Trusty windshield wipers. While they may be a small part of your car, they are a necessary component of every vehicle. By providing relief from water and other debris on your windshield, your wipers help you see clearly and drive safely. However, some of us may not be as diligent about switching them out as we should be, thus leading to windshield damage.
We’re going to help you protect your windshield by understanding what to look for, what might be happening, and how to take care of any damage that your windshield wipers may have already caused.
What causes windshield wiper scratches on the windshield?
To better understand what causes windshield wiper scratches, it helps to know how they function.
How wipers work
There is a motor that moves the windshield wiper arms across the windshield. The arms of the wipers are usually made of either metal or plastic, and they work by dragging a thin silicone or rubber blade across the windshield. This provides a clear view of the road ahead.
Regardless of how often you use your wipers, it is inevitable that they lose their ability to do their job effectively. Through sun damage and various weather and temperature conditions, the windshield wiper blades take a beating and break down by cracking and tearing. This is what leads to scratches and damage on your windshield.
How do I know if my wiper blades are causing damage to my windshield?
Deciphering windshield scratches
Windshields are designed with a unique style of glass called laminated glass. This type of glass gives the windshield strength to withstand some wear and tear from being out on the open road. Debris from the environment you’re driving in can cause damage, which is expected.
However, windshield wipers that need replacement can (and usually do) cause permanent damage. By keeping an eye out for the ways windshield wipers progressively impair your windshield, you’ll be able to prevent further problems.
Ways wipers can harm your windshield:
- Streaking. This causes uneven cleaning, thus impairing your vision and causing safety concerns.
- Strange noises. If you hear squeaking, grinding, or scraping, that is your sign – you need new wipers now! This will be both distracting to the driver and harmful to the windshield.
- Bent blades. Over time, the metal blade under the rubber covering will warp, causing improper movement across the windshield. This will create a gap allowing for debris to become trapped underneath and drug across the windshield.
- Scratching your windshield. Due to the rubber covering wearing out, the now exposed metal inside will cause scratches and chips with repeated use. This can also aggravate previous cracks that were already present on your windshield.
Replace blades on a regular schedule
According to AutoZone, windshield wipers should be replaced every six to 12 months. Of course, factors like blade material and the climate in which you live all play a role in their lifespan. It is a good rule of thumb to replace your wipers every autumn (at the very least) to be prepared for the rainy season that may be approaching.
Some common signs that you may need new windshield wipers include:
- Squeaking or chattering sounds when being used.
- Skipping motion in the wiper’s movement.
- Streaking, smears, or gaps of moisture on your windshield.
- Reduced driving visibility (even when wipers are in use).
- Cracks, tears, or missing pieces of the wiper blade.
Can you repair windshield wiper scratches?
Unfortunately, just replacing your windshield wiper blades will not fix the problem. Moving forward, we always recommend preventive maintenance – so following the guidelines above on replacing your wipers will definitely help.
However, if life got in the way and maybe you didn’t change the blades out when you should have, MobileTech Auto Glass is here to help. We offer professional repair and replacement services. Our qualified technicians will come to you and assess the situation to provide you with the fix you need.