How often should I replace my windshield wipers?


What are the indications that a vehicle’s windshield wipers have reached the end of their lifespan?


As we write this in December, we would agree that the windshield wipers deserve considerable attention. The rain, sleet and snow cause enough of a driving obstacle; but another issue is the splash-back from oncoming vehicles that can cause sudden blindness. That’s when you want good wipers! Be alert to these three main wiper characteristics that might indicate a time to change the blades:

  • Streaking – You will see lines of precipitation following the arc of your wipers across the windshield.
  • Smearing – Entire blotches of the windshield will go uncleared, no matter how many times you pass the blades across it.
  • Squeaking – If nothing else, this noise will drive you crazy over long distances.

You might also observe some “chatter” in the wipers; or a visual inspection might uncover some splitting in the rubber. Any of these issues are clear indications (no pun intended) that it’s time to make a change. Experts recommend that you plan to replace your wiper blades every 6-12 months.

Bottom Line: In this dry climate, with temperature extremes, it’s pretty rare for a wiper to function properly past that 12-month mark, especially if the vehicle is frequently unsheltered.