How do I know when my wipers need to be replaced?


Life is hectic. You rush to a meeting, pick up the kids, then stop at the grocery store. Wiper blades are probably the last thing on your mind – but they shouldn’t be. These small pieces of rubber play a big role in car safety.

Like everything else, wiper blades wear out and require replacement. Determining exactly when they should be replaced however, can be tricky. Fortunately, armed with a little knowledge, you’ll be able to tell when it’s time to swap out your wipers.

Windshield wipers

Before wipers were invented in 1903, seeing out of a dirty windshield was very difficult. Wiper blades effortlessly clean water and snow from your view. Depending on the driving conditions, they may even be called upon to remove mud and bug guts. This drastically improves car vision and helps you see the road ahead.

Wiper blades aren’t too complex. Each is constructed from an aluminum frame and a rubber or synthetic compound blade. Some wipers use soft rubber on the wiping edge and firm rubber on the rest of the blade.

Wipers live a hard life, continuously exposed to the elements. Because of this, they must be replaced periodically. Typically, wipers should be replaced every 12 to 19 months. This interval may be shorter if the wipers are used more frequently than normal, or if they’re regularly exposed to extreme temperatures.

All vehicles have two front wiper blades (certainly this isn’t news, as they’re right in front of you). Some vehicles also have a rear wiper blade. The blades should be replaced together at the same time.

Signs that it’s time to replace your windshield wipers

There are several signs that indicate it’s time to replace your wipers:

    • Streaking: Instead of removing water from the windshield, worn wiper blades leave streaks. This is a clear indication they need to be replaced.
    • Rubber deterioration: Blades with rubber that is cracked, brittle, split or deformed should be replaced.
    • Damage: If the edge of the blades has physical damage such as tears or nicks, it should be replaced.

Choosing the correct replacement wiper

The amount of wiper options available can be overwhelming. How do you know which is right for your vehicle?

Your vehicle is designed to work with a specific length wiper blade. Deciding the correct size makes wiper selection simple. This can be done by measuring the blade from end to end or by looking it up in a reference chart. An even easier method is to ask your friendly service professional at Honda of Clear Lake.

Price is the next factor. In most cases, high-quality blades cost more but also last longer. This makes bargain priced blades less of a deal in the long run. Plus, it means wrestling with blade replacement more often. For the best car vision, choose the highest quality blades your budget will allow.

Car care at Honda of Clear Lake

Don’t gamble with your vehicle’s vision and safety. Visit Honda of Clear Lake to have your wiper blades inspected and replaced. Our expert, friendly staff is here to handle all your car care needs.