These can be caused by old and worn wiper blades, but a common cause is where part of the blade has become compromised by trapped grit. This causes permanent damage to the rubber, and can only be fixed by replacing the damaged wiper blade.

  • Noisy action: Well-performing wiper blades operate soundlessly, so if you can hear noises as the wiper travels across the windscreen, it's a good indication that something is wrong. A juddering sound indicates that the wiper blade is not lying flat against the windscreen, which means that it is unable to fulfil its purpose appropriately.

  • Cracked, bent or damaged rubber: These are all signs that the rubber is no longer supple enough to perform correctly, and that your wiper blades need replacing.

If your windscreen looks less than clean and clear when the wipers are in operation, it's time to replace them. This is a simple job which you should be able to do yourself, either replacing the rubber strip, or the whole arm. Pull the wiper fitting away from the windscreen, and turn the wiper blade until it is horizontal.

There will be a safety catch which allows you to remove the arm - pay close attention to the way it is fixed, so that you can replicate this with the replacement fitting, which should just snap into place.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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