Having a clear and unobstructed view of the road is one of the most important things a driver needs while piloting a motor vehicle. This gives them clear visibility of the road ahead, and whatever hazards they may encounter. While the windshield glass is the initial protection of the vehicle which allows for a greater view of objects up front, it can get dirty over time due to dirt, dust, mud, and even animal droppings.
Enter the windshield wiper and windshield washers. Two pieces of equipment that are often overlooked and oftentimes only remembered right when needed the most. These two are essential in giving you the clearest possible view of the road, especially under inclement weather conditions. With that said, here is why windshield wipers and washers should never be taken for granted.
Windshield Wipers and Wiper Blades
The windshield wiper plays a critical role in keeping the windshield glass clean and obstruction-free, as it sweeps dirt, dust, and other obstructive materials away and off the glass. As wipers are important in maintaining a great vision of the road, its main component, the wiper blade, will need replacing every now and then, too. It is highly recommended that wiper blades are replaced during every vehicle service, as the rubber on the blade could be worn out and would be less efficient at doing its job.
Signs to look out for when replacing your wiper blades
Wiper blades become brittle over time, and as such, lose their effectiveness in wiping away dirt and debris off the windshield. When it is time for a replacement, here are a couple of signs to look out for:
Rust or corrosion on the ends of the wiper blades and arm
Slight separation of the wiper blade from the wiper frame
Cracks or tears on the rubber wiper blade lining
A squeaking sound when the wipers are being used
Streaking lines while the wipers are being used
All of these signs point to the rubber found in the blades slowly becoming brittle and ineffective at what it needs to do. With that being said, if any of these signs persist after you clean your wiper blades, this could indicate that it’s time for a replacement.
Where to buy replacement wipers and wiper blades
You can buy replacement blades and wipers at almost any auto supply store. They should have a catalog on-hand for parts for your vehicle’s year model. If a catalog is unavailable, consult your owner’s manual for the proper sizing.
Windshield Washers/ Nozzles
Another important part that helps keep your vision of the road ahead the clearest, is the windshield washer. These are small nozzles found on the hood of most vehicles that sprays fluid onto the windshield. It is important to note that not all vehicles will have their washers located on the hood, as some will have them located on the wiper arm or under the wiper cowls right before the hood of the car.
That being said, windshield washers work by spraying wiper fluid onto the windshield glass of your car. The fluid acts as a lubricant that not only helps the wiper blades remove dirt off the glass but also makes sure that the glass itself is protected from any sharp debris. It ensures that the wiper blades can do their job effectively, without damaging the windshield and themselves in the process.
Windshield washers are fairly easy to maintain, as the washer pumps are strong enough to remove light debris that has accumulated in or around the nozzles. However, in the event of a blockage, you can use a small, thin sharp object to clear any debris from the nozzle. If this doesn’t work, you can also check the windshield washer hoses to see if a blockage exists further down the line. If it can’t be unclogged, you can head to the nearest auto parts store and buy a new set of hoses.