Denny is the owner of Performance Unlimited.
Did you know that there is actually a difference between winter and summer wiper blades?
According to NAPA, a summer wiper blade is “made with a lighter layer of rubber or silicone” and a lighter frame. This helps the blades to do a better job of wiping away water from the windshield in warmer weather. But these blades have a harder time standing up to winter weather.
In the winter, they freeze up. They lose their flexibility and have a hard time clearing the windshield. Winter blades are designed so ice can’t build up into the frame. The rubber is thicker and it’s harder for the cold to reduce the ability of the wipers to clear the windshield cleanly.
When a wiper doesn’t work properly, it will leave streaks – lines following in the path of the wiper blade’s travel. In some cases, it will leave water untouched on portions of the windshield where the water should have been removed. The result is that you’ll find yourself leaning and trying to look past the spots where the wipers have failed.
Even in the summer, you want wipers that help to clear the windshield while you drive. Visibility is critical with driving. Imagine driving with your eyes closed or while wearing a blindfold. Of course, you wouldn’t even consider driving unless you can see where you’re going, or what might get in your way.
On a day with a really hard rain, your wipers are tested to perform at their best. That’s an even greater test when that hard rain comes while you’re driving at night.
You also want to ensure that you have enough windshield washer solvent and that the spray of the solvent is properly directed onto the windshield. From time to time, even when it’s not raining, you’ll find that you need to give the windshield a clean swipe with the wipers. Without the solvent, the blades will probably do no more than to smear the dirt across the windshield and impede your vision even more.
Overtime, the rubber part of a wiper blade begins to harden. It may also develop imperfections on the flat surface that makes contact with the windshield. So, even if you have the right wiper blades for the season, you may want a replacement set of wiper blades.
Keep an eye on how your wiper blades perform in different kinds of conditions. When in doubt, as your auto repair shop to take a look at the wipers and let you know if it’s time to replace them. Wiper blades are relatively inexpensive. And your vision while driving is, as they say, priceless.
Need service? Call (815) 728-0343 to make an appointment.