when to replace your wiper bladesFeatured Head to Heads & Advice 

How to Know When to Replace Your Wiper Blades

Good vision is one of the most important factors we rely on every time we get behind the wheel. It’s amazing to think about how much work our eyes do for us on any given day, on the road, in front of a monitor at work, and in countless other environments. In the case of driving, did you know up to 90% of our driving decisions are based exclusively on vision? So it stands to reason that when your eyes aren’t up to par, your driving will suffer. Likewise, if your windshield isn’t being properly cleared of precipitation and debris, your performance on the road will suffer. Below, we’ve laid out some ways to know when it’s the right time to replace your wiper blades.

Streaking
The rubber bottom of your car’s windshield wiper may be leaving behind bands of water due to cracks or split hard pieces in the rubber. You can pull your wipers upright and examine the underside of your wipers to feel for irregularities. If they aren’t nice and smooth? It’s time for a replacement.

Splitting
The result of your windshield wipers splitting, can be a partially clear surface with streaks of hardened residue in between. This is sometimes caused by windshield wipers that have outrun their course, similar to an electric toothbrush head—you’ve got to replace them on a regular basis. In fact, it’s recommended you replace your wiper blades every six to 12 months.

Squeaking
No one likes a squeaky windshield wiper. This nerve-racking sound often occurs when the rubber does not move quietly across the glass, and can be the result of age, the elements, or corrosion. Squeaking is one of the main culprits that drive people to replace their wiper blades. Now is a good time to remember the old adage about that squeaky wheel!

Smearing
The worst time for your windshield wipers to begin smearing is during a storm. This is no good, especially if it’s a heavy rain or snow storm. If it happens at night it’s even worse as visibility can diminish to dangerous levels. So we think it’s worth the small investment in a new set of wiper blades. At the very least, they won’t cost nearly as much as the unplanned night in a hotel you may have to shell out for if you can’t see during a bad storm.

Chattering
Can you hear that? That’s the sound of your windshield wipers vibrating across your windshield. Chattering is definitely a reason to replace your windshield wiper blades—or put the radio up really, really loud. We’re kidding, obviously.

The good news is you can get your windshield wipers inspected and replaced without shelling out the big bucks. So check your local AutoNation dealer for windshield wipers, or make a service appointment to have the professionals handle it for you. You’ll be glad you did!

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