Should I replace my wiper blades

By David Sholicar

Being able to see where you’re going is, clearly, a key element in maintaining your road safety. Windscreen wipers, therefore, are crucial to any vehicle and making sure that they are doing their job properly means changing them when they get worn. But what are the signs which indicate that your wiper blades may need to be renewed?

Wiper blades


One of the first signs of a wiper blade needing attention is that it leaves streaks across the glass in its wake. This isn’t necessarily time for a change though; streaking may be caused by dirt on the blades. You can clean wiper blades with a soft cloth and water, but don’t use harsh chemicals which may damage the rubber. Clean the wiper blades each time you wash the car and they should give you a long, streak-free life.


Smears, where a film of dirt is left behind after the wiper completes its sweep is another common issue that may simply be down to dirty wiper blades. As above, clean the blades with a soft cloth to see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, then you need to look at getting some replacement blades.


On cars that don’t often get used in the rain such as classics that tend to go out only on fine days, for example, you may find that the blades skip across the screen rather than sweeping smoothly. This happens because in normal use, the edge of the blade flips over each time the wiper changes direction. If it doesn’t get much use, the rubber dries out and becomes less flexible so it gets ‘stuck’ in one direction. This is also a problem with cars that live in hot, dry climates.


If your wipers squeak, it’s because they are not making correct contact with the glass. This could be because they are worn or it could be because they aren’t correctly fitted. Make sure that the wiper arms are securely fitted, if that doesn’t improve things then it’s time for some new blades.

Damaged blades

If your wiper blades are damaged in any way with nicks or tears, then they won’t do their job properly and they could end up scratching the glass, giving you a much more expensive problem. If the wipers leave a stripe on the screen, then it may be because of a nick in the rubber. If it judders or is noisy this too could be because of a damaged blade. In addition to checking the blade itself, make sure the arm that it’s attached to is in good condition and not bent, twisted or loose.

Checking your wipers is a simple task you can do yourself, but if you don’t feel confident doing this or changing them yourself, then we can help. Here at Protyre, we don’t just fit tyres from major brands like Falken and Bridgestone; you can book a free vehicle check online and our qualified fitters will check over your vehicle - including the wipers - for any developing problems.

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About the author

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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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