Don’t ne­glect your wipers … or else!

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

OF­TEN we only give a thought to our wind­screen wipers when it is rain­ing. How­ever, our wind­screen wipers are reg­u­larly used to clean other items from our wind­screen, in­clud­ing in­sects, bugs, dust and road grime. Clean­ing these items with our wind­screen wipers forces them to work harder and places more strain on the var­i­ous com­po­nents than heavy rain would.

When it does rain, we rely for our safety on the wipers clear­ing the wind­screen. There is noth­ing more dan­ger­ous than be­ing caught on the road in a vi­o­lent storm only to find that our wind­screen wipers do noth­ing to ac­tu­ally clear the wa­ter from the wind­screen, suc­ceed­ing only in smear­ing things across the glass. This leads to even fur­ther prob­lems when we mix in the glare of on­com­ing head­lights and we find that we are driv­ing al­most blind.

If there is a large amount of de­bris on the wind­screen such as bird drop­pings then clean that off be­fore the wipers are ac­ti­vated, as you’ll only dam­age the wipers and make a messy smear.

When is the cor­rect time to check our wind­screen wipers? Check­ing your wind­screen wipers reg­u­larly, per­haps each time you wash your ve­hi­cle, is a good start­ing point. Have them main­tained at each ser­vice.

How do you check wipers? patches of your wind­screen that are missed or have a poor wipe.

Due to the plas­tic be­com­ing brit­tle, the blade may not be held in the wiper arm cor­rectly, caus­ing the wind­screen to be­come scratched or the as­sem­bly to break, ren­der­ing the wind­screen wiper in­op­er­a­tive, pos­si­bly when you need it the most.

Poorly main­tained wipers can even break off or bend in re­ally heavy rain.

Should we just re­place the wind­screen rub­ber blade or the whole as­sem­bly? Over time the old as­sem­bly may be­come worn, rivet points wear and the wiper ac­tion be­comes loose. Putting a new blade in an old as­sem­bly will not last very long, as the blade is then held in the wrong po­si­tion and may wear pre­ma­turely.

As the as­sem­bly can­not hold the rub­ber at 90 de­grees to the glass, this may re­sult in poor clean­ing and also may not clear the wind­screen ef­fec­tively.

The noise from a worn as­sem­bly can also be dis­tract­ing and an­noy­ing. Re­plac­ing the whole as­sem­bly is prob­a­bly the more pru­dent route to fol­low.

Where can we get re­place­ment wipers? Any au­to­mo­tive ac­ces­sory shop. Best to take one of yours in to check it is the cor­rect type when you buy. Don’t for­get the rear wipers ei­ther!

Any­thing else while we’re at it? Yes – check the wa­ter washer fluid. This can be just wa­ter, or per­haps a mix of wa­ter and spe­cial flu­ids which help dis­solve bugs and other stains on the wind­screen. In colder climes, en­sure there’s some anti-freeze in there too. — Prac­ti­cal Mo­tor­ing

Wind­screen wipers are one of the most ne­glected items on our ve­hi­cles.

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