As a self proclaimed Garage-Girl who loves to perform maintenance on my vehicles there is one task I take so seriously, my windshield wipers. There is nothing I can’t stand more than not being able to see clearly while driving, especially in bad weather. For that reason I change my windshield wipers twice a year. I use a winter blade that I usually install around October, it has a rubber boot over the metal arm to prevent ice and snow build up, and then I switch to the rain-X windshield wiper for spring. I never got around to installing my new winter set of blades this fall and planned on doing so just before leaving for a road trip for the Holidays. Well you know how crazy the Holidays are, running around trying to get everything done and ready. I just simply ran out of time. Not too worried though since the weather for my day of travel looked clear. While I was out of town the weather was great, actually a little warm, so the thought of the wiper blades was not even in my mind. That is until the ride home. Traveling across interstate 80 of the state of PA I ended up encountering lake effect snow bands that were reminiscent of “light speed” travel capable by the Millennium falcon in Star Wars. As I turned my wiper blades on I was frustrated to find out they were not up to my standards, I couldn’t see a dam thing…. Traveling along, the traffic started to get tighter and the big trucks were closer, can’t stand the spray from big trucks. I decided I better pull off the exit and see if I could do anything to help my visibility. I had some hand sanitizer which is mostly alcohol and I used that to clean the wiper blades of any debris. This was a huge help and got me back home safe. While I was tending to my wiper blades, I heard numerous fire trucks and police cars zooming past. I later found out there was a 20 car pile up on the exact road I was traveling on…. The hi-way was now shut down. Used my maps app and found back roads to take me home. Ok, so maybe my bad wiper blades saved my life, but I decided this experience was a good time to bring the issue up and remind you all how important good wiper blades are. If you haven’t changed them in a while here is a video showing you just how easy it us. Here is a step by step of how to care for your wiper blades. Stay Safe this winter!
1. Wipe the windshield wiper blades each time you fill up with gas. Dampen a paper towel with the window washing solution. Lift each wiper blade away from the window and rub the moist towel along the blade from one end to the other.
2. Wash the car windows to remove accumulated debris, bird droppings and insect splatters. Removing the larger debris protects the windshield blades from catching and tearing.
3. Run windshield wipers only when there is moisture present on the windows. In dry weather, use the windshield washer to spray fluid on the glass.
4. Remove snow and scrape ice off of windows before running the windshield wipers. Allow the car to run and defrost the windows long enough to melt ice before moving the wipers.
5. Park your vehicle in the shade or in a garage whenever possible to avoid sun damage, which can make the rubber blades brittle.
6. Inspect the windshield wiper arms and the blades once a month. Replace damaged, bent or broken wiper arms immediately. Replace the blades at least once a year, before the cold weather season, or sooner if the blades have become warped or ripped.