Windshield Wipers: Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

Minit-Tune & Brake| Tuesday, February 16, 2016

As winter begins, it is important to take steps to prepare your vehicle for unpredictable weather and less than ideal road conditions. Windshield wipers are an important factor for putting your safety first on the road this winter. Checking your vehicle’s wipers for functionality before you face heavy snow, ice and slush on the roads is an easy and crucial way to keep yourself and others safe.

How to Inspect Windshield Wipers

As a general guideline, windshield wipers should be replaced every six months to a year. If you are unsure whether yours need to be replaced or repaired, here are a few tips for inspecting them:

  • Contact Issues: Begin by turning on your windshield wipers. If they are skipping, streaking, splitting or squeaking when you use them, it is time to get a new set. They are no longer working properly and may become a hazard as they can begin to reduce rather than improve visibility while driving.
  • Metal Corrosion: Take a look for any signs of metal corrosion. Joints and claws are particularly susceptible to this kind of wear, so take a closer look in those areas.
  • Visible Damage: If the frame arms are detached, particularly at joints or connection points, it is time to replace them.
  • Squeegee Status: If there are tears, cracks or missing pieces of the squeegee, contact with the windshield glass will be compromised. The rubber squeegee should be flexible; test it by flexing it back and forth. In order to make the most contact with the windshield, the edges should not be rounded. If the squeegee is rigid, rounded or is loose in the wiper frame, it is time for a replacement.

Tips to Maintain Windshield Wipers

Once you have determined whether or not you need new windshield wipers, you can take the following steps to maximize their performance and lifespan:

  • Clean Your Windshield: If you make cleaning your windshield a regular habit, ideally when refilling your gas tank, you can limit the amount of wear and tear on your windshield wipers.
  • Clean the Squeegee: Take a damp paper towel and gently wipe the rubber squeegee in order to remove dirt and oil. This will minimize the corrosion and damage that occurs gradually.
  • Use a Snow Brush and Ice Scraper: While it can be tempting, do not attempt to de-ice your windshield by using your wipers. Take the time to scrape off ice using the proper tools.

Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres offers a wide range of auto maintenance and repair services in Vancouver. Get your vehicle ready for winter with a tune-up and ensure maximum visibility on the road. Schedule your repair or service in BC or Alberta—book an appointment today or visit one of our 18 convenient locations.

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