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When Should You Replace Your Windshield Wipers?

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How Long Do Windshield Wipers Last?

Windshield wipers may be a seldom thought about part in your vehicle, however, they play a significant role in ensuring your safety while on the road, especially during inclement weather conditions. Good quality windshield wipers such as genuine Toyota wiper blades, allow for drivers to maintain a clear field of view when rain, snow, ice, mud and even dirt cover their vehicle’s windshield. Most vehicles are equipped with two or three windshield wipers - two up front and one in the rear - that work in tandem to eliminate any obstructions, stains or other debris from your vehicle’s windshield. As such, it is important to ensure that your wiper blades are in good working condition so that they function as intended during inclement weather conditions. Our knowledgeable technicians and product specialists at James Toyota recommend replacing your vehicle’s windshield wiper blades every six months to twelve months, or when streaks and stains on the windshield become a common occurrence. Continue reading below to find out about a handful of visible signs that you can keep an eye out for when trying to figure out whether or not it's the right time to replace your windshield wipers. 

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5 Things to Keep an Eye Out For?

Apart from typical wear and tear due to regular use, there are several factors that affect the condition and performance of windshield wipers. These factors include extreme weather conditions, prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays, frozen pieces of ice or road debris left on the windshield. Listed below are five things to keep an eye out for when deciding whether or not to replace your vehicle’s windshield wiper blades.

1. Streaks or Smears Left on the Windshield:

Damaged windshield wiper blades are prone to having dirt, grime and other road debris getting caught between any cracks or tears in the rubber. Typically due to the factors listed above, any foreign material that prevents the rubber from having unobstructed contact with the windshield will likely result in streaks being left behind. Another thing to look out for is smearing on the windshield, which results from the rubber edge of a wiper becoming blunt or getting rounded. Smearing and streaking have the potential to severely block off the driver’s field of view, which increases the chances of an accident occurring.

2. Bent or Damaged Frames:

A bent or damaged metal frame results in the wiper’s inability to properly clean your vehicle’s windshield. The wiper blade’s misaligned placement may also result in the blade leaving stains, water deposits or marks on your windshield. Even a slight bend can reduce the performance of your wipers, making it difficult for you to drive in heavy downpours or snow.

3. Visibly Worn-Out Wiper Rubber:

Another sign to look out for would be visible flaws, cracks or tears in your wiper’s rubber blade. If you notice a crack or split on the rubber, it’s time to replace them as a damaged wiper increases the chance of an accident, especially during poor weather conditions.

4. Obscure Noises When in Use:

If you start to hear loud scraping or skipping noises coming from your vehicle’s wipers when in use, it’s safe to say that it’s about time for them to be replaced. These noises are known as chattering and can be caused by several factors including prolonged periods of not in use or simply due to the drastic changes in temperature as the seasons change.

5. Seasonal Changes:

Even if your windshield wipers are doing fine, replace them during a season change, especially in winter. New vehicles arrive from the factory with regular wiper blades that may not be designed to handle the freezing temperatures of Northern Ontario. The drastic change in temperature may also lead to the rubber blade getting worn quickly or being damaged due to snow or winter road salt accumulation.

James Toyota is your one stop shop for all things automotive in Timmins, Ontario and the greater Northern Ontario region. From routine maintenance to complex repairs, James Toyota is ready to assist you in all of your automotive needs. Our service center is equipped to service all makes and models and our parts department is well stocked for all of your genuine Toyota parts needs.