While you’re likely to hear plenty of advice on tire care during this time of year, there is another part of your vehicle that often goes overlooked despite being a key safety feature — the windshield wipers.
A wiper tune-up can have an enormous impact at any time of the year, but it’s especially effective and important when visibility is at a premium during the winter. Maintaining proper windshield wiper health gives you a much better chance of getting through the holiday season without any accidents.
How the Windshield Wiper System Works
The system is comprised of five parts — wiper motor, wiper arms, wiper blades, wiper inserts, and washer fluid. The arm connects to the base of your vehicle and holds the blade. The wiper insert (that rubber squeegee thing that is actually in contact with your windshield) is held by the blade. The motor powers everything. Washer fluid is, of course, the liquid that shoots onto your windshield to clean it.
Checking Your System
In order to maintain optimum condition, your wiper system needs routine maintenance and replacements. The wiper insert should be replaced at least twice a year, ideally before and after the winter months. To check to see if your wiper inserts need to be replaced at any time during the year, just spray washer fluid and switch on the wipers. If you are hearing a screeching sound or you see streaks on your windshield, your wiper inserts are worn and need to be replaced.
The wiper blades also need regular attention. Cleaning them twice a month will help you stay on top of any cracks or other damage that could lead to problems in severe weather. Wipe down your wiper inserts with a clean rag and some washer fluid at the same time you clean the blades.
5 Minutes Makes a Difference
A few minutes of inconvenience is well worth the safety advantage you get by having clean and healthy wipers. If you want your vehicle in perfect shape for winter, take it to an auto care professional. Winter driving is just too dangerous without perfect and reliable visibility.