How Often Should You Replace the Wiper Blades of Your Car?

Windshield wipers won’t last for the life of the car. Time, constant exposure to harsh weather conditions, and improper care and maintenance will soon take a toll on the wiper blades and frames, no matter how strong or durable they are. That’s why replacements should be made regularly to ensure consistency in performance in times of bad weather. Thus, how often should you replace your wiper blades? That’s what we are going to find out, because there are several variables that come into play. We’ll discuss each factor for a better understanding of their effects on the longevity of the windshield wiper blades.

First of all, how you care and maintain your car is a significant factor. Long-term neglect could shorten the life span of your wiper blades, leading to short-term regular replacement. On the other hand, if you handle it with proper care, you’ll extend the blade’s life, and wiper replacement will not be as often as with the former. Secondly, the climate in your area is another factor. Those living in temperature extremes may have to replace wiper blades more often compared to those in areas with moderate temperature. Lastly, the product is the most dominant factor. Some wiper blades will last for months, while others may take years. It’s all about the quality and durability of the materials used on the blades and the design of the frame. So choose your wiper blades wisely.

How Often Should You Replace Wiper Blades?

Conventional wiper blades, including some modern beam wiper blades, are made of natural rubber blades. Rubber may possess tensile strength and high resistance to fatigue from tearing, chipping, and cutting, but it has low resistance to ozone damage, light, and heat. Everyday use and regular exposure to heat and rain will cause the rubber blades to deteriorate and become brittle. Eventually, cracking and tearing will occur, causing streaks and uncovered areas after every wipe. That’s why for windshield wipers made of natural rubber, it is usually advisable to change the wiper blades every 6–12 months. 

However, some brands have added their own patented technology to increase the resistance of rubber blades against the damaging effects of UV and ozone, thereby significantly improving the longevity of their products. There are windshield wipers made of synthetic rubber, which exhibit better resistance against the environmental elements and greater longevity and durability compared to natural rubber. For these wipers, the recommended replacement can be every 12 months or more.

Nowadays, new materials are used other than rubber for the windshield wiper blades. Silicone blades were introduced to address the traditional 6-month replacement frequency, which is too inconvenient for most car owners. So, if you want to reduce your trips to the shop for aftermarket replacement wiper blades, the silicone wiper blades provide the solution. It claims to outlast rubber blades by four to six times longer, paving the way to the introduction of long-lasting wiper blades in the market. So if you’re asking how often one should replace wiper blades, there’s no definite answer because it depends on your care and maintenance habit and the type of wiper blade you installed in your car.

Having more questions about the best wiper blades for your car? The answers might be right here:

Signs Your Wiper Blades Should Be Replaced 

Wiper care has two approaches – proactive windshield wiper care and reactive maintenance. When you ask yourself how often to replace windshield wiper blades and you follow what is recommended, you are taking a proactive approach to wiper care. Unfortunately, many vehicle owners take the reactive approach by changing wipers only when they see some signs and symptoms of defective wiper blades. However, they have a point. 

Why would you replace the wiper blades on the 6th or 12th month if they are still working perfectly well? Thus, you would wait until there are signs of defects to save on cost. However, there’s a risk. You can get caught in the middle of a torrential downpour with malfunctioning wiper blades, putting lives in danger. For this reason, you should know how to spot if it’s time to change your wipers.

Water Streaks

If you see water streaks on your windshield after every wipe cycle, it’s a sign of cracks on the rubber blades due to wear and tear. Sometimes, this is due to hardened rubber blades leaving bands of water. So, it’s a call for replacement.

Chattering Wiper Sounds

Chattering sounds when the windshield wipers are turned on are indications of bent wipers that require immediate replacement. There is, however, good news. Chattering sounds can also be caused by dirt, and you can get rid of the annoying chatter by simply cleaning the rubber blades. So, clean it first, and check if the chatter disappears. Otherwise, replace the wiper blades.

Water Skipping

If the windshield isn’t wet enough while the wipers are moving, it may cause skipping. Cleaning the wiper blades may stop the skipping issues. However, if it still persists after cleaning, the cause is probably due to a bent frame. A bent windshield wiper frame is usually a result of improper use. Using the wipers to clean away hardened snow from the windshield will cause the wiper frame to bend, resulting in skipping.

Squeaking Sound

The annoying squeaking sound means that the rubber blade doesn’t quietly move across the glass. There are a few possible reasons for the squeaking sound, but usually, it is dirt and salt on the windshield. Cleaning the windshield should do the trick. Otherwise, if the wipers still make squeaking sounds after cleaning, it is probably due to inferior rubber blade quality.

Water Smearing

A worn-out wiper blade will cause smearing. It happens if the glass remains blurry even while the windshield wipers are turned on as if nothing happened. In this case, it’s a sign your wiper blades should be replaced.

How Long Do Windshield Wipers Last? 

How long wiper blades should last is similar to how often one should replace windshield wiper blades. As discussed, conventional windshield wiper blades made of natural rubber will last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. However, some brands have infused their innovations and added technology to their rubber blades to improve longevity. This extends the life of their products longer than the average blades. For instance, Bosch ICON wiper blades have the exclusive FX dual rubber, a Bosch patented technology, which resists deterioration due to ozone and heat, allowing the Bosch ICON blades to remain flexible in winter. It also improves their life up to 40% longer than the average and premium blades in the market. This makes Bosch ICON one of the best car wiper blades in the market.

Other brands are using synthetic rubber instead of natural rubber, which is more durable and has better resistance to greater temperature range. Rain-X is an example of a brand that uses only synthetic rubber for its products to ensure superior quality over other brands. That’s why Rain-X is also known to have the best wiper blades in winter. Also, there are silicone blades that promise the best in durability for wiper blades, outlasting the natural and synthetic rubber by up to four to six times longer. So, if you are looking for long-lasting wiper blades, then go for silicone wipers, which last for years and not just months.

How to Make Your Wipers Last Longer

Many experts would recommend wiper blade replacement every 6–12 months. However, some wipers will not last that long. In fact, you’ll hear complaints of signs of smearing and streaking on the 3rd or 4th month from purchase, not even close to 6 months. It’s because care and maintenance are critical to the longevity of your windshield wipers. Improper care will shorten the life of your wiper blades. On the contrary, proper care will make your wipers last longer. Below are some of the things you can do to make your wiper blades last longer.

Avoid Using Wipers to Wipe Away Jagged Bumps and Dirt

As you park your car outside overnight during winter, dawn mist and drizzle can freeze into rugged bumps on the car’s windshield and create a disaster with your wiper blades if you turn them on to clean the glass. The same is true to dirt, tree sap, and bird poop. Always keep in mind that windshield wipers are not windshield cleaners. So, use them for the rain and not for cleaning the windshield, or you’ll end up having a bent frame that causes skipping and chattering. In the end, earlier wiper blade replacement will be necessary.

Wiper Care Through Regular Cleaning

The best care you can do for your wiper blades is to regularly clean the blades and the windshield to ensure smooth wipes devoid of bumps.

Park Your Car in the Shade

If you don’t have a garage at home, make an effort to at least park the car in the shade. Less frequent exposure to UV light and rain will preserve the quality of the windshield wiper and ultimately make them last longer.

Avoid Operating Your Wipers Dry

Windshield wipers are designed to operate on moist surfaces for smooth operation. Operating the wiper blade on dry windshields will cause friction with the glass. Likewise, minute road debris and dirt that got stuck on the windshield may cause damage to the glass and the wiper blades, shortening the life of the wiper. 

Which Brand Is Famous for Producing Long-Lasting Wiper Blades?

When shopping for windshield wipers, you’ll encounter common and famous brand names like Bosch, Rain-X, PIAA, Michelin, Goodyear, TRICO, Anco, Valeo, and more. Some of these brands are offering long-lasting blades that outlast the competition. However, which one is famous for producing the longest-lasting wiper blades? We’ve reviewed the multiple product offers of each brand, and so far, Silblade has the best offer. In fact, Silblade’s premium wiper blades, like the Silblade Hybrid Silicone Wiper Blade, are backed by a 5-year warranty, which remains unrivaled by any competitor brand. That’s an aggressive show of confidence in the durability of their premium windshield wipers.

Conclusion 

It is all about safety when you talk about how often to replace wiper blades. As long as you are diligent in replacing the wiper blades when they are due, nothing should go wrong – ideally. However, that’s not enough because your wiper care and maintenance can shorten the life of the blade. So, you should still need to check your blades regularly for signs of wear, cracks, and any form of deterioration to ensure they are in the best shape for the rugged tasks ahead during bad weather conditions.

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Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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