It’s about that time of year (brrrr).Don’t overlook a very simple part that is most certainly a safety item. Can you guess what that is? Think about when you leave your home or work and it starts to drizzle rain. You turn your windshield wipers on and WOAH! You hear that squeal from dry rubber on slightly wet glass. You push the windshield washer button to apply more fluid to the glass (you DID remember to fill the fluid reservoir didn’t you?) and it’s worse to see through now than before you even turned them on!
You then hear the high-pitched screech of the wiper blade metal where the rubber has torn off the arm. OUCH! Now you make a mad dash to turn the wipers off and get off the road before the metal etches the windshield glass. Don’t lie to me now…we’ve all had this happen before.
How do my wipers get worn?
Your windshield wiper blades will deteriorate over time from use and environmental factors. Just normal driving could pickup sand, mud, dust, acid rain and even the sun’s ultraviolet light will degrade your blade. Salt from seaside locations or winter driving can weaken frames. Car waxes and exhaust also contain rubber-deteriorating oil.
What do most vehicle manufacturers say?
One manufacturer’s statement is very similar to most others: “Check the condition of the wiper blades at least every 6 months. Replace them if you find signs of cracking in the rubber, and areas that are getting hard or if they leave streaks and un-wiped areas when used.”
Even when deterioration isn’t clearly visible wipers can develop common problems such as streaking, skipping, chattering, wearing and splitting. Tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances can collect on either the glass or the blade causing streaking. Lack of use can cause the blade to curve resulting in skipping.
But there are so many wipers to choose from…
Here are some common choices:
Conventional – Economical, durable metal frame, prone to wind lift, and ice buildup on frame can effect winter visibility
Winter Blade – Durable metal frame, rubber boot prevents ice and snow buildup. Summer heat and sun may damage rubber boot.
Beam Blade – Flexible design conforms to windshields, resists ice and snow buildup, contoured design applies even pressure along the entire length of the blade, and durable rubber-encased structure increases wiper flexibility and adherence to the windshield in harsh conditions
Safety is pretty inexpensive…
Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safe operation as clean oil and good tires. Did you know 90% of driving decisions are made with your vision? Reduced visibility can cause slower reaction times, so clear vision is crucial to safe driving. How crucial is it for your customer to have clear driving vision?
Wiper blades are something relatively inexpensive yet so difficult to discuss with customers. Customers only remember they need them when…its raining. It was never fun for me when a customer just went around the block after departing my service department in a moderate rain from a $400 repair only to let me know after spending all that money why didn’t I do my job and mention the wiper blades needed replacing!!! GEEZ!