We often see folks driving around the cities of Fort Myers and Cape Coral with sloppy, streaky windshields. At Naples Premium Collision Center, we also often see the aftermath of driving with poor visibility, when folks bring their vehicles into the shop for repairs. One of the major causes of a windshield looking like this is having a pair of windshield wipers that are far too old to still be in use. Changing your windshield wipers is one of the easiest types of maintenance you can do on your vehicle, and it can save you quite a bit of cash by doing it yourself.How Do You Know It Is Time?
Before you even change your wipers, you need to be able to identify when they have gone bad. If it rains, and your wipers leave streaks of water across your windshield, it indicates that the rubber of the blades has lost its grip on your windshield. If you have a hard time seeing through the rain even with the wipers on full, it’s time to change them.
If you live where it rarely rains, you can also see problems with wipers needing to be changed after time. Where it is hot and dry, wipers will become hard and cracked quickly. Pull your wipers up and flex them – if they no longer have a rubbery spring to the blade, or they are cracked or brittle, it is time to change them. A good rule of thumb is to check your wiper blades every three months or so – in most climates, they will need replacing every five to eight months.Buying the Right Wipers
When you go to change your wipers, you’ll need to make sure you get the right length wipers for your vehicle. Ones that are too short will miss crucial parts of your windshield, and may leave you with poor visibility. Others may be too long, and can flop off the sides of windshield or become entangled in each other.
Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the existing blades. You could also check the owners’ manual – many of them will have the wiper sizes written down in them. You’ll need to make sure to measure both wipers, as in many cases one wiper is longer than the other in order to have an even wiping motion.Changing Your Wipers
Lucky for you, changing your wipers requires nothing in the way of special tools, and very few steps:
- Raise the metal windshield arm away from the windshield, and make sure to hold it away from the windshield. Wiper arms are spring-loaded, meaning it will snap back against the windshield if you let go of it suddenly. This could lead to chipping or cracking your windshield.
- Depress the small tab on the underside of the wiper where it meets the wiper arm. This allows you to slide the wiper blade off of the arm by pulling the center towards the bottom of the arm.
- Place the wiper blade so that the plastic clip of the new blade is lined up with the hook on the wiper arm.
- Pull the blade tight, until it clicks into place. Ease the wiper arm back until the wiper blade is back in contact with the windshield.
- Repeat these steps with the other wiper blade.
While we hope you bring all of your major repairs to Naples Premium Collision Center, there’s no reason you need to take your vehicle to us or any other shop in the Estero or Bonita Springs areas for something as simple as installing new windshield wipers. Following these simple steps will help you to continue to see the road clearly, regardless of the weather. Hopefully, this keeps you out of trouble and away from accidents – and away from needing our services due to a collision.