Now Is the Time to Check Your Wiper Blades

Replacing worn windshield wipers can be a smart idea, but surprisingly few people remember to check them.

Out of all the vehicles passing through the National Car Care Month vehicle check events, close to one-fifth (17 percent) had front windshield wiper failures and 12 percent needed service on their rear wipers and or washer.

The normal life expectancy of wiper blades is six to 12 months, but blades should be replaced sooner if they begin to streak, jump or become dull, torn or brittle. Intense sun and heat, mixed with seasonal pollen and dust, can cause the rubber on the wiper blades to crack and deteriorate. A smeared or streaked windshield during a storm can hamper visibility and create a potentially dangerous situation.

“Replacing wiper blades is not something most vehicle owners think about until they are caught in the rain,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “It’s a good idea to check the condition of your wiper blades periodically and replace them yourself or have them replaced when they begin to show signs of wear.”

It only takes a few minutes to replace the wiper blades and simple instructions are right on the box. Here are two suggestions:

  • You can make the wiper blade more accessible by stopping it in the most convenient location with the ignition key. Don’t use the wiper on and off switch, as it causes the wipers to stop in their parked position.
  • Look for replacement rubber squeegees to avoid the cost of buying the entire blade and holder. They’re usually easily installed and can restore wiping action, as long as the rest of the components are working properly.

The Car Care Council also recommends checking and filling the wiper fluid reservoir on a regular basis.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign on behalf of the automotive aftermarket industry. The purpose of the campaign is to provide timely and accurate information about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.

For more information about routine vehicle maintenance and how to “Be Car Care Aware,” log on to

Vehicle Components and Systems: