Most of us pay very little attention to our windshield wiper blades, taking for granted that we’ll always be able to see the road ahead of us with clarity. But sometimes when it rains, it pours, and your wiper blades suddenly take a leading role in your comfort, convenience and safety. You’ll be patting yourself on the back if you’ve planned ahead and taken the time to make sure they are cleaned and properly maintained.
You can avoid some of the most common wiper blade problems – such as streaking, skipping, wearing, splitting, etc. – by remembering to follow these easy steps:
- Clean your windshield every time you gas up. It’s an easy time to do it, since most gas stations provide a squeegee and water, and will help keep dirt from building up.
- Use a paper towel to gently remove excess dirt and oil from the wiper blades.
- Never use your wipers to de-ice your windshield. It’s tempting; you’re in a hurry, it’s cold, and it’s unreasonably frustrating watching ice melt when you’re late for work. But your wipers are not designed to be ice scrapers and can easily be damaged by the thick, rough ice on your windshield.
- Pull your windshield wipers away from the window in the winter to prevent ice build up.
- Change your wiper blades approximately every 6 months to a year, or any time they’re not properly removing the water from your windshield.
When you complete these simple steps, you’ll be getting the most use possible out of your wiper blades. However, not all blades are created equal. Many people are still used to the old standard/conventional blades, which are made in a straight line and rely on a springy frame to compensate for the curvature of your windshield. These blades cost approximately $10 each and will need to be replaced often.
But there is another option! “Beam blades”, which are common and often required on newer cars, came onto the scene in the early 2000s and feature a better construction to handle the shape of your windshield. Beam blades are a bit more expensive, approximately $20 per blade (more for some specialty vehicles), but not only do they last longer, they work more efficiently.
At the Hershey Motors Service Department, we use Bosch Evolution Wiper Blades, which “feature dual precision-tensioned steel springs that distribute more uniform pressure along the entire length of the blade”. These blades work with a spring mechanism which is shielded from snow & ice, are more aerodynamic with less wind-lift, look more modern and offer maximum cleaning and durability with minimal noise and chatter.
Click here to learn more about the differences between “beam” and “standard” blades!
If you are tired of listening to the squeaking and chattering of your old wiper blades, consider an upgrade! If you’d like to learn more, you can always call in to talk to Andy, the service manager at the Hershey Motors Service Department, and he would be happy to explain your options.