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Wipers
Regular Wiper Maintenance


 

Regular Wiper Maintenance and Care For Driver Safety

Worn wiper blades are dangerous. Windscreen wipers are as critical to your car’s safety as your engine, brakes and tyres.

When driving it is imperative to have a clear, unobstructed view of the road, and top performing wipers will provide you with the cleanest windshield possible.

Many factors can impede your wipers performance and their deterioration. Sunlight, oil, dirt and other airborne contaminants can all reduce your wipers performance and therefore impact your view of the road, as will the age of your blades – no matter how much they’re used.

Weather has a huge impact on your wipers - hot weather can warp the rubber, whereas freezing temperatures can make the rubber hard and brittle. In both instances, you will find your wiper blade will no longer wipe your windscreen cleanly.

Frequent use of your wipers will also speed up deterioration of the blades as a result of road grime, dirt, and other airborne contaminants. But, even if your blades are rarely used, they will still lose effectiveness over time as the rubber can harden and the wipers will resultantly lose their flexibility. It's critical to ensure you regularly maintain and care for your wipers.

Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months or every 10,000 km

If your blades are damaged or are experiencing any problems like those shown below, you should replace them immediately. Otherwise, wiper blades should form part of your regular maintenance routine for your car every 6 months of 10,000 kilometres.

When replacing your windscreen wipers, there are two options available to you:

  • Replace the wiper blades including assembly and refills. The job will often be faster than simply replacing the refills. In most instances, any issue that you have with your wipers will be rectified by replacing the wiper blade including assembly, and you avoid the risk of incorrect installation of refills which can result in loss of effectiveness and scratches to your windscreen. Plus, you will have the benefit of improved windscreen contact, therefore visibility.
  • Replace just the refills. This is the cheaper of the two options, but will require more expertise than replacing the blades. In addition, this may not always rectify your windscreen wiper problem.

A few examples of problems that can occur with your wiper blades:

     

Streaks of Water

If you have streaks of water left on your windscreen, whether thin or thick bands, you need to replace your wiper refills.

Unwiped Areas

It is best to replace your wiper assembly if you have areas of your windscreen left unwiped - this can be caused by decreased wiper pressure.

Wiper Judder

When your wipers "hop" across the screen rather than in one smooth action, it is best to replace your wiper assembly.

     
     

Smeared Water

If your wiper leaves a trail of smeary mess as it moves across the windshield, your wiper rubber has most likely deteriorated and you should replace your wiper refills

Happy Days!

An example of efficient windscreen wiper blades.

 

 

How to Replace Your Wipers

How to replace your wiper blades

What you need to get the job done:

  • A new set of (compatible) wiper blades – buy the entire blade, not just the rubber insert ("refill")
  • Small screwdriver (some cars only)
  • Windscreen fluid additive

Remove and replace the wiper blade:

  1. Lift the wiper arm up away from the windscreen.
  2. While holding the wiper arm, depress the small tab on the underside of the wiper where it meets the metal arm. Depress the release lever on the arm and slide the blade down the arm and out of the hook at the end.
  3. Some cars have a tab that will need to be lifted with a small screw driver.
  4. Insert the attachment onto the new blade or wiper arm
  5. Tug on the blade to make sure it is secure. Listen for a click.
  6. Gently lower the wiper arm back onto the windscreen.
  7. Test the wipers to ensure they are operating correctly.

 

How to replace your wiper refills

What you need to get the job done:

  • A new set of (compatible) wiper refills
  • Pliers
  • Windscreen fluid additive

Remove and replace the wiper blade:

  1. Lift the wiper arm up away from the windscreen.
  2. Using your pliers, squeeze the metal tabs at the end of the rubber insert and slide the rubber out of the wiper blade assembly.
  3. Slide the new rubber insert into the assembly until the metal tabs are locked.
  4. Tug on the blade to make sure it is secure.
  5. Gently lower the wiper arm back onto the windscreen.

Test the wipers to ensure they are operating correctly.