Your windshield wiper blades are one of those things that are easy to forget about until you really need them, then you better hope they work right. Here in Cincinnati, rough weather and hard winters can take their toll on any vehicle, and having good wiper blades can quite literally mean the difference between getting home safely and being in a collision. The good news is that proper wiper blade maintenance is not particularly difficult, time-consuming, or expensive, and yet far too many people let it slide until they find themselves holding a flashlight in their mouth while desperately trying to replace a wiper blade in the rain at 1:30 in the morning.
Here at Kings Ford Quick Lane, we are here to help you with all of your automotive maintenance and service needs. While sometimes that means coming to us for a routine oil change or something more serious, it can also be something simple. We often have customers come to us asking for help with finding the right replacement wiper blades and making sure they are installed correctly.
Let’s take a quick look at some important things you should know about your vehicle’s wiper blades so you can take better care of your car. We would much rather help you replace your wiper blades, then see you come in after a big rainstorm with a banged-up fender – or worse! Call or come by today to make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter and beyond, and to find out more about caring for your ride.
The Importance of Wiper Blades
Your vehicle’s wiper blades are easy to overlook because they do not directly contribute to power or performance the way your engine and transmission system do. And yet, they are one of the most important parts of your vehicle when you need them. When they function properly, your vehicle’s wiper blades will keep your windshield clear of water, dirt, and debris by wiping it off the glass.
Of course, when your wiper blades do not function properly, then you end up with streaks, weird patterns, and dirt or water remaining on your windshield obstructing your vision. During a serious downpour, water on the road already makes it more difficult to stop or control your vehicle. When your vision is obstructed, too, then you have a serious recipe for disaster. Proper care and replacement of your wiper blades ensures you can actually see the road around you, and that can truly be a matter of life or death.
Wiper Blade Sizes
While you might think that all wiper blades are the same, in fact, they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. All you have to do is see an SUV with a rear wiper and compare it to the size of the front wipers on the windshield to see this for yourself. As such, when you want to replace the wipers on your vehicle, you need to be sure to choose the correct size for your vehicle.
The easiest way to do this is to simply check your owner’s manual for your vehicle to see the size and style that your manufacturer indicates you need. You can also use certain online retail sites to input the year, make, and model of your vehicle, and they will tell you the size you need – though this relies on the accuracy of the website. If you come visit us at Kings Ford Quick Lane here in Cincinnati, OH, we can help you determine the right size wiper blades you need and make sure you get yours properly replaced.
Different Types of Wiper Blades
There are also two main types of wiper blades that are available on the market, and when you need to replace your wiper blades, it is important to know which type you need. “Conventional” wiper blades are those that have been in production and use for decades. They essentially consist of a long, thin piece of rubber that is held in a frame by a series of metal arms. This is the most common type of wiper blade, and if you have an older vehicle, then you likely use this type.
More recently, “beam” style wiper blades have become increasingly popular. These blades consist of one piece of rubber that is attached to a thin frame. You will often find these wiper blades on newer vehicles, especially luxury cars and SUVs. In most third-party tests, neither type of blade has been shown to be superior to the other, so whichever type you have is fine.
Check Your Blades Often
The last thing you want to do when dealing with wiper blades for your vehicle is find yourself trying to replace them in the middle of a rain or snowstorm in the dark of night – trust us, it is not as fun as it sounds. In order to avoid this type of disaster – or a serious collision – the best thing you can do is routinely check your wiper blades. When your vehicle is off, lift the wiper arm up from your windshield and look it over carefully.
It is best to do this during the day and with good lighting. Look for damage to the rubber on the blade itself as any damaged parts of the edge will result in streaking or poor visibility. While you are checking your wiper blades, take a piece of paper towel or a rag, spray it with glass cleaner, and wipe off the blades to remove any dust, oil, or other residue from them. Try to check your wiper blades about once a month to stay ahead of wear and tear on them.
How Often to Replace Your Wiper Blades
Research indicates that many people replace their wiper blades about once every 18 months or even once every three years. The problem with that is that most experts recommend you change your wiper blades about every six months to a year.
We suggest you check your wiper blades once a month and replace them promptly if you see they are damaged or worn down. Since the weather here in Cincinnati can get rough, it is a good idea to replace your blades at least once a year, even if they seem pretty good. Never use your wiper blades to clear snow or ice off your windshield – that is what a scraper is for – as doing so can damage the blades. It is also a good idea to lift your wipers up off your windshield when you go inside for the night in the winter; otherwise, ice can form, and the wipers can freeze to the glass.
We are Here to Help
Proper car maintenance like changing your wiper blades might not be fun, but it is important and can save you a lot of money and pain in the long run. Call us or come visit us at Kings Ford Quick Lane today for all your vehicle maintenance needs – we are here to help keep you safe on the road. You can find us at 8755 Fields Ertel Road in Cincinnati, Ohio.