Most drivers would agree that there’s nothing more satisfying than watching the smooth, easy motion of a fresh pair of wipers when they’re clearing rain or dust away from the windscreen.
A dirty windscreen is more than just an eyesore. Dirt and debris can accumulate on a windscreen and reduce your visibility to the point of where driving becomes hazardous. Even a light layer of non-exhaust emission (NEE) particles like fine brake and tire particulates can result in windscreen glare which, especially on sunny days, can lead to dangerous difficulty seeing.
Fortunately, keeping your windscreen clean isn’t rocket science. You have to stay on top of your vehicle’s compliance with state standards for technical roadworthiness though, and that means making sure that your windscreen wipers and washers are in good working condition at all times.
Getting to Know When It’s Time to Change Your Wiper Blades
Although your wipers may be the least expensive consumable items on your car or truck, they’re easily one of the most important. That’s why for Oz’s special combination of environmental extremes, you only want to consider buying the best wiper blades Australia has to offer as your replacements.
UV and ozone exposure, airborne debris, and just ordinary use are all contributors to windscreen wiper deterioration. They’re not designed to last forever, and the signs that they’ve reached end of life are unmistakable:
- Squeaking or chattering noises;
- Smearing, or excessive streaking;
- Worn or missing pieces from the wiper blade edge;
- Brittle or cracked blade bodies; and,
- Bent blade framework.
Make no mistake: regularly inspecting and replacing your wiper blades are essential for keep yourself as well as other road users safe. And in a country where rain, snow, and dust are seasonal events, not waiting until the worst weather comes before changing your wipers is a crucial part of keeping your vehicle free from collecting a defect.
What are Your Options for Replacement Blades
You can buy replacement windscreen wipers online as either complete sets or as rubber refills, but you need to know which type you’re looking for. Blade sizes for both front and rear glasses can vary from 180mm (7”) – 700mm (18”) in length, so it’s always good to shop for wiper blades online according to the make and model of your vehicle, or by verifying the length of the blades that are presently on it.
There are five main types of replacement wiper blades for sale:
- Conventional blades.Conventional blades have their own with framework, are attached to a vehicle’s wiper arm by use of a hook-shaped fitting, and are the most common wiper blades found on vehicles with different sized wipers.
- Hybrid blades.These blades also have their own framework and utilize the same hook-shaped fitting attachment, but they’re built with a flexible, full length rubber lip along the blade’s body that’s ideal for better water and snow repulsion.
- Multi-fit flat blades.Instead of an external framework, multi-fit car blades have a pre-tensioned metal frame in the body of the wiper. This allows for even pressure to be applied along the entire edge of the blade, and to conform to the shape of the windscreen.
- Special fitting blades.Special fitting car wiper blades, available in either conventional or flat configurations, are exact OE replacements for vehicles with highly specific wiper arm designs, or windscreens with unusual curvatures or characteristics.
- Rubber refill inserts.Refill inserts are replacement rubber blade elements for existing frames. As more vehicles have switched to conventional and flat type blades, refills are mostly used as ultra-economy alternatives or, for restoring the wipers on classic vehicles.
In short, there’s a full range of windscreen wipers available for any type of vehicle; and ideally, you shouldn’t wait until they’re verifiably worn before changing them. Not only do deteriorated wipers obstruct your vision, they also present the risk of damaging your windscreen , either by severe particle abrasion or the wiper arm making direct contact with it.
The time and cost involved with addressing a damaged windscreen can be significant. Simply taking the time to buy a new set of car wiper blades online will save that trouble.
Tips to Help Extend the Life of Your Replacement Blades
Let’s be honest: there’s no mistaking the effortless movement that comes with a brand new set of water repellent wiper blades. And ideally, you should replace your wiper blades every six months, or as soon as you notice that the movement isn’t as smooth as it could be.
Even after you’ve replaced your car window wiper blades though, you still want them to last as long as possible. Here are a few easy tips that can help you extend their useful lifespan without the worry of premature wear and aging.
Don’t Park Directly in the Sun
Heat and UV exposure cause rubber wipers to dry out and start to harden almost immediately. And while it’s practically impossible to avoid parking in the sun, parking in the shade will help extend your blade’s useful life.
Keep Your Wipers Clean
Removing as much embedded sediment and dirt from your wipers as possible whenever you wash your vehicle prevents them from effectively clogging up, smearing residue, or potentially damaging your windscreen. This includes regularly removing fallen leaves or other debris from atop them, as they can either leave small abrasive particles or leach other substances into the rubber.
Don’t Use Your Wipers if the Windscreen Isn’t Wet
Dragging a dry windscreen wiper across a dry windscreen is a quick way to make short order of the blade’s edge. Not only can the friction tear the blade, the natural resistance between the surfaces could also bend the blade’s frame, resulting in a far costly replacement than would have been otherwise necessary.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, along with making sure that your washer is topped off, you need to periodically check the condition of your wipers periodically. You don’t want to wait until they’re literally crumbling before looking into replacements, because there’s simply no way to know when you might urgently need them.
When it’s time to replace them, you want to get the best wiper blades Australia has to offer. They’re a quick, low-cost investment in your safety that, once you need them, you won’t regret making.