Check your windscreen wipers re­gu­lar­ly

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

Windscreen wipers are ob­vi­ous­ly an im­por­tant sa­fe­ty fe­a­tu­re t­hat will need re­pla­cing at so­me sta­ge.

Windscreen wipers are in fact one of the har­dest wor­king, yet le­ast du­ra­ble, parts of your car. De­wald Ranft, chair­man of the Mo­tor In­du­stry Works­hop As­so­ci­a­ti­on (Mi­wa), says we­at­her con­di­ti­ons will af­fect how long windscreen wipers last. Ge­ne­ral­ly ma­nu­fac­tu­rers re­com­mend chan­ging them e­very six mont­hs or on­ce a y­e­ar.

“Your own dri­ving con­di­ti­ons mig­ht call for mo­re fre­quent re­pla­ce­ment. The­re’s no hard and fast ru­le a­bout w­hen to chan­ge your wiper bla­des, but the­re are t­hings to look out for in terms of the con­di­ti­on of the wipers,” he says.

He says the first sign of a de­te­ri­o­ra­ti­on in your bla­des is w­hen they le­a­ve pa­t­ches or st­re­aks on your winds­hield, stut­ter their way a­cross the glass, or cle­an one si­de of the winds­hield but not the ot­her.

“Ob­vi­ous­ly by t­his sta­ge your wipers are in very bad con­di­ti­on. It’s not i­de­al to let them get to t­his sta­ge.”

A bet­ter op­ti­on, he says, is to in­spect them at spe­ci­fic ti­mes, such as the be­gin­ning of e­ach se­a­son. “Con­si­der set­ting a re­min­der for your­self to check them e­very cou­ple of mont­hs. If you li­ve in a harsh cli­ma­te, you may need to check the bla­des mo­re fre­quent­ly.”

In hot and sun­ny cli­ma­tes, dry he­at and ul­tra­vi­o­let ra­di­a­ti­on can bre­ak do­wn the rub­ber bla­des, cau­sing them to crack or warp. Ex­tre­me­ly cold and icy we­at­her, on the ot­her hand, can al­so cau­se bla­des to be­co­me britt­le. Y­e­ar-round dirt such as dust and g­rit or tar and ot­her stic­ky de­bris from ro­ad work can al­so shor­ten their li­fe span. “If any of t­he­se con­di­ti­ons ap­ply to you, check your bla­des monthly or e­ven week­ly,” he says.

Ranft says most works­hops will fit your windscreen wipers free of char­ge if you buy the wipers from them. He ex­plains t­hat or­di­na­ry rub­ber wipers ha­ve the shor­test li­fe span, ha­lo­gen-har­de­ned rub­ber wipers last a bit lon­ger, and si­li­co­ne wipers ha­ve the lon­ge­st li­fe­ti­me of all, per­haps ex­cee­ding a y­e­ar e­ven un­der in­ten­se use. “Of cour­se, they al­so cost mo­re than or­di­na­ry rub­ber wipers. In my works­hop

I use re­pu­ta­ble brands of gen­ui­ne au­to­mo­ti­ve af­ter­mar­ket re­pla­ce­ment parts and would re­com­mend them.” He al­so re­com­mends u­sing an ad­di­ti­ve in your wiper re­ser­voir to ma­ke cle­a­ning the windscreen e­a­sier.

He sug­ge­sts vi­si­ting a Mi­wa accre­di­ted af­ter­mar­ket works­hop if you are unsu­re a­bout the sta­te of your wipers. “They will be a­ble to check the wipers and re­com­mend w­het­her they need re­pla­cing or not. They can al­so ad­vi­se you on w­hat wipers would be be­st for you, ba­sed on the cli­ma­te and usa­ge,” he con­clu­des.

Mi­wa is an af­fi­li­a­te as­so­ci­a­ti­on of the Re­tail Mo­tor In­du­stry (RMI).

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