Winter certainly puts your car’s wipers to the test. Here are a few tips to prolong their life and improve your driving visibility.
Tough winter weather, grime and the repeated swiping against the windshield can get the better of the wipers’ rubber blade.
Never compromise visibility – especially in winter! Follow these simple maintenance steps to keep your wipers in good shape.
Inspect and clean
Each time you fill up, give the windshield wipers a quick check and clean the blades with windshield washer and a cloth.
Change damaged or broken wipers. There’s no point driving with wipers that are not doing the job and that put everyone’s road safety in danger.
Keep the washer reservoir topped up
Take care not to use the wipers without washer fluid.
This will wear the rubber squeegee more quickly or, worse, could permanently scratch the windshield.
Fill the reservoir and keep a spare container (full, obviously!) in the trunk, as a precaution.
To make sure the wipers don’t start working when the windshield is dry, always turn them off before stopping the engine.
Don’t use wipers as a snow brush
You’re in a rush and desperate to save time.
None-the-less take a few minutes to remove the snow from your car with a good old snow brush instead of using the wipers.
Using the wipers to clear snow from the windshield forces the wiper motor (especially if the snow is heavy) and can also bend the natural arc of the wiper, making the wipers less effective.
The myth about lifting the wipers off the windshield in winter
Mother Nature is hatching a snow or ice storm. Should you lift the wipers off the windshield to make snow and ice removal easier?
The answer is: no.
Not only will you not extend the life of your wipers, but raising them could reduce the wiper pressure on the windshield and compromise visibility.
When should you change your windshield wipers?
Replace them when:
- They leave a film on the windshield or are scratching it.
- They are skipping some parts of the windshield.
- The rubber blade is damaged.
- The swiping movement is irregular or makes a noise.
In general, windshield wipers should be replaced once a year or before.
As soon as your visibility is reduced because the wipers are worn is the time to get new ones.
Winter or hybrid wipers?
That is the question.When it comes to battling our Canadian winters, the choice is between winter or a hybrid/ flexible wiper model.
The rubber blade of winter wipers tends to prevent snow and ice build-up on the windshield.
However, come summer, they need to be swapped for summer blades because the sun can cause the rubber to perish more quickly.
The hybrid or flexible models are designed for year-round use and protect against snow, ice and wind.
On the other hand, they are a little more expensive. It’s up to you to decide whether paying more gives you extra mileage and a better view.