When do my wiper blades need replacing?

Wednesday 9th March 2022

Noticed streaking or smearing on your windscreen or unusual noises when the wiper blades are in motion? Your windscreen wipers may need replacing. From how long wiper blades typically last to signs that your wipers need replacing, learn how to tell if you need replacement windscreen wipers today.

How long do wiper blades usually last?

It’s usually recommended that wiper blades should last between 6 to 12 months. However, there are often factors that can determine the life span of your wiper blades – such as how often they are used, environmental factors and the manufacturer quality of the wiper blades themselves. If you live in an area that is prone to more rain, it’s more likely your wipers will need replacing earlier than someone’s who lives in an area with little rain or snow.

Need more help in deciding if your windscreen wipers should be replaced? A car service or your annual MOT should identify this for you.

How to tell if your wiper blades need replacing

Although an MOT or service will usually inform you if your wiper blades need replacing, there are some obvious tell-tale signs you can look out for yourself to determine if you need new wiper blades:

  • Squeaking or screeching – typically, your wipes blades should be silent if they’re working effectively. However, sometimes if they’re in need of being replaced, you may be able to hear squeaking or even screeching sounds.
  • Streaking or smearing – another sign that your wipers needing replacing is if they are smearing across your windscreen. This is usually one of the most common symptoms of worn-out wiper blades, which can be due to the blades being worn down or ill-fitted blades which have come out of place.
  • Skipping or missing areas of your windscreen– do your wipers often miss a section of your windscreen when it’s raining? Not only is this irritating to you as a driver, but it could also be extremely dangerous – leading to an area of blindness in your vision, which can be especially dangerous in heavy rain.
  • Visible damage – if you’ve noticed any of the above, it’s time to have a manual check of your windscreen wipers. Is there any damage to the blades? Are they distorted in any way? Make sure to check the condition of the rubber by lifting the arms of the wipers away from the windscreen.
  • Failure to clear – of course, if your wipers are failing to clear your windscreen entirely – whether that’s from snow, rain or even mud – this is a clear sign your wiper blades need replacing.
  • Rear windscreen wiper – often forgotten about, it’s equally as important to check the back windscreen wiper is working effectively, too! Even if your rear windscreen wipers are used less often, they can still deteriorate due to the lack of use.

How can I make my wiper blades last longer?

If you want to improve your wiper blades life span, there are a few things you can do:

  • Always scrape away any snow or ice before using your wipers.
  • Keep washer fluid topped up
  •  Park in spots with shade
  •  Only use your wipers when your windscreen is wet
  •  Keep your windscreen free of debris

When to change wiper blades

It’s important to note that any slight damage to the windscreen, or obstruction to a driver’s line of sight, will cause an MOT failure. If you’ve noticed any of the above signs your wipers need replacing as soon as possible – as this can cause damage to your windscreen. You can find instructions on how to change your windscreen wipers in our helpful blog.

Make an appointment at your local Formula One Autocentres today to have your windscreen wipers replaced. Alternatively, for any other wiper blade or vehicle-related queries, get in touch with us today.

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