Clean, functional wiper blades help ensure clear visibility and prevent scratches on your windshield. UV rays, rain, temperature changes, debris, and other factors contribute to wear and tear of your wiper blades. How do you know when it's time to replace your wiper blades? Lift your wiper blades up and away from the glass so that you can closely inspect them, as well as your windshield. Look for these signs:
Cracks, Splits, Breaks, and Bends
The appearance of the rubber portion of your windshield wiper should be smooth and uniformly proportioned. Imperfections are an indication that your wipers are damaged. In addition, the metal portion should be straight. If the rubber is in good condition but the metal is bent, it can still result in poor visibility.
Windshield wipers that are in good condition should make very little noise as they glide uninhibited across your windshield. Clicking, dragging, squeaking, and other noises mean the rubber is not making good, consistent contact with the glass and are likely in poor condition.
If your windshield is streaked, you may need to replace your windshield wipers. However, you may just need to do some cleaning. Here are some Tips For Cleaning Your Windshield and some Windshield Wiper Care Tips. If new streaks form on your windshield shortly afterwards, you'll need to replace your windshield wipers -- even if your wipers look fine.
If your wipers need to be replaced, don't delay. Poor visibility is a safety hazard. Read this article for simple, easy-to-follow instructions on How To Replace Wiper Blades.