When you consider the amount of times you use them and the implications of them failing, it’s amazing how many motorists neglect their windscreen wiper blades until the problem (or should that be hazard?!) is staring them in the face.
Call it a blind spot, but we know of a few motorists whose vision is impaired by the smudges and smears in front of their eyes and simply keep their fingers crossed for some fair weather whilst driving instead.
But with the clocks going back and the temperatures dropping, now has never been a better time to ensure your wipers are in good working order – with a visit to your nearest car garage if needed!
Wiper blades are exposed to dust, dirt and debris, all of which contribute to their wear and tear. Driving with worn wipers can be dangerous, and you should replace them as soon as you notice impeded visibility from streaking or an inability to clear the windshield.
And without wishing to scaremonger, driving with faulty wiper blades is illegal as well as dangerous. Wipers that don’t clear the screen properly affect drivers’ visibility and count as an MOT fail. Driving with a car in this condition could see you hit with a £50 fixed penalty notice for driving a vehicle with a part in a defective condition.
Police could also view your actions as careless driving, which carries a £100 on-the-spot fine but can lead to a maximum fine of £5,000 if the case is taken to court.
But we’re here to make sure that things never get to that stage. And before we offer some simple maintenance tips, rest assured that you’re not alone if you’re unsure about your windscreen wipers, as two thirds of motorists admitted they had no idea when to change them, when questioned in a survey.
Have a look at some simple steps below to wipe away any concerns!
Lift the wiper arm from the glass until it locks in the upright position, taking care not to allow it to spring back against the glass. If the arm doesn’t lock in position, hold it firmly whilst you check the blade.
Wipe the cleaning edge of the blade using a clean cloth dipped in undiluted washer fluid.
Run a finger along the edge of the blade to check the rubber for damage. If there are any cracks or splits a new blade should be fitted.
To fit a new blade, first turn the blade at right angles to the arm. Some blades have securing tabs that need to be released before the blade can be removed. Note which way round the blade fits before removing it, to help when fitting the new blade.
Depending on the type of new wiper blade you’re fitting, fit the correct adaptor to it – check the instructions supplied with the new blade for details.
Fit the new blade to the arm, making sure that it’s pushed fully home, then lower the arm gently onto the glass. Check that the wipers work before driving the car.
Buying new wiper blades
If you’re on a tight budget you can buy wiper blade ‘refills’, which means just the rubber, but to fit these you’ll need to dismantle the blade, and this can be very fiddly. It’s advisable to renew the whole blade because the springs that hold the blade against the glass weaken with age.
You can buy new wiper blades from most car accessory shops, and from authorised car dealership parts departments. When you go to buy new blades you’ll need to know the make, model, and the year of manufacture of your car.
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If your trigger reaction to all this is ‘find a car garage near me’ then don’t worry, we are here to help!
Come in and see us as part of a free visual car service / check! We offer free winter vehicle health checks and are here to check the state of your headlights, fluid levels – and wiper blades! We also stock the very best products, so if you’d like us to take the hassle out for you, then just say the word and one of our car mechanics will get to work.
Calls may be recorded for training and to ensure the best quality customer service.