During the rainy spring season, many people realize just how important windshield wipers are.
Yet like anything in your car, they don’t last forever. Constant exposure to the elements makes them one of the fastest wearing parts of your car.
When to replace windshield wipers
Windshield wipers typically only last about six months to a year. Telltale signs that it’s time to replace yours include:
- The edges are frayed or fold up.
- They leave behind streaks when you use them.
- They make a scraping sound.
- After battling snow and freezing rain all winter, wipers are often ready for replacement when spring arrives.
How to replace windshield wipers
The good news is that it can cost as little as $20 to replace your windshield wipers, and the job can take less than one minute. Here are some tips when it comes to choosing ones for your car.
- Check your user’s manual. Your car manufacturer will list what kind of windshield wipers work with your particular car.
- Read some reviews. When it comes to windshield wipers, there is a wide range of styles and prices. Narrow the list by reading a few reviews from reputable sources like Consumer Reports.
- Consider the season. Many manufacturers make more expensive winter wipers that do a better job ridding windshields of ice and snow.
- Check the price. While more expensive blades might do a better job of clearing rain, experts caution that they probably need to be replaced just as often.
- Decide if you’ll DIY or not. Replacing windshield wipers isn’t especially hard to do—but also know that many auto supply stores will do the job for free if you buy your wipers there.
- Top off your windshield wiper fluid. Having enough means you’ll always be able to wipe away bugs, grime and other gunk from your windshield.
- Keep them clean and protected. You can help extend the life of your windshield wipers by cleaning them off with a wet towel every few weeks, making an effort to park in the shade and using an ice scraper to de-ice your windshield instead of using your wipers.